Tips for Building a Home

By Mick Travis , last updated September 28, 2011

Building a home is an intensely involved and monumental undertaking, with many important details and considerations to mull over before and during the process. These tips are a basic primer on building a home, with the advice placed in the order in which it'll most likely be needed. This article is intended for those who've already been approved for a mortgage, have settled on a building plan, and are ready for construction.

If you've got the plans ready to go, and the mortgage to back it up, you're going to need to select a building location. The importance of picking the best location for your own set of personal needs and wants cannot be understated. Look at issues such as the types of neighbors you're looking for (e.g. young and single, married and family-oriented, retired, etc.), and where available land is in those communities which are the most appealing. You'll also want to consider important factors such as how close vacant land lots are to your work, to neighborhood schools, to major transportation routes, and to shopping centers. Important tip: When you've settled on a property, make sure that your house plans have been run by the local zoning board before buying and clearing a property.

Once you've gotten the property, you'll need to hire a contractor. One valuable tip here is to not only ask friends and family who they would recommend, but also to search online reviews of local contractors. Don't just settle for a second opinion: you should be getting third, fourth and fifth opinions regarding potential contractors and their level of competence and trustworthiness. Regarding contractors, you'll want to have a reasonable and fairly solid timeline in mind, and make sure that the contractor is aware of, and in agreement with, this timeline. This will likely entail making frequent trips to the building site to make sure satisfactory progress is being made, as well as regular phone calls to the contractor for progress updates.

Lastly, you'll want to avoid making last-minute changes to building plans unless absolutely necessary for safety, budgetary or zoning reasons. Changes made during the process can cost big time and slow progress considerably.

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