Residential Contractor

Residential contractor

The process for building a new home is one that is studied by prospective homebuilders who will hire a residential contractor as well as do-it-yourselfers. There is nothing dark and mysterious about building a home but a contractor, or other builder services like modular home manufacturers, have the edge because of the experience.

Driving a car is an extremely simple action to most people. However, when most of them were in their teens, and in the drivers seat for the first time, there seemed to be no way that one person could learn how to perform all these operations in the proper sequence. Building a home is much like this only on a broader scale. It is not that it is difficult, however there is a schedule for the events that will enable the builder to drive the project smoothly.


In many how-to-build or self-building home articles one of the first steps recommended is the financing. However, you have to know what you want before you can get the financing for it. Planning and getting the money should be coordinated and the best way to figure out if you can afford your plan is to price out what is being built in your area that is similar to what you want. For example, if the 2500 square foot home down the street is being built for $300,000, lot included, then there is pretty good chance that your place will come in around the same price.

But you have to start with a set of plans that a residential general contractor can bid on. These plans may come from a magazine or the internet but you have to have at least eight copies. This is because the building permit will take two or three copies and the contractor has to have at least four for the subtrades.

Another way to plan a home and get the figures to take to the bank is to hire a residential architect. Although they will usually add a fee or percentage to the building project many of them will do the project management as well, which includes hiring the general contractor and subtrades. This added fee may save you money in the run because the architect has the ability to change the plans on the fly. So if the bank says the project is too much he or she can, for example, turn a three-car garage into two bays to get the project down in cost or scale down ion the square footage.

Lot or Land

Many people choose the lot before the home but they have a good idea of what they want. However, some parcels may have features that will not support your dream home. For example, there may be too much rock for a full basement, and blasting would be too expensive or prohibited in the area, so a slab-on-grade would have to be the foundation if this lot were chosen. So compromises may have to me made. Also, before buying the land, always put in a subject to financing and official approval clauses.

Building Permit

The plan may have to be approved by a developer. He or she will then provide a plot plan to take to the building commission along with copies of the detailed plans of the structure, for approval. The plot plan tells the city or county official where on the lot your home will be placed. Allow a couple of months for this process so, if you are doing this yourself, don't commit to tradespeople without the approved plans in your hands. They have to have full schedules to live and pay their crews and can't wait idle for the officials to approve the plans.


When hiring the subtrades a builder will only hire a contractor with a license. This is to protect everyone from bad work and/or repercussions from the building inspector. A general contractor will schedule everything starting with surveyors to mark the land, the excavators to prepare the building plot and the foundation crew to put up forms and pour the concrete. He or she will also have to arrange for temporary power from the electrical company.

Inspectors will have to be given a schedule so that they can approve each step. If this is not coordinated by the general contractor valuable time will be wasted waiting for inspections and, in addition, bank appraisals if there s to be a draw system. Banks lend money on completed portions of the home and rarely give out the full amount.


When the project has been completed the contractor will take you through the home and you can point out any irregularities or blemishes. This includes the landscaping and sidewalks.

Residential contractors drive the project and get it finished on time and on budget. For information on contractor near you look through our Contractor Directory or post your project online at and one will contact you.

Posted by: TrustedPros
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