Have you found yourself asking, “I want to build my dream home, but where do I start?” If so, you’ve come to the right place. There is a wide range of resources available to help you get started on your home building project. Most of these resources are easy-to-access and will offer insight and knowledge about the construction project you are about to tackle. Below are just a few of the house building resources available to you.
- Talk to family members and friends who have built a home or completed another residential construction project such as building a garage. These people will speak from experience and have a wealth of knowledge to share. Ask them what worked, what didn’t go so well, what that would have planned better and what things they would do differently if they were to build again.
- Spend some time talking to professionals at local lumberyards. These people are especially knowledgeable about building materials.
- Take time to check with your local building department or building inspector. Find out what is required in your city, town or municipality for new home construction. Ask about building permits, building codes and other regulations you’ll be expected to follow.
- Contact local building professionals that have experience with residential construction and ask lots of questions. Some of these people include builders, contractors, residential designers, carpenters, electricians and other various professionals.
- If you need to get a loan, check with various mortgage lenders. Find out what steps you need to take to qualify for a loan and what the lender expects throughout the lifetime of the construction loan.
- Use the Internet. There are all sorts of construction and building websites that offer a wealth of information about the building process from beginning to end.
- Don’t forget about The House Plan Shop! We have an extensive resources page with many articles and tips to help you through the home building process. Also, you can follow us on Twitter and check out our Facebook page for current postings about building a house, residential construction, green building and other related information.
When it comes to building a new home, there are many benefits to gain by using green building methods. From choosing earth-friendly materials to following environmentally-friendly practices there are several things you and your builder can do to make your new home green. So why build GREEN? Green building and living is the way of the future. With every choice we make we have the option to protect our environment and planet or endanger them. Building a home makes a huge impact on the environment and landscape. Making responsible choices and decisions throughout the construction process helps protect the environment, our resources and our health. It is important that we do our part.
Making an effort to use green materials will help lesson your carbon footprint. (A carbon footprint in the amount of greenhouse gas emissions caused directly or indirectly by an individual, organization or an event such as building a home.) Choosing local materials to finish your home will have less of an impact on the environment than selecting materials that must be shipped from far locations. Also, when clearing your lot, only clear the space that is necessary to build the home. Leave as many mature trees and as much shrubbery undisturbed as possible. This will leave the established ecosystem in place providing homes to resident animals and insects, allowing trees and greenery to produce oxygen and provide shade reducing your summer cooling bills.
Plan to use sustainable materials when building your home such as bamboo flooring. Bamboo grows much more quickly than other timber allowing it to replenish itself in a fraction of the time it takes for hardwoods and exotic timber to reproduce. Choosing sustainable materials prevents exploitation of natural resources.
Using green or recycled materials can help increase the overall efficiency of your home and eliminate landfill wastes. Consider recycled paper or denim products to insulate your home. Choose countertops made of recycled glass instead of purchasing a granite countertop. Install high quality thermal windows cutting down on heating and cooling bills. Consider a geothermal heating and cooling system. Incorporate solar panels. Take advantage of your lot and position your home to make the best of natural lighting. Choose and install Energy Star rated appliances. All of these things help eliminate waste and reduce energy consumption (and your utility bills.)
Select and install water-conserving appliances and fixtures such as low-flow toilets and shower heads. Purchase a water-conserving washing machine and dishwasher. Not only will these choices help protect our water supply, but they will also reduce your water bill.
Choose green products to finish the interior of your home such as formaldehyde-free building materials and low-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints. These healthy alternatives help prevent respiratory problems that can arise when using traditional building materials.
So, before you build your new home, talk with your builder about these green building practices and other things you can do to make earth-friendly choices throughout the construction process.
For more information, check out these articles about green building.