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It's Better to Build Smart Than be Sorry

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Are you thinking of building a new home? There’s no better time than right now. Build smart and get the most for your money. The following tips will help maximize the return on your investment.

Get an Accurate Estimate. Be sure you understand your construction costs—all of them, including land, clearing, grading, foundation, utilities, design, materials, the actual building and finishing costs, etc. How much home can you comfortably afford? Think it through carefully, don’t short yourself on storage space, bedrooms, and the things that make your new home better than your old one. Large homes are not very popular anymore, they are harder to finance and harder to maintain. But building too small for your needs isn’t wise either. Remember, it’s cheaper to build up than out, so if you need more room consider a two-story home. Also make good use of the basement.

Location, Location, Location—this old saying is true, location means a lot. Not only will the right location enhance the view from your windows but it can cost you less to build. Is it heavily wooded? If you hate mowing the lawn keep the trees and save money but otherwise it’s going to be an added cost to clear the land. No trees? Higher cooling costs until new trees grow large which can take years. What about water, septic, roads, electricity, satellite internet, phone and television access? Do research, talk to other homeowners in the area, find out what you need to know.

First Things First. In the beginning concentrate on good, strong, quality construction, foundation, and building products like windows, doors, heating/cooling, shingles, siding, etc. –things you want to last a long, long time. This is more important than fancy fixtures for now—fixtures can be changed later when your budget increases.

Think Inside the Box Stick to a basic house shape—round, octagon and other unconventional shapes look exciting but they cost much more to build.

Choose a Systems Built Home such as a panelized home. These can cost less to build because there’s less waste and it can be built somewhat faster. Panelized homes are not modular, most of the building is finished on site so only the outer walls are prebuilt. Modular often lacks quality and design. Panelized homes are just as well built and strong as stick-built homes, and they usually have the same freedom in design, but they are more economical. Do your homework and choose a fine quality panelized building company.

Building a new home is one of the hardest and most rewarding things you are likely to do. Learn all you can, choose a good builder, build smart, and you will never be sorry.

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