Things you should know about building a new home
Building a new home is a huge undertaking. From start to finish, your project can take a year or even longer. However, the benefit of making a space that’s truly your own with details customized to your requirements is exceptionally satisfying. Along with accepting that timelines can — and most likely will — shift, here are three major considerations before you break ground:
Find the right contractors
Your contractors will be your guides and your anchors throughout your build. Make sure to research their work, ask for references, and then of course, check up on those references. Always do your due diligence before handing over non-refundable deposits and payments to anyone. Picking the wrong person or team can lead to extremely costly and time-consuming mistakes.
Invest in quality materials
Expenses can add up as you build your new dream home, but it’s important not to skimp on quality. Products, like windows and doors, flooring, fixtures, and more, should go the distance and withstand your daily use. It’s always a good idea to consult with reputable dealers who have a lot of knowledge about the products they sell. Cutting corners on certain items could be more costly or damaging to the structure of your home in the long-run.
Build for your environment
While getting exactly what you want is a big part of the payoff for the investment and work you’ll put into a new-home project, practicality is also important. Make sure that the materials you’re choosing work for the conditions and codes of your location. For example, if you’re in a wind-borne debris zone, you’ll need shutters or impact-resistant windows to meet inspection. Your contractor is a great resource for this information, but it’s also good to do your own research to make sure you’re making the smartest choices for you and your property.
Impact vs. Non-impact
Windows are one of the most important considerations when it comes to building a new home
Windows are one of the most important considerations when it comes to building a new home. Because you’re building from the ground up, you’ll have many options and styles to choose from, and many regions have specific requirements depending on local conditions. One of the first things you’ll have to determine is whether your property requires impact or non-impact windows, which are often required in wind-borne debris zones.
While impact windows are mainly chosen to protect from extreme weather, they also have other benefits. Hurricane windows and doors provide an extra-layer of protection to your home, deterring would-be intruders, minimizing noise pollution, increasing your energy efficiency, and filtering out harmful UV rays.
In fact, 63% of homeowners who have impact products are rarely concerned about intruders. These homeowners have also seen an average decrease of $25 per month on their energy bills.*
Traditional windows can also offer many of these benefits, but not all windows are created the same. Before purchasing windows, be sure you know all of your region’s codes and make an assessment of what’s right for you, now and in the future.
Long-term savings of choosing the right materials
Making well-researched decisions before you start building a new home can save you money in the long run. It’s important to choose the high-quality materials that can stand the test of time and regular use. Otherwise, you’ll likely spend more money as things break or become damaged. And if products are subpar, that could also mean that they are difficult to operate.
While cutting back in some areas may be necessary for some owners to maintain their budget, there are certain areas of the home that receive so much daily use that they’re more likely to fail and cause major issues if you skimp on quality. Roofs, plumbing, and windows are just a few examples. Be sure to research all options in your price range, consult with experienced professionals, and choose the best value for your price range.
Avoid these common mistakes
A perfect home building experience probably doesn’t exist. There are bound to be challenges to overcome throughout the life of your project. However, careful planning, smart research, and great advice can help you avoid major pitfalls. Here are a few:
While it’s important to make choices that enhance your current lifestyle, it’s also prudent to look into the future. While a spiral staircase may seem like the perfect touch today, it may become less practical with the birth of a child or as family members age and become less mobile. Imaging your life a few years down the line can help you make practical decisions.
Creating a realistic timeframe for your project is a crucial first step to staying on budget and avoiding runaway construction. But understanding that there will be elays will save you a lot of stress if and when things go awry — even just a little. Pad your timeline, set reasonable goals, and accept that some things will take onger than expected. But when the project is complete, it will likely be all worth it.
Yes, it’s absolutely imperative that you choose experienced, reputable professionals and high-quality materials as you build your new home. But while you’re being practical, it’s also important to have some fun with your home design. Make sure your new property is a place you truly love and find comfort in. Choose colors that bring you joy and leave room for accents like architectural windows that add charm to your curb appeal and interiors.
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*John Burns Real Estate Consulting LLC, September 2020.