5 Things to Know When Building a New House

Building a new home can be exciting and sometimes overwhelming. Although you will hire a contractor for your project, the exercise won’t be passive. There are many decisions you will have to make. If unwilling or unable to make them, the builder will make them for you. However, this will put you at the risk of having a home that won’t meet your expectations. Here are 5 things to know when building a new house.

1. The Numbers

The first and most important thing is to determine whether you have the necessary resources for building your dream home. Most house plans come with a cost-to-build tool. This provides an accurate construction costs estimate on the bases of where you want to build a house. The most important numbers to know include the construction costs, tax benefits, down payment funds, slush account, and related calculations.

2. Your Builder’s Reputation

Builders are different. It’s important to do some research to know whether the builder you want to choose has a good reputation. You can get recommendations from friends and family or get information online. It’s important to choose a respected builder that is known for being punctual and delivering excellent results.

3. The Future

It’s important to envision your future in the house you want to build. The home you want to build might not be your last one. Therefore, build with future resale in mind. Avoid many upgrades that can overprice the house in your neighborhood and make it hard to sell.

4. Green is Always Better

Maximize the energy efficiency of your new home design. Work with your builder and architect to incorporate features that make your new home energy efficient.

5. The Punch List

This is a list of the things to do or repair in your new construction. You should come up with this list with your contractor before closing. Go through the construction and the site to know what should be done to make the new house your dream home.

There are many things you need to know when building a new house. However, these are the most important things to have in mind for the successful completion of your project.

How to Identify an Efficient Contractor

Contractors are under pressure to complete construction projects within tight deadlines. Failure to meet deadline can affect their relationships with clients and project costs negatively. But, when looking for a contractor, you need an efficient professional. Here are tips to help you identify an efficient contractor.

Efficient Contractors Use Quality Materials

An efficient contractor focuses on delivering results that their clients will be proud of. Low quality materials can lead to construction defects. These can necessitate repeat or redoing of the same work severally. Eventually, this will lead to spending more time on a construction project.

To avoid this, efficient contractors go for quality construction materials only. They also ensure that the materials are delivered pre-assembled or in full in a timely manner. This ensures that construction processes are never delayed as workers wait for materials at the site.

Efficient Contractors are Innovative

An efficient contractor knows the importance of technology in the construction industry. They are constantly learning new and better ways of providing construction solutions. These professionals are always changing their practices and habits.

For instance, an efficient contractor will be the first to introduce a new, more effective machine in the industry. They also learn new and better ways to build energy efficient and eco-friendly houses. Thus, in addition to having your project completed in a timely manner, hiring an efficient contractor guarantees you an energy efficient and eco-friendly house.

Streamlined Processes

Perhaps, this is what makes an efficient contractor stand out. This professional has streamlined construction process. From bidding and sourcing materials to actual construction and closing, an efficient contractor has clear, streamlined process. These enable them to easily meet the deadlines they agree on with clients. They have what it takes to handle every construction step seamlessly.

You hire a contractor to build a house that you will be proud of. Choose an efficient contractor to have your house completed within your timelines.

Should I Move or Remodel? – The Ultimate Checklist

You have lived in a house for some years. That means you have become fond of it. However, it might no longer be what you want or need. As such, you are torn between moving and remodeling. The answer for whether to move or remodel is dependent on several factors.

Here is the ultimate checklist that you should consider when deciding whether to move or remodel your home:

Is the House in Your Heart?

Emotions have a significant influence on the decision to move or remodel. Therefore, think about your connection with the house and the neighborhood. If you have strong emotional connection with the home, renovating it might be the best option. When done properly, remodeling will enhance the look and functionality of your house.

Can You Come Up with a Realistic Budget?

When deciding whether to move or remodel a home, realistic budgeting is very important. Think about the duration for which you can stay in the home after remodeling it. Have your goals in mind and identify all financial risks that are associated with your aspirations and dreams. Budget accurately if you opt to renovate the home instead of moving out.

Is the Home Spacious Enough?

One of the reasons to move is the need for extra space. However, you can create more space with a smarter layout. For instance, you can increase the square footage of your home with additions. You can also reconfigure your home to add more space and allow your family a more efficient layout. Thus, you can add space without moving out of your home.

How Long Will Remodeling Take?

