This article will show you how to how plan your building project for successful execution.
There are some key considerations you need to make when planning the project.
These considerations will save you a lot of money and help you avoid the usual frustrations that come with building your home.
Here they are:
Selecting Your Plot
Firstly, before you start to plan your building project, select a lot. Its location and shape will influence the design and determine to a large degree the proper room arrangement.
The following utilities should be available to the property — water, sewer, electricity, gas, and telephone.
A desirable building lot should be located on a hard-surfaced road and within easy walking distance of public transportation. Make sure that public snow removal facilities are provided to keep roads open in winter. Sidewalks are desirable along at least one side of the street.
The neighborhood in which you select your lot should have police and fire protection. Garbage and trash collection also are features which the community should provide.
If you wish to maintain the value of your property over a long period, select a lot where zoning ordinances have been established. They will provide protection to your property against encroachments of business establishments, rooming houses, multi-family type dwellings, and also protect the area against other adverse influences.
It is essential that the community in which you locate be served by good schools, churches, shopping centers, and places of amusement
After you have located a lot and before a contract is entered into for its purchase, examine it for the following conditions:
Is the ground level enough to permit an economical plan?
Are there any pieces of evidence of earth fill which may cause foundation settlements?
Will the property lend itself to satisfactory drainage so that the basement will be dry?
Is the soil suitable for gardening, trees, shrubs, and grass?
After you have satisfied yourself that you have chosen a good site, obtain the services of a civil engineer or land surveyor to provide you with a survey of the property. The survey should furnish you with the following information:
- points of the compass;
- lot lines (their direction and lengths);
- grade contours at one-foot intervals;
- depth and location of the sewer;
- water and gas mains and electric lines locations ;
- location of all trees which you wish to preserve.
- Any easements through or along plotlines should be indicated.
Find out the direction of prevailing breezes in summer and note their direction with an arrow on your survey.
Before beginning preliminary plan sketches, obtain copies of all rules and regulations governing building activities for the area where your lot is situated.
- These may include
- local building codes,
- local zoning restrictions,
- fire underwriters regulations, and
- possibly a local, county, or state sanitary law.
If you plan to finance your house with an insured mortgage, obtain a copy of the latest Minimum Property Requirements from the local Housing Administration office having jurisdiction.
Design your house to be in harmony with those in the neighborhood.
Plan your house to fit the lot and thus avoid the need for changing existing grade levels to fit the house.
Strive for architectural appeal, not by means of false elements of design, but rather by simple lines that will lend dignity to the structure.
Avoid false fronts such as the use of brick or stone on the street facade, and the use of cheaper
facing materials for the side and rear elevations.
Before you commit yourself to a contract for the construction of a house, consult your banker to determine what you can reasonably afford to pay. Don’t overextend yourself financially.
After establishing your cost limitations, it is wise to select a competent architect to prepare plans and specifications or to examine carefully available plans to determine their suitability for the site. He should also let contracts, and supervise construction work. A good architect will often save you the amount of his fee.
Select a local builder with a good reputation. Have all agreements in written form to avoid
Any request for changes in your house after construction work begins should be made, in writing,
through your architect, if you have one.
Avoid “trick” design features as they may place your house in a “fad” category and adversely affect the value of your property over a long period.
It is wiser to spend money on good landscaping than on design oddities which are obviously used
for dramatic purposes.
When developing your floor plans, arrange your rooms to obtain privacy both from within and
Light and Ventilation
Provide each room with ample light and ventilation. Locate your master bedroom, porches or terraces so they will benefit from the prevailing summer breezes.
Provide easy access to each room and ample wall space for the proper placement of furniture.
Provide adequate closets for each bedroom, hall, kitchen, and plenty of general storage space in the attic, basement, or elsewhere within the structure.
Finally, Unless you have unlimited funds and can afford to experiment and make mistakes, it is advisable to follow the accepted architectural design. This is true also of materials and mechanical equipment.
Remember that your home represents one of the largest, if not the largest investment you will make in your lifetime. There are no substitutes for good planning, good material, good workmanship, and safe, sound financing.