New Home Project Planning Guide

Project Planning Guide

                Planning your dream home or project is essential and enjoyable with our qualified and friendly staff at Mid-America Lumber.  Great planning smooths the process and results in an amazing home or project completed on time and in budget.  This guide is a primer for the essential steps involved in most projects.  Smaller projects may not require many of the pre-construction steps necessary for a new home or major remodeling projects, but most projects require similar steps in the construction process, like accurate estimating, qualified and experienced tradesmen, help with construction drawings and building code approvals.  We will focus on the new home construction process here.  Step one, two and three may be accomplished in any sequence but when construction actually begins a good plan requires a fairly strict sequence to keep the project moving toward completion.
  
            Step 1.  Determine what size and style home you desire and acquire architectural drawings, details and specifications.  Recommended local resources include, Wendy Tatrout, Ed Schmiding and Charlie Wright.  A note of caution, the internet is a grand place to acquire building ideas, product information and other useful information.  However, we do not recommend buying construction plans on the web.  Construction methods and customs vary widely by locale.  If your plans were designed in Florida for example they would be designed around local codes for hurricane protection and an excessively humid environment.  West coast plans may have special construction for earthquake protection.  Basements are common in many northern communities, but not in the Lawton area due to highly expansive clay soil that makes keeping a basement dry difficult.  Locally produced construction plans are more easily understood by local tradesmen and generally result in lower costs.

            Step 2.  Finding a building location that fits your desires and lifestyle may be easy as locating a lot in a local residential addition, lake lot or a rural acreage.  Lot size, building restrictions, additional structures you may plan are all considerations.  A local realtor can be a big help especially if you are new to the area.  If you need a specific recommendation, please ask us.  Rural additions with their typically larger lot sizes may be more difficult, but a realtor can help with these as well.  Other considerations include, east side, west side, commute times and distance to work or activities may be worth considering.

            Step 3.  Most but not all building projects will require financing of some kind.  If you are able to fund your project from personal resources, congratulations, you are on your way.  If not, now is time to start shopping around.  Your local bank is a good place to start.  If you need a specific recommendation, please ask us.  With your plans in hand (or knowing your needs) and a building location or type of location selected, visit your personal banker.  They may or may not do construction financing, if so they will get you started by evaluating what amount you may qualify for and how much savings you may need to commit to the project.  If not, they will have suggestions.  Many lenders today combine interim (construction) financing and permanent (mortgage) financing in one package.  This may be a perfect way to go or you may find that separating the two will work better for you.  Financing a new home or project is a very personal thing, we hope this is helpful, you may have other resources or ideas.

            Step 4.  With the preceding steps accomplished, in whatever order that works best for you, next is to decide, am I going to do this myself or hire a builder.  Many lenders require a builder, some do not.  Think about this for a moment and ask yourself some important questions.  Do I have the general construction knowledge to do it myself?  Do I have the local contacts in the construction business, especially the trades necessary to build a house, framers, roofers, electricians, plumbers, HVAC, trim carpenters and so on?   Building a new home requires 3 to 6 months to complete, maybe longer, a good estimate is 1-2 hours daily on-site and many more shopping for parts and pieces, lumber, roofing, paint, appliances, fixtures, you get the idea.  Do you have the time to commit?  Building your own new home is a very stimulating and rewarding undertaking, but not for the light of heart.  Where you go from here depends on self-build or builder.  If you decide using a builder, do your homework.  We can’t stress this enough, many are honest, reputable and reliable, and some are not.  Get recommendations from friends, lenders, realtors or others you may be acquainted with.  We are happy to assist with quality recommendations.  For a self-builder do the same for each trade.  We will be happy to help with trades as well.  Do not be shy about asking for references and locations to see work done on previous homes or projects.

            Step 5.  This will depend on DIY or hired builder.  If you use a builder, stay involved throughout the project and ask anything necessary to get the home and information you want and need and let them do their job.  Your builder will need you to make many decisions along the way, doing this as promptly as possible will help your project stay on schedule.  If you go the DIY route, we recommend that you visit http://www.homebuildingsmart.com/ and download their free “New Home Steps and Planning Guide.”

            We hope your new home or project goes smoothly and enjoyably.  Amazing is possible.  Our many years experience is always available to assist you in any capacity you may request.  You can contact us during business hours at 580-353-3828 or anytime by email at Contact Sales or Estimating.

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