Don’t Hunt for a New Home – Build Your Own Dream Home!

While buying may seem practical in the short term, building a house can provide more benefits, in the long run, especially if you choose the right builder. Building a house is much more beneficial than buying one. There are seven reasons why you should consider building your dream home instead of settling for an existing property:

1. Save time – Several factors could influence your house hunting experience, and these include the location, price, condition of the house, negotiations with the previous owner or the bank, and legal issues. You have fewer things to worry about when you decide to build your home. There are builders that can help you find the right financing, too.

2. Get what you want – Searching for the perfect house can be difficult. Even if you think that a property is great, there will often be something in that place that is not quite right. Building your home ensures that you can get exactly what you want in your dream house. Hence, you can be sure that everything is perfect for you and your family.

3. No repairs – Because it is new, you do not have to worry about costly repairs, maintenance, and renovations. If you need extra rooms, you can let the builder know during the design process, so they can incorporate it to the new plan and give you exactly the house you want.

4. Modern build and design – Everything about your dream home will be planned and put together in your way. You can be sure that the property is designed to suit you, your needs, and your lifestyle, and that it complies with the standards of modern design. A modern build may provide helpful features like environmentally friendly doors and windows and an energy-saving layout.

5. Build wherever you want – Location is one of the biggest aspects of selecting a home. When you build a house, you can decide where it should be. Do you want to be close to your parents’ home, schools, offices, and shopping centers? You have full control.

6. Everything is up to you – Choose your own interior, appliances, design, and fixtures. Moreover, you get to experience a better sense of ownership when you build your dream home.

7. A worthy investment – Building a new home is always a good idea if you intend to sell it in the near future. It will fetch a better resale value because it is less likely to be outdated.

Reading Blueprints – 15 Tips to Help You Understand Drawings, Elevations and Floor Plans

Blueprints are nothing more than copies of the final plans drawn up for the home owners’ approval. Highly detailed, these documents contain a wealth of information. Typically, a blueprint package includes a set of drawings called elevations, illustrating exterior and interior walls. But that’s not all. The package contains other drawings. One is of your building site, and another drawing illustrates the foundation of the house. The reflected ceiling plan reveals where light fixtures are to be placed.

In addition, each blueprint incorporates a materials list with sizes and quantities of all necessary components required to construct the building features. This information enables the contractor to compile building costs. There is one additional category of blueprints-the floorplans-with which people are probably the most familiar. Here’s an insider’s guide to reading the plans to your dream home.

1. Scale and dimensions are clearly indicated.

The scale of blueprints may be 1/4-inch or 1/2-inch to the foot. Whatever the scale, it will be noted in one of the lower corners of the blueprint. All blueprints to the house are drawn to the same scale. Dimensions are noted in feet and inches. In most cases, the length and width of all the exterior walls are shown in addition to dimensions of each room. With this information in hand, you can easily determine which rooms are best sized for various family activities. You can also plan for the arrangement of furnishings.

2. Exterior walls are represented by thick parallel lines, and interior walls are represented by thinner lines.

The placement of the walls, particularly the decisions you make regarding the interior partition walls, greatly affect the layout of your home. And, if you can understand the exact placement when you first receive the blueprints, you’ll likely make fewer changes as the process evolves, cutting down on unnecessary and unforeseen expenses to your project.

3. Rooms are clearly labeled by function- kitchen, living, dining, etc.

Built-in items within rooms also are presented in a logical fashion. For example, as you study the documents, fireplaces, closets and built-ins become obvious. Also apparent are the placement of kitchen and bathroom fixtures, counters, sinks, cabinetry and kitchen appliances.

4. It’s easy to determine ceiling configurations and two-story rooms.

A series of parallel dashes across a room denotes a ceiling beam; an arrow accompanied by the word “sloped” marks a cathedral ceiling. A double-height room is easy to spot. The blueprint of the lower level bears the notation “open to above” and the upper level “open to below.”

5. Doors are represented by a straight line.

When you study the blueprint of the floorplan, pretend that you are walking through the actual house. Visualize the two-dimensional blueprints in a three-dimensional form. This technique helps you transform the data and symbols into something more real. A good place to start is at the entryway. From there, you can clearly see the overall organization of the home’s interior. In houses designed today, rooms are placed into one of three zones dedicated to living (family room, dining room and living room), work (kitchen, laundry and utility rooms) or sleeping (bedrooms and corresponding bathrooms). They appear as if open with a thinner, curving line showing the space required for them to close.

