For many people, the decision to build a home can be equally exciting and overwhelming. Finally building your own home may be a lifelong dream. Given the investment of time, money and emotions that often come along with the new home building process, it’s natural that you want to be as prepared as possible prior to breaking ground on your project. Because the wants and needs of each homeowner will vary, there is really no one-size-fits-all formula for new home construction. However, there are some evergreen tips for building a home. These tips will no doubt aid you as you compile your own home-building checklist.
How To Start A New Home Build
Breaking down the home-building process in a step-by-step format will, hopefully, make the whole venture less stressful and more feasible for you, the homeowner. Of course, the exact steps to take in any new home construction may change from project to project. However, no new home construction would be possible without following some variation of the steps outlined below. These steps are recommendations for new home builders who have already purchased a lot. They are meant to serve as basic guidelines for the home-building process, not a comprehensive building plan.
1. Establish your budget.
Establishing a realistic and manageable budget for your new home is perhaps the most crucial step in the building process. Your budget will likely be the single most determinant factor for any and all decisions throughout the home-building process. From selecting a contractor and architectural plans to choosing materials and finishes for your new home, everything will ultimately depend on your budget.
Establishing a budget for a project of this size might seem quite daunting, especially for first-time home builders. Feeling this way is very understandable! Luckily, figuring out a budget is actually not as complicated as you might fear. All you really need to know is the average cost of a home per square foot. That is a calculation that a trusted contractor in your area will be able to give you.
2. Choose the right contractor.
Just like establishing the budget, choosing the right contractor for your new home build is crucial to ensuring the success of the rest of the project. There are several important factors to consider when you are choosing a contractor.
First, you want to select someone trustworthy and reputable. To ensure the reputation of your contractor, you can ask trusted friends and family members for recommendations. You can also consult professional resources such as the Home Builders Association or National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Because climate and location can play major roles throughout the construction process, it’s generally a good idea to select a contractor who is experienced in your local area. In addition, the desired timeline for your home build may affect which contractors are available to take on your project. It’s a good idea to start researching contractors and planning as far ahead as possible.
3. Determine the boundaries and viability of your land.
Assuming that you have already acquired the plot of land on which you are going to build, the next step in the construction process is to have that land surveyed. A land surveyor will be able to give you invaluable information about the actual “buildable” area of your property. In addition to basic information like lot lines, the surveyor will be able to shed light on any legal issues, like easements and/or building codes that may affect your project. This step is very important to ensuring the legality of your build and can help to keep your construction timeline on schedule.
4. Select the appropriate foundation.
Strong foundations are so important to the home-building process that the concept itself has become a cliché in everyday parlance. The importance of a strong foundation, then, really can’t be overstated! The correct foundation for your home build will depend on several factors, such as climate, budget and the characteristics of the lot itself. Choosing the right foundation for your home is another decision about which a trusted local contractor will be able to advise you.
The most common foundation type in Florida is a monolithic slab foundation because of the water and elevation levels. A monolithic slab foundation, true to its name, is a literal slab of reinforced concrete, on top of which the rest of the home is built. Monolithic slab foundations are popular because they are relatively quick to assemble, low-cost, and highly resistant to mold and termites.
5. Choose and finalize architectural plans.
For many people, choosing their new home’s architectural plans is the most fun and creative part of the home-building process! You may have very specific desires — both aesthetic and practical — when it comes to the design of your home. It’s important that you consider both the exterior curb appeal as well as the interior practicality of the home, as both of these elements will factor heavily into the resale value of your home. Of course, it’s natural that not all of your design wants will be feasible, whether due to budget or time constraints, or more external factors like climate and/or zoning laws. Keeping an open mind, staying flexible and trusting the advice of your architect and/or contractor will help you stay stress-free throughout this step — and all the steps — of your home construction project.
Pros And Cons Of Building A Home
If you’ve made the decision to build new construction, you are likely aware of the many advantages to building and designing a custom home from the ground up. Because building a new home is, by nature, a customizable experience, you will be able to design and/or modify nearly all aspects of your new home in order to fit your budget, your family and your lifestyle.
Any trusted architect and/or contractor will design and build your home to meet current building codes and zoning laws, which can keep you safe and save you money down the line. You won’t have to worry about any toxic materials, like lead paint and asbestos. Building a new home also allows you to incorporate the latest state-of-the-art energy technologies. The opportunity to invest in environmentally friendly and energy-efficient home elements — from HVAC and electrical systems to the actual building materials themselves — is a great advantage of building new construction. Not only can these features save you money, but they are good for the earth and can also contribute to the resale value of your home. In addition, because your home will be brand new, you likely won’t have to worry about replacing or repairing features any time in the near future.
The primary disadvantages of building a new construction home generally have to do with time and budget. Because you are building a home from the ground up, you will naturally not be able to move in right away. Timelines of new construction homes vary based on factors like availability of supplies, materials, and more. A typical outline of a construction timeline includes:
- Creating the foundation and preparing the lot.
- Construction of the frame.
