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Top 10 Things to Know About Building Your Own Home

Top 10 Things to Know About Building Your Own Home
These quick tips will make your home building process easier.

By Courtney Pittman

Building your own home is a special and exciting adventure. Though rewarding, the building process can also seem like a daunting experience with many challenges – but it doesn’t have to be. Sure, you know you want to build the home of your dreams, but where do you even begin? Good news – we are here to help! The more prepared you are, the easier the process will be. These smart tips will guide you in the right direction and help you to avoid many common mistakes when building your dream home (and keep your sanity intact).

We’d love to talk! Call us at 1-800-913-2350 or ask your questions here.

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Why Choose Us

We help you find a "ready-made" plan that fits your needs and provide all the architectural resources and advice you need to build, whether you're ready to break ground tomorrow or are just beginning your journey to a new home.

Unlike most customer service operations, we WANT to hear from you! Our knowledgeable and courteous staff has over 50+ years of collective experience in the home plans industry. Furthermore, we love talking to our customers. We welcome your calls. There is absolutely no question that is off limits. Call us at 1-800-913-2350.

Determine Your Budget

The home building process starts with determining the “B” word we all love so much – budget. You can begin by meeting with your local contractor and deciding what you can and can’t afford. Once you figure out your budget, you can go from there. You never know, you may able to afford a bigger home than you thought!

Purchase Land

First and foremost, you need to have a piece of land or lot to build your dream home on. This will help you decide how big (or small) of a plan you need to buy. After your land has been purchased you can start searching for your dream home plan.

Find a Plan that You Love

Finding a plan that fits your lifestyle is one of the most important parts of this process. It’s hard to narrow the search down to JUST ONE design when there are literally thousands to choose from. Most plan searches begin with the square footage or the number of bedrooms that are desired. You can also limit the results to an architectural style (or look at plans with specific features).

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Choose a plan that fits the characteristics of your land. It’s better (and cheaper) to make the house fit the land rather than try to make the land fit the house. Also, the size and shape of your lot affects the type of home you can build on it.

Do you entertain often (do prefer formal rooms or more open, casual spaces)? Do you have pets? Do you have children or plan on having children in the future? Is cooking something you love to do? Are you an empty-nester? Do you work from home and need an office space? All of these questions will help you determine what kind of floor plan (open, small, big, one-story, two-story, outdoor living, etc.) will be most fit for your lifestyle.

With so many plans, it is usually necessary to filter the search results. If you find a great exterior and a different floor plan, give us a call (1-800-913-2350) and we will look at modifying one of the plans to include the features of the other.

You Can Customize Your Plan

With the expertise of our design specialists, you can get a full spectrum of design change options. They range from enlarging or reducing the total square footage of a plan to changing a roof line or foundation type. Depending on the scope of the changes, edits can be made to the existing plan or the plan may need to be redrawn.

Our in-house experts and designers can assist you with these edits. Just be sure to secure local government approvals and make sure your plan meets local building code requirements.

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Check Local Building Codes

Each state, city and subdivision have their own set of codes and regulations that they have determined work best for their area. As stock plans are sold throughout the country, they meet national codes. However, you will need to take the plans to a local architect or engineer to determine if the plans will meet local codes.

Some cities and states are now requiring that a licensed architect or engineer review and "seal" a blueprint, or officially approve it prior to construction due to concerns over energy costs, safety and other factors. Prior to application for a building permit or the start of actual construction, we strongly advise that you consult your local building official who can tell you if such a review is required. If changes need to be made, our modifications department is here to help!

Cost to Build

How much will this plan cost to build? This is a popular question with many homebuyers. House construction costs are dependent on where the house is built, the level of finish (tile, trim, window quality, etc...) and the site. We can provide a “cost to build” estimate using the same software that many of the insurance companies use.

Purchasing Plan Sets

When you purchase plan sets you should keep a full set for your records plus enough plan sets for your builder and contractors, lending institution, and building department. A quick trip to your local building department or to their website will tell you how many copies they will need. Contractors and subcontractors will all need copies of the plan to create a bid. It is increasingly popular to buy the electronic “PDF” version of plans because you can take or send the file to your local print shop whenever you need another copy.

Finding a Builder

Chances are you have a vision for your perfect home. The challenge now: finding a builder who will embrace that vision and, most importantly, bring it to life. Try to determine not only whether each builder is a good match for you, but whether you are a good match for them. If the builder regularly constructs million-dollar homes, and you want to spend $200,000, you may be better off with someone else.

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Keep the Big Picture in Mind

The building process can be overwhelming at times, but remember you are savings thousands of dollars instead of hiring your own architect and in the end, you will have your dream home. Try not to quickly discard houses. It's important to be open-minded when looking at houses. By doing this, you'll learn things you never realized. Over time, your "ideal" home will evolve and change. You will have a better understanding of what you want by taking a close look at many house design.

We are 100% committed to your purchase satisfaction, as well as your success in what is sure to be one of life’s most fulfilling undertakings – that of building a house which you’ll make into a home.

We’d love to talk! Call us at 1-800-913-2350 or ask your questions here.

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