Remodeling a home entails energy and time commitment. You have to think about the project and stick to it for some time. For instance, a kitchen remodel that involves installation of new cabinets, countertops, floors and appliances can take up to 6 months. Remodeling a home will take longer if wiring, plumbing and ductwork have to be done. This combined with bathroom remodeling will take longer. Therefore, find out whether you have sufficient time for home remodel to know the best way to go.

Basically, the decision to move or remodel is largely personal. However, you need to make these considerations to decide what works best for you.

Amazing Ideas for Building a New Home

Man on construction site with plans in hand

When you decide to build a new home, you start looking for attractive new home ideas. 3D visualization and imaging enables architects and designers to share ideas with people that want to build new homes with ease. These experts can use modern technology to enable you to visualize the floor plan and façade design of your new house with ease. Here are some of the new home ideas that you should consider.

Comfortable and Spacious Family Home

Think of a 4-bedroom house that is meant for a small family. This is an ideal home for a family that wants peace and comfort no matter where the building is located. It can have car garage, master bedroom, and secondary bedroom as well as a self-contained apartment. The living room can be situated on the ground and the house can be accessible from different entry points.

Pale Green Façade Home

Pale green color is not common among the facades of most homes. However, it’s not the only defining factor for the beauty of a country cottage. This façade looks amazing when stone and wood are introduced. A home with this façade can have a complex gable roof, large patios and balconies. Balconies are particularly important because they allow a family to enjoy a panoramic view of their surrounding nature. It can also have a stylish sauna to enhance comfort during winter. It may come with a master bedroom and en suite bathroom.

Glamour Log Home

Log homes are ornately designed with wood frames. They feature a traditional style and a spacious patio. The patio provides a great space for relaxing with family members and friends. It can have a dark tone façade balanced with white door frames and window. There can also be a deck to allow you access the garden pond.

Share these ideas with your designer or architect. They will help you determine whether the ideas are ideal for you or not depending on the location of your land.

Useful Tips for Building a Home

Almost everybody dreams of building a home. However, this is not something easy. Nevertheless, building a home comes with numerous advantages. For instance, when you build your home from the ground, you decide its features and the materials to use. You also build a home that meets the needs and style of your family.

To overcome challenges that come with new home construction, follow these tips:

Plan Carefully

Plan in advance and consider every detail of your dream home. For instance, consider the needs of your family to ensure that the final home caters for them fully. When planning, conduct extensive research both locally and online. You can also talk to construction experts about your needs. If possible, attend shows to get ideas and incorporate them in your project.

Select Your Home Builder Carefully

Before you hire a contractor or a builder, make sure that they are registered professionals. Also take time to view the work that they have done in the past. You can also talk to their clients to find out whether they are satisfied by the quality of the provided services.

Sort Out Your Finances

Building a new home is costly. In fact, many people get construction loans to build new homes. It’s therefore important that you sort out your finances first before you embark on the construction project. If you intend to get a construction loan, come up with a fully priced house plan. Present it to the lender to know the amount that you are eligible for.

Sign a Written Contract

Before you hire a builder, make sure that they have presented a written contract. This should indicate the responsibilities of each party. Make sure that you have read and understood the contract carefully before you sign it. Also ensure that there are not alterations on your house plan before and after construction.

Inspect the Completed House

After construction, inspect the house carefully. Have a registered, independent inspector check the house to ensure that the right procedures and materials were used to complete it.

Even if this is your first home, follow these tips to ensure that the construction job is done professionally.

Essential Phases of Successful Construction Budgeting

Man on construction site with plans in hand

Whether constructing a new property or renovating an existing one, construction budgeting is generally a tremendous undertaking. In fact, even successful construction managers find setting proper project expectations challenging due to the possibility of having unforeseen hiccups. Nevertheless, you can ensure that your project hits your targets by dividing the project into the following phases while budgeting.

Phase 1: Discovery and analysis

Start the budgeting process by assembling a team. Essentially, you need help to plan your construction budget. Therefore, conduct some research and carefully analyze the requirements and goals of your construction project. Know why, how, and when to start the construction project. Once you have planned out all these, start working on the specifics. These include evaluation of the existing documentation and site condition. Assess the project limitations and resources. Make sure that you know the realistic limits and work within them. Additionally, find out about specific code and safety requirements as well as the required permits.

