New Home Construction with Stone Siding

How to Build Your Dream Home

You’re in the market for a home but haven’t quite found a home that checks all the right boxes for you. What should you do? Well, you could look into purchasing an empty lot and building your dream home instead! Custom home construction is the perfect way to ensure your home has everything you could ever dream of while adhering to your budget.

What are Your “Must-Haves”?

Before reaching out to architects and home builders, you need to figure out what “must-haves” you’d like in your dream home. There are a few aspects of your home that you should consider in this decision. First, determine how many rooms you are ideally looking for and the absolute minimum you’ll need. This, naturally, includes the number of bedrooms but also how many bathrooms and multifunctional rooms (like an office or study) you’d prefer. You should also have an idea of how large those rooms should be. According to the International Residential Code (IRC) you need at least 70 square feet for a single bedroom or at least 50 square feet per person for multiple occupants.

Other factors to consider as “must-haves” in your new home include the functionality of your home. Where you place appliances, utilities like cable lines, windows, all need to be taken into consideration with a new home. Another functional aspect of your home is its basement and attic. Do you want either or both of these finished? Leaving them unfinished is a cost-saving measure but limits the amount of usable square footage you receive in your home. Lastly, determine if you’d like a garage, one- or two-cars wide, and attached or detached.

What is Your Home Budget?

Establishing your budget ahead of time helps the designer and builder determine what all you can fit into your house plans. There are a couple of loans you’ll want to consider for your new home build. First, if you have found a lot to build on but are not ready to start construction for a little while, a land loan is what you’ll need. These loans secure a lot for you to finish all the planning that goes into a new home construction but are not recommended if all of your planning is complete. 

When you’re ready to start building your new house, you’ll likely acquire one of two types of construction loans. These loans are short-term loans typically lasting a single year that pay for all of your construction costs. They can include the cost of the land if you’re building immediately and don’t already have a land loan. Construction loans with either be construction-only or construction-to-permanent. For construction-only loans, you’ll need to refinance to a traditional mortgage upon project completion. Construction-to-permanent loans will automatically turn into traditional mortgages upon project completion.

Whatever financing you pursue, you’ll need to make a down payment (typically higher than a normal mortgage for construction loans due to a higher risk for the financier). Work with a financier to be pre-approved for these loans and then take it to your home builder to discuss project scope. If you already own a home, be sure to include the selling of that home in these discussions.

contractor drawing up building plans

Designing Your Dream Home

Before construction can begin on your dream home, you need to submit blueprints to your home builder. Your builder might have their own architect they work with or you’ll hire a third party architect to design your home. You’ll either purchase pre-designed plans or, more likely, pay for the design of a new home with all of your “must-haves” included. Pre-designed blueprints could cost as little as $2,000 or upwards of $20,000 if you require significant revisions or extra construction information. New home designs typically cost between $3,000 and $8,000 for basic blueprints. If you add in utility plans, cabinetry, and other details the design could cost $10,000 or even up to $60,000. The cost increases as size and complexity increases. Here are the four aspects you’ll be looking at while designing your dream home.

Choosing Your Home Style

You might have a complete vision of your new home, but many prospective home builders are unsure and looking for guidance. There are a lot of different home styles popular today, each featuring different materials and space options. Your architect can help you settle on a style. 

Choosing Your Home’s Siding

One of your most impactful decisions is the siding material for your home. This decision impacts your style, color preferences, and durability of your future home. There are several siding options from vinyl to fiber cement, cedar, or stone.

Choosing Your Home’s Roofing

Another impactful choice to make in the new home construction process is the roofing material. There are many options within different budgets, each with their own pros and cons. Examples include asphalt shingles, synthetic shingles, or standing seam metal roofing.

Designing Your Home’s Interior

With the exterior design of your dream home done, it’s time to design the interior of it. This is the time to get creative with the design and functionality of your home. Key components to look at in this step include the floor plan and interior style.

The Construction Process

Your new house can take anywhere from 6 to 24 months to construct. Many factors impact this number, including permitting, weather, the size of your home, and how many revisions you make. In Pennsylvania, the average custom home build takes 9 to 12 months.

Construction on your new house begins with the site preparation. The crew will clear any debris, such as rocks or trees, and then dig the foundation. Once the foundation is built, along with sewers, drains, and water taps, the frame is built. Upon the frame, sheathing, windows, and doors are installed. From there, all of your utilities are installed, including HVAC, plumbing, and electrical. The final steps in building your new home include installing the roofing, insulation, siding, drywall, and flooring.

Now that the home is built, your walls are painted, window sills installed, and all of your fixtures, like cabinetry, countertops, appliances, lights, and bathroom fixtures, are installed. Your property must no longer withstand the impact of heavy machinery, so landscaping is also completed. At this point, you’re ready to move into your dream home!

Choosing a Custom Home Builder

The biggest factor affecting how well your home is built is the contractor you hire. You’ll want to hire an experienced home builder for your new home construction. Experienced contractors build better quality homes and can catch & fix problems quickly, which may go unnoticed by inexperienced contractors. That’s why you should contact Deer Ridge Construction. We’ll be happy to consult with you on your new dream home, no matter where you are in the process. We love working with our customers to bring their home ideas into reality and pride ourselves on reliable customer service.

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