|Before you Build, Understand
these Six Steps for Success
1. Developing a Program
2. Planning & Designing
3. Estimating Costs
4. Selecting Contractors
5. Awarding Contracts and Limiting Liability
6. Scheduling Progress
For most of us, a new home is one of the largest financial decisions we will make, and one that done properly can provide benefits for years to come. Not only in dollars and cents, but in the many things money can't buy. The right home reflects the priorities and lifestyle of your family. Developing a program consists of discovering what you really want and need in a house. Specifically by establishing room sizes, defining adjacencies, exploring exterior styles and choosing an appropriate foundation type. Take time to look at how you live and where you will spend most of your time. Understand your own interests. A sewing room or workshop might not seem important now, but could serve as a sanctuary in the years ahead. The UDA Home Planning Guide ( Included in Construction Office™ Homeowner software ) can assist you in the process of developing a program and selecting or designing a new home.
Designing or selecting the best home for your family is not as complicated as it seems. Basically you need to be honest with yourself and other family members about what each of you want. If you have a lot, spend some time to learn where the sun will come up and set, discover any special views or features you want to take advantage of. Using the conclusions you established in your Program, design or select a home plan that most closely matches it. UDA offers an extensive library of award-winning Ideal Home Plans (approx $600 to $900), cost effective and quick Plan Revisions for all these plans (approx $150 to $200 per page modified), Plan Partnerships ( custom plans for about a third the cost (approx $1800-4000), and Custom Architectural Services (approx $3000 and up).
Building costs vary widely depending upon your local market and choice of plans. Typically homes with complicated exterior plans and roof lines ( lots of corners ), period detailing, extensive columns and moldings will be more costly to build than simpler designs. In addition, your foundation type, interior and exterior materials, finishes and products you select will greatly affect the cost of the home. We always recommend that you spend an afternoon or two talking with several builders in your area to get a better idea of realistic costs for simular homes. For individuals interested in building their own home or considering building a home on a cost-plus basis UDA offers powerful Estimating Tools ( Included in Construction Office™ Homeowner software ). These Spreadsheet Templates offer a simple and accurate way to estimate construction costs in your area using Microsoft Excel.
Whether you are selecting a Builder or bidding out your home to contract yourself, it is important to work from a detailed set of plans and specifications ( UDA Specifications Included in Construction Office™ Homeowner software ) that create a clear understanding of expectations so that you and your builder or subcontractors both agree on the type and scope of work required. If you are looking for a builder, narrow down the list to 3 or 4 individuals you can work with throughout the project, inspect homes they have recently completed and if possible talk with past clients about their performance. If you are planning on acting as your own general contractor, obtain names of potential subcontractors by visiting jobsites and suppliers.
After you have selected your builder
or subcontractors you will need to finalize your agreements with strong
contracts designed to protect you and your family from potential liability.
Contracts that detail the exact scope of labor and materials, permits,
insurance, liability, schedules, clean-up, payment schedules, etc... UDA Construction
Office™ Homeowner software features contracts and forms designed specifically
for homeowners and do-it-yourselfers for virtually every type of residential
construction project including sales contracts, construction contracts,
cost-plus, draw schedules, lien waivers, and contracts for each subcontractor.
Scheduling construction involving dozens of specialized subcontractors is truly an art. However, by realistically allowing for unexpected contractor delays or deciding on your initial subcontractors at an early stage you can provide the 2 to 4 week notice typically required to continue progress on your home without excessive delays. For Do-it-yourselfers there are a variety of critical path trades that must follow the completion of another individual, take a look at your construction estimate to prioritize your schedule. Also consider local building inspections which are required at various stages of completion.
Please keep us informed about your progress, and Good Luck!
P.S. UDA Construction Office™ Homeowner components described above can also be purchased as a set for designed by construction professionals to further assist you in the planning, construction and contracting of your home. Construction Office includes construction definitions and terms, checklists, worksheets, abbreviations and contracts legal in all 50 states.
Versions Available for $49.95 - $69.95
Thank you for your interest in UDA Ideal Home PlansTM. To learn more, Subscribe to the Free UDA eNewsletter and receive informative articles on Home Design and Planning, as well as updates on New Plan Releases and Special Offers. For further information, our DesignConcepts Catalog features over 100 Best-Selling Designs, plus innovative ideas for planning your next home.