Sunday, June 17, 2018

100+ Decisions You Need to be Ready to Make if You Build Your Own Home

In honor of Fathers’ Day I thought I’d maybe try a series of posts on practical topics related to the house construction since as you know my father was a huge part of the process.  This particular post is something I searched and searched for before we started construction since I wanted to be as prepared as possible. Needless to say I didn’t find anything that fit the bill so I wrote my own list - after a whole lot of learning by experience!

This list was originally going to have exactly 100 items on it, but there were just too many things to account for and the whole point of the list is to be exhaustive so I just included everything I could think of up to this point (it’s up to 105 as I write but I intend to keep adding to the list moving forward).  Ideally it will serve as a resource for other naive excited first-timers building their own homes.

And in the spirit of the holiday let me just say, Happy Fathers’ Day Dad! I could never repay you for all the ways you’ve stepped in to help and guide me over the years.  Thanks for this particular labor of love and all the ones that came before it. Here’s to this next stage of your dad life - grand-dadding!

The List
  • Budget (and emergency back-up funds you will make available)
  • Priorities (ie what gets left behind when you go over budget)
  • Timeline
  • Lot location
  • HOA - do you want one/are you willing to have one or no?
  • Mortgage company
  • 15, 20 or 30 year mortgage
  • ARM or fixed?
  • General contractor
  • Subcontractors (mostly chosen by the general)
  • Floor plan
  • Location and direction on lot
  • Driveway material, placement
  • # of bedrooms
  • # of bathrooms
  • Location of master bedroom
  • Location of laundry
  • Garage - do you want one? Where? How big will it be?
  • Informal/formal living space
  • Informal/formal dining space
  • Handicap accessible/age-in-place
  • Ceiling height
  • # of stories
  • Location of outlets
  • Special features of outlets (for instance we got some with nightlights and some with usb chargers built-in)
  • Location of light switches
  • Style of light switches
  • What else will be on switches (ie fans)
  • Location of light fixtures
  • Style of light fixtures
  • Heating/AC
  • Kitchen cabinet layout *this really requires some thorough planning
  • Pantry built-in or freestanding
  • Counter height 
  • Counter material
  • Kickboards 
  • Glass front, open or closed cabinets
  • Kitchen cabinet fronts
  • Appliances
  • Fridge water dispenser/ice maker
  • Fridge color
  • Fridge door style
  • Fridge width
  • Fridge with screen or internet
  • Counter color
  • Counter cut/edge
  • Sink style/material
  • Kitchen pulls/handles
  • Backsplash
  • Stove type (gas, electric, induction)
  • Oven and cooktop connected?
  • Two ovens or one (or one in two parts)
  • Stove hood style
  • Microwave location (could be a microwave/hood combo as well)
  • Open/closed shelves
  • Bathroom cabinet/sink
  • Height of sink/vanity
  • Sink fixtures
  • Bath/shower (tub, just a shower, tub and shower combo)
  • Bath shower enclosure (glass, tile, fiberglass)
  • Bath/shower fixtures
  • Tile for floor
  • Tile for wall
  • Washer/dryer stacked or no?
  • Washer/dryer front or top load
  • Stairs painted or stained
  • Stairs color
  • Stairs material
  • Stair railings
  • Flooring (general)
  • Flooring (kitchen)
  • Flooring (bath)
  • Heated under floors?
  • Style of window
  • Window screens?
  • Shutters?
  • Style of (exterior) doors
  • Style of (interior) doors
  • Handles/knobs for all doors
  • Type of siding
  • Paint color(s) - exterior
  • Paint colors - interior
  • Type of blinds/curtains/shades
  • Rods for curtains
  • Fireplace and type 
  • Fans - location and type
  • Roofing material
  • Roof style
  • Green features (such as solar panels)
  • Porch railings, material
  • Porch railings style
  • Screens for porches
  • Insulation type
  • Deck material and color
  • Style of trim interior
  • Style of trim exterior
  • Crown molding - if so, what style
  • Rugs
  • All furniture
  • Furniture layout
  • Closet organizing systems 
  • Mattress size, type
  • Wall art and decor
  • Doorbell
  • Door locks


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