When you look at house plans, what are your top three priorities? Your choices may be based on the house you grew up in or the neighborhood where you’d like to live. With young children space might be more important. Older homeowners often want a one-story house so they don’t have to worry about stairs. … Read More
What It Takes (A Lot) to Build a House
Can't find the house of your dreams or maybe there's a floor plan you've got to have? Building a house is the perfect solution to creating the house you want ... where you want to live. It's also a lot more work than you might expect.
If you ready to roll up your sleeves, do lots of research online and driving around ... let's get started.
- First you need an architect or house plans. In parallel, start searching for building lots in communities or stand-alone. You'll need to consider how your house sits on the land (flat or sloped) and will your house style fit the community.
- Next you need to find a builder experienced with the style house you want to build. Get ready to negotiate on price and responsibilities. For example, are allowances for appliances, flooring, cabinets and bathroom fixtures included in the price.
- Learn about the building process so you're prepared to make decisions quickly. Take lots of photos and organize them for easy access (I could do a better job with this).
Be prepared to make trade-offs during the building process. With our custom home, excavation didn't go as planned. We ended up with three steps up to the front door and a single garage door ... oh well.
PS Loved my first two builder/remodelers and gave them bonuses (here's my Victorian four-story addition). Have no respect for the production builder I used in Florida but they control all the land, ugh!
Building a new house is exciting and challenging. With a production builder like Richmond American, you have little control once the contract is signed. You can monitor progress and leverage the contract to get desired changes but you have virtually no control over the quality of the building materials or workmanship. After four months, Richmond … Read More
Painting is probably the most common DIY project a homeowner tackles. Painting an entire house is an entirely different endeavor. In Arizona where ceilings went as high as 16 feet (above), we decided to hire professional painters. House painting is even more challenging with a new house so you’re glad that the builder is responsible … Read More
Everyone who buys a new construction home needs to understand the role of the punchlist! If you don’t find problems and make the builder correct them before you close on your new home, you’re going to waste money due to poor construction and/or materials. You’ll spend money on higher utility bills, repairs due to faulty … Read More
When you build a house, one of the most exciting things is picking your finishes. Your big choices are cabinets and counter tops in the kitchen and bathrooms, flooring, lighting, paint colors and tile for your shower/bathtub surround. Given that I love a long, hot shower in the morning, I happily paid for my dream … Read More
Florida isn’t a place I ever expected to live. But once my children put roots down there, you could say … my perspective changed. Over the last 10 years, I’ve watched the building of thousands of new homes around Orlando. Visits to model homes and open houses were made out of curiosity and/or photo taking for … Read More
You probably know where there’s concrete in your house. Your foundation might be poured concrete or you house might sit on a concrete slab like my house being built in Florida (pictured above). What you’re probably not as familiar with are the somewhat strange, thin metal bars that are buried in the concrete to make … Read More
The exterior walls of a house and some interior walls are known as load bearing walls. That’s because they support the ceiling, the floors above and everything up to the roof of your home. Where there are doors and windows in these walls, lintels are the structural support beams that span the opening in a … Read More
Buying a home is a huge decision and the biggest investment you’ll ever make. Building a house is a much BIGGER decision because you’ve got to understand a lot more about home construction. Fortunately most people who decide to build a home don’t realize how many decisions they’ll have to make. So I invite you … Read More
Most people dreaming about building a house start by looking at house plans. The question many don’t realize is how important it is to pick a house style that fits the neighborhood and/or building lot where the house will be built. As with many decisions, you’ve got to prioritize and make trade-offs.