Hints And Tips

Hints And Tips

  • The planning stage may be the most important stage of building a house. It is best to carefully and fully map out as many details before even beginning building. This will save you time and frustration in the future.
  • Always keep ceiling height in mind while planning your rooms. Higher ceilings will make a room appear much larger and more open. The same concept applies for taller doors. Just remember, this will increase the overall cost.
  • When planning your kitchen, a pantry is a good idea to keep in mind. You can never have too much storage space.
  • It is best to have a surveyor stake your lot for you, because they become responsible for any expenses if corrections are needed.
  • The footing of the house must be below the frost line, so when the ground freezes and thaws it will not shift.
  • When you backfill, you push dirt back to the inside and outside of the hole next to the foundation. This is the best time to create the needed drainage, so water will be diverted away from the house at the foundation wall.
  • There are three common types of foundations: a basement, a crawl space and a slab. Full basements are more common in the Northern part of the country. They give you more storage space and you also have the option of finishing them off. A slab foundation is extremely cost efficient and is most common in the South. This is due to the much wetter soil conditions. A crawl space is used more in the central area of the country because the frost lines do not go as deep. They leave just enough room to crawl underneath to be able to maintain any of underneath systems of the home.
  • A solid concrete foundation is the strongest type of foundation. It is difficult for moisture to pass through it, therefore, it will out-perform any other type of foundation.
  • It is good to use an expansion joint of fiberboard around the perimeter of your garage. This is because the concrete can expand without cracking when there are severe temperature changes.
  • While the exterior siding & trim is being put up, the inside of the house can be worked on at the same time.
  • It is nice to have the HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) sub come before the plumber and electrician because the duct work they install is the biggest and least flexible material to be put into the walls.
  • There are many different kinds of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. The kind you opt for usually has to do with the climate you live in and the outcome you are looking for. Some of the more efficient systems are geothermal and solar.
  • It is smart to put the garage doors up as soon as you can. This will make a nice dry place to store materials and equipment while construction is being done.
  • Having the exterior locks put on as soon as possible will give you peace of mind that the entire house will be secure.
  • The house must be weatherproofed or “dried in” before the wiring can be installed.
  • When the electrician does the rough-in wiring the boxes for switches, outlets, and lighting will be installed. Also, the wires for the phone, internet, cable, etc. can be done at this point as well.
  • Radiant heating is a great choice of heat because it will keep your floors at your desired temperature at all times.
  • Dimmers are a good idea to install in rooms where you would like to control the lighting.
  • Chimneys should go in before the roof is shingled so that the sheet metal flashing and waterproofing can be done first.
  • Stairs are important to get in as soon as you can so the subs working inside can get from floor to floor without having to use ladders.
  • In cold temperatures, you’ll want to have the electric and gas meter set up before the drywall installation to get some heat in the house to help dry the joint compound (mud).
  • It’s good to put up the gutters and downspouts as soon as you can to keep the any water away from the house.
  • If you need retaining walls, they can be done at the same time that the work inside is being done, however, they should not be worked on while anything outside is being painted. This is to keep the dirt and debris from sticking to the freshly painted surfaces.
  • According to the pros, no matter how organized you are when building, some hiccups may occur and could increase your costs. Just to be safe, figure on running at least 10% over budget.
  • You may need to pay the subs in stages as the work is completed, but you should hold off on the last 30% until the inspector looks at it and it has passed the final inspection and you are satisfied with the finished product.
  • Some people prefer to delay paving the driveway until the end of the project to prevent damage by heavy equipment like the drywall delivery truck. However, other people like to pour the driveway as soon as the foundation is in, so that when you go to the site, you are always able to stay out of the mud!
  • It’s a good idea to build a roof or porch over an exterior door to prevent water leakage. Most exterior doors will leak when hit by direct rain.
  • If you are going with stainless steel appliances, you can buy them treated to cut down on fingerprints and smudges.
  • A tankless water heater will save you money on hot water because it only works on demand.
  • You can never have too many outlets throughout the house…even in clothes closets for irons or steamers, in cleaning closets for electric brooms or cordless vacuums, in bathroom cabinets for blow dryers, curling irons, electric toothbrushes, higher up on the walls where flat screens will be hung, etc… This way you can plugs things in where needed and no cords will be hanging out and showing. It’s also a good idea to put outlets up in attics and in storage areas for fans, radios or whatever else you may need while working in there. Remember to use 4-plug outlets in places where multiple things will need to be plugged in like next to the beds for lamps, alarm clocks, phone chargers, etc…
  • Be sure you have lights in your attic, closets and storage spaces. They will come in very handy.
  • The more closets you have, the better. You can always use them and most people find out after the fact that they could have used more.
  • Some people like to put pocket doors in certain areas to save on space.
  • Closet organizing systems are a great idea. You can hang some double rods for shorter items like shirts, skirts and such, but be sure to leave longer spaces for dresses, robes and other items that will take up more room vertically.
Need a qualified contractor? Get Started Today!
Builders, can you make the grade? Get Qualified Here!
Architects, Designers and Drafters, click here
Need a qualified contractor? Get Started Today!
Builders, can you make the grade? Get Qualified Here!
Architects, Designers and Drafters, click here