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 It will fetch a better resale value because it is less likely to be outdated.

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.

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.

Simple Home Improvement Tips and Advice

Everyone could use some home improvement tips and advice for their next remodel or repair project. Whether you are looking to fix a sink, spruce up a bathroom, remodel the kitchen or maybe even add an entirely new room to your current home. This article will help you discover many home improvement tips and advice resources available online and at your local building supply stores that you may not have thought of.

Can you say Google?

By visiting the search engine giant, Google – simply type in the words Home Improvement Tips and Advice and you will find a few thousand results. You could even narrow your search down a little and find several thousands more results, but this should give you a great start to begin with. Now let’s see what there is available for your next project.

Holiday or seasonal themes

Perhaps you have never considered making home improvements that are theme based. I know of many people who have specifically used home improvement tips and advice to redo an entire room in an outdoor theme, or antiques only themed room. This is more common than you may think. Perhaps you do not want to do anything too radical at this time.

Some home improvement tips and advice are specially designed for those not so glamorous projects; like unplugging drains, sewer lines or gutters. As we all know, these types of home improvements must be completed as well to preserve the value of our homes, but once you have a few items fixed around the house, you will want to seek some home improvement tips and advice that will add even more value to your home.

There are several simple projects that you could consider for increasing your homes value greatly, however; it is very important that you first set a budget and then create a basic idea and layout of what type of style you like best, based on the available funds you have set for your next home improvement project.

You might add a door to the spare bathroom and then some paint to make a substantial value increase to the over all homes value. Think of it like adding new tires to a car. You might be surprised how a few little home improvement tips and advice projects can make a huge difference in your home value.

Visiting your local building supply store may be one of the easiest ways to get some good home improvement tips and advice. I personally like to visit my local building supply stores, and simply explain to them what I need or maybe I should say what I want to do. They usually offer some very valuable tips on how to repair or fix up something that I had not even considered.

Last but certainly not least you need to consider the tools to do the job right. By doing a few searches on line using the terms home improvement tips and advice you will find many pages to see the various tools and ideas used. Now you have some basic knowledge when visiting your building supply or hardware store. Between the two sources you should have a winning project next time you need to do some work around home.

Reasons to Opt for a Home Being Built

Make sure you link up with a great provider so it all falls into place. They need to be experienced, use quality materials, and offer flexible solutions so you can get the home you really want. You should never feel pressured to select something or to accept a given idea. Your advice is what makes the home your vision.

Exactly what you Want

There are many reasons to consider having your home built. The most important one is you get exactly what you want. You don’t have to adjust to the way the kitchen is displayed or struggle with a small bathroom. You don’t have to replace carpet or paint the walls because you don’t like the color scheme.

With custom homes, you get to pick the floor plans, the colors, the types of flooring, and so much more. The icing on the cake is you also get to pick the place for your beautiful home. It is a very exciting process and one that you get to be in control of. A quality builder will help you to bring it all together.

Pricing

Once you have made all choices and finalized the plans, they can get into action. The cost of custom homes depends on what you are interested in. Working with the builder, you can make sure it is within your budget. If the project will cost more than you planned for, they can share with you areas where you could make changes and cut the overall cost.

Everything is New

It can be scary to buy a home and wonder how long the furnace will last or the water heater. With custom homes, everything is brand new so you don’t have to worry. The items will give you quality and performance. Most of them will have a generous warranty too so you don’t have to worry about emergency repairs or replacements of these high dollar items.

This is also your opportunity to make your home energy efficient and eco-friendly. Older homes can have windows that allow air to escape and that raises your heating and cooling costs. With custom homes, you can ask for perks such as energy efficient windows and water heater. You can even ask for solar panels to be on the roof.

Fun Experience

Who says buying a home has to be stressful and difficult? With custom homes, you will find it can be a fun experience. Make sure you find a well-qualified builder who takes the time to discuss everything with you. They can guide the way to help you get the home you really want. It doesn’t take as long to build as you might think either!

This is your chance to get a home that is uniquely your own. Everything in it will fit your needs, desires, and personal sense of style. You are going to be able to relax and enjoy the home far more than you would if you purchased only readily available on the market. Spend some time talking to providers to see how you can get the home of your dreams in motion!

Home Business Tips – What Will Make Your Best Year Ever?

Each year as I build my home business I realize there are many reasons why each year just keeps getting better and better.  Here are just a few of my new beliefs about myself and my home business.

