Tag Archive 'home building'

Jul 24 2012

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6 Things to do Before You Build Your New Home – The House Plan Shop

BlueprintsWhen it comes to building a new home, the building process begins long before you break ground and pour the foundation. Discover six things you should do to prepare for your new home before construction begins.

 

  1. Decide on the type of home. People build homes for all types of reasons – family home, stepping up from a starter home, downsizing to an empty-nester, vacation home, rental property, weekend retreat, etc. Determine what type of home you plan to build.
  2. Determine your budget. Think about how much you can afford to spend on your new home and how much your new home will cost. Start checking with lenders to find out what size construction loan and mortgage you’re qualified to obtain. Knowing how much money you’ll be able to borrow and the likely cost of your new home will help you plan your building budget. Once you know what you can spend, you’ll have to determine how much of your budget can be spent on the lot and how much of your budget can be spent on construction, materials, etc.
  3. Hire a team of professionals. Assemble a team of professionals with expertise in the construction business. Your team will include the following professionals as well as others: your builder/general contractor, excavator, building inspector, carpenter(s), electrician, plumber, surveyor and maybe even a residential designer or engineer should you need to make adjustments to your house plans. If you begin by hiring the builder/general contractor, this expert will be able to provide advice about hiring other pros or may even have a crew of pros that he/she works with on a regular basis. Tip: Do not settle for the first builder you meet. It is important to interview more than one general contractor/builder, ask for references, proof of insurance, etc. Additionally, get a good feel for the kind of person each builder is and if this professional is someone you can work with and talk to on a daily basis for the next 6 to 9 months (or maybe even longer.) Finally, ask yourself, “Is this a person you can trust with handling and coordinating all of the details for your future dream home?”
  4. Select a lot. Regardless if you plan to build in a neighborhood, on mountainside or along a country road, it is often best to choose your lot before you select a house plan. You’ll have to consider the parameters of the lot such as the maximum width and depth, the grade of the lot, physical features on the lot, etc. when choosing your floor plan. Knowing the “lay of the land” will help you select a floor plan that best suits your needs and fits the lot. Additionally, you and your team of pros will need to study factors about the lot such as zoning, drainage, soil conditions and building codes specified for the community as well as geographic and climactic requirements.
  5. Choose a house plan. Make a list of needs and wants for your future home such as total finished square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, special rooms such as an office, convenient features like a kitchen island/snack bar, the width and depth of your lot, preferred architectural style and the type of foundation you’ll need. Now search pre-drawn house plan collections like those found at www.TheHousePlanShop.com to narrow your selection. Most websites have a search tool to make it easy to eliminate floor plans that do not offer your specified criteria. Keep in mind pre-draw/stock home plans can often be modified with the help of a modification team, local residential designer or even your builder. If you find a floor plan you like, but it isn’t quite what you need, discuss your minor modifications with your builder or contact the supplier of the house plan to see if they can make modifications for you. At The HousePlanShop, LLC, we offer a modification service by which you can obtain a free quote for your changes before you purchase plans giving you an opportunity to learn how much things will cost before you make your final decision on a floor plan.
  6. Draw up a contract. After you’ve determined your budget, selected a team of professionals, chosen a lot and purchased a house plan, you’ll need to draw up a construction contract. The contract should be written and signed and dated by you and your general contractor/builder. The construction contract will describe the construction of the home in detail and list all parts of the home to be included. If you or your builder make any changes to the project scope, it is necessary that you amend the contract. Keeping a written record of the scope of the construction project will help you as the home owner know what things have been completed, what still needs to be done and if any problems need to be resolved.

 

Following this list steps to complete before you break ground for your new home will help ensure your home building project gets off to a good start.

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Feb 02 2012

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Today’s Home Building Trends – The House Plan Shop

House Plan 023H-0102There is no doubt home building trends have changed throughout the years and continue to evolve. Today’s home building trends are influenced by environmental factors, homeowner preferences, the availability of land and other factors. Some of today’s building trends keep the comfort and lifestyle of the homebuyers in mind as well as call each of us to be more environmentally responsible. Check out these home building trends:

 