French doors have two straight and two curved lines. Two overlapping sets of straight lines is the symbol for sliding glass doors. Parallel solid lines within walls are windows. Like doors, overlapping lines indicate sliding window units. As you study the placement of windows and doors, you can determine if they will permit good ventilation and natural lighting of the interior, as well as make the most of exterior views and provide sufficient access to the outdoors.

6. On the blueprints of a two-story house, you will encounter a staircase, revealed by a group of parallel lines.

The number of lines is equal to the number of steps. The lines are accompanied by arrows. Those labeled “up” mean that the staircase leads to a higher level; conversely, those labeled “down” lead to a lower level.

7. Letters on the drawings serve as keys to the information listed in the margins.

For example, on the blueprint of the floorplan, a series of circled letters beginning with “A” refer to the types of doors selected. This “door schedule,” as it is called, coordinates the location of each door, as well as the style and size. A closet door, for example, has a circled letter at the proper place on the blueprint. In reading the blueprint, the corresponding margin notation may read something like “2′-0″ solid core flush door, paint-grade veneer.”

8. Openings on the blueprint for windows bear a number within a circle.

This marking refers to the list of window styles and sizes cited in the window schedule in the blueprint margin. As an example, a bathroom window may bear the designation of “1” in a circle. Looking at the window schedule, the circled 1 may be listed as a “3’0″ x 2’10” awning window.”

9. The same approach applies to electrical symbols.

Here are some common examples: A capital “S” stands for a wall switch that controls an overhead light fixture. A capital “S” with a subscript “3” refers to a three-way wall switch. A capital “J” in a box marks the location of a junction box. A capital “L” in a circle is the site of an exterior light fixture. A triangle indicates the location of a telephone receptacle.

10. Large letters accompanied by carets (>) pointing toward each wall refer to an elevation, or drawing, of the wall as it will appear when built.

An exterior elevation is illustrated by a large letter and a 90-degree, angled line to the side.

11. The placement of appliances and fixtures is easy to determine.

The symbol for a kitchen range or cooktop is four circles within a square. Bird’s-eye drawings are used to represent the refrigerator, kitchen sink, bath sinks, toilets and showers. In the kitchen, a series of dashes accompanied by the notation “DW” mark the location of an undercounter dishwasher. Look carefully to see that the appliances have been placed where you want them. Again, visualize yourself inside of the home, preparing meals (or doing the dishes).

12. Tile flooring also is easy to spot.

It is illustrated by an expanse of small squares in the bathroom or in front of a fireplace drawing.

13. Elevations represent how the walls of the house will appear when built.

Interior wall elevations include drawings of fireplaces, cabinets and shelving, windows, doors and other desired built-in elements. Exterior elevations note the location of windows, doors and other items such as roof eaves.

14. Accompanying the elevations may be some drawings which outline the construction details.

Frequently, you’ll find drawings outlining the configuration of exterior corners. Or, you may be given the foundation footings and column bases, indicating depths and widths.

15. Sections provide a see-through representation of the house.

You can visually see how various elements of the house will align when construction is completed. This is helpful in visualizing porticos and other details of the facade, as well as outdoor decks, arcades and any decorative aspects. If this seems too overwhelming, don’t try to absorb all of the information that blueprints provide at one sitting. Study them in a leisurely manner, allowing the house to reveal itself to you gradually over time. Then, when you have a firm idea of what your new log home will look like and how it will function, you’ll have much more confidence in your leap of faith to start building.

Make Your Own Doll House at Home Without Frustration – 5 Tips

Making your own doll house is a great way to spend some quality time with your children and to encourage their own creativity. It’s also a great way to teach them the value of reuse. Actually making the doll house, though, can be frustrating when you’re not sure how to go about it.

Here are 5 helpful tips for making your own doll house without the frustration.

1. Plan Your Doll House

Most of us aren’t blessed with the ability to play it by ear on a large project and have everything turn out. You should have a good idea what you want the finished product to be, and how everything will fit together. Know where you need to cut, why, and clearly mark “this side up” where needed to keep yourself oriented. There’s nothing worse that getting most of the way done, only to realize that one of the pieces won’t fit because it was upside down!

If you do wing it, keep detailed notes about what you did so that you can repeat the process when your neighbor wants one for their kids.

2. Involve Your Children

Unless the doll house is being made as a gift for one of the children, it’s best to involve them in the entire process. The act of making something from scratch, of constructing it and seeing it take form is very healthy for a child and encourages their own creativity and confidence. While it’s tempting to think that it would be faster to just do it yourself, involve your kids and enjoy the experience, no matter how long it takes.

