We know you’re excited to dig right in and start building your dream home. But, before you break ground, there are several sequential steps which must be followed. By following these steps in order, the home building process will be as smooth as possible.
0. Before beginning the process of building your new home, you should carefully consider your “must-haves”. By knowing what you can and cannot live without, your planning will be steered in the right direction. Get some ideas of what you need and want in a home by taking a look at our Buying Guides.
1. Financing: Before you can turn your dream into a reality, be sure to speak with your bank or mortgage representative. They can help you calculate the necessary funding and determine your eligibility. Since you will want your house to be a finished project, be sure to include additional costs such as the driveway, landscaping, and appliances.
2. Plans:When building a home, it is important that you build to suit the lot. Although you may have a dream lot in mind, not all building plans will be suitable. Alternatively, you can find a lot that will match your plans.
Always request additional plans as a backup. Not only will 2-3 plans be required for obtaining a building permit, but your lender will need to see at least 1 plan. Also, don’t forget your contractors and subcontractors. During construction, they will want to see copies of your plans as well.
3. Subdivision: If you choose to build within a subdivision, your home may be subject to some guidelines and restrictions. Be sure to research your new subdivision by asking questions: Must the housing plan be approved by the subdivision?Are there any restrictions for homes such as colour, roof type, etc.?
4. Purchasing Your Lot: There is more to selecting a lot than choosing on the basis of your ideal neighbourhood. Other considerations include: future zoning, property tax, smells and sounds of the region, ability to hook up to water and sewage services, etc.
5. Estimates: Because building a new home is not a cheap endeavor, it is wise to shop around and get quotes from several subcontractors. Just because one contractor is the cheapest does not necessarily mean it is the best since not all quotes are created equal. While the quality of products may vary, each quote may not include the same material and work. Since you want to avoid problems during and after construction, the final decision may come down to which contractor is the most reputable. And most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask questions.
6. Insurance: Before construction begins, you must show proof of adequate insurance coverage to your lender.
7. Building Permit: Once the builder has approved your building plans, you can submit a request for the building permit. Additionally, you must include a “lot plan” indicating where your house will fit on your lot. After all documents have been submitted, you can expect to wait 2-6 weeks for your permit to be approved. And, do not be surprised if your permit includes a list of conditions that must be met.
8. Get Organized: Start by contacting local surveyors, framing crews and excavators. You must also make certain your electric company can connect you to temporary power for the time being.
9. Engineering: In some cases a professional engineer may be required to provide advice.
For example, if you are building your home on a slope, extra steel or stronger concrete may be needed.
And, keep in mind that if you backfill your basement foundation higher than 7’- 8’ an engineer’s expertise is required.
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