- Installation of electrical and plumbing.
- Finish putting up drywall and insulation.
- Complete all interior projects.
- Install fixtures inside the home.
- Finishing up the landscaping and completing the final walkthrough.
Understanding the basic outline of the home construction process can help you understand the length of the timeline. It takes time to complete new home construction projects and install all of the fixtures you need before you move into your new Florida home.
While a competent contractor will likely be able to keep you on budget, or close to, it’s inevitable that, with any construction project, unforeseen costs will arise. Of course, even buying a pre-existing home is not without cost risks, as repairs and renovations may be needed. It’s up to each homeowner to decide whether the few disadvantages of building a new home outweigh the many advantages.
Are You Ready to Build Your House?
If you’ve already made the decision to build a new home, congratulations! If you are still on the fence, that’s understandable. There are so many factors to consider that it can naturally feel overwhelming. Here are some helpful questions that you can ask yourself if you are still in the decision-making process.
Q: Is there wiggle-room in my budget?
A: When embarking on a new construction home build, it’s critical to remember that quotes and estimates are exactly that — estimates. Even the most experienced and competent contractors will not be able to accurately foresee every additional cost that may arise during the building process. It’s a good rule of thumb to make sure you have some additional money, aside from your budget, in case of any additional costs or must-have splurges during the build.
Q: How flexible is my timeline?
A: While a good contractor will likely be able to give you a fairly accurate building schedule, nothing is truly certain. It’s a good idea to think of your building schedule as a guideline more so than a set-in-stone guarantee. Inclement weather, material delivery delays, construction injuries, and legal bureaucracy (like building codes and zoning laws) are common occurrences that can cause delays in any building schedule. As the homeowner, it’s important that you keep a flexible mindset in order to stay stress-free throughout the process.
Q: Am I planning for the future?
A: One of the great benefits of building a new home is that you, the homeowner, can plan and design it to your own desired specifications. Before embarking on the new home building process, it’s helpful to ask yourself what your intentions are for this home. For example, do you envision living in the home for just a few years and then reselling? Or do you intend for this to be your “forever” home? Do you have plans to expand your family? Do you want your parents or in-laws to have a guest space in your home? Do you want to entertain in your home, whether it’s hosting large parties and/or holiday gatherings? Truthfully answering these questions and thinking about the future you envision for yourself in your new home is crucial when planning and budgeting for your new build.
Q: Do I want to be actively involved in the build?
A: Although you won’t be physically building the home or installing anything during the building process, you can still be hands-on with your new construction home in other ways. Being involved in the building process entails picking out the final touches of your home to ensure it’s what you’re looking for. Your contractor will walk you through the home with the electrician so you can have some say in where outlets are installed, where you plan on placing your TV, light placements and more. You’ll also have to pick out kitchen cabinets, countertops, flooring, appliances and other home features to create your dream home. You’ll also need to select paint colors once the majority of your home is constructed. You’ll find that being a part of the building process gives you excellent transparency and helps the vision you have of your home come to life.
Q: Do I have special design needs?
A: Some homeowners may have special considerations that will factor heavily into the design of their new homes. This could be common disability accommodations like wider doorways, ramps, elevator(s) and/or ADA-compliant bathrooms. The ability to customize your home to incorporate some or all of these types of features is one of the great benefits to building a custom home. If you have any special design needs, be sure to discuss them up front with your contractor to ensure that they are feasible and can work with your budget.
Get Started With Amaral Homes and Pools
Any new home build construction in Florida, specifically in the Palm Coast area, will benefit greatly from the expertise of an experienced local contractor. Amaral Homes and Pools is a local, family-owned business with nearly 30 years of construction experience in Flagler county. We live in the community that we serve, and as such, we are both professionally and personally invested in completing home builds of the highest quality.
Because we are a small, dedicated family operation, you and your home building project will benefit from personalized, one-on-one care and attention. We specialize in new home construction, with a thorough understanding of all considerations specific to Florida and Flagler county. We also offer real estate and property management services, pool installation and tile roof construction. Our business prides itself on high-quality craftsmanship, beautiful, classic designs and exceptional customer service. It is our pleasure to serve the community here in Palm Coast, Florida and throughout Flager county.
Contact Our Team: Amaral Homes And Pools
Amaral Homes and Pools is ready to assist you with making your home-building dreams a reality. We will work with you every step of the way! Our expertise makes us the ideal partner in any new home construction project. Contact us today to get started.
"headline": "You’ve Decided To Build Your Dream Home. Now, Where Do You Start?",
"description": "For many people, the decision to build a home can be equally exciting and overwhelming. Finally building your own home may be a lifelong dream. Given the investment of time, money and emotions that often come along with the new home building process, it’s natural that you want to be as prepared as possible prior to breaking ground on your project. Because the wants and needs of each homeowner will vary, there is really no one-size-fits-all formula for new home construction. However, there are some evergreen tips for building a home. These tips will no doubt aid you as you compile your own home-building checklist.",
"name": "Carla Amaral"