Do be safe, and keep track of the scissors and exacto knife at all times!

3. Make It Durable

Doll houses are made for playing, so focus on making it durable. You can also make it fancy if you and your kids want, but durable should come first. They’ll have much more fun with a doll house that lasts years, rather than one that falls apart after a couple of play sessions.

Cardboard is a convenient and inexpensive building material, but isn’t known for being durable. The edges of cardboard are danger spots, as young arms might reach over a wall into a doll house. You can reinforce the edges with wood scraps from any other projects you might have going on to create an edge that will hold up to abuse.

4. Use What You Have

It’s tempting to go to the craft store and buy everything you need for a doll house new. But it sends a better message to your children, and is cheaper, to use materials you already have around the house.

An empty paper towel tube, for example, can become a dining room chair or a painted column. Be prepared to learn from experience what works and what doesn’t. For example, old popsicle sticks might work as the surface and legs of a dining room table, or the sides of a stroller. But craft sticks are cheap enough and far more durable.

5. Accept What Comes

The chances are good that something won’t go according to plan. Rather than fume about it, just accept it as something new in the plan and continue on as best as you can. If the window isn’t exactly where you wanted it, well the view’s probably better from the new location anyway.

Transportable Homes – Your TOP Benefits and Advantages of Modular Homes

Transportable Homes are Environmentally Friendly

Damage to the environment on your site is minimised compared with having a team of builders on site for 3 months. Also, when placing your new relocatable home, the impact on fora and fauna is greatly reduced. The ability to choose your building materials empowers you to make good decisions so your new home is more energy efficient and eco-friendly.

Solar heating is an option; like with any regular home. Your ability to reduce your impact on environment and have a clean, green home is achievable with a pre-manufactured home.

In some cases, a company may use recycled building materials upon your request to embrace eco-friendly building practices.

Transportable Homes Building Material Choices

You have a wide range of different building materials to choose from to customise your relocatable home. Everything from the cladding to the roofing; flooring to paint for your walls. You have as much choice and freedom to individualised your house as building a home in the traditional method.

Transportable Homes are Well Insulated

Relocatable homes are traditionally smaller and therefore heating a compact area costs less. Also, the insulation standards of new homes is high in Australia; regardless of building on or off site.

Heating a well insulated home is going to save you money. Whether you decide to heat your new house with electricity, gas or fireplace; your costs are reduced when heating and cooling a well insulated, energy-efficient home.

Transportable Homes are the Best Value for Your Money

Because your relocatable home is manufactured off-site, the materials are purchased in bulk and the savings are passed on to you. There is less waste during manufacture in a controlled environment. Also, all the Tradesmen are in the on location and following a system which makes relocatable homes a very cost effective housing option.

Because all the electrical wiring and plumbing is laid out and tested during the building process; your costs are greatly reduced when hooking up to power, gas, water and plumbing on your site.

Transportable Homes are Stronger

In most cases, buildings that are going to be transported (sometimes hundreds of kilometers) have to have extra reinforcing to stop damage during transit. Pre-manufactured homes on the other hand are built stronger to cope with the flexing, wind and movement; heavier reinforcement is part of the normal construction.

Transportable Homes are Hassle-free and FAST.

When you decide to have a relocatable made to your liking; you pass over all the tedious and frustrating elements to your contractor. No waiting for Tradesmen to turn up late or praying the weather stays fine. Everything is taken care of by your manufactured home supplier; who may construct your new home in a massive shed. In a production-line where the weather is not a reason for any building delays. The average building time for a manufactured home is 12 weeks in Australia.

When you compare this to waiting 12 to 18 months for a builder to even start building on your block; transportable homes look very attractive.

The beauty of a relocatable home is seeing your empty land become a property with a home on it in 24 hours. FAST and convenient.

Transportable Homes Using Your Design and Floor Plan

Companies that manufacture relocatable homes have a standard range of floor-plans to choose from. However, they can be modified to suit your lifestyle. Or, you can send the company a sketch of your dream home and they will be able to help you bring it to fruition.

In the past 10 years, technology has advanced to such an extent that architects have been enabled to design fabulous luxury homes constructed in modules within the pre-manufactured building sector.

Transportable Homes can be Moved in the Future.

Relocatable homes are built on a chassis and easily moved. So, if you decide in 10 years time to relocate to another property,… you can.

