You’ve been talking about it for weeks if not months. In your mind, the home of your dreams is so close you can open the door. You know your family’s needs and lifestyle choices; you’ve picked a location that fits those choices. You’ve talked with real estate agents, visited neighborhoods, toured countless homes, but nothing screams, “Welcome home!” You soon realize that simply touring pre-packaged home designs doesn’t give you and your family enough options. With excitement surging, you decide to build a home and take the search for a house plan online.
Adkins 30-197 from Associated Designs
“There’s a lot of value to buying a home plan that meets your goals and objectives, and with the help of an experienced design professional, that initial process isn’t overwhelming,” said Rick McAlexander of Associated Designs in Eugene, OR.
With so many house designs available online, a local design professional helps narrow down your choices so that you find a great plan without skimping or compromising on the details. Once you’ve chosen the design, however, you aren’t just sitting on easy street. There are several steps that have to be taken before a house can take root – from reviewing the plan, to evaluating the location, to choosing a contractor, and more.
The first step after buying a home design is site review. Each neighborhood and city will have different requirements and restrictions that must be taken into account. Height restrictions, lot restrictions and structural requirements such as wind resistance or earthquake resistance, may alter the shape of the house plan. You and the design professional will also review the structural elements of the plan to make sure the design is incorporated effectively using familiar materials and construction techniques.
“The site review is a step that needs to be taken because most are under the impression that you can go start building the house you’ve picked, but all you’ve really done is achieved the design,” said McAlexander. “Construction specifications and details may need to be modified to fit your local building techniques and customs.”
This is why it’s ideal to work with a local designer who can help guide you to a plan that meets your needs and desires while simultaneously meeting the building requirements in the area your building.
After the site review, the hunt for a contractor begins. This can seem daunting at first, but setting up interviews with various contractors will help you filter through the choices. The interview should be more than simply learning about the contractor’s experience, reliability, past client relationships and subcontractors. You should also consider personalities. The personality of your contractor and whether you are able to relate to them and feeling comfortable communicating with your contractor is just as important as the contractor’s skillset and expertise.
Once the contractor is on board, the site reviewed, the design finalized, it’s time to apply for building permits. The contractor and designer will help to initiate this process, which leaves you staring gleefully at the future site of your new home.
Choosing a home design is only one part of a step-by-step process to getting your home built. Taking these steps into account will make the process go smoothly, efficiently and with minimal frustration. Before you know it, you’ll be opening the door on the home of your dreams.