Plan Your Dream Home Now
18 strategies to realize your dream home in the next 12 months

Here are the last 6 strategies to help you realize your dream of building a log home.

13. Minimize Disruptions
Where will you live during construction? Stay in your existing home if you can swing it financially, advises Brenda with Riverbend. "Try to make your living situation during construction as comfortable as possible. You’ll need that oasis of sanity to go to at the end of the day," she says.

14. Comparison Shop
Stay on budget by comparison shopping on every item for your home. To reduce your spending on appliances and minor items such as faucets, fixtures and flooring (which will save you significant cash), use this year to shop for sales and educate yourself about home-improvement prices.

15. Profit From Your Resale
If you’re selling your primary residence to finance this project, consult with a real estate agent about the many ways you can add value to your home when you put it on the market. This can involve everything from minor repairs and maintenance to moving some of your possessions to storage.

16. Overcome Decision Fatigue
There will be times when you feel you can’t possibly make another decision, where you seem to have lost your way because you’ve become mired in so many details. Brenda at Riverbend Timber Framing suggests that you and your partner split responsibilities and delegate decisions to whomever has the most interest in a particular room. For example, the movie buff can design the home theater, and the family chef can create the kitchen.

17. Prioritize the Process
Even when you have a clear picture of the design of your new home, you may not understand how to get there. Here’s a list of the pre-construction tasks you’ll need to accomplish, in order of priority.

  1. Pre-qualify with a lender, estimate budget, develop initial house plans.
  2. Contact several timber home companies, submit plans for quotes.
  3. Arrange for a survey and plot plan, choose lender.
  4. Select timber home company, pay down payment on package.
  5. Choose a builder and subcontractors, work with timber company on final construction documents.
  6. Obtain preliminary construction documents, submit request for bids.
  7. Arrange insurance, collect and evaluate bids, obtain building-permit information, prepare cost-estimate summary.
  8. Receive completed blueprints, submit loan application, apply for building permit.
  9. Prepare construction schedule, notify subcontractors, arrange temporary utilities.
  10. Receive building permit, get loan-application approval, begin construction.

18. Be Brave
Since this is likely one of the largest investments of your life, be cautious every step of the way. That said, know that there’s a fine line between pragmatism and being paralyzed with indecision. The latter probably stems from a fear that everything has to be perfect. Accept the fact that perfect homes exist only on paper. But what you can control is the process for building a home that makes you extremely happy.

Some quick tips to protect yourself from major mistakes:

  • Ask an attorney familiar with residential construction to review your home’s contracts.
  • Check references of timber home producers and builders with your state’s attorney general’s office and state contractor’s board.
  • Don’t choose contractor services or home packages on price alone. Give equal weight to reputation for service and quality.

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