To learn more about relocatable homes in Australia, visit Transportable Homes Specialist and Get Your FREE Information Guide.

Home Building Contractors – Why Do My Clients Hate Me?

Most Building Contractors I know get it wrong. They place their priorities on the project, rather than on their clients.

 

Why is that? As simple as it seems to say that the customer comes first, in home building, it’s not an easy task. I can definitely empathize with the builder. The more complicated and personal a provided service is the greater the risk that clients will become confused, emotional, and eventually accusatory.

 

A Home Builder or Baby Sitter?

 

A complaint I often hear is that builders want to be builders, not baby sitters. Builders want to do what they do best … build! Isn’t that the job after all? And by doing their best to build a beautiful home, won’t that satisfy the customer? Whether or not that makes sense, the fact is, it usually doesn’t work.

 

The reason many builders think like this is they learn their building craft and rarely do they learn the “people craft”. And when people are treated like they need to be baby sat, they’re eventually going to cry like babies … and hate their “parents”.

 

Use These Three Problems and Alternate Strategies to help you craft a better approach to your business and turn “hate relationships” into love affairs.

 

PROBLEM: Traditional General Contracting promotes an imbalance of power that lacks respect for the client. The contractor is perceived to be calling all the shots.

 

STRATEGY: The client becomes an Owner Builder and the Builder becomes the Coach. This serves to level the playing field, put more power in the hands of the client and the relationship has an “even keel” feel.

 

PROBLEM: There’s often very little effective communication between the builder and the clients.

 

STRATEGY: Preset communication schedules so that clients are “in the loop” at all times. The clients are coached through the process, educated about the process, always aware of what’s going on.

 

PROBLEM: Most of the time, clients feel like the wagged tail. When a client feels pushed around, they’re eventually going to push back.

 

STRATEGY: “Owner Builders” are involved. The Coach gives them decisions and duties to perform. The clients are motivated to save money and get more of what they want and see the value of their involvement. Involvement breeds personal responsibility which breeds more respect for the coach.

 

Know, Like, and Trust

 

Business more easily flows to those who people know, like and trust. By incorporating these strategies, as a builder, you can earn the respect of your clients. You are literally placing the client first! They will get to know and like you sooner and trust builds quickly.

How To Maximize The Resale Value Of Your Custom Home

We love the idea of building a custom home, right? A custom home is meant to fulfill your specific wants and needs. This kind of freedom of choice gives us the liberty to design a home to our heart’s desire, but it can also be our worst enemy. At the time of building, you can only think of what you need right then and there. However, you may not always live in this house, correct? What happens 10-15 years later when you decide to move? Have you cut your own head off by choosing some poor design concepts? It’s quite possible, and is many times the case. Your custom homebuilder is trying to satisfy your every wish, and they don’t want to insinuate that you don’t know what you’re doing. Often, you won’t find out until it’s too late. Here are some common mistakes we see homeowners make when building their custom homes.

Niche Homes

It’s amazing what you see as a custom home builder. The things that people create are great for them, but no so great for others. While you should certainly build to your tastes and create an ideal home, you shouldn’t stray too far from the conventional standards. For example, maybe you think you only want one huge bedroom if your 4,000 square foot home, but odds are, that big of a house will resell to a larger family. One bedroom won’t do them much good. Try to use common sense and accommodate your custom home needs.

Bad Location

When it comes to resale value, one thing is for sure…location matters! While your dream may be to have a huge country custom home 50 miles from the nearest metropolitan area, you better believe that it will have a negative impact on your resale value. Most people want to live in areas of convenience. Try to pick a location that can be considered a compromise. Do a little research to get some background statistics of the neighborhood you’re trying to build in. For example, how many new homeowners are there annually? How big are families? What’s the average income? Where are the nearest grocery stores? Where are the nearest shopping malls? From there, try to make an educated decision on where to build your home.

Maximize Your Selling Rooms

When people are in the market to buy homes, two of the rooms they pay the most attention to are the master bedroom/bathroom and the kitchen. People love large, custom kitchens with quality construction. Granite and stainless steel designs are especially enticing to new home buyers. As far as the master bedroom goes, try to create large open rooms with higher ceilings, and maybe a walk-in closet. For master bathrooms, installing Jacuzzi bathtubs and his and her vanities in this room is always great for resale value.

These are just a few tips that will help ensure that your home is not only comfortable and realistic for you, but for others as well. The last thing anybody wants is to have a home on the market for too long, especially if it’s a result of our own bad decisions. When building your custom home, plan for the future as well as the present.