It does not matter if you are renovating an old house or building a new one from the scratch – creating a new home is a journey, not a destination. As such, it needs to be planned in steps that ultimately lead to your vision of the new place of living. While you can probably organize the whole job by yourself, these tips can help you put the ideas on a timeline.
The goals involved in a new home planning can be roughly divided into two groups – practical goals, related to funding, deadlines and logistics, and emotional goals, like your home location, position, and design solutions. When these two groups interlock, you need to have clear vision of what you want to achieve, where you want it to be, how much will it cost, is it realistic, and is there a plan B.
Although a budget is one of the goals, its importance puts it in a separate section. When talking about your budget, you will start with what you can afford, and how the cost of the construction translates to your future plans. The details include every aspect of the project: price of the land, municipal fees and taxes, design and engineering fees, landscaping as well as interior details like decorating and furniture. Make sure to secure a substantial contingency as you will probably encounter hidden costs along the way.
By now you have probably decided if you are looking for a green patch of land with a molehill or two, or a neglected older house. If that ocean view location is beyond your reach, maybe a few peaceful acres of the countryside will make up to it. If you can see beyond those shag carpet floors, rickety windows and untended yard, renovating an older house may be just as interesting as starting from a beginning.
You may try to do everything alone, but eventually, you will find that path more difficult. Trusting your investment to a team of professionals means that you wouldn’t have to worry about local permits, masonry work, roof construction, insulation, and truck hire all at once. Start with hiring an architect and a builder, who will be the crucial team members and then as the project advances, a kitchen and bath designer, and eventually a landscaping professional.
Before the workers arrive, you need to prepare the yard, lay dust and floor protection. This is the part where you discuss with them what parts of the landscaping and interior you want preserved. The other details include the access to the site. If you don’t want to waste their time waiting for you to unlock, you may provide them with a key.
Neither you nor your neighbors like to be woken up by an angle grinder, or worse a hammer drill. Agreeing on when to start and when to wrap up construction each day is important for your stress levels but also for keeping good relations with your neighbors. Also, knowing when your workers are going to arrive and when to leave rules out the element of surprise and lets you plan your routine.
Building from a scratch as well as remodeling can be stressful. Having too many people working on a single project is as harmful as not having an open communication with your contractor. Being receptive for professionals’ suggestions, while sticking to your vision is the only way you can be satisfied with your new home.