How To Find A Custom Home Builder Without Losing Your Mind

Building a custom home is the largest purchase most people will make in their lifetime, and choosing the best custom home builder is essential to the project’s success. The role of a custom home builder is as much to advocate for the homeowner as it is to collaborate with the design team. Since homebuilding is a process that takes several months, it’s important that you the buyer feel there is trust and clear communication on the part of the builder. If you have a location and have set your budget for the project, you are ready to shop builders; read the following tips on how to find a custom home builder without losing your mind.

Consider your resources

If you have already hired a designer, they are the best asset at your disposal for beginning your search. Your design professional likely has first hand experience working with builders and will know their construction qualities, communication styles, and business reputations. You could also check with your lender or realtor, if they are familiar with the custom home market in your locale. You can contact the National Association of Home Builders for a list of qualified local builders. Internet searches can identify builders in your area, and some sites may be equipped with ratings & feedback from prior customers. And, certainly, you could ask friends and acquaintances who have completed custom home projects for referrals.

Shop the candidates

Shopping for a well-qualified home builder is easy when you know what to look for to accommodate your project. The right builder for you will need to have the available time, an interest in your project, and experience in working with homeowners. You want a custom home builder whose primarily focused on building custom homes rather than speculative homes, so that their services are tailored to your needs. When considering builders, ask about their current projects and their track record with projects of similar scale and detail to yours. They should also be able to provide you client references. You want to get the sense that the builder you are considering has done this sort of thing before.

Work the schedule

When you talk to prospective builders, ask what kind of schedule you would be looking at for your project. Know that building a custom home usually takes a minimum of 6 months and that the schedule will be weather-dependent. Additionally, steps must be taken before the home can even be framed, such as installing the plumbing and electric up to city code. A builder promising a time frame for completion that is only a few weeks or months should be considered a red flag, no matter how tempting it may seem. In the case of custom home building, it’s better the project be completed properly then quickly.

Communication is key

Again, you need to be comfortable with how a builder communicates with you. You should not feel pressured or talked down to at any junction. You are trusting an expert to build your home, and that expert ought to be able to take the time to explain their process in layman’s terms. You should have access to the construction site. You should feel your questions are welcome, and that they being answered in a timely and respectful manner. If you get the sense that the builder is more or less communicative than you would like, take note, and consider moving on. You do not want to enter into a building contract with a builder whose communication is irksome.

Remember, you’re trying to find a collaborative building partner who will be your advocate. Take your time, be specific in what you want, and ask questions.

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Mortgage To Build Your Own House

A lot of people reach a point where they decide that building and decorating their own home is the next step in an adventure called life. After all, having a home in which you have engraved a part of yourself can bring a lot of joy personal sense of accomplishment. Putting together a plan to build that work out the room you’ve always wanted or maybe that special little home office can be fulfilling and motivational. It’s no secret that building your own home is expensive. Fortunately, there is a way to help you advance with your plans. Although it can be difficult to convince a lender to loan you money for something that hasn’t been built yet, it is possible to get a construction loan.

What is a construction loan? A construction loan is a short-term loan that’s supposed to cover the expenses of your project. Getting it requires thorough planning and high points which you must present to the loaner. You’ll need a detailed construction plan along with a realistic budget while assuring the loaner that the project is a small risk. Usually, the more experienced builders keep a sort of “blue book” in which all of the details mentioned above are included.

Now, let’s discuss the down payment. It’s no secret that down payment plays a major factor in any loan, but in the case of construction loans, it can put quite a big strain on your budget. You can expect a huge percentage (up to 25%) to be added as down payment. The main reason why it is so, it’s that unlike traditional loans, construction loans are viewed as high-risk investments in which the loaners want to make sure you see your project through.

First, you must choose a location. Owning the lot where you plan to build your home can be potentially helpful for you to get the loan, otherwise, the down payment percentage will increase exponentially. Getting a well-established building contractor with a good reputation for this sort of projects should be a priority. The reason for this is that going at it alone and planning to be in charge of everything can be viewed as a problem by the loaners because you have no experience in handling projects like this. If you can somehow present a detailed and convincing construction plan which demonstrates your skills and knowledge in the home-building business, then you might just get the loan.

Let’s sum up. While building your home can be an extremely gratifying experience, it’s no secret that you will have to jump through a lot of hoops to see your dream become a reality. So, before even thinking of going through with a project like this, be ready to put together a well-built project plan and get a well known, qualified home builder. In the end, it all comes down to your available resources. Your budget will decide the fate of your project, so start saving up so you can cover the down payment.

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Building Your Custom Home

A custom home is different from a resale home or a spec home. As a matter of fact, it’s you who will design the space based on your needs. You can decide on the rooms layouts, finishings style and the building material quality. When taking these benefits into account, make sure that you know the common mistakes of building a custom home. Read on to know how to avoid these mistakes.

