Building a Custom Home
Dream Home 101
Custom Home with all the amenities that you have always
wanted can be an anxiety producing proposition or it can be organized in
such a way that the "glitches" can be kept to a minimum. I work
through the entire process with you from selecting the lot to handing over
the keys to your finished new home. Here are the steps that we
will go through:
The first order of business is to obtain
financing. Once you
have all the financing in place so that you know what size loan you
qualify for, what your payments will be, and how the payments to the
contractor(s) for work in progress are paid, you will be able to make
educated decisions about costs. You will know why there are separate
loans for land acquisition and for construction and what a 'take-out' loan
Now we start looking for a
Are you interested in acreage or a suburban sized lot in a gated
community? Is foothill living with septic tanks and wells instead of
sewers and city water something that you have considered? Once
you have chosen the lifestyle and location of the community for your new
home we will begin looking for the homesite. Each possible homesite
will need to be examined for easy access. Are roads already in or do
you have to develop and maintain a private road?
Will heavy equipment have any problems
getting to the site? What is the best orientation for a building
with respect to the sun? Are there any CC&Rs or zoning requirements
that restrict use of the lot? What easements are on the property
that may restrict its use? Investigating these issues before
we write an offer will save time, money, and agony. The
general contractor that we have
chosen will be a great resource in getting these questions answered for
Also in the contract with the general
contractor, I will specify that the materials used will provide the most
efficient energy use and we will spell out what the cost of change orders
will be during construction. Will landscaping be included?
Making all these decisions before the contract is drawn up with your
general contractor will save time and money.
the home is one of the most important aspects of the process.
Who designs the home--can you use 'stock plans' or draw plans yourself, or
do you need an architect? You will need to spend time doing your
"homework". You can visit production subdivisions to get ideas, read
books, watch videos, talk to other people who have built custom homes,
order and study magazines with home plans, and talk to architects.
You will need to keep in mind the elements that will make the resale of
the home possible also.
Fitting the finished product to your
budget is also something to keep in mind. A general contractor can give
you an idea of cost per square foot (depending on the quality of materials
and extras that you want.)
After decisions have been made on the
design, the next step is for the contractor to get
The cost of the permits will be included in the contract with the general
We will go over the timing of the project
and what inspections will need take place.
We will make sure that your
insurance carrier adds coverage for
the workers on your job site along with the possibility of worker's
compensation, liability and builder's risk insurance, if needed.
There may be a need for natural disaster insurance during construction.
You wouldn't want to lose your investment because of a brush fire.
We will discuss what
liens are, what they accomplish, and
how do you protect yourself from them?
Keeping the process under control requires
checklists. Using and
customizing home-building checklists and scheduling tools to keep
the sequence of events organized helps to maintain control of the
The best part happens now -- your new home
is complete and you move in. We will work together to make your dream home
a reality with as few problems as possible.
Dream Home 101