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1. Where will I build?
This is the most important question you need to address, because it can affect all your other choices. Once you know the answer to this question, your timber-producer options will narrow significantly, since most prefer to build relatively close to their shops. Also, shipping costs can add up when distance is involved. It’s smart to buy your land and evaluate its contour before you begin designing your home. Knowing what your property’s characteristics are will help you make decisions, such as where and how to install your driveway, septic system, plumbing and foundation.
2. What kind of floor plan do I need?
Decide what features are important to your family’s present and future needs. Are there rooms in your current house that are essential, like a first-floor master
bedroom or an office? Do you no longer need four bedrooms? Consider a floor plan that supports your family’s activities and will help your home remain functional and enjoyable through the years.
3. How will I choose a timber company?
Since each timber producer offers a variety of plans, services and wood species, know the options before you settle on one company. Begin by calling the producers in the region where you’re planning to build. Review their literature. Call their references and visit their websites. Look for a company that you feel is trustworthy and can produce a quality home within your budget.
4. How much can I afford?
If you don’t have a solid budget in place, you’ll be unable to evaluate designs or compare timber companies and contractors. A budget for the actual structure, in addition to other expenses, such as land and well systems, allows you to set priorities and direct your energies toward a realistic plan. Share your budget honestly with the timber companies you’re considering, so they can effectively guide you. Decide which amenities you need now and, if money’s an issue, which items you can postpone until you can afford them. Then figure out how much you can mortgage, what the taxes are and what types of insurance you’ll have to carry.