There are more steps to building your own home today than ever. The new changes require much more research and shopping than in the past. New innovations in energy efficient, green housing have created many choices in materials. The advancements in electronics and a vast array of electric appliances have increased the need for electrical circuits and wiring. The new HVAC systems have to be more efficient than ever, and so do the appliances, because the cost of fuel and electricity has increased so much. Finally even luxury home builders are encouraged to decrease the size of their homes, and build them with energy efficient materials to prevent waste.
Steps to Building your Own Home Phase 1
Steps to Building your Own Home Phase 1: Research and Planning
Begin collecting information in a file, either on your computer or in hard copy. Build a virtual library of references. This site can help. Start your collection by downloading our free 98 page home building guide at the top right of the page.
Steps to Building your Own Home Phase 1: Financial Planning Research and Savings
Save as much money as possible throughout the research, planning, concept and design phases. Work to pay off all other credit obligations, pay off your credit cards, and your cars. Check to see if you owe small amounts to hospitals and doctors offices and get those off your record to build your credit score. Work on getting the best credit rating possible. Pay your utilities before they are due to help your credit score.
Steps to Building your Own Home Phase 1: Steps to Building your Own Home Research Loans
Learn about different types of loans, and about pre-qualifying, and the requirements for different types of loans. Start creating a situation in your finances, which you can get a loan. You will need to have been employed by the same company for at least a year to be considered for a loan, and two years to get an FHA loan.
Steps to Building your Own Home Phase 1: Materials Research
Learn about all the new energy efficient materials, such as structural insulated panels, insulated concrete forms or panels, closed cell insulation, and log homes, in addition to traditional stick building methods. Consider all the possibilities and keep your research concentrated on the best R-values. Energy efficiency is increasing in importance on a daily basis.
Steps to Building your Own Home Phase 1: Plumbing, Trim, and Floor Covering Research
Learn about counter tops, cabinets, built in wall cabinets, plumbing fixtures, wood work, carpets, tile and hardwood floors.
Steps to Building your Own Home Phase 1: Appliance and HVAC Research
Find out all you can about energy efficient heating, air conditioning, water heating, and appliances.
Steps to Building your Own Home Phase 1: Kitchen Layout and Design Research
Research kitchen layouts to discover why the kitchens you have seen are arranged in the ways they are. Take an inventory of your appliances and utensils and the ones you will want in order to have enough cabinet and counter space.
Steps to Building your Own Home Phase 2: Assembling a Home Building Journal
During all your research, you have no doubt found a lot of useful information, on all sorts of building materials and methods. In this process you will narrow your choices and include information in your journal which first outlines all the possibilities you are seriously considering, and finally defines your choices. Include pictures floor plans, materials swatches and samples. You will continue to use your home building journal, to outline choices made when talking to the builder.
Steps to Building your Own Home Phase 2: Collecting Ideas and Opinions
Enlist the help of your spouse, children and all the other family members who will live in your home to collect ideas to contribute to the home building journal. Each person’s ideas should be carefully considered. Sometimes children have the best ideas of all.
Steps to Building your Own Home Phase 2: Deciding What You Need
Create a rough plan of how many rooms are absolutely necessary, what quality of appliances are a bare minimum for your family, and how much square footage you absolutely must have.
Steps to Building your Own Home Phase 2: Deciding What You Want
Is their anything extra which you and your family member would really use and enjoy? If so add these options to your plan.
Steps to Building your Own Home Phase 2: Deciding What You Can Afford
Find out the average cost per square foot, in your location, for the type of home you plan to build. Calculate how much space and how many luxuries you can afford, based on your research. It may require a few sacrifices, but don’t give up anything necessary, or really wanted.
Steps to Building your Own Home Phase 2: House Plan Research
Look on-line for house plans, and see which ones meet your description. Save links in a file for later consideration. Eventually you will have to decide if you want to use one of these plans or go with one your home builder already has.