  1. I understand the power of the second and have developed the expectation attitude
  2. I have become fanatical about my own dream.  Just like I am a fan of the Chicago Cubs, I now get as excited and enthusiastic about my dream
  3. We all brush our teeth on a daily basis, I now understand the importance of a daily heart wash.  There is so much negative in our daily lives that our hearts need to have the positive put back in and reinforced daily.
  4. Here is one of my favorites from John Di Lemme; resolution vs resutlation, I gladly choose new results over resolutions every day.  How many people live up to their New Years resolutions?  I now choose the actions for the results I want.  (resultation)
  5. I act abnormal, normal makes you one of the 97% of people who are dead or dead broke at the age of 65.  It will get you nowhere.  When people call me abnormal I give them a hug and say “Thank You Very Much!”.
  6. The power of my life print, it goes on everything I do.  It is why I wrote the eBook called “How To Fire Your Boss & Have Him Hate To See You Go”.  
  7. I have been cultivating the giving habit ever since I won the coin toss at work and had to lead the United Way Campaign for our division.  It is not  just about the money, it is the attitude of gratitude and what you can do with the money.  That is why our goal is to sponsor 1,000 children with The Plan.
  8. Event attendees become millionaires, learning events that is.  We have been attending one event per quarter, learning tons about building a home business and it is paying off.
  9. Face the fear, this one needs to be one of the first on your list.  The only place that fear exists is in our heads so I do what ever I can to “F”ace It, “E”xtinguish It, “A”ttack It, and “R”eturn FEAR.
  10. When I started to understand the power of the question it was not in the questions I asked other people it is the questions I asked myself.  When I started questioning my own behaviour and habits lights started to go on!  Things began to change and definitely for the better.

There really is no magic one thing that is going to explode your home business,  you need them all.  I wasted a lot of time in the beginning looking for that one magic thing that was going to make everything Good!  Hopefully by reading this article you can benefit from my mistakes and realize that bit by bit by bit as you develop all of these habits you too will see your life get even better.

Designing A New Home – Spending The Time To Get It Right

Given you won’t build a new home too often; the decision to build is not one to be taken lightly. Therefore it is really important that you take the time to enjoy the process. Savour each moment as you bring your house design and plan ideas together, and then be delighted with the outcome.

The first step is to take your time in the early stages of building a home. If you rush the process the outcome can be less than satisfactory. Some people like to invest in a scrapbook. Sectionalise the scrapbook into living spaces, sleeping spaces, kitchen, bathroom, and outside living. Then you can add newspaper and magazine clippings on ideas that take your fancy. You can also search architectural websites for structural features that interest you, and look at interior design sites for inspiration – make sure you note down the links to these sites in your scrapbook. A scrapbook will help keep you focused on what theme or outcome you want to achieve.

Next, spend time with your architect and interior designer. Give them your ideas and learn about the range of design options available for your budget. Also, spend time at your building site at different times of the day. By having a feel for the land, the light, drainage, and how it relates to other properties etc, you will be able to give proper consideration to how you want to position the rooms and outdoor living spaces. For example, on a sloping site consider a split level home, with the living spaces on the highest level to get the best views and sun.

Then consider the layout and structure. High ceilings and extra height windows will add a feeling of spaciousness and add extra light to a room. Open plan living allows flow through a house and also makes it feel more spacious. Consider a rumpus room or extra living area for young to children to play and teenagers to hang out in. This room can also be used for computer space, an entertainment centre, home gym, or area for house guests to stay. Keep sleeping areas privately tucked away for peace and quiet. And consider a gorgeous walk-in wardrobe and ensuite to add a touch of luxury. Don’t forget the outside of your house, think of adding covered outdoor areas for entertaining throughout the year. Extra garaging is also an excellent idea for family cars or the boat.

When considering the interior design, look at the latest technology in appliances and lighting. You will be amazed how much technology can change over a period of a few years. For example, eco-friendly products are more affordable and efficient than they used to be. Also, look at the latest wallpaper designs and paint colours on the market. There are some amazing advances in paint and wallpaper, and the design and colours available are truly stunning. This also applies to lighting. Don’t limit yourself when choosing lights for your home; visit a lighting specialty store to be inspired by the array of lights available.

If you need more inspiration, visit a display home. Here you will be able to visualize what your dream house may look like, giving you a better understanding of layout, space, light and colours. Keep in mind; you will spend a long time living in your home, so you might as well spend the time getting it right.

Along with your scrapbook and your architect’s design expertise, your new home should realise your dreams and ideas with a blend of functionality and innovation. No matter what the design, remember you are building more than a house – it will be a home.

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.

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.