Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Safety Tips for Building Your First Home

Diana Smith is guest hosting today, she is one of my favorite people to have on the blog. She has great advice that everyone could use. In the even that you are about to build your first home, check out these great tips!

Aside from being a huge investment, building a home from scratch is also a rewarding experience, as it gives you an opportunity to customize the house to suit your tastes, wishes and needs. If there is ever an opportunity to do so, you should always look to inspect display homes. On top of it, no episode of The Renovators can prepare you or the real deal, as the amount of experience you’ll gain is incomparable to anything you’ve read or seen. However, it can also be an immensely stressful project, as many things may go wrong. And while some construction blunders like a hole in the drywall or spilled paint are easy to fix, read through these six tips to avoid major errors that require a significantly more time, energy and money to correct.
Make sure it’s affordable
When building a home, size does matter. A larger home automatically means paying more in mortgage payments, property taxes, maintenance, utilities and furnishings. On the other hand, you don’t what to spend time and money by building something too small for any redesign or expansion options later on. Think thoroughly about the amenities you’ll need and what you can afford. This way any future regrets can be prevented. The variety of factors like upgraded specifications or materials, cost increase or weather delays can make the whole affair more expensive than you planned. It’s said that no house is built at or under the budget.  

Budget more than you bargained for
Building a home is a process that always costs more than the homeowners expect. Aside from abovementioned variables, there is a number of times that builders normally don’t include in the estimate they give you. For example, your builder is probably not going to include electric and gas metres, broadband connection or window coverings. Also, an estimate rarely includes items like landscaping, outdoor pathways, fences, gates and decks. All these are collectively called finishing costs and may amount to 15-25% of your budget. Then there are costs related to preparing your site for construction and you may also be liable to planning application fees. This budget calculator can be of great help once the items and expenses start accumulating.
Plan for the landscape
Not many homeowners give enough though to initial development and planning of their landscapes. On the other hand, a house centred on the lot bordered by fences doesn’t leave a lot of interesting options for the future. You need a landscape design that is like a floor plan for your outdoor area. Using scaled dimensions, it’s a visual representation of the site with all the natural and man-made elements drafted. These include flower beds, trees and grassy areas as well as lawn furniture, fountains and sheds. Landscape design plans often outline irrigation routes and outdoor lighting.

Upgrades and changes on the go
Some builders will allow you to make changes during the process – move a door, align the veranda, or reposition the bath. On the other hand, there are contractors who don’t allow you to make changes once the plan is signed. This style of building may prove challenging unless you are not a visual person. That is where your ability to plan in advance jumps in – if you have every detail down to the bathroom mirror sorted out before the construction begins, you won’t need to make adjustments on the go. Nonetheless, always ask your building company how much leeway you have for small alterations during the process.   

Choose the right builder
Perhaps one of the most important decisions you’ll make is to pick the right building company. Keep in mind that you’ll have to stick with your choice for many months, so getting this step right can save you a lot of stress down the road. First of all, make sure your builder is adequately licenced and insured. Also, check if the company is a member of the Housing Industry Association or Master Builders. Then, inquire about the builder’s past work or ask for references. While you are checking with the Department of Fair Trading if there are any complaints, look into resale data on some of the houses the builder has constructed. Finally, make sure the builder you choose has experience with your design style. It’s hard to find reputable home builders with decades of experience in realising all kinds of residential projects, from small retirement homes to ultra-modern luxury residences.  
Start a Pinterest board
When choices seem to become overwhelming, having a Pinterest board with all the images and ideas relevant to your future home is a good reference point. Whenever you need, you’ll be able to return to your original ideas and see where you started. While it may prove challenging to describe to a builder, plumber or electrician what you want done in a room, an image at hand will certainly make things easier.
Building a home doesn’t need to be an arduous process. If you come forward with a solid plan, resilient budget and a plenty of ideas, the only thing you need is an experienced builder to work these into your dream home.

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