The steps in building a dream home should be undertaken with much thought and consideration for the various aspects of daily life. It is important to plan every detail with your lifestyle in mind. Don’t just follow a plan someone else designed if it does not fit your way of life, your desires or your dreams.
The first step to home building building a home is to find a method of recording your ideas, so that they aren’t lost. A dream house journal is a must for this task. The journal may be a physical scrap book, a computer file or both. The format doesn’t matter as long as it works for you, but it is essential that you build a journal, to follow the process of your home building project.
Do extensive research on both traditional and various forms of green and energy efficient construction. Study different building materials, with an eye towards their R-values and various advantages and disadvantages. Learn the basics of design including the standard sizes of things like windows, doors, cabinets, and various types of furniture. Become accustomed working with floor plans in a virtual environment with some inexpensive home planning software. Experiment with different layouts, and copy various floor plans that you see in magazines to see how well each works when you start placing furniture. The purpose of these exercises is to gain an eye for what works with your lifestyle, and tastes, not to solidify your plans. It is much too soon for that. Just experiment.
During this phase no idea should be rejected. Remember what you have learned, and start collecting photos and various design features that you may want to incorporate in your home. Use Google image search to find pictures, or clip pictures from magazines. You may also draw or create diagrams in various software programs to illustrate your ideas. At this phase you should get your entire family involved in finding pictures and sketching ideas. Everyone’s ideas are valid. You, your spouse and the kids can go wild with innovative ideas, no matter how unusual.
You and your family should go through the pictures many times, arranging and re-arranging them together and looking for central themes. Finally sort the pictures by theme, and which room of the house they go in. Make sure to use at least one idea from each family member. Your home design should be a composite of as many of these ideas as possible. Create a singular concept of style, using ideas that all the family members seem to like.
Now that you have a general idea for the exterior appearance and interior style of your home, it’s time to start defining what you need. How many rooms do you need and what size should they be? It is important now to be practical, because the dream is gradually beginning to take shape in reality and out of the world of dreams. Start placing limits on size, balancing what you need against what you can afford, and luxury against what is energy efficient and practical.
Consider whether you will be hiring an architect or simply buying plans. Shop for plans on line, to discover which of them fits your dream home best. If you can’t find one, you may need an architect, but with so many online plans, there’s a good chance you can find one which can either be used as is, or adapted.
Throughout this process and perhaps well before, you should be saving your money, cleaning up your credit and paying off all your debts. It is important to go into the loan process with a good credit rating, a sizable nest egg and as little debt as possible. Now is the time to assess your financial situation and consider what you can actually afford to spend. Find out the average cost per square foot is for the type of home you want, in your area. Compare this price to your budget.
Once you have assessed your finances you may find you wish to adjust your plans a bit. Now is the time to trim down the square footage and eliminate wasted space. A good idea is to create a model of your future home on some sort of simulation software. Even a Sims game can be used for this. Software will enable you to quickly see whether or not standard sizes of furniture will fit and if Sims are often trapped in narrow traffic patterns. Make absolutely sure your plan is what you want, and what you can afford before taking it to a builder.
It is time to seek out a homebuilder or contractor. You should investigate homebuilders carefully before selecting one. Choose three to six contractors to obtain estimates from. Do not be intimidated and be very clear on what you want. Discuss materials and insure that you specify thicknesses and quality. Show your homebuilder or contractor your home building journal. Be sure he knows which plans describe your final version of the plan. Make sure that you don’t sign any contracts without having your attorney look them over first.
Your homebuilder will allow you to choose the exact materials that will be used in your home. Be sure that the actual building materials are well defined, in addition to picking carpet samples and counter tops. It is important to record each selection in your home building journal.
Obtaining financing can be a bit confusing, but your homebuilder and loan officers will help you through the process. It is vital to be honest with both your home builder and your loan officer, and be able to explain your income, credit rating and debt accurately. If these people understand your situation they can find a loan to fit your needs, but if you exaggerate or distort the facts on your loan application, your loan application will be rejected. Both your loan officer and your building contractor want you to get the loan, so being honest with them, vastly increases your chances of getting a good loan that fits your needs.
It is important that you stay actively involved throughout the home building process. Some home builders and contractors have policies which restrict or even forbid visits during construction, so be sure, before you sign the contract that you can visit the jobsite twice a week, for only fifteen minutes or half an hour to make sure that your home is taking shape according to plan. If more homeowners did this, there would be a lot fewer law suits and arbitrations. Staying on top of your construction site prevents structural problems.
For more information on home building and planning, download our free book. Read all 98 pages of information, and read our site in order to be informed about home building. The steps in building a dream home cannot be rushed through.