Phase 2: Design and develop

Determine the scope of your construction project. Meet the design consultants and the architect. Analyze potential work and creative options. Align all decision makers and stakeholders with the final design. Come up with a list of the required materials and get more assistance if necessary. Once you have factored all costs that will be involved, finalize your construction budget as well as the timeline then start getting bids from potential, competent contractors.

Phase 3: Pre-construction and documentation

This is where you seek approval of the design and construction budget. Essentially, make sure that all decision-makers understand your project and are ready to go ahead with it. This entails meeting all stakeholders, including contractors, designers, and architects to discuss your project in details. Assess potential issues and resolve them during the meeting. Additionally, keep documentations for regulation, permits, contracts, and deliverables organized. This will reduce or prevent frustration and keep the project running smoothly.

Phase 4: Construction and eventual closeout

Monitor the construction process and ensure that progress stays within your schedules and budget. Remember that you will face hurdles during the construction process. Therefore, work hard to address them. If there are changes that have to be made, make sure that they are noted and tracked. Identify problems and work them out before they escalate. Also align all stakeholders, including utilities, with your budget and schedules. Keep progress payments accurate, fair, and timely depending on the completed work. Finally, closeout the project and enjoy your hard work’s fruits.

Generally, a construction project is not easy to accomplish. Follow these phases to budget your project and ensure its smooth completion.

Tips for Handling Residential Construction Projects on Tight Budgets

Many people are scared by the costs of residential construction projects. But, do you know that your construction project can cost a lesser amount than you think?  

Here are tips on how to handle your construction project on a tight budget without compromising beauty and comfort:

Get early estimates

Before you plan your construction project, collect estimates early. This will enable you to make more informed building decisions. Understand what contractors charge for the design and building process. With this knowledge, you will include hidden costs and modify your construction plans to suit your budget.

Know what goes into a construction project

Contractors do more than just erecting a building. And, the more a contractor does, the higher the cost of a construction project. For instance, your construction costs will rise if the contractor has to clear trees, blast rocks, and provide an extensive drainage. Therefore, know what the contractor will do as well as the public utilities and services to be installed.

Pick simple shapes

Complex building shapes like triangles, curves, and trapezoids are expensive and difficult to build. Therefore, to save money, think primitively. For instance, pick a rectangular or square floor plan. Avoid a complicated roof-line and a cathedral ceiling. Talk to your contractor about the shape of your building to know how it will affect your total construction cost.

Use recycled construction materials

Recycled materials are environmental friendly and they lower the total cost of construction. Therefore, look for products like cement composites, sawdust, pressed straw paneling, and recycled steel. Also consider reclaimed windows, doors, lighting fixtures, lumber, fireplace mantels, and plumbing fixtures.

Focus on quality

Don’t be fooled into buying any cheap material or product just to cut down the construction cost. Instead, focus on getting quality products and materials at the most reasonable prices. Remember that cheap is expensive. Therefore, buy cheap but quality materials and products to ensure the integrity of your property.

My friends over in Texas that owns Appliance Repair San Antonio will always suggest doing your research and buying quality brands for your home, you will avoid unnecessary home expenses that may be caused by poor choices of the final stages on your home construction.

When a budget is tight, it’s easy to be tempted to avoid hiring an experienced contractor. But, bear in mind that a professional contractor knows the costly mistakes that should be avoided during the construction process. Therefore, work with a reputable contractor when handling residential construction projects on tight budget.

How Construction Companies can Save Money and Survive

Construction projects are generally pricy. But, construction companies want to build the best houses for their clients using innovative technologies and quality materials. However, the cost of operating in this industry is on the rise. Regulatory fees are also piling up. Nevertheless, there are ways to lower construction costs that contractors can use to build dream houses for their clients without compromising quality.

They are as follows:

Shopping around

The best way to save money when handling a residential or commercial construction project is to shop around. Find out where you can get the best price for quality construction equipment and materials. Even if you have used the same construction equipment rental firm or material supplier for years, check the current market prices occasionally. Also check the prices of administrative and office supplies to ensure that you are not ripped off by your current supplier.

Invest in quality tools

Don’t focus on getting cheap tools. Instead, invest in quality tools that will enable you to operate faster without compromising quality of your work. It’s important that you create an inventory of the equipment and tools that you buy. Make sure that employees sign out and back whenever they use them. This will prevent loss of expensive tools.

