Owning your own home is a significant lifestyle change for many. However, building your first home doesn’t have to be as daunting as it seems. With careful planning, you can create the home of your dreams without breaking the bank. Here are a few tips to get you started:
1. Work With An Experienced Contractor
Finding a contractor with experience building the type of home you want is essential. With the average size of a custom-built home between 3,000- to the 3,500-square-foot range for roughly 25% of homes, consider a contractor with experience in large-scale jobs. They will be able to help you stay within your budget and avoid any construction pitfalls.
2. Get Several Bids
Get bids from at least three different companies when you’ve found a contractor you’d like to work with. Multiple bids will help ensure you’re getting the best possible price for your home. Be sure to compare apples to apples when getting offers, as some contractors may include different materials or services in their estimates. The project manager oversees all phases of the construction project and ensures the project runs on time and on budget. Interview several managers and find one that can accommodate your lifestyle, schedule, and overall needs.
3. Choose Your Materials Carefully
There are many different materials you can use to build your home, and each has its own set of pros and cons. Do some research to find the best materials for your needs and budget. For example, consider using insulated concrete forms (ICFs) if you’re looking for an energy-efficient home. These forms are made of concrete and foam insulation, which can help reduce your energy bills. You can also keep it simple and opt for popular materials, such as asphalt shingles, used on 75% of homes.
4. Make a Budget—and Stick to It
Building a home is a big investment, so it’s crucial to create a budget and stick to it. Work with your contractor to determine how much you can realistically afford to spend on your home. Once you have a budget, start looking for ways to save money. For example, you may get a discount on materials if you buy them in bulk. In addition, create a budget for hiccups such as building permit fees can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
5. Don’t Skimp on the Details
While it’s important to stay within your budget, don’t skimp on the details of your home. These details can make or break your home, so choosing your needs carefully is essential. For example, you’ll want to make sure your windows are high quality and energy efficient. In addition, pay attention to the details of your doors and hardware. These small details can add up and make a big difference in your home’s overall look and feel. In addition, remember that you’ll be living here, so it should be comfortable for you and your family.
6. Get Organized
The process of building a home can be overwhelming, so it’s important to stay organized. Create a folder or binder to keep all of your documents in one place, which should include your budget, floor plans, contractor bids, and construction contracts. In addition, create a timeline of your construction project so you can track your progress and ensure everything is on schedule.
7. Do Your Research
There are many different things to consider, from the type of home you want to the materials you’ll use. When you’re ready to start building your first home, it’s important to do your research. Start by reading books and articles about home-building, and then talk to friends and family who have built their own homes. Friends and family can provide a wealth of knowledge on the process of home-building.
Building your first home doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With a little bit of planning and careful decision-making, you can make your dream home a reality. By following these tips, you can build the home of your dreams that fits your lifestyle without hurting your finances.