Friday, July 8, 2016

Things You Need to Know About Building Your Own Home

Planning to build a new home? You need to be well prepared for the huge financial task that it takes to construct a new home. Here are some expert tips from mortgage lenders about financing a newly built home.

Save up for at least 70% of the construction cost

It is not unusual to begin construction if you do not have the entire amount to pay for the whole house. However, you should begin construction when you already have at least 70% of the cost in the bag. One of the biggest mistakes that people make when building a new home is starting construction with less than 50% of the cost of construction at their disposal. It therefore, becomes difficult to keep up the costs with the speed of construction. If you do not want any delays or getting into tiffs with your constructors, start off with 70% and work on getting the other 30% as the construction continues. This plan is only suitable if you have a steady income and are sure that you will be able to raise the rest within the construction time.

Use a great contractor

Using a professional and highly accredited contractor may sound very expensive but in the long run, it will be the best decision you will make. Great contractors know how to save you money. They know the best materials in the market to buy affordably; they are also very efficient in construction and will ensure a great job done within the shortest time possible. Resources are also spent more wisely in the hands of an expert professional. If you skim on the cost of hiring a great contractor, you may end up with a construction project that takes longer than it should and a lot of wasted materials that cost a lot of money.

Get a full service contractor

Getting a full service contractor is better than working with different contractors. Dealing with many different contractors can make the entire construction a lot more expensive than it should be. It is also more difficult to keep up with all of them, especially if there are any issues at the job site. A full service construction company will assign a project manager to your construction site. You only have one number to call in case of any kind of problem in the work site or if you need progress updates on the construction which makes everything much easier.

Get involved

Building a new home is all about customizing your new house to the way you want to live. Do not simply hand over the building plans to the contractor and wait for the finished product. Be more involved in the decision-making processes, find out what is going on at the work site and stay updated. You may find a few details in the construction plans that do not meet your requirements in application and get a few modification tips from the contractor that work great.

Posted By: Bruce Johnson Residential Construction

Friday, March 18, 2016

Know Your Home Construction Team

Behind every successful home construction is a team of talented professionals who worked hard to make it happen. Building your own home is an exciting process to getting the house of your dreams, but it is also a detailed process and there are many steps involved. Making sure that these steps occur in a well-planned sequence involves finding the right professionals for the job. The various key members of the construction team complete their own elements and hand off to the next contractor in line for the next element. They all work under the direction of one project manager or construction superintendent.

Project manager
The job title varies depending on the company you choose to handle the construction, but there will always be a key team member who acts as the overall team manager or the construction superintended. They are also called the construction or field manager. This project manager is often highly qualified in each phase of home construction making them an important element in the entire process. They work closely with each contractor, building product suppliers and other key employees. This is the person to go to when you want to find out the overall state of things in the construction process, whether things are on schedule, quality control and if you have any concerns about the implementation of your architect’s building plans.

Architects sometimes work for the construction team or in an independent architectural firm. These professionals create home design plans. They can create a new plan or tailor a previously used plan to your needs. This is the person to talk to if you have any special design ideas such as open kitchens, bigger baths, higher ceilings or spiral stairways. They will implement your design ideas into the blueprints of the house in order to create something that meets your standards and desires.

Sales consultant and designer consultant
The sales consultant is very knowledgeable about the home construction process as well. They will help you understand various approaches towards construction for energy efficiency, standard options and upgrades to your home. They can help you select one among the various model homes that the builder creates. Once you have settled on the model and signed the purchase contract, the designer consultant will help you choose the various colors, flooring, ceilings, doors and other home finishing that will give your house the unique individuality and style you are looking for.

Trade contractors
These professionals are responsible for the different stages of the construction process. They will raise the home construction from ground up. The duties performed by trade contractors include, but not limited to:
  • Site preparation
  • Foundation building
  • Framing (exterior walls and Roof)
  • Exterior siding
  • HVAC and insulation
  • Electrical and plumbing work
  • Drywall and ceilings
  • Painting
  • Interior trim and cabinetry
  • Flooring and countertops
  • Driveways and walkways
  • Landscaping
There are also inspectors involved in the construction process. The first inspection occurs before the drywall is hung and another one before you move in. This inspection ensures that your home meets the local building code requirements, which varies depending on your location.

Posted By: Bruce Johnson Residential Construction

Sunday, January 31, 2016

What You Need to Know About Building Your Own Home

When it comes to getting a new home, you have the choice of buying or building a new home. If you have access to a piece of land in a good location, constructing your own building is the best way to get the home of your dreams. You can custom build every part of the house to your own specifications and here is how to do it:

Find the right contractor for the job
The success of your project will greatly depend on the contractor you chose for the job. Your contractor will oversee the entire construction, advise you on which materials to use and see your home to completion making this choice very crucial. If you know of any friends or family who have built new homes recently, you can ask them for references to the contractors they used. You should hire contractors with a wealth of experience, good communication and decision-making and great customer services. A good contractor should involve you in every step of the construction and major decision-making process for ultimate success.

