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Building Your Own Home Tips

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Enjoy this list of building your own home tips. There are four phases of home building from your perspective; planning your home, hiring a contractor or home builder, obtaining a loan and supervising your home construction. These building your own home tips will point out key decisions, efforts and activities to help you complete each phase successfully.

Building Your Own Home Tips: Planning Your Home

• Start a home building journal to keep track of your ideas. This journal may be a physical scrap book of magazine clippings, or a folder on your hard drive full of images from the web.

• Decide how many rooms you need and how large they need to be. Remember that current trends are towards smaller more compact houses. This will save on construction costs now and energy costs in the future.

• While trimming size, remember that furniture will need to fit properly in each room. Study standard sizes of furniture, such as the width of a king sized bed or the length of a dining table with chairs when everyone is sitting in them.

• Make sure your dining room is large enough to accommodate your dining table, chairs and guests.

• Consider your family’s cooking style as you study different kitchen layouts, and kitchen planning. How many people will usually be in the kitchen at once?

• Once you have a tentative kitchen plan, visualize loading the dishwasher or pulling something out of the oven. Is there enough room?

• Learn all about different construction techniques and materials. Study the durability of each.

• Learn about insulation and energy efficiency.

• Consider alternative green materials, as well as conventional materials.

• Study the history of home construction, and look at features and materials which may have been popular in previous periods, that could be adapted to fit your needs.

• Be creative, and don’t be afraid to be unique. Unique features if tasteful can add to value. Inversely, truly odd features reduce value.

• Download our 98 page book on home construction.

Building Your Own Home Tips: Hiring a Contractor or Home Builder

• Start with a list of contractors or home builders in your area, and research them till you eliminate all but a few.

• Search for the names of each contractor on line to establish if there are dissatisfied customers complaining.

• Look at homes built by each contractor. Go to open houses, and do not be afraid to ask to see the attic and crawl space. These are the areas which reveal most about home construction.

• Ask all Realtors, loan officers and various subcontractors you know and trust, to recommend three contractors or home builders. Ask them if there is anyone they would not recommend. Keep notes to see which names come up most often in each category.

• Ask friends, who recently built homes, who they used. Also ask about the process of building. Find out how they really felt, because most people will be very positive when first asked. Keep the conversations going, to learn what the process is really like with each contractor.

• Visit a few home construction sites, and ask if you may watch for a while. Stay out of the way, and see how things are done. You can see a lot more during construction, than you can by viewing a home that is already built. It’s much easier to judge the quality before the siding and drywall is applied.

• Always select an experienced home builder that will do a top quality job. Do not choose price over quality in the actual structure. If you need to economize, use cheap floor coverings, or ask to do the interior painting yourself, but never sacrifice the structure to save money.

Building Your Own Home Tips: Obtaining a Loan

• Always clean up your credit and pay off outstanding loans, including credit card balances, before applying for a home loan.

• Call your hospital, your dentist and your doctor’s office to see if you have an unpaid balance. It is usually the forgotten details that can show up on your credit rating.

• Ask about 15-year loans as well as 30 year loans. Taking a 15-year loan can save you about $100K over a 30-year loan.

• Choose to build a home you can easily afford. The maximum payments the bank will allow you to make amount to 33 percent of your income. Choose to make payments for 25 percent of your income instead if possible. This keeps your payments affordable.

• The only exception could be in the case of choosing a 15-year loan, over a 30-year loan. The 15 year loan is definitely worth paying a little extra per month.

• Always be honest when pre-qualifying and applying for loans. Never stretch the truth, because home loan companies will know and could deny your loan. Being honest when pre-qualifying can help in choosing the loan you will apply for and prevent you from being turned down.

Building Your Own Home Tips: Supervising Your Home Construction

• Visit your construction site at least once a week during construction.

• Stay only about half an hour to keep from disturbing work patterns.

• Pay special attention and make frequent visits during foundation pouring, framing, and the installation of insulation. Be sure to inspect studs and insulation before drywall is applied.

• Make a habit of bringing a cooler of water and soda or a large pitcher of iced tea when visiting the site, to treat your construction crew.

• Chat with crew and be friendly.

• If you have questions, feel free to ask the crew in a curious not accusing tone.

• If you have issues or concerns about the way your home is being constructed, ask the home builder. Be polite but firm about your demands for quality construction.

We hope that you will download our 98 page guide on home building. It really pays to understand construction before you hire a home builder or contractor. Use these building your own home tips in all aspects of building your home.

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