Making the decision to build your own house is one of the most important decisions of your life. It’s not only an economic but also an emotional decision. Once you’ve made the commitment, it’s critical that you have a clear understanding of what you (not your friends, co-workers or extended family!) really want, and have a plan to get there.
Step #1: Decide Where You Want to Live
This prompts a number of questions and the necessity of setting geographical priorities.
- Are you more comfortable living where you’ve established your roots or are you looking for a whole new way of life somewhere else?
- Do you want a cold or warm climate, or something in between?
- Is it important to have access to a city or do you crave peace and quiet? (Hey, you may be able to do both!)
Step #2: Know Who You (and Your Family) Are
This set of questions should really help you focus on what you need to be happy and secure in your decision to build your own house.
- Should you build in a community that offers activities, clubs and amenities; or do you feel that’s just not your lifestyle?
- Do you want to build near other homes, as part of a neighborhood, or do you want to be more isolated?
- If you have or are intending to start a family, do you need access to good schools?
- Are you a city/suburban type and/or someone who relates to what nature has to offer?
Step #3: Develop Your Budget
Everyone has a wish list, but some people’s wish lists are much longer than others’.
To save yourself time – and some heartache – it really helps to have an idea of how much you can afford. Begin with a realistic figure and work back from there. By subtracting options and other expenses, you’ll have a better chance of staying within budget. This is all impacted by the following factors:
- The location you choose
- The size of the home you build
- The options you want
- The quality and reputation of the homebuilder
- The kinds of amenities a community offers (Remember: homeowners association (HOA) fees depend, in large part, on what you get with your home.)
- The ability to hold to your original plan and keep costly, in-process changes to a minimum
Step #4: Assemble Your Team (or Have One Assembled for You!)
If you decide to do everything but be your own contractor, you’ll have to select the builder, the plumber, the electrician, the mason, and the landscaper, etc. If you’re simply not comfortable with doing all this, you may want to look at a semi-custom home with a quality builder like MasterCraft Builder Group. That way, you’ll know that all the subcontractors are on the same page and the builder/contractor has the control to deliver the home you want in your timeline and within budget.
Step #5: Be Realistic About Your Timelines
You may love watching those reality TV programs about buying, building and renovating houses, but that’s TV reality, not yours. Part of the TV drama is completing a project in record time despite the various impediments (real or otherwise) to completion. When you build your own house, you should get a realistic schedule from your builder. Keep in mind that your builder can’t control everything (like the weather), so prepare yourself for some minor timeline revisions, and look at the big picture.
Step #6: Keep Your Lines of Communication Open
Communicating with your builder is a two-way street. The builder needs to communicate any issues or concerns as they arise and you need to express any concerns you may have as you see them. Some steps in the building process may be virtually impossible to reverse, and, as we noted earlier, late changes can be costly.
Step #7: Enjoy Your Experience
Building your own house should be a wonderful voyage. Watching it go from planning to laying the foundation to framing the structure to the intricacies of wiring and plumbing to the finish work is amazing. Having your dream become reality is truly rewarding!
Get the Custom Home You Want from MasterCraft Builder Group
With deep roots in North Florida, Mastercraft Builder Group specializes in semi-custom homes that are built to a higher standard. But more than building homes where quality comes standard, we build in North Florida communities that accommodate all kinds of budgets and lifestyles. For more about building your own house, call us at 904.274.7773 today.