#1: Not Knowing the servicing costs

Some people choose their lots prior to building their custom homes. While choosing a certain site, you should take into account factors, such as amenities, waterfront views, and privacy, to name a few. Another important job is to figure out how much you will need to spend to get it ready and then connect it to services.

Keep in mind that the municipal services, such as sewer, water, gas and electricity cost good money. In order to avoid the additional costs, we suggest that you do a feasibility analysis before purchasing a lot.

#2: Imposing a home design

You should not impose a certain home design on your site. Instead, you should adapt a design to it. What you need to do is choose a site with care. If you have purchased a lot already, you should adapt your design to the site idiosyncrasies.

For instance, if you have a lot teaming with big trees, you should adapt them to the design of your house instead of getting them cut down. You can save a lot of money, grief and time by designing a home that respects its environment.

#3: Starting the work before deciding on a budget

Before you start designing, make sure you have decided on the budget. The home design will have a great impact on all the related things, such as interior finishings and exterior landscape. To keep things moving in the right direction, you should set a realistic budget. This will help you and your designer keep connected. And the costs will also stay in your control.

#4: Choosing the wrong home designer

Choosing a custom home design that can’t meet your style needs is not a good idea. Actually, you may want to consult a good builder for recommendations. Once you have made a list of a few designers, you should choose one based on your requirements. For instance, you should consult a good general contractor. He may give you a few good names so you can choose the right professional.

#5: Green building

Do you know what green building is? Even if you do, you also have to know the costs of incorporating the techniques for your custom home. As a matter of fact, green building may help you keep the costs down. For instance, if you employ an engineer, he can help you save money on window orientation, roof overhangs, and heating systems, just to name a few.

So, these are some common mistakes that you have to avoid when custom building your house for the first time.

Housing by Increments: A Great Pay-As-You-Go Solution

Buying an existing home or building a new one is an expensive proposition, but if you’re willing to take an unconventional approach, you can build your own home by increments and spread the cost out over a period of years, possibly saving yourself a mortgage.

The first step is finding and purchasing a piece of property. You need to have the property inspected and judged acceptable for sewage or a septic system and availability to water and other utilities, and to make sure the land is zoned for residential use. Make sure you get all the building permits and other documentation you need, and then plan your home.

You might want to look at plans for homes, for sale in bookstores and through a number of magazines, or you might want to design your own home. Think of ways you can build your home in stages, making sure that the home is habitable at an early stage of building. One young couple decided to build a conventional stick-built home, but finished off the basement area first and capped it, then lived in the cellar while building the rest of the house.

There are companies in existence that offer modular homes built largely in a factory and then assembled on-site [http://www.shelter-kit.com/lofthouse.html]. Some of these are created in segments which can either stand alone or be pieced together either all at once or over a period of time. The manufacturers will be able to give you valuable advice on how best to proceed.

Make sure that the most necessary parts of your home are built first. If necessary, you can live essentially in one room that serves as kitchen, living room and bedroom-renters of efficiency apartments do it all the time-but unless you want to live really roughly and use an outhouse (not a pleasant thought!) one of your first priorities should be to build a fully functional bathroom.

Also make sure that, even though you plan to add on to your home in increments, you plan the entire structure of the home up front. You may decide that you will add on a laundry room in two years, for instance; you will want to have the plans for that laundry room now, so that expensive plumbing and electrical work will be done in the most efficient manner possible. This generally means clustering rooms that need a water supply close together to minimize the material needed.

Building your home over a period of years by using your own money or by accessing short-term unsecured personal loans, or a combination of the two, will allow you to own your home outright immediately and save you many thousands of dollars over your lifetime. If you’re willing to be patient and live unconventionally for a while, it’s a great option.

Contemporary Home Builders – Building Your Dream House Effortlessly

Are you getting excited about building your dream house? Want to make the process easy and stress-free? Why not hire contemporary home builders and avail yourself a number of home designs that not only suit your budget but also fulfill all your specifications!

When you think of building a new abode or renovating the existing one, the first thing that strikes your mind is how to get it done. No doubt, you’ll be thinking of carrying out the complete process on your own as there’s nothing more special than decorating or renovating your home with your own efforts and creativity. Once you finally decide to work on your own and manage your finances accordingly, you must never look back or feel depressed at any instant of time as this will break you from inside and will tear you apart thereafter. If in case, you feel like you are not made for this task, you must hire an expert who will build your dream home based upon your specifications and will carry out all the necessary tasks effortlessly.

