a design for your new home can be very exciting and
a little overwhelming. It is important to choose
a house plan that is functional for your family and
lifestyle. But this is just one of the many important
factors to keep in mind while building your new home.
Here are a few important tips to follow to ensure
that there won't be any unexpected expenses or surprises.
Your land or property: Have a qualified builder
walk your lot or property to help determine whether
or not the houseplan you chose is suitable for your
property. If possible bring your builder along with
you to check the property before you buy. This is very
important to determine whether or not you will need
additional fill, clearing of trees, property grade
for exposed basements, or positioning of septic systems
and wells, if needed. These are expenses that might
not be included in your original bid or building contract
and could surprise you at the end. So ask your builder
upfront about these possible expenses.
Your builder and the contract: Make sure the
bid or contract from your builder
is very clear about the
products that are included in the price. If your
builder gives allowances for things such as the cabinetry,
flooring, and lighting, ask him if the allowances
installation. The "allowances" is an area
that is often underpriced to make the bid look more
price appealing. If possible, spend a day pricing
certain lighting items like chandeliers and pendant
lighting, or flooring such as hardwood and ceramic
tile to get a good idea if the allwoances are enoughto
cover the quality of product you plan on having in
Signed Lien Waivers: In addition to the
down payment that most builders will require to start
the job, funds
are typically distributed to the builder in the form
of "draws" for work completed. Make sure
your builder receives signed lien waivers from each
of his subcontractors for work completed to date.
The signed lien waivers are very important because
let you know that the subcontractors have been paid
and that they won't put a lien against your home
Change Orders: If you make any changes to the original
contact with your builder, get it confirmed in writing
with how much it will cost to make the change. Sorry,
but a gentlemens' handshake is not good enough.
Insurance on Day One: Talk to your insurance agent
and let him know when you will be starting construction
on your new home. Verify with your builder that he
and his workers are properly insured as well. If he
does not provide insurance for his workers, ask him
if he has received Certificates of Worker's Comp insurance
from his subcontractors.
most important rule to follow when building your new
home is to follow
your instincts. If something
sounds too good to be true, it is. If you have to
be "talked" into
anything, don't do it. Ask your builder for references
of customers, subcontractors and vendors. If he won't
give them to you, move on and find another builder.
Building a new home is one of the most expensive
decisions you will ever make....and you should have
of mind while building it.