  1. Gathering spaces are open to one another allowing for easy interaction among family members and guests. For those with an eye on the golden years, open floor plans allow for easy mobility should you one day find yourself using a walker or wheelchair.
  2. Kitchens are becoming larger in size as most families consider the kitchen to be the hub of activity throughout the day.
  3. Master bedrooms and bathrooms have become larger and more spacious serving as a quiet retreat at the end of the day while offering homeowners a place to relax, refresh and pamper themselves.
  4. Plenty or organizational spaces are a must. Floor plans are including built-in shelving, display niches, abundant closet space, built-in desks, drop zones/lockers near the garage entry and convenient linen closets.
  5. Garages have grown in many cases to accommodate over-sized vehicles like trucks and SUVs while others use the extra space to provide a workbench or storage cabinets. Some garages are becoming environmentally-friendly offering a space for a charging station for electric vehicles or leaving room for a charging station in the future.
  6. Use of sustainable and environmentally-friendly building materials is becoming more common.
  7. Energy-saving and eco-friendly features such as low-flow toilets and energy efficient windows are gaining popularity and add vault to the home.
  8. Multi-generational living is trending upward and homeowners are finding a need to include a guest or in-law suite in the home or a mother-in-law cottage or garage apartment located behind or adjacent to the home. This allows aging relatives to continue to live in a home or somewhat independently with assistance nearby if necessary.
  9. Designers and builders are making an effort to take advantage of natural lighting by carefully positioning the home on the lot and the windows in the home to draw natural light inside, thus saving on lighting and energy bills.
  10. Home builders are making an effort to use less toxic materials and incorporate recycled materials when possible.
  11. Many builders are incorporating security systems including alarms and motion lighting around the perimeter of the home.
  12. Home designers are carefully arranging floor plans to have a narrow footprint especially in densely populated areas where land is precious.
  13. Floor plans often include large porches, screened porches, decks, patios, etc., for outdoor living and entertaining.
  14. Designers are including flexible spaces in their floor plans. For example, a full bath might be included in a den or office so the space can easily convert to a guest room with weekend visitors arrive. For those who only have occasional visitors, there is no need to have a designated guest room that is only used a couple times a year. In other cases, the flex space is meant to change and flex as your lifestyle changes. What might serve as a nursery when the kids are young can convert to a home office or hobby room as you move through the various phases of life.

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Feb 09 2011

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Building a House: Home Building Professionals You May Need to Hire

The ContractorIf you are planning to build a new house in the near future, it is necessary to understand it will not be a simple task. Unless you are a qualified building professional or you have all of the specific skills required for a residential construction project, you will need to hire a builder or contractor. Or if you plan to be your own general contractor, you will be responsible for hiring all of the subcontractors skilled in the various building trades to contribute to the construction of your new home. Below is a list of all the skilled professionals you may need to hire to build your house.

 

·         Excavator to clear the lot

·         Concrete/Foundation contractor to build and set concrete forms and pour the concrete foundation

·         Carpenter to frame the home

·         Roofer to install roof covering, i.e. shingles

·         Insulation contractor

·         Electrician to wire the home and install outlets, switches and fixtures

·         Plumber to install all plumbing and related fixtures

·         Stone mason, bricklayer or someone to install exterior finish and trim

·         Drywall contractor to install/hang drywall

·         Taper and painter to cover and paint interior walls and trim

·         Finish carpenter to install interior doors and finish the inside of the home with trim, moldings and some decorative elements

·         Flooring contractor to lay tile, carpet, hardwood flooring, etc.

·         Lawn crew to sew grass seed, lay sod and landscape the yard

·         Interior decorator to add all the finishing touches

·         Garage door contractor to install overhead garage doors

 

Depending on all the details of your new home and the special elements you’d like to include, it may be necessary to hire additional building professionals.

 

For more information about home plans or building with stock house plans, please visit The House Plan Shop.

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Aug 10 2009

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Country Music Stars:Heartwarming Home Building

Filed under Miscellaneous

Last week, Great American Country (GAC) reported and posted heartwarming stories about two country music stars.

 

Singer Kellie Pickler shared her talents with ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” in Beavercreek, OH. Not only did she perform a few hit songs at the home of a well-deserving family who will benefit from the rebuilding and remodeling of their home, but she also pitched in with the construction work. The episode is scheduled to air this fall.

 

Performer Sammy Kershaw was scheduled to play last Friday at a Habitat for Humanity build in Cambridge, OH. Sammy’s project was the building of a “Kershaw Kabin” which was expected to last all weekend.

 

Read more at GACTV.com.

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