With an average cost of around $294,000, building a new home isn’t something you go into casually. It’s a massive investment for most people.
If you are building a house, it also means you probably plan to live there indefinitely. You don’t just want a house that you’ll sell in a couple years when you get a better job. You want a home that you can love.
Getting a home you can love means building in all those extra features that improve your quality of life. Even so, don’t get so caught up in the bells and whistles that you ignore other details.
There are a great many things to consider when building a house that have nothing to do with jacuzzis, flagstone patios, or in-ground pools. Keep reading for some of the important things you should keep in mind.
Plan Around the Future
Some future planning is fairly easy. If you think you’ll have kids, you tack on a couple extra bedrooms and a second full bathroom. Those make the daily logistics of family life easier.
What about the kitchen? Did you include enough cabinet storage space for a family? Is there a spot somewhere in the house designated for a future storage freezer?
Letting employees work remotely is a cost-cutting strategy for some companies. Do you have a dedicated office that will let you or your spouse take advantage of remote working opportunities? If you’re considering becoming an entrepreneur, you’ll definitely want that office space in the early days.
While you can’t anticipate every potential need, you can plan for likely scenarios.
Some people will hire a contractor to build a house, but not finish the interior. The contractor puts up the exterior, installs doors and windows, and deals with major interior infrastructure, such as:
- Interior walls
They must also install a roof and typically put up the siding as well.
At that point, the contractor leaves and the homeowner takes over. Depending on how much you let the contractor finish, you might find yourself installing floors, tiling a bathroom, painting walls, and installing trim.
That can mean keeping a lot of hand and power tools on-site. It also means either a huge pile of supplies and materials or regular deliveries of them.
You don’t want to store all of the materials and tools in your new house if you can avoid it. It’s a recipe for introducing unnecessary messes that will require later cleanup.
You need other options for construction storage. You might install a temporary shed, use the garage if you had one built, or get a steel shipping container. This helps confine any messes to a more manageable area.
Heating and Cooling
Most people assume they’ll use a furnace and AC unit for central heating and cooling. You can buy gas or oil furnaces, AC units, and ductwork anywhere in the country.
There are other options, such as:
- Radiant heating
- Mini-split systems
- Geothermal heat pumps
- Pellet stoves
Not every option works in every location. For example, geothermal may prove impractical or prohibited in urban areas. You can discuss your HVAC options with your contractor.
While your HVAC system matters for maintaining comfortable temperatures in your new home, don’t neglect the insulation. The insulation in your attic plays a crucial role in keeping heat or cool in your living spaces.
In most locations, regulations set minimum acceptable levels of insulation. With heating costs on the rise, it’s worth getting more or better insulation in your attic.
Everyone who helps put your new home together can only work with the information you provide. Get specific about what you want or how you see the space looking. Provide rough sketches or bring in photos.
Let’s say you ask for crown molding in public areas. You know exactly what that crown molding should look like, but your contractor won’t.
Crown molding comes in a lot of shape, sizes, and patterns. While a good contractor or designer will show you samples or ask for more information, showing up with a sample of your own ensures you get what you want.
Be Kind to the Workers
Always remember that construction is hard and physically demanding work. It’s also work carried out by people who get tired.
Mistakes will happen.
While that’s always a frustration, it’s not a malicious act of sabotage against you. A little kindness and understanding when you visit the site will go a long way.
Prepare for a Long Wait
The process of building a house isn’t a fast one. Even if everything runs smoothly, completing your house can take as long as 12 months.
Several things must happen before you even get to breaking ground. You must settle on a design, solicit estimates, and select a contractor.
Then come the paperwork and organizational tasks, such as getting permits, scheduling, subcontracting, and arranging for material delivery.
All of that prep work can take months. Even after the building process starts, weather can slow the process down.
Let’s say you get a very rainy summer. While your contractor can do some of the work, rain makes many construction tasks dangerous or impossible.
Prepare yourself for the real possibility that you may wait for a long time before you can move into your new house.
Parting Thoughts on Things to Consider When Building a House
There are many things to consider when building a house.
Your future plans come in right at the top. Your plans about family and whether you’ll ever work from home can change the overall design of the house.
You must consider on-site organization if you plan on doing any of the interior work yourself. Good organization helps limit unnecessary messes in your new house.
You must decide about HVAC options and should make a point to invest in good attic insulation. Communicate a lot with your architect, contractor, and designer. The clearer a picture you give them, the better they’ll do at achieving your dream.
Treat the workers with some basic kindness. They work very hard at their jobs.
Understand the process can take as long as a year, even if things go right.
Want a fantastic lawn after you move into your new home. Check out our post on lawn care secrets.