How to Build a Home on Your Lot
While it may seem easier to buy a pre-existing home, there is so much more flexibility with building a home on your lot or on a lot you intend to purchase. It is difficult to find the perfect house on the perfect piece of land. When you choose to build your own custom home, you can make sure the location is exactly where you want it to be, you can customize the home down to the very last detail, and you can avoid the hassle of HOA regulations limiting your home design. If you want a certain type of roof, a detached guesthouse, a fountain in the front yard, three stories, floor to ceiling windows or any other special feature, it can be difficult to find or obtain them in a traditional production neighborhood. Finding a good custom home builder can make the entire process of building a new home manageable and even fun.
Obtaining Your Lot
If you don’t already own a lot, begin the search for that perfect piece of land early. Working with a builder at this stage can be advantageous because the builder can advise you on whether or not your desired home plans will work on the lot you intend to buy. Custom home builders bring a lot to the table at this point because they can help you avoid purchasing a lot that might require compromise on your dream home. Some builders will even team up with Realtors to package a lot sale and house plans that fit the lot together. Unless you are experienced at purchasing land and choosing house plans to fit the land, bringing the builder in early is a good way to avoid frustrations throughout the entire home building process.
What the Builder Should Know
Custom home builders will have to look into zoning restrictions, local ordinances, the possibility of reclaimed land, water tables, and subcontractors who are accustomed to building outside of production neighborhoods before committing to building on your lot. It is a good idea for you and the builder to make sure any subcontractors being considered are reputable and reliable. If you already own a lot and have some of this information, provide it to the builder. This way, the builder can advise you on costs and a timeframe for the project. Keep in mind that a home that is being fully customized will take longer to complete than a home built from plans that the builder supplies.
The builder should be able to give you a rough estimate on how long the construction will take. Cost structures vary from builder to builder so be sure to ask what is included in cost quotes and what’s not. Costs can change when building a custom home, so it is important to allow for some wiggle room prior to starting the home. Some builders, like Arthur Rutenberg Homes, will work out a personalized custom home plan that can give you an exact cost and help lock in financing. There are many costs to consider like building permits, septic tank installation, the foundation, framing, plumbing, electrical, heating, flooring, fixtures, painting and others in addition to the builder’s cut. Ask for a complete cost breakdown and make sure you understand it.
Building a home on your land is exciting, and being involved in the building process should be a fun experience if you find a good builder and know what to expect.