Home Building Questions Answered

Noah Construction & Builders wants our customers to be well informed when it comes to the subject of residential home building. Therefore, we offer some questions and answers that might help improve your understanding of building your first home. As always, we are here to help so please don’t hesitate to contact us with any other questions you might have.

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Buy existing or build new?

This simple question can often be the most difficult to answer because a buy versus build decision depends on each person. Some people want the convenience of buying an existing home so they can move in immediately, even if that house doesn’t fully meet their needs. Others want to choose their home style and details from the ground up and are willing to wait for their perfect home to be built. Noah Construction & Builders can help either way because we can build your new home or help renovate an existing home to suit you.

How do I start the process to build a home?

First, research the builders in your area as well as new construction already occurring in the area. Look at reviews, talk to owners who have built recently, and create an outline of what you want your house to be in terms of size and options. Then start interviewing builders you think will meet your needs.

Once I start this process, how long until my home is ready?

The home design and build process can take from six months to a year and can be delayed by weather, materials shortages, or other things not in the builders’ control. Other factors include where the site is located, how much site preparation is needed to build, and so forth.

What other costs occur during my build?

Each builder is different in terms of what costs are included or separated from your contract, but typical extra costs are building permits, water and sewer connections, electrical connections to the utility, wetlands mitigation or seawall construction depending on the area, and so forth. You should discuss this with the builder as your contract is being prepared.

Can I build on a lot I own?

The answer is probably, but you need to understand if there are building restrictions, where utilities are located, the site elevation and whether it tends to flood, any difficulties for delivery trucks to reach the site, and more. All of these issues can increase the cost of your construction.

Should I build for the present or the future?

Homeowners often fail to think about the future when building a new home. As they age, their needs will change such as being able to negotiate stairs, room for wheelchairs, or adding a “bonus” room that could be used differently in the future. Thinking about your future needs can also add resale value later because future buyers may have needs your home design allows for.

Should I compare builders on a cost per square foot basis?

Noah Construction & Builders does not recommend this. This is a number generated for buyers, and there is no consistency among builders about what their cost per square foot may include. Choose your builder by their reputation and quality, not because of a generated number that can’t be compared to other builders.

Should I build up, down, or out to get the space I need?

Building a second floor can result in lower costs since fewer materials are needed, but depending on where you are building it may not be feasible. In coastal areas, a two-story house can experience higher winds on the second-floor level because winds increase with altitude. Local building codes or association rules must also be taken into account. Basements can add a lot of useable space but can slow construction if local weather prevents getting the basement poured on schedule. Also, keep in mind that adding a stairway reduces the space on each floor and could make future use of the second floor or basement more difficult for someone who is disabled. A single-floor home may not fit the lot you have chosen or may have to be configured differently than you expected. These are all issues you should discuss with your builder before signing a contract.

What are the different types of foundations?

The three major types of foundations are slabs, basements, and crawl spaces. A slab foundation sits directly on the ground and is the easiest to prepare but won’t provide any protection from flooding. A basement foundation is the most expensive to prepare but offers a lot of space, storm protection, and easy access to plumbing and utilities. A crawl space creates an elevation above ground that can be useful if an area is subject to flooding but it takes about the same time to build as a basement and the crawl space isn’t useable living space.

How do I make sure not to be hit with extra costs?

When you prepare your building contract, be very specific about what you want. Every feature, option, accessory, and exterior items like porches or decks must be discussed because the builder will use a standard item or feature unless you clearly state what you want. If you find out during construction that you aren’t getting the deck you want but didn’t ask for, you could add a lot of cost to your build. Figure out in detail what you want your house to look like and what features you want before you talk to any builder.

Should I build custom or semi-custom?

A custom home is designed to your specific needs and desires, and you as the homeowner choose virtually every detail to suit you. A semi-custom home is designed by the builder to meet a specific floor plan or lot size, and you can choose options or extras to suit your tastes. Semi-custom homes can cost less because the builder has already incorporated the design into their base cost. It is a matter of personal taste and budget which way you choose.

What is a punch list?

Near the end of construction, you and your builder will walk through the home and look at everything in detail. A punch list is created to give the builder a list of items not yet completed per your contract or something that isn’t working correctly. Unfinished woodwork, painting that needs touchup, light switches that don’t work, or missing hardware on doors are all items that need to be detailed on the punch list. Go through the home very carefully and test everything to be sure it is working as it should or has been built as the contract stated.

What can you do now?

Choosing to build a home is a big decision, and it takes effort on your part before you meet with a builder. Determine where you want your home to be, what you want it to look like, what features you need today and may need in the future, and how much you can afford. You can get pre-approved for a mortgage which will tell you how much you have available to spend on your home. Then contact Noah Construction & Builders and discuss your dreams with us. We will work hard to create a home you can be proud of for years to come.

