The Building Process: Part I

So...here's a Home Building Primer on the basics, in lots of detail:

PART I - First Major Decisions

1. Choose your home site. You can either purchase a lot on your own, or you can find a lot that a builder/developer is listing as part of his projects. Find out if that lot is zoned for residential and how many bedrooms the site is approved for. You also want to look to see what else is being planned in the area, especially if your lot is rural.

2. Choose your builder. As stated above, this might be a simultaneous decision. Look for a builder that comes with referrals and a good reputation, and one with whom you feel a good rapport. You will be working very closely with this person for months, so a good relationship is key.

3. Choose your house plan. If the builder is giving you latitude on this decision, this can be one of the most fun parts of the process! Websites like houseplans.com have thousands of plans to look at, but you can complete a plan search based on criteria like square footage, bedrooms, baths, style, etc.

4. Line up your financing. Most banks and lending institutions have a construction loan program. Talk to your lender about this. Once your financing is pre-approved, we can move forward with signing a contract. As your general contractor, we will give you progress reports so your bank can come out to the project and approve 'draws.'

5. Sign a contract for the lot, the house or both. In a neighborhood like Cedar Mountain, the builder and the developer (lot owner) are the same person. The Tuscan Group will arrange the sale of the lot and the price of the home as a package. If you are building on a lot that you have already purchased, we will price up the house for you. (The cost of the home that we present to you is an all-inclusive price: house plan, all permits/inspections, grading/clearing, well, septic, all construction costs, and general contracting fees for a completely finished, move-in ready home. We will manage the project and work closely with you to help you stay within your budget. If clients decide on changes along the way, we work with them to find solutions that are reasonable, and offer a change order so there are no surprises at the end.)

6. Breaking Ground. After the contract is signed, the builder will begin the permit process with the county where you are building. Fees will be paid by the builder, and once approved, we will begin to clear and grade the lot. We will discuss with you the positioning of the house, which trees you want to keep, placement of the well and septic, etc.

7. Decisions, decisions. From this point forward we will keep you informed of any upcoming decisions needed by you, if you choose to make them. Some clients prefer the builder to make some selections. The Tuscan Group offers lots of hands-on assistance and design consultation to help you pull the whole house together into a beautiful place.

Next up: Part II - Timing is everything...when different aspects of the construction process happen and what you need to know.