Having a new home built is an exciting process, but it can be overwhelming. There’s a lot to consider before construction begins, so it’s important to take your time and plan properly to ensure you wind up with the dream home you envisioned.
Below are some key things to keep in mind as you start planning your new home!
Setting a Timeline and Budget
Before you dive into planning your new home, you’ll need to consider some key factors, such as your budget and timeline. First, figure out the maximum amount you’re willing to spend on your new home. If you plan on financing your new home, talk with your bank or lender to see what kind of borrowing power you have so you can get an idea of what size loan you’ll be able to secure (and terms such as payments, length of the loan, etc.).
If you don’t already have a plot of land, you’ll need to look into options to find out what’s available and at what price points and plan accordingly (more tips on choosing the right location and plot below).
You’ll also need to consider a realistic timeline to have your new home built and move-in ready.
With Central Texas growing more popular by the day, it’s a good idea to get your project booked sooner than later, as demand for local home builders is continually increasing. You’ll need to speak with a local reputable contractor to get an idea of when you can expect construction to start, and how long it will take (based on your unique needs and goals – outlined below).
Choosing the Right Location & Lot
If you’re in the early stages of planning and are still looking for a new plot of land to purchase, take the time to find a lot that’s right for your needs. If you’re looking for convenience, building within city limits will help ensure that entertainment, grocery stores, medical assistance, and more are right down the street. However, you may wind up with a smaller plot that costs more than if you were to choose land a little further outside of the city. So if you’re looking for a bigger yard or you need to keep your costs down, some land on the city’s outskirts may be ideal for your needs.
If you have children, you may want to look in areas that are near highly-rated schools, and if you need to go to work every day it’s a good idea to factor your daily commute in as well.
If you’re planning on building further away from the hustle and bustle of the city, you’ll want to ensure you’re easily able to get utilities such as water and electricity to your land, so it’s a good idea to reach out to local providers and see what your options and potential costs are.
Consider the Size & Layout
How big do you want your new home to be? Consider how many bedrooms and bathrooms you’ll need, how big of a kitchen and living room you want, and any extra rooms such as a workout room or office. Do you want a single-story home or a two-story (or more) house? If you have any family members or people who will be living with you that have mobility issues, be sure to consider that before committing to a home with more than one story.
After you know how many rooms you’ll want, you can start planning how many square feet you want your home to be, and the measurements for each room in your new home. A rule of thumb is to aim for 1,000 sq. ft. per person for maximum comfort, but this may not be practical depending on your budget and other factors, such as materials (discussed below). You’ll need to factor in your lot size to ensure it can accommodate your house comfortably (and you might need to consider a multi-story home if you’re building on a smaller lot but need a lot of space in your home).
If you’re living by yourself and don’t plan on having anyone else move in, you may be comfortable with between 1,000 and 1,500 sq. feet, depending on how much room you’d like to have for any amenities (a larger kitchen, spacious living room, a home office, etc.). If you live with your significant other, you might want to aim for 2,000-2,500 sq. ft. to accommodate for extra belongings and amenities (the average home size in the U.S. is around 2,300 square feet). If you have several children or are planning on raising a family, you may opt to have them share a room instead of aiming for 1,000 sq. ft. per child, though if you plan on living in your new home for many years, they may want their own space, so it’s a good idea to plan ahead and account for some extra room.
You’ll also want to keep in mind the energy bills that come with bigger homes. If you have 3-4 people in your home, it may not be financially feasible to properly heat or cool it during the harsh Texas summers and unpredictable winters if you aim for 3,000-4,000+ sq. feet, so it’s something else to keep in mind.
As you can see, there are a lot of variables to consider when deciding how large your home should be. If you’re unsure, it’s a good idea to consult with an experienced contractor to discuss your needs and goals and they can help you decide how much space might be good based on your preferences and budget.
Decide on Materials
Do you want bricks, logs, overlapped planks, stone siding, or something else for your home? How about flooring? Are you interested in tile, carpet, wooden floors, laminate, or a combination? These are all factors to consider, and each option will have a different impact on your budget.
You can do some searching online to get some comparisons of what different materials will cost, but the best approach is to discuss options with your contractor to see what kind of rates they can secure and give you a more accurate estimate on what different options might run.
Features & Amenities
When you’re building your dream home from scratch, you’ll likely have some features and amenities in mind that would make it perfect. From vaulted ceilings to fireplaces, a pool, intricate lighting, bay windows, the latest appliances, and more, there are a lot of options to consider. Your contractor can help with a lot of this (for instance, they can help verify if your lot is big enough to have space for a pool, and can help with the floor plan to make room for a fireplace, etc.), and you can do some shopping to get an idea of what different appliances may cost so that you can factor these expenses into your overall budget.
A Good Contractor Can Help With Every Step
Once you’ve gathered the appropriate information, it’s time to work with a reputable local contractor. These professionals will provide estimates for each task from construction to interior features. They’ll also help you develop a plan that’s perfect for your unique needs.
Clayton Construction specializes in helping residents in the Austin & Central Texas area with their custom home construction Austin TX to plan and build their dream homes. From planning to blueprints to a high-quality build, our experts can help turn your dreams into a reality. Contact us today to discuss your needs and goals, and we’ll work with you to start building a house in Austin TX that you’ll love for years to come.