Everyone wants their dream home, but if you have to build it from the ground up things can get a little overwhelming. The process of building a home is a major project, and there are a million and one little details to consider. There are also many different people you have to coordinate with when taking on this project, such as a design team, architect, builder and contractor.
To assist you with the beginning steps, we’ve spoken to some construction professionals and laid out their advice to help you along the way.
Research is Key
Google should be your best friend in the beginning stages of building your home. You should be researching people, reviews, ideas, pictures and any specific details that will need to be decided early on! If you find an architect or builder you really like, ask them for advice on a design team or other construction professionals. The process goes much smoother if your varied workers all get along and can work together. If you don’t know where to begin, look up reviews! The best way to tell if you are going to like someone you hire is to ask to see their current work, or even talk to one of their current clients!
Start researching layout and design early on. Colors and tile specifics can come later, but in your first meeting with your architect, you want to have some kind of idea for what you want. It’s easy to do this by making a mood board of different rooms and homes you like, that way your architect can get a feel for what you’re looking for. If you want very specific rooms or major features, it’s best to decide this early on because sometimes it can change the entire layout of a house. Even small advice to your architect can be incredibly useful, such as I have a big family so we need a lot of storage for groceries.
You are paying your team a large sum of money to build your dream home, so don’t be afraid to make it clear what you want or more specifically what you don’t want.
Be as Involved as Possible
Some people go wrong in assuming it will just all come together at the end, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Make sure you are constantly communicating with each member of your team, and make sure they are communicating with each other! Be present and collaborate with your team to ensure the home is going to be built exactly the way you want, or finding a viable solution for issues that may prevent that.
Don’t be afraid to arrange meetings with members of your team individually, or together. You should be communicating with members on your team at least once per week! However, be sure not to overstep your boundaries and hover. One of the worst things you can do for this process is to be overbearing and too controlling. Although you have a vision, you also have to trust that the contractors on your team know what they’re doing. Make sure each member knows what you want, then take a step back and let them do the work.
The process can be a long and grueling one, but don’t lose sight of the end result. If you truly want to build your dream home from the ground up, you have to give it time. Members of your team are most likely not solely committing to your projects and they have other clients simultaneously. Although it’s good to make sure your home is getting the time it deserves and you paid for, don’t be upset if the workers are not present 24/7. Don’t be fooled- this is not ‘Extreme House Makeover.’ Also be patient with the beginning stages of the process. If you don’t know exactly what you want, it can take time and multiple meetings to get your vision completely sketched out.
Always Keep Track of Your Budget
It’s always smart to establish your set budget at the beginning of the project, but more likely than not, people end up exceeding that budget than more than they would’ve liked. This is your dream home, so you have to understand that doesn’t come at a cheap price tag. One of the best things you can do for the budget is to break it down as much as possible from the beginning.
Lay out every expense there will be and every salary or base fee you will need to cover for workers, then set aside two more pools of money. The first pool of money should have a good chunk of change, and should sit there as an “in case of emergency” budget. Some people overstretch their bank accounts building the home, then don’t account for what happens if something goes wrong. It’s always smart to factor in a potential for error, because it is there if you need it, or you benefit from extra money at the end of the project. The second pool of money should be an “extra” pile. Throughout the process there is going to be things you want, or features you need that you didn’t account for originally. This “extra” budget helps to fund these last minute changes.
It is so important to establish the budget with each member of your team from the very beginning! Sometimes contractors can rope you in with a base fee, but then the end bill is much higher than you anticipated. Be on the same page with each one of your team members, so there are no surprises at the end. If money is an issue sometimes contractors will leave mid-project, then you are left with a mess.
Make it Fun
It is a very exciting thing to be designing your entire home yourself. It can get very stressful when decisions need to be made quickly, but stick to your vision. When you know your color palette, decorating and furnishing can be very fun! Keep in mind shapes and colors that might be in trend at the time! At the end of every day though, you can rest easy knowing this is your dream home.