The Ultimate Pre-Construction Checklist for New Home Building

Dawn KruegerHome Construction

studs on home construction interior

Building a luxury home can be exhilarating, exciting and completely satisfying with the right customer attitude and qualified builder. To simplify the sometimes overwhelming process of new home building, we’ve prepared the ultimate pre-construction checklist based on our years of experience building custom homes in the Bethesda, Maryland and Washington DC areas.

First, have patience.

Quality and luxury homes are in high demand in our region of the Greater Washington DC area. As inventory decreases and interest rates remain in the single digits, the common denominator for builder clients is patience. Finding the right piece of land, possibly tearing down and existing house, and designing & building your dream home takes time. So our first piece of advice for embarking in a successful building project is to be patient. This doesn’t mean you should accept builder delays that weren’t planned ahead of time, it’s just that the entire project will take time even while it’s worked on nearly every day.

Establish your list of “must-haves.”

Do some research on the latest home trends and discuss your dreams and must-haves with your everyone related on the project. Make sure your family, you and the builder are all on the same page. Knowing individual decorating styles must be discussed between married couples. It’s sadly common for him to assume one thing, and her to be upset because that one “thing” blows up her idea of what a luxury kitchen should include. Even these minor details, worked out as far in advance as possible, make the process more simplified. Tell your builder your ideas, ask for input and for suggestions on other home features that would make sense and provide comfort or ROI. Use their experience to your advantage!

What are Common Must-Haves?

Contact our team to hear what luxury homes in the Washington DC area often include.

Ask a Question

Know your financial limits.

Luxury homes and exceptional builds come with a cost so it’s important to establish your plans ahead of time and refrain from change orders so you don’t exceed your financial limits. Final pricing is determined when every detail is planned out. The proposal or final contract from your builder should include all the details you need to be sure there are no pricing surprises down the road. And then your job as a customer is to understand that changes to that plan will result in more cost and delays in the schedule. This isn’t usually an issue, but remembering this ahead of time will help you be prepared. And the Washington Post recently reported that most custom homes in the DC and surrounding areas average between $800-$1.5 Million so knowing a limit with finances is absolutely critical.

Find the right location.

Finding a lot of land that suits a specific footprint of a home in the desired neighborhood can be tricky. We encourage you to work with your builder on finding property or enlist a professional realtor. Both should have expertise and knowledge in the target areas you’re seeking property. Additionally, a realtor or builder can often negotiate lower than the list price. If you work with a realtor, still keep your builder in the loop. They should inspect the property before you buy it because variations in soil, lot size and grade make a difference in  home building costs and plans.

Approve your floor plan.

Once you know where your new home will be built, you can focus on finalizing the home design. If you don’t know where to start, ask the builder for their suggestions or research floor plans online. Knowing exact parameters, needs and quality of materials will expedite this process. Often, quality builders such as Rasevic Construction Company in Bethesda, MD, will have onsite surveyors, architects, designers,  and a plethora of top materials companies to work with on your new home construction.

Know & accept your time frame.

Once your land is purchased and plans are finalized, the true building process can begin. But what happens during that process is, often, not communicated effectively. Remember, builders, production managers, and superintendents are hands-on types. They are not, for the most part, in the communication industry.

This concern truly makes Rasevic a standout over other home builders in the DC, Bethesda, and Baltimore areas. Most builders hand over a project to a “super,” who handles the transaction and coordinates the sub-contractors. The buyer is, often, left out of the process, and watches from the sidelines, truly oblivious to what is happening. Rasevic provides customer oriented project managers instead, who communicate and work with clients directly throughout the entire building process. This improves communication and ensures that projects are completed on time and within budget. Communication issues between builders, clients and supers is one of the key reasons for clients reporting a bad home building experience, according to builder reviews nationwide.

Understand government regulations & permits.

One of the most potentially frustrating aspects of building can come with a lack of understanding around the need for proper permits and government regulations associated with new home construction. This is an area where your builder will have expertise and you can trust them. If you need to know more, ask the builder about local permits and codes. This removes frustration in wondering why the foundation isn’t being laid a month after the contract was signed.

The government, DHEC, and inspectors are involved in each step of the build, and often, this step is not communicated to clients. There are inspections after each portion of the home is completed. These can delay the next step from progressing. Again, communication with project managers, supers and builder, can greatly assist, should things take longer than expected to proceed. Note: If a builder promises to complete a build in 6 months, add 2 to the equation. Sub-contractors run behind, materials arrive damaged, or inspections become delayed due to weather. Some delay will occur, inevitably. Remain lenient with time schedules. The builder has every intention to work to the contract timeline, but many unpredictable elements may interfere. Being patient, and knowing that the desired home is just taking a bit longer, can keep tempers and frustrations down. Remember, the builder cannot control the government or local regulations.

Following these steps, with great attention to detail, and exceptional communication between all parties, are the most critical steps to any home construction. When it comes to the Washington, DC, and surrounding areas, exceptional quality and service is demanded. Luxury homes require ample time to prepare and abundant patience because they often include needing to tear down existing homes on property purchased. However, when a client steps through the gorgeous threshold, and views the impeccable quality of a dream home, the benefits of preparation and patience, will be well worth the wait. To discover the dream of a luxury build in the Washington DC, Bethesda, or Baltimore areas contact us.

Share this Post