Are you planning to build a new house, make it your home and take advantage of the opportunity to create an ideal space suited to your needs? After all, home is where you bond with your family and relax after a long day’s work. Now that you have decided to build your sanctuary, we have compiled a list of 10 crucial things you must consider when building a new home. Let’s get to it.
1. Ready Made Or Original Design
When you decide to build a house, one of the choices you will grapple with will be to choose between a ready-made design or something special with an original design. If you check out designs and construction photos on sites like getty images, you will gauge in on the process and how the home looks.
You should get some professional opinions from people who have purchased a new home, both from original designs and prebuilt homes. You can also check discussion boards and forums for advice, tips, and information that can help you decide on the type of home to buy.
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For original designs, some plots of land with an unusual shape or size will require a lot of attention. You will need to work with an architect who understands your needs and listens to every creative detail in order to develop your dream house. While an original design can cost more than a prebuilt design, your house will be original and a space you can really relax and entertain in, and best of all – call home.
2. Understanding Your Own Unique Needs
Creating a checklist of ideas and deciding on important must-haves for any new project is crucial in order for your home to feel like home. If you are working with an architect, communicate your ideas and get feedback. The size of the home will be important as you will want to take into account the number of people who will be living there.
Everyone wants and needs their own space. Get ideas from the architect in order to avoid costly mistakes like having excess rooms that make the house more expensive to maintain and build. If you work from home, add that executive study to cut business expenses. Also, position it where you can have a quiet space that will inspire new ideas and strategies.
Plan on having friends and family over for long luxurious weekends? Consider adding guest bedrooms to accommodate them comfortably. Utilities like the laundry, pantry, basements, or sunrooms for extra entertaining space are also necessities to consider.
3. Planning Your Space
When planning your space, there are some basic principles to consider. A living room and dining room should be located on the south or southwest side of your house. Remember, you will be spending a lot of time here, so you need tons of light in these rooms. South and southwest is usually the best sunlight positions.
Add the largest windows to these areas of your home to make use of solar power which will head the interior and make way for the garden. Think about this, depending on where you build your home in the world, you can potentially save up to 20% with the use of solar energy.
Other factors to consider would be to divide your house into zones. The day zone, or spaces you generally use during daytime hours, can consist of a living room, dining room, kitchen, office, guest bedrooms, bathrooms. Design your home so that these areas are separate from the night zone, master bedrooms, adjoining baths, and walk-in closets.
Kid's bedrooms, family baths, and play areas for the kids can also be considered part of the night zone in the home. A home gym and recreation areas are also modern conveniences in the design. Finally, there should be easy communication zones so that members of the household can still feel connected while
4. Getting The Right Materials
Using the right materials is a very crucial factor in design. A good home should be able to last for decades, be sturdy, and well-constructed. Think about the availability of various possibilities in construction technology. You can opt for ceramics, concrete, wood (including wooden beams to accentuate the home), or the most expensive materials. You may also use a majority of prefabricated elements which can save you money and construction time.
Optimal energy efficiency can also be achieved by using the right building materials. An environmentally efficient home will save you a lot of time and money in the long-run because it will need less energy to heat and cool resulting in affordable energy bills.
Mineral wool, foamed polystyrene, or polyurethane foam are some insulation materials that can be used. The amount of material used and the selection of the most effective in a given category is important.
Materials used in the construction of your home will affect the building’s acoustics. Staying in noisy surroundings can affect your health, so it is critical to take special care by insulating your home for sound. You don’t want to be disturbed by echos in your home.
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Well, insulated rooms create a sense of privacy. Every person in your home will appreciate the peace and quiet.
5. Lighting And Automation
To add a special touch and some warmth to your home having the correct lighting installations is integral. Effectively illuminated elements of the house bring out the beauty and charm of the architecture creating an atmosphere to be desired. Lighting adds a special ambiance in a garden, allowing you to admire and enjoy the landscaping in the evening. To keep your home safe, lighted driveways and garages provide much needed help.
When designed, a modern house should consider the addition of smart home elements. Modern building management systems help to optimize the consumption of energy by controlling the central heating system, air conditioning, heating elements in the floors, sprinklers, blinds, and even lighting and alarm systems. These amazing technological advancements have allowed people to remotely manage their homes and give a sense of added security and a homely feeling – even when you’re away.
Energy efficiency and a degree of independence from the power grid using photovoltaics can help to save the environment and lower or eliminate your utility bills. Although this technology requires an initial investment, it will definitely pay off.
6. Set a budget
Now that you already know what your needs and wants, it’s time to talk about money. Using your checklist, research how much each item will cost you, then determine if you can afford it. Remember to include the property taxes, any down payments you need to make, factor in labor and materials cost.
This is a great place to figure out priorities and move some things to your wish list if you are working with a limited budget. Alternatively, you can talk to your bank about a construction loan, so you cover all bases. A construction mortgage may, however, not cover the following costs:
- Your down payment
- Internet any media wiring
- Window covering
- Any upgrade deemed as excess
In our building experience, we recommend having three major building budgets. These are;
a). Your building budget
This budget typically covers your down payment, land costs, and construction mortgage costs. Remember, the average cost of building a home is between $100 and $300, depending on how much customization you need. Your architect will easily advise on the specific cost.
b). Your furnishing budget
Obviously, after building a house, you want to make sure the furnishing matches your new design, feel, and style. These include sofas, window covering, decorations, and much more. The cost can quickly add up, so plan for this.
c). Finishing budget
Once your builder has done their magic, you will have a lot full of dirt, which obviously can’t stay in your dream house. You need to work on the driveway, landscaping, fencing, and probably add a deck. All these cost money.
