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Tuesday 10 January 2012

Building a New Home
When to start the planning process

Posted by at 1:47 PM

So you’ve decided to build a new home. In most cases, you’ve looked at the existing homes for sale but can’t seem to find the one that fits your needs. Or, you’ve searched and searched . . . and searched through plan books only to come up with a kitchen that you like from one plan, a master suite you like from another, an entrance you like from a third and so on. That’s not surprising – that’s what brings most people to the conclusion that they are best to build a home themselves.
Once you make the decision to build, the next step is to find a company that can merge all the portions of plans with your ideas and come up with a buildable house plan that suits the lot/land that you will build on. It’s best to begin talking with some local home designers or home builders that offer design services. Meet face to face with companies and/or individuals and learn about their processes, fees, time tables, etc. Amazingly, there can be huge differences in what they offer and the fees they charge. A word of caution – the plans that can be purchased in plan books or on the internet normally will need significant changes made to them to make them suited to your lot and area of the country you are building. It’s wise to consult a local building professional prior to purchasing.
Make sure you ask important questions when meeting with the companies, such as:
  1. How long have they been designing?
  2. Do they take budget into consideration when designing?
  3. Do they do a site visit prior to beginning the design to ensure the design will work with your lot/land?
  4. Do they have references of the people they’ve designed/built for?
  5. If they don’t actually build the home, names of builders they’ve worked with?
  6. Are they able to draw in 3D so it’s easy to visualize your home?
Once you’ve settled on a designer and/or company, typically, it can take a minimum of 3-4 months until final plans are complete. It’s crucial that you give the design phase of building ample time so that changes can be made in the design phase versus once construction starts – which can result in extra costs.
So, with that said, let’s say you want to begin building in spring. (in the Wausau area it is usually May before construction can start due to road limits) In that case, you would want to begin your interview process typically in January at the latest to meet that schedule. To learn more about the process of building a home, visit our website at www. or call us at 715.359.6276.