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5 Things You Should Do Before Building a New Home

Starting new home construction is an exciting journey and a huge investment that requires careful planning and preparation. Here are five essential steps that you shouldn't skip before acquiring land and breaking ground:

1. Establish a Comprehensive Budget

Setting a clear and realistic budget is crucial to avoid financial pitfalls during design and construction. This budget should be shared with all design and engineering professionals so that they may help you make informed decisions on the design prior to beginning construction. A well-planned budget helps prevent overspending by providing a clear financial framework, allows you to make informed decisions about materials, finishes, and other aspects of construction, and helps prevent delays due running out of funds mid-project.

  • Include All Costs: Account for land acquisition, design fees, construction costs, permits, landscaping, and interior finishes.

  • Plan for Contingencies: Allocate 10-20% of your budget for unexpected expenses to cover any surprises or changes during the construction process.

  • Secure Financing: Ensure your financing is in place, whether through savings, loans, or a combination of sources.

2. Choose the Right Location

Selecting the right location is fundamental for your home's long-term value and your satisfaction.

  • Research the Area: Consider proximity to work, schools, shopping centers, and public transportation.

  • Check the Neighborhood: Visit the neighborhood at different times of the day and week to get a sense of the community and environment.

  • Understand Zoning Laws: Make sure the land is zoned for residential use and check for any restrictions or future developments that might affect your property. The architectural professionals can guide you on zoning research prior to purchasing property.

3. Hire Qualified Professionals

Engaging the right professionals will make a significant difference in the quality and efficiency of your home construction. You may consider engaging with professionals who can assist in feasibility studies or zoning and code research prior to land acquisition.

  • Architects and Designers: Choose professionals who understand your vision and can translate it into practical designs. At Journey, our team of architects works closely with our construction team to bring your vision as close as possible to reality.

  • Contractors and Builders: Qualified contractors can complete the project more efficiently, saving time and money. Look for experienced contractors with good reputations. Verify their licenses, insurance, and references. Working with licensed and insured professionals reduces the risk of legal and financial issues arising from accidents or substandard work.

  • Consult Specialists: Depending on your needs, you may need to consult with specialists like structural engineers, landscape architects, and interior designers. Our team provides all special services under one roof.

4. Develop a Detailed Plan

A comprehensive plan ensures that all aspects of the project are considered and managed effectively.

  • Create Construction Documents: Work with the architect to develop detailed plans.

  • Set a Timeline: Establish a realistic timeline for each phase of the project, including milestones and completion dates. Our team works through the 5 phases of design to ensure your full understanding of the project BEFORE breaking ground.

  • Select Materials: Decide on the materials you want to use for various parts of your home. The right architect will provide guidance on selecting materials within your budget.

5. Understand and Obtain Necessary Permits

Navigating the permitting process is crucial to avoid legal issues and construction delays.

  • Research Local Requirements: Identify all the permits required by your local government, including building, electrical, plumbing, and zoning permits.

  • Prepare Documentation: Gather all necessary documents such as site plans, construction drawings, and engineering reports.

  • Submit Applications Early: Apply for permits well in advance to accommodate any processing delays and required revisions.

Additional Tips

  • Conduct Soil Tests: Ensure the land is suitable for building and identify any potential issues such as poor soil quality or groundwater presence. This can be done prior to hiring the architecture and engineering team, and is often required prior to beginning structural design depending on your location.

  • Plan for Utilities: Coordinate with local utility companies to ensure access to water, electricity, gas, and sewage.

  • Consider Sustainability: Explore energy-efficient and sustainable building practices to reduce long-term costs and environmental impact.

By following these steps, you can help ensure your new home construction project is well-organized, stays within budget, and results in a home that meets your expectations and needs.


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