The idea of building a house exactly the way you want it sounds great, but there is something even more important to think about, finances. Building your own home is not cheap, but there are various ways you can cut costs to make it more affordable. You need to think of all the cash you have available, what you are willing to put towards the project along with monthly payments you are willing to make towards the project. Remember that the finances available for this project will be affected by your income level, current bills, credit card and loan payment. Be realistic with your budget and total figure to avoid any hiccups once construction has started. You should discuss this figure with the architect and contractor to see how they can envision your home idea within your budget.

Elemental design elements
Before going into the design and drawing up plans, you need to think of five design elements you must have in your new home and construct the rest of the house concept on these elements. This will help you focus on getting the home that matches your desires and ideas. These elemental design elements should be the must-haves but you can also create another list with elements you would like to have if there is enough left over from your budget.

Important contacts to have
There are so many different things to keep tabs on during new home construction. You should rely on the help of professionals to make sure everything is in order; to alert you whenever important decisions need to be made. You need to have your architect, contractor, landscape designer, engineer, plumber and electrician on speed dial during your home construction. Keep a list of all the people involved in your construction along with their contacts and keep it on site or even in your car to make it easy to communicate with them whenever necessary. 

Posted By: Bruce Johnson

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Home Construction Saving Tips You Need To Know About

Building a house is a big deal, especially when you think of the magnitude of the financial investment you are about to make. No one wants to pay more than necessary when building a house. Building experts have the best construction saving tips, and the following is a selection of a few that can help you in your own project:

Share lots
The cost of buying a lot may be too much for one person, especially if the land seller is not willing to subdivide it for lower sales. You can find a friend or family member that you would not mind being neighbors with to share the lot. Therefore, you can pay for the sellers price together then further split it into two smaller lots. This is because most of the appealing property is often at a much higher price than what you may afford. If you can share the cost with someone else, you can by land in some prime locations.

Low maintenance building materials
You should consider low maintenance building materials as a long-term investment towards the value of your home. No need to buy cheap materials that will lead to costly repairs and maintenance in the near future. Materials like vinyl siding and metal roofing are some examples of great low maintenance materials. With such materials you do not need to repair, replace or spend any extra money than you need to on maintenance.

Salvaged materials
Construction materials are also reusable and recyclable and many people still are unaware of this. If there is a demolition nearby your construction, you can salvage a lot of useful materials that you can use in your new constructions. Some of these materials will cost you much less than new materials while some cost as little as nothing. From demolition sites of old buildings you can get used bricks, steel rods; timber or even wooden doors that will make your home look elegant without spending too much.

Spend on what you cannot live without
Saving money on construction is not all about buying cheap or used items. It is about knowing when to spend and when to pinch the pennies. There are some things you cannot truly live without and this is where most of the spending should be. For instance, security is crucial to your new home and you are allowed to go crazy on windows and doors that will keep your home safe.

Monitor construction spending

Before construction begins, you need to sit down with the construction manager and discuss the budget for the process. You should monitor this spending as the construction continues to ensure that you get exactly what you discussed with the construction manager. From construction elements to decorative details, never settle for less than the agreed unless there is a cost adjustment from the budget. Consider the particular brands as some may be cheaper than others yet the construction manager lists them down under the same price. 

Posted By: Bruce Johnson

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

5 Questions to Ask Your Residential Contractor Before You Start

A dependable contractor who is determined to watch the project succeed from the start to the end can be difficult to locate but not if you follow the right procedure. You will need to ask the right questions if you want to know whom you will be dealing with from the beginning.

Depending on the type of project you are currently focusing on, you may be dealing with this contractor on a regular basis so it’s important to find someone you can get along with. That said, here are some 5 questions you need to ask the residential contractor before hiring.

Do they have the required licenses and insurance?
Licensing and insurance are very important aspects and you shouldn’t consider dealing with contractors who do not fulfil these 2 major requirements. Remember that your home insurance is unlikely to cover any damages or injuries of workers and you may have to pay for these expenses from your own pockets if you hire people who are not fully covered.

Have they worked on similar construction projects?
You will certainly have to go through their portfolio to find out if they have worked on similar projects before. Get an idea of what their skill levels as contractors and ask them to give you 3 contacts of their references to whom you can speak and find out more about the services rendered. Don’t just trust the images you see on their site, take the background checks to a different level by calling the people they claim to be their previous clients.
Who will be managing the project?
Most construction companies have a project management team that ensures the project runs according to plan. It’s important to find out if the residential contractor will have a supervisor or manager that handles all the aspects of the project. Some small construction companies have most of their team members working on site and are likely to provide a better service.

When is the project likely to start and end?
The start and end dates can only be communicated to you after you have given the contractor more details on the work you want done. They should provide realistic timelines and also indicate the penalties that will be imposed if they fail to meet the deadlines. The fact that the contractor will be ready to commit themselves to a certain timeline is a good sign of their workmanship.

