Whether you’re building an English Cottage or a Modern Farmhouses, new home construction can be overwhelming. But don’t worry! Elements wants to help you better understand what to consider when building a new home.  Read on to learn more…

What to Consider When Building a New Home

Deciding to build your house is a big deal, and we want to make sure that important questions get answered. So, to help you, we put together this list of things to consider when building a new home.

Determining What Matters: First Steps

  • Decide 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.)

Documentation Recommendations

  • Establish a consistent and easy-to-record way to communicate with your builder, architect, or contractor. This will ensure they maintain ownership of changes, roles, and responsibilities. (At Elements, most of this is handled on our Homeowner’s Page, which shows an up-to-date schedule, budget, 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. If you’re building the house with a significant other, make sure both of you are on the same page.
  • Consider your availability and the flexibility of your schedule. Establish with your agent, builder, and/or contractor what your availability is to discuss the build.
  • Issues will inevitably arise during building.  So, delegate a specific person (you or your significant other) who can answer calls that require immediate attention.
  • Do you like the communication style of the architect, builder, 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.  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 will pop up.  Those obstacles are better managed when you understand who is supposed to do what and why.  So, let’s take a look at the roles and responsibilities of various people.

Homeowners: It’s your responsibility to know what you can afford.  You must clearly articulate the aspects of the house you particularly care about, as well as the ones that are less important to you.

Real Estate Agents: Their 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.  The builder supervises and guides the build, as well as keeps the team and build on schedule. Keep in mind 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.  These people design the house according to the clients’ requests.  They also ensure 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.

Want more information about building a new home?

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive a FREE downloadable eBook, “Building a New Home on Your Land: A Step-By-Step Guide.”

Also, check out the articles on our blog page, including “Timeline to Build a House.”