10 Tips for Building a New Home

McArthur Homes

Do you dream of a wide kitchen with bay windows? Or a family room with french doors leading to the patio? Your dream can be a reality. Building your own home is the dream of many homeowners here in Utah. Why settle for someone else’s vision when you can build your own? We want to help you create your perfect space. Here are some tried and true tips to get you started.

1. Pick the right builder or general contractor

Building your own home will be a stressful process; don’t let your builder be the source of even more stress. It will be tempting to pick the Utah builder who gives you the lowest bid, but be careful of hidden fees and unrealistic estimates. Before making a final decision, do your homework. Go to previous sites the builder has completed and ask questions. Did they stay on budget? Was the builder or contractor easy to work with? Do the homeowners feel that they were listened to? Ultimately, were the homeowner’s needs met?

2. Decide on a budget

Almost invariably, your project will go over budget. The weather will cause delays; your favorite tile will run out; the insulation will have holes. Build that cushion into your budget. Make a solid budget and detailed plan using only ⅔ of the funds you can actually afford, and set aside a specific dollar amount for error and delay.

Creating A Budget With a Calculator

3. Go over your contracts with a lawyer

Know exactly what you are agreeing to when you go under contract with your new home builder. A small lawyer fee now may save you large fees later.

4. Pick an Organizational system

Are you a binder person? Great. A spreadsheet person? Fantastic. Whatever your organizational preference, find a system and stick to it. Keep all of your costs, materials, design decisions and statements together and organized so that you can get to any decision or cost immediately.

5. Plan Plan Plan

The more planning you have done before you start building, the less stress you will encounter along the way. Plan out materials, colors, sizes. Write everything down in your handy-dandy binder or spreadsheet, and stick to your decisions.

an empty home

6. Visit as many homes as you can and bring a tape measure

It can be very hard to visualize what the size of a room feels like or the height of the door frame. While still in the planning phase, start getting a feel for what you like by visiting as many homes as you can and measuring the dimensions of those homes. Then write down what you find.

7. Consider a stock floor plan

For a first time builder, a stock plan may be perfect. Within the framework of a good stock plan, the future homeowner can still make modifications and adjustments, but won’t have to worry about making major mistakes at this phase. Utah home builders can help you best when you both agree on a simple and error free plan.

8. Build for your future

Do you plan to grow old in this house? Maybe plan on a more sprawling single story home, or make sure your front steps will eventually be able to accommodate a ramp. If you insist on a multi-story, stacked closets can easily be turned into an elevator shaft down the road.


9. Investigate the area

Just as you would when buying a new home in Utah, know the area. Look into the schools, hospitals, access to the freeway, and the local community. Your dream home won’t be so dreamy in the wrong location.

10. Build to match the neighborhood

If yours is the nicest home in the neighborhood, it won’t sell for as much as it’s worth. You may be planning on staying in your home forever, but this tip can keep you from losing money down the line if the unexpected happens.

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