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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 Big Island. 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. Big Island 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. Big Island 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.
Big Island Home Builders can help you produce meaningful budget estimates based on realistic numbers and assumptions in a short period of time. We use project estimating software developed specifically for the custom home industry. This provides more cost certainty for homeowners, builders and financial institutions, which is a major concern for everyone.
This systematic approach ensures that all the materials and labor required to complete your project are considered when preparing your budget. The cost of completing your home will depend on the size, location and complexity of the project. This means you need to look at all the variables, including site conditions, the type of design, features and the quality of finishing products you want in your home.
Estimates from Big Island Home Builders are complete and professionally prepared. They can be used to provide a true comparative when evaluating competitive quotes. Accepting construction quotes that are incomplete or not based on project specific information can get you in a situation where you may face serious budget overruns.
To determine a realistic timetable to finish the project so you can occupy your home, it is necessary to understand what is involved in the construction process. The reality is that it usually takes about six months to build a relatively uncomplicated home. It can often take a year or more to build a custom home.
|Activity||From (wks)||Up to (wks)|
|Selecting Design and Materials||8||12|
|Permits and Approvals||2||20|
|Construction and Inspections||15||38|
|Projected time to occupancy||25||70|
The Big Island area has a climate that allows work at almost any time of the year. However, the seasonal rainfalls in some parts of the island can make excavation work more difficult. Concrete cannot be poured if the foundation work has become saturated with water.
Building materials made from wood need to be treated to be insect resistant. It is best to use kiln dried lumber as non-dried lumber commonly sold at local supply yards has a tendency to warp. It difficult to get a good result when applying drywall over non-dried lumber as the walls will warp and the nails will pop when the lumber dries. This means painting and the application of trim become extremely challenging.
Low maintenance and energy efficiency should also be considered when selecting building materials. It is important that suppliers can offer meaningful warranties as replacing key components on an island can be an issue. Big Island Home Builders has the expertise to help you plan the timing of your project and make sure that all the materials and trades are available when needed.
Big Island Home Builders constructs homes in most regions of Big Island. 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.
Big Island Home Builders uses a proven system for purchase and delivery of materials that is cost-effective for Big Island 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.