Going with the First Estimate
There’s no need to feel uncomfortable about getting several estimates. Contractors are used to working with homeowners during the “research phase” of construction. You can be completely open about where you are in the process when you meet with them. Some contractors will even offer to price match if the work they’re doing is in a competitive building market like roofing.
When our house needed a new roof, we got a recommendation from the same company that did our first major home renovation. The roofer they recommended came by and gave us an estimate for the work, and we were very close to using this company when we decided to get a few more estimates, just for kicks.
It turned out that the first estimate was more than double what any of the others were!
We ended up going with someone who fell in the mid-range for pricing, and the work was great. I’m sure that first contractor would have done a good job, but we would’ve paid much more than the average price for our new roof.
What’s important when you’re gathering estimates from contractors is that you focus not just on price but consider a company’s reputation, how long they’ve been in business, and what kind of warranty they offer on their work. You can check out resources like Angie’s List and Yelp to see what other people in your area thought of the contractors you’re considering.
CHOOSING THE LOCATION OF YOUR HOME
When it comes to real estate investments, the location plays an important role. Since you are planning to build a new home, the location is equally important. You need to consider the neighbourhood in which you want your land, the distance between your land and other everyday facilities like banks, schools, supermarket, parks etc.
The quality of your land and others around it also help determine its cost and cost of the building materials. It is advisable to invest in a land that allows you to save cost.
Proper drainage is required to prevent water from accumulating around the basement’s foundation. Inadequate drainage can cause a variety of issues, including water penetration, mold growth, and foundation damage. Work with a contractor who knows the need for adequate drainage and can design and install an appropriate drainage system to avoid making this mistake.
To regulate the drainage system in a basement, it is critical to maintain and clean the drains and gutters regularly, build a good drainage system, such as external or interior drain tiles, French drains, or a sump pump, and install a backup system in the event of a power loss. It is also critical to constantly monitor the system for any blockages or malfunctions and to solve any faults as soon as possible to avoid water damage. The danger of water collection and damage in the basement can be considerably decreased by adopting these procedures.
CHOOSING A CONTRACTOR
At this point, you are likely searching for the right contractor. One thing is getting the contractor for your home, the other is understanding the contractor’s quotes. Building a new home can be challenging and financially draining as mentioned earlier, but you want to be careful in choosing the builder with the lowest quote. The truth is, you may end up spending more than budgeted.
There are certain expenses that people don’t consider while planning their budgets and often forget that contractors use different methods of pricing. Where some might give you the price of individual materials needed, others might give the estimate of all the materials.
It is, however, advisable to stick with contractors that give precise costs of all necessary materials in order to avoid surprises. Also considering a contractor’s wealth of experience is a good way to start, especially in handling similar projects.
A solid foundation is essential for a basement’s safety and stability. Cracking, sinking, or even collapse might occur if the foundation is not correctly built or constructed. To prevent this blunder, hire a contractor with foundation building experience and an understanding of the special demands of basement construction.
Hire a reputable contractor, ensure correct design, oversee construction, and execute regular maintenance to avoid an inadequately built or constructed basement foundation. This reduces the likelihood of cracking, settling, or collapse while also ensuring a solid and sturdy foundation.
Misunderstandings between you and your architect or contractor can cost you money or leave you unhappy with parts of the project. This is another area where you might start feeling like you’re over-doing it with the questions and clarifications, but your architect and contractor aren’t mind readers. If there’s something you don’t understand on the plans or in your contract, it’s always better to have someone explain it up front. As with nagging doubts during the construction process, you’re better off clarifying any questions you may have before work gets started, so there won’t be confusion once you break ground.
Most homeowners can’t be on-site all day during a renovation, so you want to make sure the contractors have a clear idea of what you want and how they can reach you if questions do come up. If they can’t get hold of you to clarify a paint color choice, for example, they may end up making the wrong call. You’ll have to either pay to fix the problem or live with a color that you aren’t so thrilled about. It’s not the end of the world, but when you’re paying for a home renovation, you want the end product to be just what you envisioned.
If you check your email frequently, it’s probably the best way to communicate with your contractors. Not only can they send you questions without disrupting your day, but you’ll have your correspondence in writing in case something goes wrong. Make sure your contractor also has your cell or work number, so he can reach you quickly with timely questions. Not only will that help avoid confusion and mistakes, but quick communication helps keep your project on schedule, because no one will be waiting around for your responses.
Once you embark on the project of building a new home, it is advisable to not go into another that will require making big purchases. Building a new home is enough for a particular period of time because of the financial commitment required.
For instance, you don’t want to buy a car in the process of building a home. The car price might seem like a bargain but you can never predict the unexpected expenses that will occur when building your home.
You would want to avoid trouble by spending on your home building budget.
STICK TO A DESIGN
If you are building a home, you definitely want it designed to your taste. Everyone has an idea of their dream home; how they want it to look like and what they want in it.
These ideas are either self-thoughts or the ones gotten from the pages of a magazine.
Whichever it is, you should make the final decision before construction starts on the land. Making changes during the construction phase can result in additional expenses and significant delays.
One of the pitfalls of building a new home is that people tend to believe that the bigger the land, the more the rooms they need within.
But this is not always so or needed as they think. There is no point having lots of rooms that will be empty after a month or two.
Like building a playroom or a home gym sounds cool but would be of no use when it wouldn’t be used in months. This is not to say having room for special purposes is a bad idea, just make sure it can easily transit into a room with a different purpose.
WRONG PLACEMENTS OF ROOMS
Another mistake to avoid when building a new house is the wrong placements of rooms. You might have great ideas for your home but without proper planning of the rooms, you will be fed up in a long run.
For instance, not having your kitchen close to the entrance of your home is a disaster waiting to happen especially when bringing the groceries in. You don’t want to walk the length of the whole building before getting to the kitchen. Below are tips for planning your rooms:
- The laundry room should be near the bedroom.
- The bedroom should be at the furthest part of the house and the garage. It should be away from the noise from the street and also from all the dirt coming through from the garage.
- The kitchen should be near the back entrance or the garage, as well as next to the dining and the living room.
During the process of building your home, it is always tempting to try and save cost. Therefore, you end up buying cheap materials and windows. The issue with this is that it saves you the needed money for the present, but you might have to replace them in five years’ time. It is advisable to buy quality materials, hire quality contractors and workers in order to save future cost. Remember it is your home and you make be planning to live in it for long. So why not build what will give you rest.
POOR SPACE PLANNING
Poor space planning is one of many home mistakes new home builders make. Unless you have plans to build a very large home, space planning and design is crucial. Ask yourself, does the master bedroom really need an oversized walk-in closet when the space could potentially be added to your bedroom or master bath? Pay attention to where you place your closets. There should be one in each bedroom and in the main hallway. Managing space in your home will save you the stress of squeezing through the whole place.
POORLY LIT HOMES
It is not unusual to see some homes and wonder if the owner actually planned on living in it. This is often due to poor ventilation. Most people don’t pay attention to their windows and the overall lighting of their homes. It is advisable that windows should be in every room and ensure that they are as big as possible. It is also important to consider making Natural light the main source of light.
TOO MANY ADVICE
Inasmuch as it is advisable to seek opinions from other people or professionals, you are still one with the decision making. You best know your family and your family’s lifestyle and needs. You and only you know what is best for you and your family. Therefore, when making plans for your home, you need to think about the future.