What to Expect When Building a New Home
Whether you’re building an Elements Urban home or one of our sprawling Modern Farmhouses, new home construction contains many unknowns and can be overwhelming—especially if you’re unsure where to start. Depending on square footage, weather conditions, and the availability of workers and supplies, the construction of a new home can take anywhere from four months to over a year.
But don’t worry! Elements wants to help you better understand the steps in building a house and the construction time line. From shopping for the lot of your dreams to move-in day, read on to learn about the major steps you’ll encounter while building a home.
Things to Consider When Building a New Home
Deciding to work with Elements to build your house is a big deal, and we want to make sure that important questions get answered. So, to help you out, we put together a comprehensive list of things to consider when assessing your home building timeline.
Determining What Matters: First Steps
- Determine whether you want to begin with a design or the lot.
- Check your credit score before applying for financing.
- Establish your criteria for an architect, real estate agent, and contractors.
- Always vet and research the teams you might be working with.
- Utilize resources like Better Business Bureau or your local classifieds.
- Weigh your priorities regarding location.
- Walk the neighborhood that you’re looking to build in.
- Ask your builder if the lot will require additional expenses such as septic, internet, or electricity hook-ups. (Get with Elements ahead of time, and we will be happy to help.)
- Establish a consistent and easy-to-record way to communicate with your builder, architect, or contractor to ensure they maintain ownership of changes, roles, and responsibilities. (Most of this is handled by the Elements Homeowner Page, which shows an up-to-date schedule, pricing, and current work being done.)
- Safeguard build-related documents, as these items may contain sensitive information. Try utilizing any of the Safewise-approved storage solutions.
Communication Styles and Considerations
- Building a new home can be a trying experience. So, if you’re building the house with a significant other, make sure the two of you are on the same page in terms of decision making.
- Consider your availability. You may or may not have a flexible schedule, so establish with your agent, builder, or contractor what your availability is to discuss the build.
- If issues arise unexpectedly and require your immediate attention, delegate a specific point person (you or your significant other) who can answer those calls.
- Do you like the communication style of the architect, builders, and contractors? You should feel comfortable voicing your opinion. After all, this is your home! If you don’t, perhaps reconsider working with that team.
- Always hold those involved accountable for actions, promises, or changes.
Setting Your Expectations
- Some complications are bound to happen on a job site, so prepare for some extra time in case the job goes over the expected move-in date. Weather, contractor shortage, and material shortage can be some of the difficult to control issues that can slow a job. (Elements does make every effort to limit these issues in an effort to stay on schedule.)
- Ultimately, local building permits and zoning laws will dictate project specifics and how a contractor can turn your dream home into a reality.
- After considering everything, determine if your completion date is reasonable.
Roles and Responsibilities
Problems are bound to pop up, and those obstacles are often better managed when you understand who is supposed to do what and why.
Homeowners: It’s your responsibility to know what you can afford and to articulate the aspects of the house you particularly care about, as well as the ones that are less important to you.
Real Estate Agents: There primary roles are to assist in purchasing the parcel of land, as well as the closing of the house.
Contractors, Builders, and Construction Managers: (The “Build” part of Elements Design Build.) These are the folks that make your dreams come true. Not only does a construction manager supervise and guide the build, but they also keep the team and build on schedule. Keep in mind, however, that there are components (such as weather) that might impact the build process—some things are just out of anyone’s control.
Lenders: This role is pretty straightforward. Lenders ensure you have the money to purchase a lot and build a house.
Architects and Designers: (The “Design” part of Elements Design Build.) This is a multi-disciplinary role that not only designs a house according to the clients’ requests, but also ensures that the space and structure comply with local building codes.
Specialty Contractors: These are trade-specific contractors, like HVAC technicians, electricians, painters, roofers, etc. They are hired for a specific job to help complete your home.
Inspectors: Inspectors review the designs prior to the actual build. They also periodically check in to ensure that local laws, codes, and ordinances are obeyed up until the very end of the build.
To learn more about the Timeline to Build a House, click here