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10 Things You Need to Know Before Choosing a House Plan

Building your own home may be the most exciting and rewarding endeavor for anyone to undertake. With the right decisions and choices, undoubtedly your home will not only exude comfort and happiness but also provide financial security in the future. And it all starts with the perfect home plan. But before embarking on tough decisions during a house plan search, you’ve got to be really truthful with yourself in answering the following questions.



1. Is your spouse in 100% agreement to build?

You and your partner will face making many decisions when choosing house plans and building your new home, and the stress of the big choices can put considerable strain on your relationship. It is a must that you are in this endeavor together.



2. When do you want to move in? 

The time it takes to construct a house plan varies, depending on the size of the structure and the builder, but in general, actual new home construction – not including securing land, permitting, etc. – takes between three and six months.



3. Where do you want to live, and is land available?

Choose your target place to live, and take into consideration the restrictions in home designs. Along with size requirements, some developers of homeowner-association-regulated communities require certain roof pitches, certain exterior finish materials, and so on. You also should also know the topography of the lot.



4. How large a house do you really need?

Size is a huge consideration for you if you are going to choose a home plan. An ideal house plan should be big enough to accommodate a growing family but small enough that there wouldn’t be too much space should you decide that you don’t want to add children to the mix – or the children will be grown and leaving the nest shortly after building the home.



5. What is the budget for possible design changes, financing fees, land, construction, appliances, and cost overruns?

Look at your budget, which will equate to the size of the home. If it doesn’t fit budget-wise, you’re at an impasse. Talk to your interior home designer (or decide with your spouse if you don’t have an interior designer) about how you will outfit/decorate the new home because budget does not merely mean the size of your home but also what you want to put in it.



6. Can you qualify for a construction loan?

Long before choosing a lender to work with, make sure your credit is in order. Also take into account any possible changing financial circumstances over the life of the loan.



7. Do you have enough money in savings?

You should not entirely rely on lending companies with your house construction. You have to make sure that you have enough money on hand to finance other expenses that might occur during the process.



8. What are the local building code requirements?

It is extremely important to make your local building department aware of your construction intentions. They will assess your plans and advise you on what you need to do to get your house plans to meet local codes. Then you will be able to get a building permit. This is not only to protect you but also your neighbors, visitors, subdivision, and local government as well.



9. Do you plan to be the general contractor?

This key question depends on your budget (can you afford the cost of a GC?), but also importantly your construction capability and knowledge of the ins and outs of the housing business.



10. How many sets of prints will you need? 

If you are going to work with a bank, contractor, or any local officials in the construction of your dream house, you will need to furnish them with copies of your blueprints. Most builders will advise having between five and eight copies of a set of house plans to meet your building requirements. You can either purchase a five- or eight-copy construction set of plans or order a reproducible master, PDF file, or computer-aided-design (CAD) file and make as many or as few copies of the construction set as you want.


Footnote: The lead image for this article was designed by Freepik. For more information, click here.

August 25, 2016

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