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The objective for most people who build a new home is to get a valuable return on the investment and a home that fits their lifestyle needs. Value is created when your finished home is worth more to you than the cost of construction.
Keep in mind that there are no shortcuts to achieving a successful result when building your home. It takes expertise, good planning and proper management to build your home right.
Building in any remote location has its special challenges. This is particularly true of San Juan Islands. All materials need to be brought a long distance to the building site. Proper planning is absolutely essential to keep costs under control. Making changes once construction has started becomes expensive and time consuming. It can also result in major delays if additional material needs to be manufactured, sourced and shipped.
Design and structural changes require expertise from professionals who have a good understanding of the specific project. San Juan Islands Home Builders has relationships with these kinds of experts and can get them to do the work required on a timely basis.
It is vital to prepare an accurate budget, which includes realistic estimates, which reflect the scope of work to be done. San Juan Islands Home Builders can help you determine what is involved in your specific project. We can also help you make good decisions so you can get a successful outcome.
Cost certainty in a construction project is a major concern for homeowners, builders and financial institutions alike. San Juan Islands Home Builders has access to the proprietary Custom Builder XPM ™ construction estimation software developed specifically for the custom home industry. It produces realistic budget estimates that take into consideration all the details of the project in a short period of time.
The ability to generate a realistic budget in order to get the required level of cost certainty is not only important for the homeowner. It also helps financial institutions validate homeowners and builders for construction loans. You want to make all the necessary changes to your design so you can finalize your blueprints before asking for price quotes. Making changes during construction will alter the scope of work and subsequently affect the budget.
Getting a fixed price on the entire project is generally not feasible due to the complexity of building a custom home. A combination of fixed prices and realistic allowances is the most accurate budgeting method. Simplistic finished price per square foot quotes for the whole project are not realistic in custom home building.
San Juan Islands Home Builders can obtain fixed pricing for the design and materials to get to the lock-up stage. This usually represents about one-third of the construction budget. Also the cost of framing the home can usually be fixed. Allowances for the remainder of the project can be determined once the homeowner has made a final decision on finishing materials and other items.
Taking your project to completion will depend on the size of home, location of property, complexity of construction, time taken to get permits and frequency of inspections. To determine a realistic occupancy date, San Juan Islands Home Builders uses a comprehensive work schedule detailing key milestones to keep the project on track. Each milestone is carefully planned to bring the project to successful completion and meet your projected occupancy date.
The San Juan Islands area is fairly temperate but the relatively large amount of rain that falls between November and February can make excavation work difficult. Concrete cannot be poured if foundations have become saturated with water.
The home needs to be designed and built to withstand frequent rainfall and windy conditions. This is why it is important to select the right building materials, particularly roofing materials and windows. The components must be designed and warranted to resist water penetration.
Obtaining permits may require that there is ample drainage, depending on the location of your building lot. San Juan Islands Home Builders has a thorough understanding of local requirements and can help you build the right kind of home for the area.
San Juan Islands Home Builders constructs homes in most regions of San Juan Islands. We generally serve the more populated areas, but also have familiarity with the challenges of the more remote locations.
It is sometimes difficult to source all of the specialized components needed to build a custom home locally. All goods need to be shipped from the mainland, which means local suppliers are reluctant to carry inventory of specialty items. Transportation is also relatively costly. This means getting the right quantity and quality of materials sourced and shipped together is very important.
San Juan Islands Home Builders uses a proven system for purchase and delivery of materials that is cost-effective for San Juan Islands residents. We have formed preferred buying alliances with local and national suppliers based on the mainland to provide a wide selection of high quality building products to our customers. Materials are consolidated and shipped directly in full loads to your building site to save on freight costs. This process saves you a significant amount of time and money.
Due to the complexity of construction, it is essential to select people who can manage and build your new home. Few homeowners are able to take on the whole project without relying on a team of professionals.
Building a custom home successfully requires attention-to-detail and a good understanding of the construction process. There are many tasks to be completed, which require skilled people to manage them. The objective for most people who build a new home is to get a valuable return on the investment and a home that fits their lifestyle needs. Value is created when your finished home is worth more to you than the cost of construction. Keep in mind that there are no shortcuts to achieving any of these outcomes. It takes expertise, good planning and a proper control mechanism to get the best possible result.
It is important to select a general contractor who is qualified for your type of project and can complete it for the quoted price in an acceptable time frame. You also need someone you can trust to manage and schedule the right builders and trades.
It is equally important to evaluate your general contractor based on the expertise offered and the ability to see the project through. Contractors need to be properly insured so they do not transfer the risk of injury and damage related lawsuits to the homeowner. A contractor's business liability insurance can protect you if your home is damaged by the contractor or his employees or if he causes damage or injury to third parties.
Having a meaningful written construction contract is essential. The key elements are scope of work, procedures for changes, payment terms and provisions for sign off at the time of completion. The construction contract should also address responsibility for work-related injuries, damages to third parties and property damage (builder's risk insurance).
Design and Materials
There are many design possibilities and thousands of building components with different performance characteristics to choose from. The first step is to develop a concept design. Typically people start with a look or an interior layout that they like. This is then taken to a preliminary plan, which can be used to develop to generate blueprints and a rough budget.
The next step is to spend adequate time to choose the right materials. Changes are far more costly when they are made during construction. Material purchasing requires a special skill set. It takes a professional looking at finalized blueprints to accurately determine the right quantity of materials needed.
Building permits need to be in place before you can start construction. Some land preparation can take place prior to permits, but you need to be aware of the local guidelines that may restrict this work. Some of the issues involved in getting permits are:
Apply for permits as soon as you have your construction blueprints. The objective is to obtain all approvals so that you can get foundations in place prior to peak season or adverse weather conditions. You can always delay construction, but you can't move it forward without permits
Preparing the building site includes clearing the land and excavating so that foundations can be formed and concrete poured when the weather conditions are right.
It is important to get the foundations in place as soon as blueprints are available and permits have been obtained. Cement cannot be poured below freezing temperatures or other adverse weather conditions without special procedures.
At this stage the building inspector has approved the work done to complete the exterior structure of the home to lock-up. Based on this milestone approval, a progress or final payment to the contractor must be made. The home is now weatherproof, secure and ready for to take to the completion and occupancy phase. You are now able to finish the home at your own pace and on your own timetable.
Occupancy means that your home is ready for you to live in. You may choose to work with the general contractor or hire trades directly to complete the exterior and interior of the home to occupancy. Working with an interior designer may be helpful in arranging the purchase and installation of flooring, cabinets and millwork.