New Home

10 Tips for Building Your Home


Building your next home can be the best decision of your life or the decision that brings you to homeowner’s Hell. The difference is knowing what information to get, what questions to ask and what the future might hold for you and your family.

Here are my suggestions learned from my experience in building homes:

Plan for future needs

How many children do you plan to have or how soon do you plan to have them move out? Who is going to come to visit? Planning for your future needs when you build your home will mean you to avoid having to move again because your current house doesn’t meet your needs. This tip for building your home will also save on costly renovations just a few years after you move in. If this is your retirement home, you may want to have the kids double-up on bedroom space if they are planning to move out in a few years anyway.

Figure out what you can afford and take half

It sounds crazy, but most of the people that got caught out in the 2008 housing crunch (for example) lost their homes not because they couldn’t pay the mortgage. They lost their homes because they couldn’t pay the mortgage combined with the increased cost of taxes and heat. Think about it. While your mortgage payment has remained the same, the average homeowner’s tax and heating costs have at least doubled in the past decades. When building your home, you can’t be too conservative when estimating what you will be able to afford 5, 10, or 15 years from now.

Place fire escapes

Don’t pass up on the chance to add additional outside doors to the first floor of your home you are building. This tip for building your new home not only builds value, but could save your life in an emergency. I built my house with four first-floor doors. Everyone can get out the house quickly if a fire strikes.

Leave more space for most important rooms

If your builder lets you fine tune your plans when building your home, make sure that the most important rooms are larger by taking away space from rooms you use less. For example, I added a two feet to the width of my kitchen by taking a foot off the laundry room and a foot off the downstairs bathroom.

Cut back on space

Every 100 square feet of space costs you $160 dollars a month in mortgage payments. So when you are building your new home, see if you can make any or all of your rooms 1 foot smaller. Twelve inches is too small of an amount to miss but you certainly won’t miss the savings in your monthly mortgage payment. This is a wonderful tip if you planning on living in your home after retirement when most people move into smaller homes.

Two bathrooms with walk-in showers

Enough said about the need for two bathrooms but this is a very valuable tip for building your next home. Make sure you have two stand-up showers also. A good plus when building your new home is to provide for a walk-in shower on your ground floor. This is good in case anyone in your family ever requires knee or hip surgery or suffers from limited mobility.

Get references, references, and more references

If your builder goes belly-up in the middle of your build, he takes your money with him. So make sure to double- and triple-check your builder’s references first before you give him any money when building your home.

Slant roof

When building your home, make your roof as steep as possible so you are less likely to get leaks.

Location, Location, Location

When building your new home, try to spot trends that will indicate that you are moving into an improving community. You’ll want to live there longer and your house value will improve more if you ever plan to move out.

Access to shopping, public transportation, hospitals

Pay close attention to how close your dream house will be to public transportation, shopping centers and hospitals. If you plan to enjoy your senior years at your new home, you’ll want to build your home at a location that’s close to all of these. Otherwise, you’ll be looking for a move when you get older.

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