Planning to build your dream home?

The “life experience” of building your own home.

Realize first, this is a huge, life-controlling undertaking.  If you’re not actually constructing the house yourself, but acting as your own contractor, you must still be on the site daily.  Daily.  Everything that can go wrong — a wall in the wrong place, holes drilled into your beautiful new kitchen cabinets that do not fit the hardware you so painstakingly selected – will go wrong if you’re not there to question everything.  Is that because subcontractors are inept?  No, most know their trade well.  However, most are in a hurry (time is money) and thinking about getting the job done (intending to do the work well), but not continuously checking the specs.

Checking the specs is your job.  Even if you hire a contractor, you must check in regularly.  And that means it’s best if you are there in person every day.

Take coffee and donuts; take pizza and soft drinks; take cookies… whatever you can to keep your popping in from being seen as a nuisance (they’ll probably still think you’re a nuisance, but will be glad you’ve brought goodies).  Don’t be adversarial.  Speak calmly when questioning things.  If a mistake has occurred, by being there daily, you will catch it early enough for correction to be made before the error multiplies.

Be aware, there are many things that can go wrong that are beyond the control of your contractor.  A neighbor’s tree is hanging over the lot line and will interfere with the construction of your second story.  That tree must either come down or be pruned drastically.  It will be up to you to deal with your neighbor (and expect the cost to be in your budget, not out of your neighbor’s pocket.  Lots of reasons for this to be so.)  The local zoning authorities have rules that your contractor hasn’t run across before.  The water table that your lot sits on is high and special drainage construction must take place to prevent your foundation from sitting in water.  And so much more.  Every error, every unexpected hiccup will cost more and delay construction.

If you determine you’d rather buy pre-built to save the headaches, be sure you get an inspection from a well-regarded inspector (your Realtor can help you find some they’ve had experience with).

Whether your house is newly built, or pre-owned, the forces of nature and time will always require that annual repair and maintenance be done.  We’ll talk about that in another posting.


What would you like to add to this posting?  Your comments are welcome!

Reblogged by ~Market Beat~


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