This site offers a lot of home building advice and help in planning your new home. We offer a free 98 page e-book, and many articles to help you make sound decisions in planning your new home. In addition to this article I hope you take advantage of all the free information on this site. This article will be a sort of summary of all our best advice.
Home Building Advice Help: Get What You Want
Though there may be compromises along the way to building a custom home, there are a few things that led you to want a custom house in the first place, and you should stick by those at all costs. It is pointless to pay for a custom home, only to get a home you could have found already on the current real estate market. Stand fast to your dream home, and be true to your own vision when building a custom home.
Getting what you want requires a sufficient budget, and the right contractor or home builder. It may also include doing some of the work yourself or finding another way to cut corners to save enough money for those vital elements. Don’t let anyone talk you out of the very reason you wanted a custom home.
Smaller homes save money, both in construction costs and in utility bills. It is also much easier and cheaper to build a basically square home, than one that is long and narrow, or has extensions in all different directions. Small square homes are also much more energy efficient. Extra eves can also mean more roofing problems. Try to avoid wasting space by eliminating hallways, and avoid excessive exterior corners.
The three most important parts of your home are the foundation, the framing and the roof. Do everything you can to insure these parts of your home are crafted with the utmost care. Avoid slab foundations in wet climates, and areas where termites are prevalent. Specify the type, grade and dimensions of all the lumber used, and have your home builder sign a list of materials that will be used. This avoids confusion later on.
Visit your home construction site frequently during the early building process when the foundation is laid, and the walls are going up. Insure that your contract with the builder allows for this. Make sure that studs are 16 inches on center or whatever the code is for your area and that 2 by 6 lumber is being used. Remember that 2 by 6 studs are stronger and allows more space for insulation than 2 by 4s. Be certain that floor joists are 2 by 10 or more. Saving money by using smaller lumber is unwise, and it is important to check behind your contractor on this important matter.
If you are in good health and a bit of a do-it-yourselfer, a shell home may be a great idea. With a shell home, the contractor gets the home under roof, and then turns it over to you to finish. Shells require that the foundation is laid, by the same or other contractor. Then the home is framed, roofed and sided. Insulation and drywall may or may not be included. If insulation is not included, you should hire someone to install the closed cell insulation. Drywall isn’t all that difficult but it can be heavy and awkward to work with. You will also need an electrician and a plumber, but there is no reason why you cannot do the rest of the work, if you are in good health and accustomed to home improvement projects. The savings on a shell home are considerable, but be very certain of the quality in the same way you would with a completed home.
Insulated Panel homes are also shell homes, and those vary in durability. Concrete insulated panels are the most durable product on the market, and if you use the ones with 5 or 6 inches of insulation, and at least 2 inches of concrete on each side, they are also one of the most energy efficient building materials available. One company makes concrete panels that are a total of 14 inches thick. These are undoubtedly the most substantial and well insulated walls in today’s market.
While the payments are slightly less for the same amount borrowed with a 30 year loan, it is much more sensible to take a 15 year mortgage, even if it means compromising on the size of your home. The amount you will save on shaving off 15 years of payments is usually fully half of the loan amount, and sometimes more. Pre-qualify for a 15 year mortgage, as well as a 30 year mortgage to see what you can afford and still pay off your home in 15 years. My best home building advice/ help is to take the 15 year mortgage if at all possible.