Are you considering building your
If so, please read this article - it may help you with
some of the decisions you will have to make.
Home construction is a major effort and probably the single largest
investment the average person will make during their lifetime.
Because of this, it is not something you should begin without a full
understanding of the effort involved.
When my husband and I decided to build our dream home a few years
ago, we did so without previous experience. The project was enormous
and our knowledge was obtained "on-the-job".
Here are a few questions you may want to ask yourself before you and
your wife begin the project. You do realize that it will take both
of you to complete the effort. Even if you do most of the manual
work, she will want to be involved in the design, placement on the
site, and interior finishing.
1. Have you and your spouse ever undertaken a joint project? (If so,
were you able to complete it without disagreement or, if you did
disagree on something, were you able to work it out to the
satisfaction of both parties. The ability to communicate and resolve
issues is critical to the enjoyment of building your own home. Don’t
attempt it if this is not possible!)
2. Can you complete the task in the time allowed by your interim
financing company? (Do you know what interim financing means?)
3. Do you have the necessary
construction skills to do the work yourself or do you plan to hire
subcontractors to do the work? (If you hire others to do the work
– are you knowledgeable enough to know if they are giving you
"your money’s worth" and if the job is being completed
according to "code"?
4. Can you look at the work and determine if the "quality of
workmanship" is acceptable?
5. Do you have a job that will allow you to make frequent trips
(daily) by the construction site to check on progress.)
If you believe you have the right answers to the above questions
then let's go over the first step you need to complete
You could purchase land inside the city limits but that may make
your project more difficult due to zoning codes, building codes,
permits, and some cities require a General Contractor (that’s you)
to have a special license.
If you have already decided to purchase land in the country, you
will need to check for your County codes also. In our county, we are
required to have a minimum of 2 acres in order to build a home.
Is there a Community Water System
available? Most people think water is available nationwide now but
that is not the case. In some rural areas, community water systems
may not have memberships available due to their current loads. If
your area does not have community water available then you will need
to dig/drill a well. Be sure you check with the local residents to
find out how deep you will have to go and what the quality of the
water is in the area. You might want to try a sample so you know
what to expect.
PLEASE DO NOT OVERLOOK THIS ISSUE – OUR WATER (AND IT IS FROM A
COMMUNITY WATER SUPPLIER) IS REALLY NOT DRINKABLE. THE STATE HAS
CERTIFIED IT AS SAFE FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION – BUT, IT SPOILS THE
TASTE OF COFFEE, TEA, AND JUST A PLAIN GLASS OF COLD WATER FOR
DRINKING. WE BOUGHT BOTTLED WATER UNTIL A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO WHEN
WE PURCHASED A COUNTER TOP DISTILLER (GREAT INVESTMENT). WE ONLY USE
OUR TAP WATER FOR COOKING WHERE THE TASTE DOES NOT AFFECT THE FOOD.
Rural electricity is available in
all areas of the country but, it may not be available on the
property you select. This could increase your cost if the local
electric company requires you to pay for extending their power lines
onto your land. Check with the service office to determine the
Our electric supplier is a local Co-op and they will send a field
engineer out to the property in question and give an estimate as to
the amount of effort involved and the cost. This is also a MAJOR
item to be considered. We are very happy with our company but we
were just lucky as the power lines were already on our neighbors
property when we purchased our land and he graciously granted the
electric company a right of way through his land to run power to our
Sewer Service is non-existent in the
country. Residents rely on septic systems that are installed
underground. This is a very important issue and you should research
the subject fully before deciding on a particular system. In our
adjoining county, only aerobic systems are allowed and there are
some pretty strict regulations that must be followed. Most counties
require septic systems conform to certain health requirements, and
they must be inspected before they are completed. This is one item
that really needs to be done by a professional. Putting in anything
less than a county or state approved system can result in a
violation of the Environmental Protection laws and large fines.
Definitely a necessity in todays
world. How else can you connect to the internet if you don’t have
it? Be sure you know who is supplying service to your area. Contact
the company and find out if they have an underground cable close to
your property line. In most cases, there shouldn't be a problem but
if you have selected a site that is isolated, you may not be so
lucky. Also, if you select an area that is experiencing huge growth,
you may also have a time delay in getting service.
Our next article will cover the Design of your home.
Article by: Ellen Mayo
Your Dream Home