7. Hire an architect
This is perhaps the most crucial person in the construction process because they bring everything to life. First, you need to discuss the project with them so they can come up with the drawings and floor plans, and cost estimations. Also, they will help you during the contract stage when hiring a contractor, electrician, plumber, and the rest of the team. They will look at the building site and work with the homebuilder to determine the product cost, advise on the fixtures and finishes, among other duties. Think of an architect as the project manager.
With so much to handle, it’s crucial to pick the right architect, or your project will fall apart. So, what should you consider when picking one?
- Determine the services you need – think about it. Would you like them to handle everything from planning, permits, interior design, select furniture, landscaping, and everything in between, or would you prefer to take on some of the roles?
- Research their specialization – all architects are qualified to handle residential buildings, but most will specialize in different areas since the industry is broad. Since this is your dream house, only work with an architect with substantial experience designing a residential home. Although you may hire a real estate agent to sell your home later, you want your stay there to be everything you’ve ever imagined.
- Check their region – we get it. You may want to fly in a friend or relative who is an architect to help with a project, but there is an advantage to working with your local architect. First, they know the area pretty well, which means navigating permits and passes will be easy. Also, they understand the soil type and other geolocation data, meaning they know the best materials to use and where to source them for the right price.
- Check their portfolio – most likely, you already know the style you are inclining towards. Check the architect’s portfolio to see if they have handled a similar project before. Most architects will have handled different styles, but some specialize in specific designs. Make sure the architect your plan to work with gravitates towards your style.
- Ask for references – a flashy website and portfolio give you a great first impression, but what gives you absolute confidence in talking with past clients. References will tell you about the good, the bad, and the ugly, so you know exactly who you will be working with. Also, check online for reviews as most architects will also have a Google My Business page and be in other social media platforms where people leave reviews.
- Meet the architect – a dream home is a personal project with tons of features to include. Like in other real estate deals, first meet the architect for a quick chat so you can ask questions. This allows you to gauge their expertise first-hand and to gauge interpersonal skills. Remember, you will be interacting with them weekly, so it’s vital to see if their services and persona align with yours.
8. Understand government regulations
Every area has building rules and regulations that must be followed, commonly referred to as building codes. These range from material use to the paint color you can use. In most states, you must also meet specific safety measures before construction begins. Building codes generally govern the design, alterations, and maintenance of structures within a given area. They give the minimum requirements builders must meet and safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of building occupants.
So, knowing which regulations you should follow makes it easy for you to avoid hefty penalties that could derail your project by straining your budget. It’s always best to apply for the required government approvals, follow the right processes, and abide by all rules. Although your architect can handle all these for you, it’s wise to know what’s needed, so you aren’t clueless and surprised later.
That’s not all. Read through the contracts you have with your builder and understand all details included. Keep an eye on the payment schedule, so you aren’t caught off-guard. Also, note the construction schedule so you plan and avoid surprises. If the terms are too complicated, ask your lawyer to read and interpret the contracts.
9. Think about resale
As a home builder, selling is obviously not on top of your mind when starting the building process. However, you can’t afford to ignore the real estate industry because life is unpredictable. You may need to relocate for work, and so you should have every advantage when you decide to sell. Before you start building a home, consult a real estate agent and understand the home market in your area. Talk about the resale value of the type of home you want to build, how much land you should spare for the yard, and other things homeowners look for when buying an existing home.
This information will help you avoid unnecessary upgrades that will overprice your house. Also, you won’t necessarily choose anything out of the ordinary but go for more functional spaces. Think of a functional kitchen, enough storage, the right flooring, and even the floor plans, which tend to attract home buyers. This doesn’t mean you won’t get anything you wished for, however. You will still live in this house, probably for a long time, so cut yourself some slack install a few things you really want.
10. Cater for hidden costs
Now that you have your land, house designs, hired the right people, and ready to start building a house, it’s time the rubber hit the road. But, before that, set aside a buffer account. Like remodeling an existing home, things could go sound real fast during home construction. Start by providing all the necessary materials, including a constant supply of water and electricity. Usually, cost overruns result from inaccurate project estimates, significant design errors, change orders that weren’t planned for, poor site management, and not hiring the right team.
As you plan on saving money, remember that your needs may change during construction, so set aside money for that. Your architect and contractor should ensure everyone uses the updated plans and that adjustments are made in real-time.
A lot goes into building a house. As you think about building materials, going green to save on utility bills, land purchase price, and floor plans, remember to keep stress at bay by being excited about your new home. Think about soaking up in your new tab or enjoying the yard with your friends. This way, you will remain excited about the project and focus on finally living in your dream home.
Frequently asked question
1. Is it cheap to build a new home?
In 2019, the average cost of building a new home was around 485,000, while buying a new home costs around 309,000. Without a doubt, building a new home isn’t cheap. However, you get to customize everything to suit your needs and style, you have control over the building process, and you have things like energy efficiency in mind from the start.
2. Where do you start when building a new home?
Planning is the most crucial part of building a new home, which is where you should start. This stage typically means you think of your needs and style, set a budget, research, and look for service providers and people you want to include. This also includes knowing the necessary documentation and permits you need to get.
3. How much does it cost to build a dream house?
The construction costs anywhere between $100 and $155 per square meter. Your total cost will depend on how large you want your house to be and the amenities you will include. On average, most homeowners spent around $155,000 to $416,250 last year to build their homes.