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Putting Up Your Fantasy House

Putting Up Your Fantasy House

My whole adult life, I had fantasized about the day I could start construction on my ideal home. Several years ago, I was given the opportunity. I had just acquired a tiny cottage on a lakefront property. Originally, I planned to live on the land "as is" with the expectation that I would one day demolish the cottage and construct a new house there. After spending a few weekend afternoons at the musty old camp, I realized I needed to move things forward more quickly.

Being the general contractor and putting in a lot of my own time and effort was a big part of my goal when it came to constructing my own house. I was able to achieve both of these objectives, but it was not without effort. There were several obstacles and detours along the route. In the next sections of this timeline, I will reflect on my experiences with the intention of sharing what I have learned with the reader.

The Size and Design of the House

Once I made up my mind to tear down the cottage and construct a new house, the next step was to choose the layout and dimensions of the new residence. Due to the small size of my property, I had to carefully map out my plans to guarantee compliance with the town's setback regulations. Despite my reservations, I opted against pursuing architectural training. I decided against including it in my budget since I didn't think it was required for the kind of house I was planning to construct. Instead, I scoured the web and a few issues of Home Plan magazines for ideas on how to build my own house. I also invested in a low-priced program that may be used to draw out blueprints and house designs. The floor layout I settled on after a week of research was almost perfect for my family and I. Even though the size wasn't ideal, I figured I could change the layout in my home design program to make it work for me.

Even though the Home Design Software software wasn't as easy to use as the instructions said it would be, I was able to finish a design with measurements in less than two weeks.

In the Position of General Contractor

As I said before, one of my aspirations is to take over as General Contractor for this work. Almost immediately, I heard that conventional financial institutions are not fond of providing construction mortgages to regular people or those with little training in the construction industry. I resolved this problem by foregoing bank finance. Later, I found out that if I had resigned my day job and filed for the loan as a "full-time general contractor," I could have been able to assume a construction mortgage. Yes, I would have had to give the bank a detailed plan with prices broken down by item and the names of all subcontractors.

I, as General Contractor, prepared a construction timeline and to-do list. Finding reliable subcontractors, getting the right permits, and getting the septic system designed and approved were some of the most important things.

Choose Your Subcontractors With Caution

For a general contractor, finding reliable subcontractors is crucial to a successful project's completion. The failure to properly vet potential subcontractors may cause schedule slips, budget overruns, shoddy work, and tension among the numerous contractors working on the project. Subcontractors should be inspected at their existing sites before being hired. Investigate their performance on ongoing construction sites and see how they interact with other subcontractors. Check the subcontractors' references, preferably several. Skip the candidate if you see problems with their work, character, or references. Even if it means missing your timeline or budget, you shouldn't hire subpar workers since you'll end up with even worse problems if you do.

Revoked Authorizations

Talk through the blueprints with your chosen foundation business, chief framer, and excavator once you've engaged them. Don't forget to take a stroll around the property with them and carefully mark out the footprint of the home, making sure to account for things like lot setbacks, septic tanks, leach fields, and the well's position. After everyone is on the same page with the house's location and layout, it's time to call the building inspector for an inspection. Before the building inspector will give you the green light, you'll need to present a comprehensive package. 

Wetlands and home energy audits are two topics that typically need municipal and state paperwork. In addition, it may be necessary to provide complete engineering designs of the planned dwelling. In my situation, the framer was able to help me refine the home design in order to meet all applicable regional, state, and national zoning and construction regulations. The first set of house designs I had gotten would have been enough if I had implemented them. Though I could have consulted an architect about the ideas I was interested in, I decided against doing so since it wasn't essential in my circumstances.

I was able to get permission to construct a new house after spending several hundred dollars and approximately a week doing so.

Drainage System Layout

A septic tank was a must for my house. The construction of my new house needs a septic plan and the corresponding permit. If you're building a new house, you should start this process as soon as possible. Getting all the necessary permits, licenses, and approvals from the city, county, and state may take up to three months, and that doesn't even include the time needed for the site preparation and engineering.

It might be difficult to pinpoint the precise location of the house without knowing where the septic system and tank will be located, and in many situations, the building inspector will not issue permission to construct the house until the septic design has been received. The building inspector gave me the green light since there was already a modest septic system on the land. But if the planned placement for the new septic design is rejected or changed, I may lose money. Thankfully, that wasn't the case, so I went ahead and started site work after demolishing the cottage.

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