Your specifications may include factors like:

Total number of rooms to be included

• Type of furniture to be used

• Type of doors and windows

• Colour of the walls

• Floor ideas

• Different kitchen designs

• Type of lighting to be used

• Carpet colour for your living room

• Bathroom style

• Bedroom design

• Roofing system

These are some things that you must include in your ‘To-Do’ list while narrating your specifications to the builder you hired. Before hiring a builder, it is important that you find out what exactly you want, i.e. what kind of house you are about to build. Once you decide on what home design to choose, you can move on to the next big step, i.e. setting a specific budget. Make sure the design you choose fulfills all your expectations and suits your budget plan too. Moreover, you must choose the right professional who not only carry out the process meticulously but also make sure that your house plan works best for you in the best possible fashion.

Once you give your best shot in order to kick off the renovation process in a well-organized fashion, you must pay attention to certain factors that can play a great part in making the process go a lot more fluently. This is where the importance of an experienced professional come into the picture, so it is important that you pick a perfect consultant or architect to take care of the complete designing process, seek other professional advice as required, take care of the future trends and pick a design accordingly, make a list of all the things that are involved in the process of home renovation, and more.

Importance of Architects in Building a House

If you think good architecture is not important, you need to think again. Good architecture improves our lives in many ways. As a matter of fact, well-built houses and offices can help you increase your productivity. Let’s find out the importance of good architects as far as building a house is concerned.

Quality of life

Today, we try our level best to improve our quality of life. You may have heard the common saying “if you look good, you feel good”. And this is true about buildings as well. And this includes your own house as well.

If you want to improve your quality of your life, you can do so by building a house that can help you achieve this goal. This will be the house that you will be proud of. And you can achieve this goal by working with a good architect.

If your house has no design intricacies and it’s just a door and four walls, it may not be enough to improve your quality of life.

So, the question is, how can you make it more appealing? You can do so with the help of an architect. They can help you add beauty, creativity and art to your life in more ways than one. These professionals know how to choose the best design for your house.

According to many studies, houses with good design and architecture help create healthier businesses and communities.

Balance

If you want to add a sense of balance to your space, you should consult an architect. We know it’s not easy to design a building. By working with an architect, you can ensure that your house has a sense of balance.

Aside from this, design and architecture helps bring balance to your life as well. As a matter of fact, good design can help you make your life more efficient.

We know that well-designed hospitals help treat patients in an efficient manner. Similarly, well-designed schools are important for better learning environments. Also, workplaces that have good architecture can result in higher employee productivity.

A well-designed house can result in a healthy balance in your routine life. Aside from this, good architecture allows your neighborhood to improve in many ways. In fact, it’s the skills of architects that has helped us move from clay houses and huts into state-of-the-art houses of today.

With the passage of time, good architecture continues to make progress and spurs on us all to follow healthier habits. Therefore, we can’t deny the importance of hiring the services of an experienced architect. Make sure you work with a qualified and experienced architect.

Conclusion

Although most people don’t give enough credit to architects, it can’t nullify the fact that these professionals play a great role in this field. The job of an architect is not easy at all. They need to consider a lot of factors in addition to tolerate tons of pressure. So, if you want to build a new house, we suggest that you hire the services of a good architect.

How to Become a Professional Home Builder – Pitfalls of Contract Building-Allowances

If you’re a contract builder allowances can make or break you and all allowances must be stated in writing. It’s very important that you have allowances for all those items you will not know the price of until the product is purchased or the work is done. It is also very important that you be crystal clear on all allowances.

Give your customer a rough idea of what $4,000 worth of grading will entail. Show them what $350 a 1,000 brick looks like. Show them what $1,000 worth of lighting and $3,000 worth of plumbing fixtures looks like. And show them what $20 a square yard carpet looks and feels like just to name a few.

It’s very, very important that, verbally and visually, you be crystal clear on all these allowances. The thing you don’t want is for a customer to expect $3,000 worth of lighting when you’ve only allotted in the contract $500 for lighting. They’re not going to be happy and they’re going to think you’re trying to pull the wool over their eyes. Then you have problems.

I know a very good contract builder and he spends a lot of time with customers up front going to lighting stores, carpet stores, all these places so the customer is real clear as to what the allowance will cover.

This can be very time consuming and aggravating but in the end it will be another important step to ensure a happy and satisfied customer.

How Often Will I Need to Re-Stain, Re-Chink, Re-Caulk or Re-Finish My Log Home?

Before or after buying your log home there are certain things every log homeowner should know. Some things might be open for debate but one thing is for sure, your log home will require attention. This doesn’t mean that you will spend all of your waking hours staining, caulking, sealing, chinking, re-caulking, re-chinking and re-sealing. It does mean that you will need to pay attention to your log home like you might pay attention to your car. Below you will find some helpful tips and information to guide you through owning a log home.

