Get a Free Estimate

Home Building Tips

Building your home can be the most rewarding thing you will ever create (unless you have children), but it can also be the most difficult (much like children). So, you'd better have a pretty good idea of what you're doing before you do it or else it could be a total disaster.

The following are a few tips that should get you started on a path to making your own home.

Don't Trust Square Foot Cost Calculators
You may come across these programs that contractors use to give you an estimate of how much your house will cost based on how big it is. Of course this is absurd.

Size is just one of the factors that can drive up the cost of a project. When you build, what you build with and how long you are building for all play just as important a role.

Consider All the Variables
Make sure you have a solid plan. Have you picked a plot of land? Is the soil good? Have you picked a contractor? Is he reputable? Do you have a budget? Is it feasible? All of these variables are essential. Do not 'wait and see' how things turn out.

If Unsure, Draw Up Several Plans
If you aren't totally sure what you want yet, but need a place to live, draw up several plans. For instance stock house plans only cost $400 to $1000, peanuts compared to the total cost of the house. If plans change, just make adjustments to the original plan.

Do As Much GC Work As You Can
If you really want to save money and have the time, try and do as much general contracting work yourself. You could save as much as 30% off the total cost of your house. You will, however, do 60% more work. Also, if you do choose a general contractor, try and do as much of his work as you can.

For instance, buy the materials yourself. GC's usually get their supplies from wholesalers then mark the price up. Try and get the wholesale price yourself. You can also save cash by doing small things like site clean up.

Permit Me to Build
You need a permit to build a new home and this isn't always easy. Every country and township has its own specific set of regulations. Since home building is an old profession, there are many old laws pertaining to it. These may seem counterintuitive but you can't change the law.

Know Where You Are Going to Live
Building a home is one thing, but eventually you are going to have to leave the house. The question is, are you going to want to? Make sure you like the community and your neighbors. Are there schools? How much does it cost to live there? What are the taxes like? And lastly, find out if the area is prone to natural disasters. Some people may fall in love with a location but neglect to find out if hurricanes or tornadoes tend to occasionally sweep up homes.

Hammer Need some advice about your home build? Visit our forum for tips from other DIY-ers.