Many people dream of building their own home, to ensure it is exactly the way he or she wants it. Long Island, once filled with blocks and blocks of Levitt homes, is now lined with custom homes, from modest to extravagant. After you have made the decision to build a new home, it is inevitable that the excitement of the project will be interrupted with periods of stress. Building a home that will suit your family’s needs, both practically (think, enough space) and emotionally (because everyone should love their home!) within your budget, is the mother of all projects. Before jumping in, or even after you have made the final decision, consider, and remember these things when you are going through the process.
1. Evaluate the reality of the task. When you take on building a new structure (or even a renovation or remodel), you are committing yourself to a serious time investment. From design, to town approval, to building, you are potentially looking a multi-year project. And while you are hiring experts to do the bulk of the work, you will no doubt want to spend a significant amount of time at the home to ensure that the project is going smoothly and meeting your goals and ideas. It will become, at the very least, a part time job. Because life on Long Island today is busy for everyone, you must evaluate if, on top of your full time job, your marriage and children, your other life commitments, you have the time (and mental space) to manage another part time job.
2. Hire the right professionals. This should go without saying. Both fortunately, and unfortunately, Long Island is home to thousands of construction companies. This allows each homeowner to make informed decisions that are right for them. However, sometimes the amount of options gets frustrating and it becomes hard to determine which company is better than the next. At RJD Construction, we know that this is the most important decision of your life. You should hire a company that has the experience necessary to complete your project and makes you feel comfortable. You will be spending a lot of time working with the company you hire so it is crucial that you click.
3. Planning is the most important aspect. While picking out furniture seems silly when your foundation has not even been poured yet, and it certainly is not the most pressing matter to attend to, the process will go much smoother if you have a general understanding of what you want in your home, and where, before you start building. If you are undecided on flooring or tiling or other important details, the process will be slowed down, which will mean more money spent. Before you start, pick out as much as possible and learn to make other decisions quickly.
4. Your home is going to look “ugly” for a long time before it looks great. The construction process is long and messy. When the home is bare, incomplete or undecorated, you will be constantly questioning whether you made the right choices. Without experience in building, it is hard to visualize the finished product through the mess. However, once the home starts coming together, you will realize that all of the decisions that you made and the work performed were exactly what you wanted.
5. There will be mistakes. You, and everyone involved in the process, is human and therefore mistakes are inevitable. Brace yourself for them around every corner. Also note that while some mistakes will need correction, others may turn out better than planned. And the bad mistakes, after moving into your completed home, you will barely remember poor choices you felt you made at the time or mistakes you believed happened.
6. Stay in constant communication. This simple tip is often overlooked but can be the easiest way to avoid mistakes to begin with. Be specific and do not assume that every vision you have is understood or that a question you may have is “dumb.” Ask any question that comes to mind and fully explain everything you want, even show pictures. Lack of communication often leads to more time, and more money spent, on a project. Good communication is key. Along with communication, put your trust in the professional and their opinions, but at the end of the day, listen to your gut instincts.
Lastly, 7. Enjoy the process. At the end of the process, you will have the home of your dreams, and a product that you had a large part in creating. Do not sweat the small things and have fun with it! And, when you feel the stress setting in, take a step back and do something you love.