  1. Have realistic expectations for the maintenance on your log home. There will be some.
  2. Set up a routine log home maintenance schedule.
  3. Follow a routine log home maintenance schedule.
  4. Apply log stain when your log home needs it. Remember you get what you pay for most of the time. Good log home stains are not cheap but you will save you money in the long run.
  5. Good log home stains will offer about 3 years of protection on the southern exposure of your log home and 4 years of protection on the other sides of your home. These figures are just estimates and will vary depending on a number of factors.
  6. Expect to caulk or chink your log home at some point.
  7. Some log homes require more chinking, caulking and stain than others
  8. Almost all log homes require some chinking or caulking whether it be in the horizontal log joints, the corners of the logs or around your window bucks.
  9. As we mentioned earlier, the better the log stain material the less stain maintenance your logs will require.
  10. Design your log home with maintenance in mind. Remember the less exposure your logs take the less maintenance they will require.
  11. Square logs weather better than round logs.
  12. Log home chinking can be used for aesthetic purposes or as a weather-tite barrier.
  13. Log home caulking should typically blend in with your logs. Conceal caulking by Sashco sets itself apart from all competitors.
  14. Some water based log stain materials are very good while others are very bad.
  15. Some oil based log stain materials are very bad while others are very good.
  16. Your log home stains should be compatible with your log chinking and your log home caulking materials.
  17. The preferred time to maintain your log structure is typically during the summer.
  18. Remember you log home is a dream home. Don’t forget to treat it like one.

A Green Home Buyer’s Guide On Choosing An Eco-Friendly Home

Eco-friendly living is the way forward, and it is currently the best time for you to follow this trend. So go ahead and own a green abode that reflects your personality. Below, are a few points that you should consider on your pursuit to acquiring a green home.

Building A Home Vs. Buying One: How Do They Compare?

Every house is energy efficient and eco-friendly one way or the other, which usually saves a considerable amount of money. But buying a home does not give you the freedom to use your own ideas on the house from the ground up, as opposed to building a house according to your plan.

Renovation Can Do The Trick

If you have a non eco-friendly house and you want to convert it into an eco-friendly unit, you can spend money on modifying the house based on your ideas. For instance, you could replace an old light bulb with the latest LED ones, which are proven to consume less energy. Note that reworking on your house could cost a significant hole in your bank account, but in the long run, it is definitely worth it.

Other Important Priorities

Living green will likely be next to impossible, if you are on a budget and looking to stay close to popular hubs. The same could be said, if you want to have restaurants and other recreational facilities around your neighbourhood.

Be Ready To Relocate If Necessary

Is living in an eco-friendly house a top priority for you? If the answer is yes, then you need to consider relocating to a location where it is possible, I.e, a place where there’s plenty of sunlight and a place that suits your budget. But most times, this would mean that you would have to relocate to another region. You would have to settle in an entirely new location, where you will need start all over again, which is a bad idea if you are not looking forward to change.

Get Hold Of A Green Agent

Now that green living is becoming more and more popular, there is a rise in the number of real estate agents specialising in the scouting process of such houses. Get in touch with one of them to get a tour of affordable alternatives that are available.

Although eco-friendly living is a great step towards a self-sustaining life, it also requires you to invest a lot of time, effort, and money that is usually not a sound alternative for working-class families. You should go for this lifestyle, only if you are absolutely sure it is a serious decision, and not just a hobby.

Tips On How To Construct A Durable House

It’s the dream of every person to construct a good house that remains strong forever. Unfortunately, very few people know how to do it. To help you out here are tips on how to construct a long lasting house:

Have a great design

A durable house starts from the design stage. For a great design you need to hire an experienced architect who will pay attention to details such as exposed beams or plasterwork.

The professional will design the house in such a way that the beams are hidden thus protecting them from damage. The professional will also ensure that the plaster is thick enough to last for a long time.

Get a good contractor

This is the person who handles the construction work. The contractor is very sensitive as he’s the one who determines the quality of materials that are used and the quality of workers handling the project. For a long lasting construction you should hire a contractor with a good reputation.

If you are constructing a specialized house such as a storied house you shouldn’t hire a general contractor-you should hire a specialized professional with years of experience.

Be cautious of the materials

The materials you use greatly determine the quality of your house. If you go for low quality materials chances are that your house will be of poor quality and won’t last long enough. To be on the safe side you should use high quality materials.

The contractor you hire has a great influence on the material that go into the construction. To have control of the materials used you should buy the materials and pay the contractor for his/her services.

Flexibility

In addition to hiring a great contractor and architect you also need to ensure that your house design is flexible. This means that it must provide you with room for additional rooms. It should also be easy to change the design of the house if need be.

Tastes and preferences change and for you to make the changes you should go for flexible designs. This calls for you to construct your house in an area where you can easily add additional rooms without damaging the existing house. If you feel that you might require a storied house in the future you should create a strong foundation.

Conclusion

These are tips on how to build a long lasting house. The architect, contractor, flexibility and construction materials are all very important in determining the durability of your house thus you should pay close attention to them.