Reasons to Hire a Home Builder

So you’ve decided to build your dream home. You could build your home yourself, but you may not have the skills, tools, and knowledge to do so. Consider these reasons to hire a home builder:

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The first reason to hire a home builder is because home builders have more power than homeowners. A home builder works on homes nonstop. Through their job, they build relationships with suppliers. They may buy items in bulk or they may have special relationships with suppliers, allowing them to get discounts. Through these discounts, you can actually save money by hiring a home builder.

Building a home takes more time than you may think. If you have a full-time job or a family, you may not be able to commit the necessary time to building a home. A home builder’s full-time job is to build your home, so they have plenty of time to tackle projects. A home builder can complete your projects more quickly than you can, which can also save you money.

Even if you are handy, there are some aspects of building a home that you may not be able to handle on your own. If you have a strong understanding of plumbing, that doesn’t make you qualified to work on the electric aspects of your home. Similarly, if you know how to install drywall, that does not mean you are qualified to install a gas line. If you can do a few jobs on your own, that may be helpful, but a home builder can handle jobs that require expertise through a professional approach. Home builders also have connections to good sub-contractors, so you can trust the various people working on your home.

Looking for a home builder? Contact Noah Construction & Builders Inc. You can learn more about our services and arrange for a consultation by calling (631) 750-2837 today!

Don’t Let Cost Per Square Foot Bother You When it Comes to Building a Home

Homebuyers may have heard the term “cost per square foot” as an accurate measurement of the expected cost of building their new home, or a builder may advertise that they can build your home for a specific cost per square foot. The problem with such a claim is that there is no way to accurately state the true cost of a home until a lot is purchased and a final design is approved by the customer. Here is why you should not use cost per square foot as a determination of what home will fit in your budget.

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The cost per square foot is the total cost of the home divided by the livable square footage. The reason it is such a fluid number is what is involved in the total cost of the home. As an example, take two 2000 square foot homes in comparison.

Home 1 — 2000 square feet of livable space with a 200 square foot open deck and a carport.

Home 2 — The same livable square footage, but the buyer opts for a 3-car garage and an 800 square foot screened lanai.

Both homes will have the same cost per square foot because the garage and lanai are not considered livable space. But the total costs for the two homes will be significantly different.

Here is another way cost per square foot can be misleading:

Home 1 — The home is finished by the builder with standard-grade finishing, trim, and paint.

Home 2 — The home is purchased, then the buyer opts for high-end finishes, custom cabinets, and premium countertops and appliances.

Both of these homes were sold at the same cost per square foot, but the second home will cost much more. Custom finishes and treatments can add as much as $40 per square foot to the cost of a home!

Noah Construction and Builders understand that homebuyers are trying to keep within a budget when building a new home, and it may be tempting to use cost per square foot as a determination of which home and even which builder to use. But be cautious of any builder claiming they can provide a new home for a specific cost; there are too many variables involved that can quickly cause the home cost to exceed your budget.

If you would like more information on how Noah Construction and Builders can help you with your new home or existing home repair or renovation, please call us at (631) 750-2837. We will always be transparent in our pricing and give you a clear understanding of the costs involved in any home design or renovation.

How to Talk About Your Style with Home Professionals

Are you preparing to build your dream home? If so, you likely have a visualization of your dream home in your head. However, the hard part of building your dream home is getting this visualization to translate to home building professionals. For tips on how to talk about your style with home professionals, just keep reading this blog post.

Read moreHow to Talk About Your Style with Home Professionals

Should You Remodel or Rebuild Your House?

If you are considering a major upgrade or remodel to your home, another option may be to tear the house down and rebuild. It may sound extreme, but there are serious financial issues to consider when homes reach a certain age. Noah Construction & Builders wants you to be informed about your choices, so let’s consider the issues of remodel versus rebuild.

Read moreShould You Remodel or Rebuild Your House?

Start Planning Your Spring Project Today!

Winter is here in New York and the snow is falling, but that does not mean you should stop thinking about your next home improvement project. Winter and early spring construction are possible with proper planning. Here are some reasons why connecting with Noah Construction & Builders now can be a good idea:

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Noah Construction & Builders is YOUR Reputable Construction Company

Noah Construction & Builders is family owned with three generations of craftspeople building quality homes and renovations. We are a 5-time NARI CofY Award winner for the NYC/Long Island area for the quality of our construction. However, we don’t believe you need to hire us simply on our word. There are things you can do to help choose a reputable contractor before you start any new home construction or renovation.

Read moreNoah Construction & Builders is YOUR Reputable Construction Company

Choose Noah Construction and Builders Today!

Noah Construction & Builders is a family-owned business for over 40 years. Our three generations of craftspeople have the knowledge and experience to handle all types of home renovations and improvements. Our company can design and execute all types of residential improvements:

Read moreChoose Noah Construction and Builders Today!