Use this new house building checklist for completing a shell to insure that you have considered all the costs and labor involved in taking your home from shell to completion. Be sure to download our free 98 page book and other articles on this site to gain more information.
In most cases you will be responsible for arranging for the foundation to be built, as a separate contract from the shell. Even so, be sure that the foundation people communicate with the shell builder, and that they have a copy of the blueprint which details the requirements for the foundation.
Some shells include insulation while others do not. If not be sure to arrange for the latest in closed cell insulation for traditional stick build framing. With other materials, check with your shell builder for recommendations. Do not settle for fiberglass, as there are much more efficient materials available.
Some shells include either dry wall, the inside of a concrete panel that could be used as dry wall, or the inside of a log wall, which you may choose to leave exposed. If you do wish to drywall over the logs, consider another layer of polyurethane or polystyrene insulation between logs and dry wall for more R-value. Hanging Dry Wall is not too difficult for most people, and home improvement stores offer instructions in this process. The internet is also a rich source of information on home improvement tasks like hanging dry wall.
Check with your home builder to find out if you are responsible for having the rough plumbing ready when he arrives to build the shell. You will need a licensed and experienced plumber to prepare the plumbing to the builder’s specifications, and the plumber will require a copy of the floor plan, or at least a schematic for plumbing from the home builder.
Ask your home builder how much if any of the plumbing he can have installed. If not you will need to hire a plumber to complete the plumbing. You may be able to do some of the work yourself.
The cost and quality of plumbing fixtures varies considerably. Shop for salvaged materials, factory blemished products and be sure to check on line for sales and good prices. It’s also a good idea to frequent the local home improvement store during your home building project to check for special sales on display models. You might shop on line for sinks as well. There are deals to be had on special copper sinks, and one of a kind designs on various artistic sinks. Just a few great bargains on unique plumbing fixtures can move your home towards the luxury category, and provide beauty and a custom look.
You might also be responsible for the rough electrical ready for the home builder before he starts construction. If so hire a licensed electrician, and make sure he has all the necessary floor plans and schematics to complete the rough wiring. Your home builder should provide detailed instructions on when this work should be done, and these instructions will vary with the type of shell. It is best to ask for a thorough explanation.
Your shell home will have to be wired with outlets and 220 outlets for appliances. Light fixtures must also be installed. Be sure to get quotes from electricians before signing a contract for a shell package, as this can be a large and absolutely necessary expense.
Most floor covering dealers will install carpet for little or no extra charge if you buy their best carpeting, or vinyl floor coverings. On the other hand you can save big by purchasing carpet remnants or salvaged carpets and installing your own floor coverings. Laying your own tile is also fairly simple, fun and a very satisfying project. Make sure you buy the right grout for the type of tiles. See manufacturers recommendations.
Shop on line, at your local home improvement stores, and at salvaged building supply dealers in your area to find the best price on the cabinets you want. Salvaged cabinets can be antique, or of better quality than you’d normally afford, so it pays to shop at these sorts of businesses, as well as new materials dealers in order to get great prices on something unique. Try flea markets as well, for great deals on salvaged materials and factory blemished countertops.
Most people can handle doing their own paint and wall paper, saving thousands of dollars on the price of their homes. It’s simple and fun.
Used appliances may be a slight gamble, but they can save a huge amount of money, provided you check to make sure the model you buy is energy efficient. Also keep an eye on your local home improvement and appliance store for special sales. Shopping on line can be very useful as well if there is something specific you have always dreamed of. Don’t be afraid to bargain shop for Appliances.
Take your time in shopping for materials to finish your home, and browse, browse and browse some more. When you go to stores always look at everything, and on line, look at whole websites, not just the item you are currently looking for. Keep your eyes open for bargains. Be ready to buy, whenever you find a deal. Making sure you get the best deal, on things you love and hand select can be much more satisfying than making selections in a builder’s catalog.
Finishing a shell can be a very rewarding experience. Take your time and buy things you love at low prices. Use this new house building checklist for completing a shell to remember what you will need.