Choose a Plan
The first step in New Home Construction is to consult with a mortgage broker, or a bank mortgage department to determine the dollar amount that you qualify for. This will give you guidelines to proceed forward. After you know the approval limit, you need to have an idea of what homes are selling for in the area where you are looking to build. You can do a little homework by checking to see what homes are selling for and calculate the price per square foot. Now that you have the per square foot number, you can divide that into the approved loan limit and get a very good idea of the size home you can build.
The second step in New Home Construction is selecting a lot. A homeowner has many services available to find a lot in the area they are looking to build in.
- Spend some time driving around the area.
- Search the internet.
- Consult a Realtor.
- For Sale by Owner Sites.
Lot selection has to take place before you are able to proceed with any plan designs. This step will give you a building-pad (side setbacks, rear setbacks, front setbacks, and garage orientation). All of these are needed to be determined before a floor plan can be developed.
A good set of plans is very important and it will make the building process go smoother. You want to provide your builder with as much detail as possible. Check with your local Home Building Association to get a list of Architects or Plan Designers who are members of that organization. Visit the local HBA's, Parade of Homes and Home and Garden shows because there will always be plan designers and builders involved in those activities.
CHOOSE A BUILDER
There are multiple resources out there to help you determine if a builder is licensed or not licensed. The Louisiana Contractors Licensing Board has a website with a list of all licensed builders in the state of Louisiana. If a builder is licensed, state law will require that he carry general liability and workman's comp insurance. You want a LICENSED BUILDER. Your local Home Building Association (HBA) will also have a list of licensed builder members and builders that are members of their local HBA stay updated on all the latest changes in building requirements. Once you have selected a builder you can use his knowledge in helping with the plan design. You may elect to choose a builder before you pick a plan and that is good, because the builder can add valuable input to the plan design.
Once the plan design and builder selection process is complete, sit down with your builder to discuss his building process. Talk about ways of communications email, text, phone contact, etc. Don't be afraid to ask questions.
Make sure all work to be performed, payment process, dispute process, punch-list, and warranty items, are thoroughly documented within the contract. A good contract will make the building process go smoother.