Steps to Building your Own Home Phase 3: Gather a List of Names
Compile an exhaustive list of home builders and contractors from the phone book, the home builder’s association in your area, and from online research.
Steps to Building your Own Home Phase 3: Gather Information
Learn as much as you can about these builders. Research on line, and remember to run a search for complaints, and dissatisfied customers. Ask around the community, especially among others in the industry. Be sure to ask Realtors, home loan officers, building inspectors and subcontractors. Visit open houses, and be sure to see examples of each builder’s work.
Steps to Building your Own Home Phase 3: Narrow the Choices
Narrow your choices based on recommendations, information you’ve gathered and the quality and style of homes they build.
Steps to Building your Own Home Phase 3: Visit Home Builders
Visit three to six homebuilders or contractors to obtain quotes and learn more about what they are like. Make sure that they are all bidding on the same or similar features, materials and size. Make a note of any differences.
Steps to Building your Own Home Phase 3: Compare Estimates
When comparing estimates, sometimes it’s not all about the price. Consider how easy or difficult the company is to deal with. What was your impression of the people you would actually be working with during the construction process? What are their policies? Will you be able to visit your construction site during the building process? All these factors need to be considered before making a decision.
Steps to Building your Own Home Phase 4: Excavation
Land must be cleared.
Steps to Building your Own Home Phase 4: Foundation
There are three types of foundations: slab, crawl space and basement. Which you choose depends on location, climate and soil, as well as your preference.
Steps to Building your Own Home Phase 4: Rough Plumbing and Wiring
Plumbers and electricians must place pipes and electrical wire under the home during this phase.
Steps to Building your Own Home Phase 4: Framing
Stick built framing is the traditional technique, but increasingly homes are built with structural insulated panels, insulated concrete panels, insulated concrete forms, shotcrete, and even logs. Many of these methods save significantly on construction time, and some of these materials preclude the need for sheathing, insulation, and even siding in some cases. Another choice is modular housing. This too takes much less time and labor than traditional stick building. You will want to be present to inspect the home during the framing process.
Steps to Building your Own Home Phase 4: Sheathing
Covering the home with plywood.
Steps to Building your Own Home Phase 4: Roofing
Shingles, metal, concrete or tile.
Steps to Building your Own Home Phase 4: Windows and Doors
Energy efficient doors and windows cost very little more and will pay for themselves quickly. Installing them doesn’t take a lot of time, but you will want to insure they are properly installed with a visit to the site.
Steps to Building your Own Home Phase 4: Siding
The very exterior surface of the home may be made of brick or stone veneer, vinyl siding, timber clad, log, or adobe finished concrete.
Steps to Building your Own Home Phase 4: Insulation
Insulation is now one of the most important elements of a home. It should be closed cell, with radiant barrier attic insulation. Many of the new materials include insulation in prefabricated panels.
Steps to Building your Own Home Phase 4: Dry Wall
Hanging drywall is not complicated, and some home owners choose to do this themselves.
Steps to Building your Own Home Phase 4: Finished Plumbing and Wiring
Plumbing and Wiring must be done by licensed electricians and certified and licensed plumbers. In some areas however a license is not necessary for plumbing.
Steps to Building your Own Home Phase 4: Cabinets
Cabinets and countertops are installed. These vary a lot in quality, and price.
Steps to Building your Own Home Phase 4: Paint and Wall Paper
It can cost hundreds or not thousands extra to have your home painted and most people are fully capable of interior painting, and wall paper hanging.
Steps to Building your Own Home Phase 4: Floor Coverings
Installing floor covering can be exhausting and tricky. Tiles are easy, but carpet and vinyl floor coverings must be stretched over the floor. It can be done, but you might end up with a wrinkle or two. Many companies have sweet deals on installation, when you buy the carpet. If you choose to have a shell home built, you can easily manage getting the carpet laid at very little extra expense.
Construction is changing rapidly. There are new and innovative methods and materials which can save a lot of time on construction, and create a more energy efficient and durable home than traditional construction. While procedures vary, these are the basic steps to building your own home.