The new home building process has a lot of moving parts, and you want to be sure you can keep track of all the to-dos so you can end up with a home that suits all of your wants and needs.
The best way to keep track of your home building project is to follow this checklist we’ve put together so you can understand what you need to be aware of and plan for during the process.
Understand Home Building Roles and Responsibilities
First, you need to know who is doing what for this home project. What’s your responsibility in the home building process? What’s the builder’s responsibility? Who makes the final decisions?
Let’s talk about the roles in the home building process and what their responsibilities are:
- Homeowners– Make the final decisions, communicate with your builder and clearly define what you expect and what you value in the building of your new home, and are responsible for answering questions and meeting deadlines set by the builder
- House Designer– Responsible for creating the blueprint of your home for the builders to follow
- Civil & Structural Engineers– Sign off and approve the home building plans and provide insight about potential issues throughout the home building process
- Lenders– Create a loan agreement to make it possible to build a new custom home
- Custom Home Builder Construction Manager– Responsible for providing assistance in planning the construction, executing homeowner’s wishes and best interests, and sticking to the project schedule
- Sub-Contractors– People such as electricians, roofers, painters, HVAC specialists who have relationships with the builder and work together during the home building project to keep sub-contracted projects running smoothly
- Inspectors– Review architectural designs prior to build and check in at different points during the building process to ensure everything is up to code and follows local ordinances
Important Home Building Project Questions to Answer
- What is my target home completion date?
- How should I organize my home building project?
- What’s the process of decision-making in the family? How do we most efficiently come to agree about all house-building-related decisions? Who makes final decisions for my family?
- Where will I store documents related to the home build?
- How will I keep records of communication with my builder?
Find the Right Home Builder
Seek out a builder that you can communicate well with and feel confident in their abilities because you’ve researched and seen reviews.
Location matters most. Find a place you’re happy with, but also consider topography; access to water, sewer, trash, electricity; planned development in the area; and financing. Here are some more tips for what to look for when buying land.
Obtain Building Permits & Insurance
After buying land and securing financing, reach out to your local municipality to secure all permits necessary for the build and get building insurance.
It’s crucial to understand all costs associated with your home building project– even possible unexpected costs. Here are the financial bases you need to cover:
- Credit Report– Order your credit report (which you can only do once annually) and address any errors before applying for financing
- Loan Options– Research multiple lenders to compare deals, ask for references from your builder, and obtain prequalification or preapproval from your chosen lender
- Building Budget– Talk with the builder about your priorities so you can cut out features if you have to trim the budget to fit the loan
Important Custom Home Design Questions to Answer
- What is the budget? Where do you have some flexibility?
- What’s on your wishlist?
- What rooms or features on your wishlist are must-haves in your new home?
- What features would be nice to have but you could do without if you needed to make budget cuts?
- Does the design list have any potential issues that the builder can foresee?
- Does the builder have any suggestions for ways to save on cost?
Custom Home Feature Decisions to Make
A non-exhaustive list of home feature decisions to make after your home is built may include:
- Kitchen Features– cabinets, flooring, appliances and their materials and finishes
- Laundry Room– How to design the floor plan, what features are important, and where inside the house to put it
- Flooring– Hardwood, carpeting, tiles? What type goes where?
- Color Selections– What colors in which rooms? What color outside? Ask the builder for their thoughts.
- Lighting– Consider mood, practicality, control, and style
- Location of outlets– Consider how rooms will be used, consider safety implications of outlets near water sources, and place close to cable hookups and phone lines
Set Up Water & Sewer
- Communicate with the builder about your role in setting up service– Find out about additional fees that could come up in the process or any special exceptions to the land
- Inspection– Have inspector review water and sewer hookups, footings, and plumbing
Final Cleanup & Landscaping Decisions
- Make choices about outdoor plants and consider their upkeep needs
- Get irrigation system set and operational
- Clear up remnants from construction before closing
Once your custom home is complete, it’s finally time to move in! Throw a housewarming party and get to know the neighbors.
Ready to Talk About A Custom Home?
For construction excellence through quality workmanship and the premier builder of custom homes in Nashville, contact Donnelly Timmons. We want to make your dream into reality!