Thursday, November 14, 2013

If you ever thought of building your house you need to read this. I built my house and had full design and construction control and I was NOT a general contractor! There are many advantages to building your own home. From saving money, creating your dream design and home style, owner building is very satisfying.
I will tell you the steps I took and how you can do the same.
Let’s take your property and make your dream home come true!
If you are going to the bank to finance this, you will apply for a construction loan as an “Owner Builder”. When the loan is approved the bank issues you progress payments based on the phase of construction you are at. The amount of the check issued to you is based on a percentage rule that the bank uses. They also send a loan agent to confirm. Then your payment is issued to you so you can forward payment to your sub-contractors (companies you hire). You’re the “owner builder” or general contactor.
The first thing to do is decide on the design or style of home. The square footage (size of home), ceiling height (8ft or odd sizes), wood frame verses CBS block, the number of rooms are some of the items you need to consider.
Explore some home design books. They offer a lot of information about material costs and the floor plans (the drawings that show your layout of the rooms) are open to redesign to your taste. You get to visualize your house.
The square footage is directly related to the cost and budget you wish to work in. Cost can range from $45 a square foot or higher. Get lots of quotes and research material costs and save dollars.
When the construction materials come into play ceiling heights are important. Odd sizes or overly tall heights will increase wood costs tremendously because cutting wood to make this work will leave a lot of “leftover drops” which are too short to use elsewhere. Expect some leftovers but consider keeping heights standard.
Depending on where you live, the weather, insects and costs of materials in your area will help you decide on whether to use wood frame or concrete block to build your home. Also when you talk to your architect he will also advise you. Use his knowledge he is familiar with your area and what materials to decide on.
Once you have a design ready the next step is to get this drawn by an architect. His job is to take your home design and redraw it to the correct local building codes and standards that are required and essential to building a safe structure that will last a lifetime. He will help you with material choice, room sizes and layout, floor coverings, roof shingle or tiles, placement of home on property, exterior wall coverings and overall style. These drawing will also have to be signed and sealed by the engineer. It may be your architect/engineer or one who he recommends. The engineer‘s job is to assure that the design and materials used are structurally safe and strong enough to withstand the elements and OK for you to live in. This cost can range from $2,000 - $4,000. This process is important, so take the time to review and completely be sure you like the design. Get at least seven (7) copies of these blueprints. You will need to distribute them to different departments and subcontractors.
The first place to bring your drawings is the building department. This is where you submit your drawing for approval so you can get the permits to begin construction. This can take a few weeks for the plan reviewer to look at your plans and make any revisions to your drawings, if any, and return them to you with his stamp of approval. Then you may apply for the permits and setup the account they will issue you for calling in your inspections as you progress along the construction.

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