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You’ve looked at seemingly every home for sale on the market, and none of them come close to checking the boxes on your list. Or maybe you want the freedom to tailor a home to your wants and needs, or you’ve found the perfect lot and now need the perfect home to go with it.

Whatever the case may be, you’re ready to start from scratch with new home construction. Building a new house can be a Herculean task, but our checklist can help you master the new home construction process in Philadelphia and the Main Line.

Read on for tips on how to make the new home construction process run as smooth as possible.

1) Choose the best site.

If you don’t already have a lot, start by choosing one. If you’re looking to build a home in an established neighborhood, keep an eye on the market for older, smaller, or run-down homes in your desired area that could be torn down.

Get to know the zoning and building codes in your desired neighborhood or town. Or Choose your design/build team very early in the process to guide you. You may find the perfect tear down, only to discover the lot size is not big enough to accommodate the home you want to build, or storm water management issues get in the way. Do your research before you buy.

If you choose a raw lot, your design/build team can come up with a design that suits the landscape or neighborhood. The physical attributes of your lot will determine not only where the house is placed, but how doors and windows, the driveway, and other elements are placed on the land to maximize the character of the lot. Also, if you are breaking ground somewhere new, keep in mind the costs of running utilities to your home. Getting gas, water, and electric to a remote site can add significantly to the cost.

2) Choose a design/build team.

It never hurts to have a design/build team involved before you even buy your building lot. That way you can get input from professionals on why a lot may or may not be a good fit for the home you plan to build.

Choose a team that is willing to work hard to get your design exactly where it needs to be. Professional electricians, plumbers, and heating and air conditioning specialists should be a part of the team, and contributing long before the first nail is hammered in.

3) Design for whom?

You might have a picture in your mind of what you want your new construction home to look like. But keep an open mind. If you end up in a neighborhood with Colonial and Victorian houses, you might consider building a home with similar character. Or maybe not. Perhaps you want your home to be the unique one on the block.

4) Planning and permitting.

This is the nitty gritty of a new construction build, and is best left to the professionals. Your design/build team will be spending time with town officials, seeking approval for your build at zoning meetings and with other officials. Each town has its own codes and regulations, and you’ll want to work with a team that’s familiar with the regulations in your area.

5) Work schedule.

If your design/build team doesn’t work religiously by a schedule, find a new team. It’s likely, however, that there will be small delays in the schedule. When that happens, a good team will keep you abreast of any changes, and come up with any work arounds that could aid the situation.

6) Project changes

Not all changes to the schedule are because of bad weather. Delays in material deliveries, slow decision making, even illness can create schedule problems. The homeowners can affect the schedule as well. Any changes you make to the project during building can be not only a detriment to the schedule, but can cost you more money.

If you need to make a decision or change during building, do it quickly. Avoid making major changes during construction, because it could have a ripple effect and disrupt the timing and schedule, and impact your cost.

7) Don’t forget….

It’s easy to get so wrapped up in the house design that you forget all about the decisions to make with landscaping, patios, lighting, security, pools, sprinkler systems, and other finishing touches.

A good team will remember these details, but be sure they get worked into the schedule as soon as possible so they aren’t forgotten.

As you embark on your new home construction process in Philadelphia or the Main Line, enjoy the ride! Contact us at Cottage Industries if you have any questions on building a new home.

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