Construction Project – What to Know Before You Build Your New Home
The home construction and remodeling industry has taken a hit over the last couple of years as the world navigated a global pandemic. But, things are starting to look up. Information collected by a Harvard University study found that remodeling spending is expected to increase by nearly 9% in 2022, while new construction is still contending with labor and supply shortages that are making growth problematic. If you’re a homeowner looking to plan a major renovation or new construction project in 2022, what do you need to know before you begin?
The first step in building a new home is finding the perfect stretch of land. You need land in an area that you’ll be happy to call home for the foreseeable future. Most of us are familiar with the zoning for commercial and residential properties. However, there are a lot of different criteria you need to consider before making a purchase.
In most parts of the country, there are three major categories of building zones: residential, commercial, and industrial. Each category can then be subject to further subdivisions that best represent the buildings allowed in the area. For residential zones, they’re most often broken down into single-family and multi-family residential zones. The former only allows single-family detached residences.
The zoning for your neighborhood will cover everything from the minimum size of your lot, to how far from the property lines you have to build, how tall your home is allowed to be, and even how much of the lot is allowed to be paved or built on. You need to take all of these things into consideration when choosing a lot for your future home or new construction project.
Staying in compliance with local and state building codes might seem like a hassle. However, they aren’t to make your job harder. Quite the contrary, these codes ensure that your home is safe to live in. Building something that is not in compliance with local codes could be putting everyone in your home at risk. In theory, a newly constructed building should be up to code, but older buildings might not meet that requirement due to changes in the code itself as well as maintenance and repairs carried out through the years.
It is also important to note that codes can vary greatly, depending on the location of the home and the geography of the local area. Even if, as the future homeowner, you’re not doing the construction project yourself, you should still strive to be aware of local building codes to ensure that all work done on your new home is in compliance.
When choosing a stretch of land for your new home, one of the most frequently overlooked steps is doing a land survey. These assessments can let you know a lot about the property, from the obvious things like the location of the property lines to the less obvious, such as whether there are any restrictions or easements on the property itself. This can become essential in zones where there are strict restrictions on the size of your structure. Or, how far away from the property line you need to build.
If you’re planning on building a home in a previously undeveloped area, you’ll also need a survey to help you determine where to place things like power and water lines, as well as sewer connections or septic systems, depending on your proximity to nearby facilities. You will also need to determine whether there is anything already on the property that you’ll need to avoid.
Budgeting & Financing
Building a new home is an expensive proposition even at the best of times. Before you start breaking ground or shopping around for contractors, setting up a budget and securing financing is going to be essential. Obtaining a construction loan requires a number of different variables to line up, including your credit score, your debt-to-income ratio, and your current income and job stability. You need to prove to the bank that you are able to pay back the loan within the agreed time.
You will also likely need to make a large down payment, depending on the amount of the loan. This is similar to the down payments you need to make to secure a mortgage for an existing property. The exact percentage will vary depending on the variables mentioned above, as well as the requirements of the lender.
Home inspections are a necessary part of building or buying a new home. In existing properties, these inspections ensure the home is in compliance with all building codes. They also help to identify and resolve problems before proceeding with the sale. For new properties, these inspections have much the same role. They ensure all of the new work is up to code and safe for habitation.
Take the time to schedule an inspection as soon as the construction project is complete. The ideal time is before you move into the property. Doing the inspection as soon as possible is an important step. It means that if something is wrong, it’s much easier to contact the contractor and resolve it promptly.
Supply Chain Challenges
Supply chain challenges have been a massive problem over the last two years for construction companies. Between the global pandemic, a trade war with China, massive tariffs on imported materials, and nightmarish delays both at sea and in port, it’s been a challenge for companies to get their hands on the supplies they need to finish existing projects and start new ones. The construction industry isn’t the only one that has been subject to these supply chain issues. Yet, it’s one that has struggled to bounce back from these difficulties.
The easiest way for potential new homeowners to overcome these supply chain problems is to start ordering well in advance of the project’s intended start date. Don’t wait until the last minute to try and get lumber, concrete, or other essential materials. This is because chances are good they won’t even be available. Consider opting for alternative materials, especially those that are fabricated domestically. They might be a little more expensive. However, you won’t have to worry about whether they’re stuck in port while you should be breaking ground on your new home.
Be Patient but Thorough
There are a lot of things that go into building a new home or a residential construction project. But, this isn’t an exhaustive list by any means. Rushing through any of these steps is going to cause expensive problems in the long run. Therefore, be patient as you work through each step to ensure everything is proceeding correctly.
In case you have architectural, structural, and MEP design requirements, or need sustainability in your home renovation project, feel free to contact us. We provide you with the full permit set design + T24.
Rose is the managing editor of Renovated. She’s most interested in sharing home projects and inspiration for the most novice of DIY-ers. These are the values she developed growing up in a family of contractors.