Set clear policies

Instituting clear policies in your construction firm will go a long way in making your company the best and lowering operational costs. For instance, you should set a clear policy for petty cash. Basically, it’s okay for a construction company to pay lunch for workers during special occasions. However, avoid misuse of cash by setting limits. If your company provides electronics to employees, make sure that there is a responsibility policy. Ensure that every employee knows that if an item leaves the construction project site on their hands, they will be responsible for its damage repair or replacement.

These are some of the best ways via which construction companies can save money and survive in this competitive industry. Follow them and your firm will remain competitive despite the rise in the construction costs.

Ways to Make More Money from Construction Jobs

A house under construction in Sedona Lakes, a master-planned community along County Road 101 just east of Texas 288 in Manvel.

For many contractors, increasing profits from construction jobs means working longer and harder. But, what if you are already working long hours and working harder sounds stressful? Perhaps, you don’t want to cut costs because that will compromise quality of the houses that you build. Nevertheless, there are ways via which you can still make more money from your construction project.

These are as follows:

Bid carefully

Bidding on a job in the construction industry takes time. However, it is very important and you need to get things right to avoid getting burned. If your bid is too high, you will most likely not get the job. And if it is too low, you will lose money. Therefore, you must be very careful. Essentially, select your construction projects carefully. Pick a construction project to bid for when you know that it will be profitable. Check cost estimates to ensure that they are close to the costs of the actual project. Adjust your future bids to make more profits going forward.

Increase efficiency in your crew

You don’t have to crack the whip every day to make your team efficient. Always remember that workers are important to your construction firm. Therefore, treat them well. Basically, keep workers happy and they will be more efficient. For instance, you can buy them lunch occasionally, pay them for the time off when they go visiting a doctor, running errands, or watching kids. You can also host company parties during which you reward your crew. Also listen to workers and help them when they have genuine problems. Additionally, avoid overtime by scheduling projects carefully.

Consider the total cost of equipment and tools rather that the purchase price only

Extra expenses on parts and tools are counterintuitive. Cheaper parts and tools need replacement more often. Therefore, consider the long-term costs of parts and tools. Also consider the amount of money that will go into their operation and its impact on the business. Thus, before you buy a tool, estimate the cost of using it.

Take care of your tools  

Your tools will last longer with minimal repair or replacement costs when maintained properly. Properly maintained tools are also safe and efficient to use. Therefore, keep a schedule and a checklist for maintaining your tools. Have a maintenance record for tools that need regular servicing.

Avoid wasting materials

Masonry materials that are wasted on construction jobs go into the landfills. Unfortunately, material wastage increases the cost of a construction project. Therefore, calculate costs and try to cut them by minimizing wastes. Store, cover, and stack materials to prevent theft or soiling.

These are five ways to make more money from any construction project. Follow them to enhance profitability of your construction business.

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How a Construction Company can save you Money on a Building Construction

Man on construction site with plans in hand

You might think that being your own contractor will save you money on a building construction. Unfortunately, this is not true. In fact, doing so might increase your construction costs. Contractors are experienced professionals. They have built several commercial and residential properties. As such, they know what it takes to build the best properties. And, involving them in your construction project will save you money in the long run and enable you to have your dream property.

Here are some of the ways via which a construction company can save you money on your construction project:

Adhere to the code requirements

Your contractor knows the code requirements in your area. Involving them in the design process will therefore enable you to avoid damaging your timeline. When you work with the contractor from the beginning, you cut the total cost of your construction project by buying the right materials. That’s because they know the cost of the right construction materials, where and how to get them at the lowest prices possible. Additionally, involving your contractor from the beginning will enable you to take advantage of the latest and affordable design options.

Know what exactly you want

You may want to build a house but you don’t know how exactly you want it to look like. A good contractor will take your idea and magnify it. This will enable you to understand how the building will look like and the special features that it will have. This will save you the costs that you may have to incur in the future on realizing that your new house needs modifications.

Minimize change orders  

Change orders increase construction costs. They also slow down the construction schedules. These changes happen when there are changes in the original plan during or after the construction project. When you involve a good contractor from the beginning, you avoid unnecessary change orders thereby keeping the total costs of your construction low.

Generally, you will save money on your building construction if you work with a construction company from the beginning to the end. Nevertheless, choose a reputable construction firm to have the best experience throughout.