As a Class A Contractor with my company, Servant’s Hands Construction, I’ve learned a few things about the process of building a dream home. One of my favorite things is to work closely with clients to design and build their forever home – but I never expect my clients to know all the ins and outs of the process before we get started. Because there is so much new information to cover, open communication is so important!
When you purchase a lot and make plans to build your dream home, you need to have all the information to make the best choices for you and your family. The last thing you want are surprises and setbacks through the process – asking the right questions before you even sign a contract will help the process run smoothly so you’ll be settled in your new home before you know it. Let’s take a look at a few things you should discuss before hiring and working with your contractor!
Additional Excavation Costs
If you’re building on anything other than a standard lot, there can be some additional costs associated with preparing that land to build. If your land is wooded, rocky, or uneven you may need to pay additional costs to excavate and remove the impediments to your building process. Costs to excavate and grade your land vary from state to state and are subject to a variety of factors like size of the plot and the complete scope of work.
To get the most accurate estimate for excavating your land, it’s a good idea to hire a surveyor to come out and take a look at the property. They’ll be able to verify the information on your deed regarding boundaries, but can also provide data about the terrain that will help your contractor plan for construction.
You might think that building a house is as easy as picking the land and hiring the contractor. But there’s a little more to it than that. Depending on where you choose to build your home, you may have certain restrictions that limit your options. For example, if you’re building a home in a subdivision, you may face deed restrictions, which are usually put in place to maintain a desired look of a neighborhood. They can limit the style and size of house you’re able to build as well as your ability to add additional structures and fencing on the property. While they’re usually reserved for subdivisions, some city and county governments can impose them as well, so you just want to make sure you’re aware of any potential restrictions you may face before you start building.
The last thing you want is to have a delay on your timeline because you weren’t clear on when your payments were due. Make sure you discuss the due date of your first payment, the timeline for payments as well as the options for making payments so that you never get a call from your contractor saying that the project is paused for non-payment!
Understanding what’s expected of all parties before signing a contract is super important. Expectations you should focus on include:
- Who’s responsible for taking out building permits?
- Who is supervising the job site and how can they be reached if you have a question?
- How often and when should you be expected to be on site?
- Will there be any additional paperwork and when is it due?
- How often will your contractor or site supervisor provide updates?
In addition to understanding expectations of both parties, make sure you review the contract as many times as is needed to have a clear understanding of the language. This is not something you want to sign without being crystal clear on what it means – a new home is a big investment; make sure you know exactly what you’re purchasing!
The timetable is probably what you’re most interested in when building a new home. This is an exciting thing to take on, so, naturally, you want to know when you’ll be sleeping in your new bedroom or hosting your house warming party! As with all good things, building a home does take time and sometimes it can be impacted by things outside of your control. Talk to your contractor about the expected timeline of the job but don’t forget to ask about potential setbacks and how those will be handled. Also think about the time of year you’re choosing to build in as weather can be a huge factor in determining a timeline.
But most importantly, have FUN with the process. I know it’s tedious to get all this information and can be difficult to wrap your mind around all of it. But building your dream home is exciting! Discussing all these topics really just helps you relax so you know exactly what to expect and you can focus more on the excitement of counting down the days until you’re comfortably settled in your brand new home.