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.

Tips on Choosing an Ideal Cabin

When you are choosing an ideal cabin, then it can be a bit intimidating, especially when you have no idea where to start. There are some aspects that are worth consideration and they include:

The appearance:

You should always start with something that is appealing to you. Since this is something that you will always have to live with, it is important to be proud of it. Choosing the ideal factory means that you will have a wide range to select from. Essentially, you will have so many options that can be included and the company can integrate some of your suggestions.

Flooring:

Natural timber is always an ideal material for the floor. The thickness of the floor is also as important. Choosing a thinner flooring means that you will feel like you are bouncing around. This is one of the reasons as to why you should consider flooring that is 28 mm in thickness.

Glazing, doors, and windows:

If the intention is to have a garden room or a home office, then you should go for double-glazing. There are some instances when single glazing can still be perfect. The doors and the windows also need to be perfect. It is important to make sure that these are able to serve the purpose for which they are meant and with great ease.

Insulation:

It is possible to insulate just the under the floor. Some can also be insulated within the roof. If you are planning to use it as a permanent accommodation, or even as an office, then an insulated cabin is the best option for you. There are some that include an outer wall and an inner one. This thickness provides great rigidity and little distortion. The cavity or gap that is within offers insulation. You can make your own specifications if you choose to go bespoke.

Size:

The size always matters. It is very important to have a size that meets all your needs and fits your space.

Wall thickness:

There are different thicknesses that you can think of. Choose the thickest that you can afford. When you choose a thicker option, it will be more robust and will be better when it comes to insulation. It will also last long. Choose a provider who has a wide choice of thickness options.

The roof finish:

It is important to choose a roof that will last long and look great at the same time. Do not go for the DIY ones. You should appreciate the fact that roofing is a material that is specialized. You should always go for quality. You will always have a great product when it conforms to the set standards. There are manufacturers that offer long term guarantees and these are the best to go for.

Treatment:

Since wood is natural, it looks amazing. It is also important to care for it as much as you can. It is important to have the wood treated with the best stain. A preserver is also a good idea. This is one of the ways in which you can guarantee that it will last a long time.

How to Have the Best Home Building Experience With Your Custom Builder

1. Know your builder – It is very important to get to know your builder. Treat your first meeting like an interview. Learn about them, their background, their business, and experience. You are going to be working with this person very closely for the next year, it is important to choose carefully and understand their role in the process.

  • Some good personality traits to look for in a builder: a good listener, a good communicator, honest, and field experience. Make sure you are actually talking to the builder not just the sales person!
  • Think service because ultimately this person is providing you a service. What are your expectations for service during this process? Ask questions that tell you how they provide good customer service.
  • Are they showing a genuine interest in you, your family, and your values? It’s NOT about them, it should be about you!
  • Is the builder being up front about how the process works? For instance, let’s say the good, the bad and the ugly! Are they realistic?

2. Be involved! – This is your home and you’re choosing to build, not buy an already completed home. Depending on how custom you want your home, there can be hundreds of choices that need to be made. Have a realistic expectation of the time that it will take to get it done. In addition, all partners should be involved in the process from beginning to end. This can be difficult as the process is long and everyone is busy. From finding a lot, to picking finishes, or approving the budget, everyone will be happier in the end if they stay in the loop from the beginning.

3. Know and understand your budget. – Make sure your builder goes over your budget in detail and that you understand what is included in each category or allowance. Ask for pictures of what is included and if you don’t like it, tell him. And then ask for a price for what you do like. Try to eliminate the surprises and have a realistic number from the beginning.

4. Have discipline. – The happiest customers are those that stay closest to their original budget. This might be the hardest one because it puts our emotional side against our logical/realistic side! Try to keep your emotions in check. We know that a $6,000 dining room chandler is perfect, and this is the last house you will ever build, but be realistic. How high is it on the priority list? Can it be upgraded down the road? How important is it really going to be in 10 years? We say have a lot of discipline or a big contingency!!

5. Communication – It is important to have open communication with your team. That includes you, your partner, your builder, your designer, and anyone else involved in the process. Learn early the best way to communicate with your builder and stick to it. Remember, many builders are running multiple jobs or spend most of their time in the field. Try to write down and save up your non-urgent, important items and communicate them all together. Realistically you should be talking to your builder 1-2 times per week throughout the process.

6. Always keep your eye on the ball. – Stephen Covey said “start with the end in mind,” and that is the “ability to envision in your mind what you cannot see with your eyes.” This does a great job of summing up the home building process. Remember what your goal is: to have a beautiful, unique, new home that you designed and helped build! It is a very rewarding process to see a home come together in a place, where just weeks before, was only earth and trees.

7. Enjoy the process and the outcome! – This may be the only time that you build a custom home. By following these tips hopefully this will be an enjoyable experience and one that creates memories that last a lifetime.