Apartment or condo life is great in your twenties.
Amenities right at your fingertips, countless dining options just outside your front door, and no home maintenance stressors to worry about.
A space to call your own is a sure-fire sign that you’ve ‘made it.’ Life is good.
Until one day, when the footsteps above you in your neighbour’s apartment are suddenly unbearably loud. Or you need to do your laundry, and all of the shared washing machines are in use. You notice that the storage closet that appeared to be immense when you didn’t own much seems to have shrunk as you’ve accumulated more and more possessions.
You realize that this space you once called your own is not, in fact, yours.
A lot of things look great when we’re young, but our plans change as we get older. And while that plan may or may not involve children, it almost certainly requires more space.
The average cost of housing (and rent, for that matter) has been steadily increasing, with no sign of slowing down. With that in mind, more people are considering another option: custom home builds.
Hiring affordable custom home builders gives you the opportunity to design your home to fit your needs, ensuring that your investment will bring years (or even generations) of happy memories.
But before you’re ready to hire your contractor, make sure to cross these four tasks off your to-do list first.
- Do your Homework
Shopping around for affordable custom home builders can be intimidating and overwhelming, but being armed with knowledge makes the process much less stressful and more efficient. Reach out to friends and family you know who have completed or are in the process of their own build and ask them what they’ve learned through the process. Don’t be afraid to join message boards and ask questions. Ask for quotes and compare them. Once you’ve narrowed your search a bit, find out about the builders’ previous jobs; were the clients happy, did they finish the job when they said they would, did they do everything they could to stick to the budget? Meet with your potential contractor to gauge their personability. How do they handle stress? Do they talk down to you? Are they organized? You are going to be doing business with this person for months or even years, so it’s important that you’re able to communicate effectively.
- Know What you Want, Including your Back-up Options
It’s a good idea to have a general plan of what you want your finished house to look like. It’s a better idea to have some decisions set in stone. Once the building or structure of your house is complete, your contractor is going to need to know what kind of floors you want to lay down, what kind of cabinets, countertops, and colours you want. Consider working with a designer to choose these details before that time comes, and have a couple of back-up options ready in case you need to cut costs, or the material you want is unavailable. If they need to stop working while you’re mulling it over, it’s going to delay the finishing of the project, costing you more money.
- Be Open to Suggestions but know what you aren’t willing to Compromise On
A good contractor is going to want you to be completely satisfied with your finished home. During the planning phase, let them offer their opinions and take them into consideration. Hear their reasonings; they are the professionals, after all. But at the same time, it’s important to know where you are and aren’t willing to compromise. Do you need two full bathrooms, or is one-and-a-half an option? Are you flexible on the number of bedrooms or the size of the kitchen? A custom home is a serious investment, so make sure that if something needs to be cut, you’re not going to regret it down the line.
- Have your Finances in Order
Even with the most affordable custom home builders, you will most likely need to take out a loan. As materials are ordered and plans laid out, the cost of a home build can add up quickly and before you know it, much of your budget has been spent. By allocating certain percentages of your budget to certain jobs, you can avoid having to make concessions down the road.
This includes budgeting for bumps along the way. Even the most organized job is going to run into problems here and there. It’s important to set aside 10-20% of your budget to go toward unexpected surprises.
Nicons Enterprises Ltd. has been in the service of providing residents of Metro Vancouver with quality home builds since 2001. When apartment life is no longer the life for you, reach out to these affordable custom home builders.