Some of us built dollhouses when we were kids, or at least filled the tiny rooms with miniature replicas of the furniture and appliances we one day hoped to own. If you were one of those kids, then you probably remember the time, effort, and attention to detail that went into gluing every shingle in place, painting or papering every wall, and arranging every minuscule stick of furniture to perfection. Now that you’ve grown and started a real family, you might be interested in replicating your childhood dream home on a larger scale. And there’s no better way to accomplish this than to buy land and have your custom structure built to your specifications. That said, you can’t just jump into the process. Like your dollhouse, some planning is required to ensure perfect execution. Here are just a few things to think about before you get started.
- Location. Your dream home could easily turn into a nightmare if you place it under a busy freeway overpass or drop it in the middle of a corn field in Iowa with no easy access to amenities. In real estate, they say that location is everything, and this adage definitely applies to building your custom dream home, which won’t stay dreamy for long if you select the wrong place to build.
- Budget. You don’t even know how easy it is to exceed a budget when you start a custom home building project. And if you fail to put a budget in place from the get-go, you could end up losing your shirt (and your property) in the process. There are very few people in the world for whom money is actually no object, so you probably shouldn’t adopt this attitude. Instead, take the time to carefully craft a budget that allows you to remain solvent while ensuring that your top priorities are met where your house is concerned.
- Timeline. A timeline is important during any building project, but especially when you’re awaiting the completion of your dream home. Suppose, for example, that you’ve sold your previous home and moved into a rental while you wait for your new home to be built. As the months go by, you’ll find yourself saddled with the cost of a rental in addition to what you’re paying for construction. And nobody likes to live out of a suitcase, so to speak. The strain of the situation can definitely weigh on your family. So think about the timeline and always plan for setbacks. You can’t control the weather or suppliers, and there are all kinds of other factors that could set you back.
- Permits and building codes. When you plan to build a three-story home, you might not realize that city building codes prohibit residences over two stories, or taller than a certain height. You may not know that you’ve laid your foundation too close to the property line until you are fined by the city inspector. It’s best to know what restrictions you face up front, as well as which permits you’ll need to move ahead – in order to avoid costly mistakes.
- A solid plan. This is perhaps the most important aspect of building a home. With a solid plan in place, you can create an appropriate contract with builders, avoid the headaches that come with changing your mind or delaying decisions, and get all of your ducks in a row where permits are concerned. You can also set up deadlines and milestone payments. Whether you use a reliable building company like Shank Builders LLC or you hire an independent building contractor, having your plan in place before the shovel hits the soil will help to ensure a smooth process when building your custom dream home.