Advice for Anyone Building Their Own Home

Building your own home is a chance to realize your dream in a very literal sense, and that can be very exciting. However, as you get started, you’ll find that it can also be extremely challenging and frustrating. It can help to heed the advice of other homeowners who have experience in building their own homes. Here are a few tips based upon the insights shared by several people who have built their dream homes.

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Don’t Rely on Your Schedule

When building your own home, your contractor will give you a detailed schedule that will include a timeline for how long it will take to complete the construction of your home. While the contractor relies on his experience, the size of his crew, and other factors, you should avoid thinking of this timeline as being set in stone. Anything can extend the time it takes to build your home, including poor weather, availability of materials, or the loss of workmen on the crew. If you’re staying until temporary housing until the completion of your new home, be sure you can extend your stay in that temporary housing as needed.

Think Big When Designing Your Home

You will have to work with your contractor or an architect in creating the design for your home to ensure electrical wiring, plumbing, and other needs are included in the plans. Additionally, you should try to think ahead to avoid the need for remodeling in the future. For example, if you plan to have more children or intend to host overnight guests, you may want to add more bedroom space, closet space, and additional bathrooms. You should also consider adding pets to your household since this may lead to a need for a mudroom or other amenities.

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Deduct Sweat Equity When Possible

Sweat equity is the money you’ll save when doing certain things yourself instead of relying on contractors. While most things will be left up to your professional contractors, you should plan to do minor things yourself. You can use new technology, such as using 3D laser scanning services for taking more precise measurements, to help you get more professional quality results. If you’re sure you can install bathroom tiles, carpets, and other features yourself, you can deduct those labor costs from your home build estimate.

Hire the Right Contractors

Your experience with building your own home will be better if you take the time to hire the right contractor. You can start by asking the people you know about contractors they have hired in the past. Once you have a list of potential companies, you should limit your choices to those with several years of home building experience. You can further reduce your choices by reading the online reviews for each contractor. Finally, verify that each contractor is properly licensed and insured. From there, you can meet with the manager of each contracting company to determine which one you like the best.

Have a Contingency Fund

Your construction loan will pay for virtually everything, but there are hidden costs that will arise along the way. You’ll have a much better experience if you have a fund set aside to cover minor expenses, such as extra sandpaper, more screws, or additional light fixtures. You never know what you’ll decide to add along the way, including items you planned for but forget to add to the physical plans for the home’s construction. Having a little extra money on hand can help you compensate for the extras.

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While you will still make mistakes along the way, following the advice of previous home builders can help you avoid the most common pitfalls. You’ll be able to save a little money and sidestep some frustrating situations by following these tips. Additionally, listening to the insights your contractor provides will also help you have a more positive home-building experience.

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