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Building a House

Site property, design and cost are the chief considerations in building a house.

Custom home builders often aid in the design of a home. [©Jupiter Images, 2009]
©Jupiter Images, 2009
Custom home builders often aid in the design of a home.

Building a House

Building a house is a significant undertaking that requires careful planning and preparation. Although most people do not have the time to learn about every step of the home-building process, learning about the basic components of home building gives them a greater understanding of the work and time necessary to complete the project. Beyond simple self-education, hiring an experienced and meticulous crew, including the chief builder and inspector, is essential to the homes success.

Building Instead of Buying

The decision to build a home is usually based on a number of factors, including price, land ownership, location, aesthetics and personal experience. In general, the process is financially challenging financing construction can be tricky, and the taxes involved are sometimes complicated. Careful research and communication with lending industries can make undergoing this part of the process a lot smoother. Establishing a home-building budget will help with all other aspects of the project.

Site Built or Factory Built

Before planning a house, the homeowners must decide between either on-site building or factory-fabricated building. Buildings created in a factory setting offer sturdy construction with a more finished look, and they are usually completed with less time and money than traditionally built homes. Site-built homes are just that homes built at their final location. This building option involves handcrafted, stick-built frame houses constructed using local contractors and construction crews. Ultimately, the choice comes down to the amount of time available and the budget set aside for the building project.

Considerations for Buying Land

As explained by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, consumers need to be informed when buying land for building a house. It is important to inspect property thoroughly and to never buy a piece of land sight unseen. Reading all paperwork and insisting on documentation will also help protect the buyers legal rights and provide firm ground for legal negotiations in the event that problems arise during construction. Asking lots of questions and developing strong relationships with realtors, contractors and land owners will improve communication and minimize issues.

Planning Construction and the Contracts

Before paying for any building materials or services, homeowners should have the details of the project in writing. Building specifications, architectural plans, builders contracts, timelines and payment methods should all be determined in advance of the build. Carefully reviewing any written contracts or architectural drawings is essential to keeping control of the home-building process. Additionally, having a lawyer look over the documents can help give homeowners extra peace of mind, if needed.

Choosing a Builder

There are two basic types of home builders: custom home builders and production home builders. Custom home builders assist the individual in building new homes from scratch on pre-purchased pieces of land. They also tend to concentrate on one type of construction (e.g., single-family homes). By contrast, a production home builder creates standardized homes built on corporate land to fit a wide variety of specifications. Local building associations and chambers of commerce can provide information on local builders and can in many cases provide an evaluation of their quality and scope of work.

Homeowners should not hesitate to ask potential builders as many questions as they want during the screening process, according to the National Association of Home Builders. Local homeowners associations or neighborhood councils are often happy to hand out lists of builders who built houses in the area, as well as the contact information for the people who bought them.

Approving the Product

For the best results, potential homeowners should stay involved throughout the home-building process and should sign off on each completed phase of construction. Final inspections, both informal and those required by contract, provide both the builder and homeowner with the opportunity to finalize the project and any payments. Hiring a qualified home inspector for instance, those recommended by the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, Inc. ensures that the final stages of construction run smoothly.

Decorating the Interior

Although interior design occurs after the construction of the house is complete, planning for the interior of a home should be a part of the home-building process. Potential alcoves, breakfast bars and built-in cupboards should be a part of the design specifications. To avoid unforeseen financial difficulties, interior planning should be considered when determining the budget and acquiring financing.

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