Planning and Building a Home

There are some things that can be said about planning and building a home. In fact, enough to more than fill several volumes of books containing house plans. Let me mention a few of those things that are really important when building.

First of all, never build a home without obtaining a complete set of plans. I have seen quite a few homes that were a total train wreck because the builder did not have a set of plans to follow. Or if they did, they were sketches on a sheet of notebook paper. And the houses ended up a mess with roof pitches that were too high, rooms were out of proportion, and exterior materials did not match the home.

With a set of house plans, the owner knows right up front what they should expect their home to look like and if it has enough room to meet their life style. Not only this but, the plans are actually like a contract between the builder and owner as to what is expected. This actually protects both parties. Make sure that if any changes are made during construction it is marked on the plans and initialed by both parties.

Last, if you have never built a home, you probably don’t realize what it means to keep clear of liens. The lien laws are very harsh on the builder of a home in most states. Any company that has furnished material like lumber, sheetrock, etc., basically any material that went into the construction can file a lien on your property and make you pay for it a second time if the contractor has not settled their accounts. That is unless you have taken the precaution of making sure your contractor furnishes you with receipts for all the material from the ones who supplied it.

By being a bit cautious, you can overcome all of these possible problems and make building your home a pleasure instead of a pain. Have a complete set of plans drawn and insist that the contractor following them completely. Also insist on a “surety bond” from the contractor to protect you against any material liens if the contractor fails to pay any of his or her bills. Do not make any changes in the plans after signing the contract unless they are noted on a master set of plans. This also makes sure the bonding company does not have a loophole to weasel out of paying if the contractor does not pay their bills.

Be involved in the building process and ask questions if something does not seem right. This little extra step has avoided more misunderstandings than anything other precautionary effort. And most of all be ready to communicate with your builder. They can not read your mind you know.

Tim Davis is an experienced architectural designer who specializes not only in residential house plans, but also commercial.

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