The biggest piece of advice for anyone who is planning of building a home on their own lot is to consult a home builder, before buying land. Your home builder has the expertise that can help shape and direct the vision of your dream home. Involving your home builder early in your decision-making has the potential to save you time and money, avoiding costly changes.Your builder will have the expertise to help you determine the best placement of the home on your land, but more importantly, if you should build on that particular lot at all. Your lot could be in an area that would be difficult to establish power or plumbing, or it could even be in a flood zone. It's easy to see a large beautiful lot and dream, but ultimately consulting with your builder will help dig through challenges you may not immediately see.
Understanding Your Budget There are so many decisions that go into building a custom home, from crown molding to bathroom tile, but of course, the most critical is setting your budget. Some of the best advice would be to factor in 15-20% more than initially planned. This additional padding to the budget allows for the custom home design process to remain as fluid as possible, so you can opt for upgraded fixtures or hardwood flooring without the stress of breaking the initial budget. While it isn’t always the easiest conversation, discussing your budget with an experienced builder up-front allows them to guide you throughout the process in order to use your budget to the fullest and avoid and wasteful spending.
Preparing for Unforeseen Costs As we mentioned in the previous section, it is critical to not only set a budget, but to also set aside 15-20% of the budget for upgrades, changes, and maybe most importantly unforeseen costs. When building a custom home for utilities, plumbing, and lot prep are less complicated in organized developments, but when building on land in more rural areas, these basics can easily become more complicated and require more planning. Below are some commonly missed costs to factor in when planning your budget:
Lot Prep - be sure to factor in both clearing and grading of your land
Hooking Up Utilities - connecting water, power and cable can be more challenging in rural areas, causing unforeseen costs to just get life’s basics
Unseen Ground Conditions – Is your land in a flood zone? Can you have a septic system installed on your lot, these are all answers your home builder can provide their expertise.
Selecting Your Land or Lot Many times you have inherited a piece of land or you have found a piece of land with the help of a realtor. Either way, it’s important to loop your home builder into the process to help guide you and help you determine what size house you have the space for, and even discuss the possibility of adding on a future pool. All of these are important discussions to have in order to properly plan without getting too far ahead of yourself.
The Perils of Permitting This completely depends on how and where you choose to build your home. Luckily, when you build through a contractor or home builder, they have the expertise to help move through the permitting process. Most importantly assume legal responsibility in order to make sure everything is done properly and legally. Beyond permitting, no one knows local building codes better than your local builder. They will file all the paperwork, manage and schedule inspections, and make sure everything moves smoothly. If you’re interested in building on your own land, Big Fish Construction is here to help. Contact us today to learn more about our custom home building services.