How are complaints handled?
Construction companies have different ways of handling complaints. You need to consider what the business values are and whether they are inclined towards focusing on the needs of the customer. Any business that puts their customers first will be ready to handle complaints with the professionalism and grace that is desired. You don’t need to be involved in unnecessary arguments with your contractor. Contractors who value strong communication lines with their customers are usually the best to work with. The best potential contractors should be able to work with you to bring your vision into life. 

Posted By: Bruce Johnson Residential Contractor Inc.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Guide to Understanding Builder's Risk Insurance Policies

If you're in the field of construction, contracting, or even property management or development, then you may be wondering about builder's risk insurance and how it actually applies. Here, you can learn more about builder's risk policies, what they protect against, and how they're utilized.
A builder's risk policy is actually property insurance, in essence. It's designed to protect and cover property during construction. This includes new construction, as well as major renovations to existing buildings and properties, both commercial and residential.
As opposed to many other forms of insurance, with builder's risk, short-term policies are available due to the nature of construction and what's being covered. Therefore, three and six month policy periods are quite common here.
Both the materials used and the equipment used will be covered by builder's risk. Additionally, it's important to note that materials and equipment will most typically be covered not only on the construction site, but also on off-site storage for the project, or in transit towards the site.
While this isn't always the case, most typically, builder's risk will fall under an inland marine policy, due to that transportation and storage component addressed above. This is as opposed to commercial property insurance. However, this may vary from provider to provider, and place to place.
Policies also differ in what qualifies as a covered risk. For instance, different types of forces of nature or natural weather, fire, theft, vandalism, and so forth, are all potential areas of risk.
Depending on your locale, you may seek coverage for specific events and risks, such as hurricane season in Florida, or earthquakes, tornadoes or flooding elsewhere. It's important not to assume what is covered and not, but to go through a checklist with your provider to see what they are specifically offering.
Generally, the lead builder, contractor or project manager buys the policy. In the case of renovations to an existing home, the homeowner though may want to personally and directly invest in the policy. This means that any damages would be paid to them directly, which is both more convenient, and helps guard against them not receiving their full benefits.
Hopefully you've learned more about builder's risk insurance and what it really means. Remember, it's to protect actual property during construction, which could include materials, equipment, and more. You'll only need to get it for a short duration of time, so there's flexibility there. Be sure to work with an insurance provider or agent who understands your needs, and can help you get the ideal form of coverage.
John Rothschild is the owner of ACI Insurance Services, a leading provider of Florida commercial insurance and surety bonds for more than 10 years. ACI is known for their customer service, their extensive experience and knowledge of the industry, and their affordable rates, and they'll do everything they can to meet the needs of their clients.

Posted By: Bruce Johnson Residential Contractor Inc.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Preparing Your Home for Remodeling

Remodeling your home is a great way to get the house you always dreamed of without having to build it from scratch or buy a new one. However, there is a lot of ugliness involved in the remodeling process before your homes new look can come into shape. You need to be well prepared for the journey:

You may need to some permits from the local building authority before making changes to your home. You should find out the various permits and licenses you need before starting the construction project. Once you get a design plan, take it to the local building authority and find out what they have to say.

Warn the neighbors!
Construction can be quite nosy. All the machinery being used can generate a lot of noise that may disrupt the neighborhood. You may need to inform your neighbors of the construction about to take place. The dust and debris may also be blown by the wind into your neighbor’s pools and homes and this may be a cause of conflict.

Safety first
You need to contact an electrician and your gas supplier. During major construction, the electricity and fuel supply should be turned off to prevent any accidents. The electrician may be part of the remodeling team since the whole remodeling process also involves quite a bit of wiring. You should also turn of the water supply to the house in case any plumbing comes loose during construction.

Pack up
If you are remodeling only one part of the house, you can move the items from those rooms to the part of the house that is not under construction. You can also rent a self-storage unit for a month or two while the rooms are  being remodeled if these items cannot fit in the other parts of the house. You may need to stay with a friend or family during construction if the entire house needs to be redone. You need to agree on the timelines with the construction team so you know how long you will need to stay away from home.

Clean up
You need to clean out all the unnecessary junk piled up in your home before construction. This will reduce the amount of junk you need to sift through when packing up or what may obstruct the contractors from their work. You may even hold a yard sale before the remodeling. You can use the money from the sale towards your construction budget. Once the construction is complete, you will not want that junk messing up your new clean space.
Set aside emergency cash

Remodeling projects often tend to uncover some problems that were already in existence but unidentified. Therefore, the total cost of the entire project may be much more than you had projected. You need to stash away some emergency cash to cover these unexpected costs that may arise. You do not want the entire project stalling and ruining the timelines set. This will affect your permits and disrupt the contractors work.

Posted By: Bruce Johnson  Residential Construction