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Steps to Building a home

Build Custom Home / May 23, 2018

Have you ever considered building your own home? There is a lot to consider if you take on this project.

However, just because you build your own home, doesn’t mean that you have to be the one that actually completes every task or even any task for that matter. Usually, it just means that you designed everything just the way you wanted it.

So I’d like to explore the steps and options that often come with building your own home. If you are considering this, you will definitely want to read this article as it covers a lot of the basics that you need to take into regard.

1. Money

In this world, unfortunately, money does a lot of the talking. When figuring out what your dream is, often it is dictated by what we can or cannot afford.

So building a house is no different. You’ll need to have your money all lined up before getting this project off of the ground. You will need to either have your cash in hand and know exactly how much you have to spend, or you’ll need to make a trip to the bank.

Now, in my experience with dealing with banks, they will want to know everything about you. Don’t be surprised if they ask for your blood type and what you had for breakfast that morning. (Okay, I’m kidding, but they do want to know as much about you and your financial situation as possible.)

So you’ll want to be sure that you have a pretty good credit score and a decent amount of money to put down as your down payment. Most loans require anywhere from 5-20% down. There are a few special loans that you may qualify for.

But I must give you fair warning, with the way the housing market crashed about 10 years ago, banks are very thorough these days. When looking to build a house, the banks are having to loan on potential value instead of the value that is already there. This means that their risk is greater.

Which means, they might be a little pickier, and they might expect a little more out of you to lessen their risk.

After all, if you start building and run out of money during the project, guess what? They are stuck with an unfinished house, nothing really to hang over your head to get their money back, and a house that will be difficult to sell because most people don’t want to purchase an unfinished home.

So get all of your ducks in a row before even picking out a house plan because you need to know what you can afford.

2. Create Your Budget And Pick Your Plans

After you’ve gotten the green light on either your own personal funds or a bank loan, you are ready to get started. You’ll need to begin browsing house plans to see what you like. You can order different plans online of houses that you are interested in.

Actually, some sites give you the layout of certain houses. You could print those off to take with you to your meeting with your general contractor to give them a better idea of what it is that you are looking for.

3. GC or Not to GC? That is the Question.

The next question is probably one of the most important questions in this building process. Do you want a general contractor or are you going to be the general contractor?

So the difference is if you hire a general contractor they will hire all of the necessary people for you. They will also make sure that the house is staying on budget and on its time frame as well.

But you could save a lot of money by being your own general contractor. I think this is a personal decision. If you have the time, experience, and feel comfortable with heading up this building project yourself, then go for it.

However, if you are busy, lack experience in many of the areas, and are worried that this could be a potential train wreck, then hiring someone to do this for you is probably wise.

Either way, you’ll need to have a game plan in place at this step. You will need to decide what house you plan on building, an estimate of how much building costs are per square foot in your area, then decide if you can afford the square footage you had in mind.

If not, then you’ll need to back up and punt. Either figure out a different home you could build with less square footage or put the project on hold until you have that kind of money.

Then you’ll need to start taking bids on your project so you can find people that can help with things like roofing, framing, electrical work, plumbing, HVAC, drywalling, painting, flooring, etc. You’ll need to know their work history so you can have an idea of what kind of work they do, and you’ll need to know their charge.

Now, if you are the General Contractor you can decide what tasks (if any) you’ll do yourself. This is a way to save money on labor. If you aren’t planning on doing any of the work, then you’ll need to get it lined up and contracts drawn up with those that you are planning on using to complete your home.

However, if you hire a General Contractor they’ll do most of this for you.

4. Start from the Ground Up

The first thing of a house is laying the foundation. The foundation is super important. This is part of what takes so long to build a house because builders are supposed to allow it to sit and settle before building on top of it.

Now, if you choose to have a basement in your home, it can take even longer to build. I’ve heard some building companies say they can have a house up in a few short months.

Then I’ve heard other building companies say that it isn’t wise because then the house shifts, and you have cracks. This is all a personal decision, I suppose.

However, I will say, that if you find a good builder that does good work, but he just takes a little longer, I’d go with him because you want quality work on your home even if it takes a little longer.

5. Finish the Exterior

Next, the exterior of your home will need to be finished. This includes the roof and whatever you choose for a siding option on your home. You could choose to go with vinyl siding, wood siding, brick, or stone.