Building Process: 7 Key Things to Know About Building a House

Charlotte Miller

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Are you about to embark on the process of building your dream home? If you are, you’re not alone. Americans build around 1.3 million private homes a year, although that number was lower in 2020 due to the pandemic. 

Although the building process can be exciting, many people fear that it will also be full of obstacles and challenges. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be like that, and by doing your research beforehand, you’ll progress through everything as seamlessly as possible.

So what do you need to know?

Keep reading to learn about seven things that will help make the process of building a house easier. 

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  1. Have a Clear Plan

It may sound obvious, but far too many people start building homes without taking the time to hash out all of the details beforehand. Aside from causing delays, this is also a great way to cause construction costs to go up.

Having a solid plan means more than figuring out how many bedrooms your home will have. Consider things like which direction the sun will filter through the windows, where electrical outlets will be, and what sort of light fixtures you’ll have.

There are tons of great programs that can help you figure everything out. If you want to go old-school, a sheet of graph paper can be a good place to start as well. 

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  1. Understand That You May Go Over Budget

While most people know to set a budget before starting the construction process, many don’t understand that the number you arrive at is arbitrary by nature. The costs you pay are typically higher (and sometimes much higher) than what you plan for.

Delays, zoning fees, outdoor concrete, and security fencing are some of the many things that people fail to take into consideration. The cumulative sum of these additional expenses can often total up to an additional 20%. 

Set a budget, but be flexible with it. You don’t want to stretch yourself too thin and then find yourself unable to pay for these additional expenses. 

  1. Work With the Right Builder

Builders work with you throughout the entire construction process, whether that ends up being a matter of months or years. Because of that, it’s imperative to choose the right one.

In most cases, you’ll want them to be a member of the National Association of Home Builders. It’s also a good idea to examine their previous builds to ensure that they have a track record of success.

Make sure that you feel comfortable with them, as well. They’ll be with you for the long haul, so it’s not worth working with someone that makes you uncomfortable. 

  1. Understand the Agreement You Have 

Before entering into any sort of agreement with a contractor, you want to ensure that you know exactly what it entails. You don’t want to realize that you signed into something toxic later on. 

The contract should list out the timetable that they will follow. It should also explain the times when you need to make payments.

It might seem excessive, but it’s not a bad idea to have a lawyer check over the agreement before you sign it. They’ll be able to help you identify areas that might cause you problems down the road. 

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  1. Make Communication a Priority 

As your builders and contractors are helping you construct your dream home, you’re going to want to communicate with them throughout the entire process. 

Building a house is a huge, expensive, and time-consuming project. Because of that, you shouldn’t have to worry about coming across as overbearing. You have a right to know about everything that’s going on. 

You also have the right to insist that the building process goes in a certain direction, even if your contractors and builders tell you otherwise. They should never tell you that you’re wrong, and if they do, they need to provide you with a clear explanation as to why. 

  1. Find Quality Inspectors 

When you’re building a home, you’ll need to work with several inspectors throughout the process. These people will ensure that everything is safe and up to code.

Early on in the process, inspectors should come and check your foundation and frame. Both of these need to be functional and problem-free, as if they’re not, they can affect the entire house.

Later on, you’ll need inspectors to come and perform a lockup and handover inspection. The lockup inspector looks at the doors and windows of your home, while the handover inspection ensures that everything looks good before you move in. 

  1. Try Your Best to Save Money

It should go without saying that even building a small starter home is expensive. Because of that, you always want to look for different ways to save money.

Luckily, saving money is easier than you might realize.

Before you buy any screws, pipes, or light fixtures, ensure that they fit within your budget. Compare prices, get recommendations from friends, and do everything in your power to get the best deals later on.

You can also explore different ways to cut down costs after you move in. Sustainable energy like solar power can help you do this, as can ensuring that your walls and roof are well-insulated. 

The Home Building Process Made Easy

Most people are under the misconception that building a new home is a messy process full of hiccups and mishaps. The reality is that by understanding everything beforehand, you’ll be able to navigate the process without a problem.

Use this guide to help you hash out the details before you start the building process.

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