Designing a custom home should be a very exciting time for both you and your family. According to different specifications that you give your contractor, your dream home can go from being a fantasy to a reality. You just need to make sure you clearly convey exactly what you’re looking for before said contractor gets to work. Here’s some tips to do just that.
Going into your meetings with the contractor, know what you prioritize in your home. Of course, options are not limitless, as there are different variables to consider, such as the size of your plot of land. For example, if you want a swimming pool in the backyard, you may have to make concessions to other areas. Again, depending on the plot of land, it’s just the nature of the beast.
The first thing you want to do is construct a floor plan, and it doesn’t have to be professionally perfect. By that, we mean that you can use this to sit down with your contractor to discuss the particulars of your custom home. Going in, we’re pretty sure you have a rough idea of how many bedrooms and bathrooms you’d like, so start there. Then, you can move forward with discussions on the kitchen, dining room, basement and more, and your contractor can help steer you in the right direction to lay out the ideal floor plan for you.
As general rule, storage is always important, especially if you have or are planning on having a big family. Whether you realize it at this moment, you will want as much closet and cabinet space as possible, and you can even look into having an attic or basement storage area that helps alleviate any potential issue. The last thing you want is have belongs you love, but not enough space to store those items you carefully selected to add to your life. Yes, you can always invest in a storage unit, but if you plan with the future in mind, you can offset these potential issues by adding just the right amount of space today.
Once you figure out the storage, know the composition you want for your home. Once the bedroom and bathroom element is situated, think about where you’re going to park. If you live in a congested neighborhood, a multiple-vehicle garage can be helpful. If that’s the route you want to go, you can also utilize the garage as a workstation, and you can use it for storage as well.
Also, try to think ahead about what kind of energy you’re going to use in your home. Are you going for central heating and air? If so, you should build for that, and know exactly where all of the elements of the system will be in place. This doesn’t all necessarily fall on the back of your custom home builder, but it is important to think ahead when you envision your home in full operation.
The same can be said about how you clean your home. If you are going with a central vacuum system, think about where the base will be located. If you think that’s best for the basement or garage, note that. Also, you should know where each port goes in a particular room. This way, the transition once you move in will be a seamless one.
Don’t forget about ductwork! Often times, people who are having custom homes built push this to the bottom of their priority list when they absolutely should not. Make sure you insist on high-quality ductwork sealing and insulation. After all, this will affect your energy bill, and having this done correctly can save you thousands of dollars. There’s no reason to overlook this crucial aspect of the home.
Don’t forget about permits that pertain to your local area. If you’re planning certain elements on your home or property that require permits, you should apply for them sooner than later. Depending on the scope of the project, permits can take anywhere from days to months or even years. Check with your local resources before committing to such things. If you violate the permitting process in any way, you could subject yourself to fines and additional construction down the line, which is far from what you want. Thankfully, many home builders will take care of this process for you, but ensure who is responsible upfront as to not run into any snags along the way.
Once everything is set with the builder, read, re-read, and have someone else read the contract agreement. Everything you’ve discussed should be included. If you’ve done the legwork in researching a reputable contractor, this should be a mere formality, but you can never be too safe. You just want to make sure the work is done right and on time.
Now that you’ve been specific for the scope of the job, it’s important not to micromanage your custom home builder. Once you’ve worked together to develop a plan that’s realistic and workable, you need to let them do the work without interruption. If you continuously intervene with various curve balls and suggestions, your home will take more time to complete, and you could incur additional costs associated with the additional time and manpower. That doesn’t suit anyone’s intentions well.
With that in mind, while work is going on, make a comprehensive inspection list. There’s never harm in making sure all of the work has been done as per your arrangement. This way, should you notice any kind of inconsistencies, you have the contract to refer back to. If they’ve taken a shortcut or gone back on the agreement, you’re certainly within your legal bounds to make sure they redo the work correctly.
When working with a custom home builder, communication is your top priority. Be sure you convey what you want and how you want it and make sure you are all on the same page. If you do your due diligence, there’s no reason why you and your family can’t have a wonderful home for generations to come.