The home builders also play the role of inspectors. Throughout the construction phase, the local building department checks the construction site to search for code violations. But the professional home builder scours each construction site long before and after the officials show up to make certain each home he builds meets both code and warranty guidelines. Once the house is finished, the builder informs the appropriate municipal departments that it is ready for final inspection. One goal drives the professional home builder — a satisfied customer. To meet this objective, home builders act as public relations professionals. Content customers will recommend a builder to other prospective homebuyers, helping the builder’s business to grow. Home builders discuss the construction process and building schedule with their customers. They also plan times when the homebuyers can tour the building site and ask questions about the status of their new home. Home builders are businesspeople who work with materials suppliers and trade contractors. They often establish a network of materials suppliers and contractors with whom they conduct business on a regular basis. The quality of the labor and materials will determine the quality of the home.å
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Some home builders develop the land on which homes are built. In this capacity they act as the land surveyor. They must look carefully at a piece of land to determine whether it complies with zoning regulations, local planning laws and environmental restrictions, and whether it is suitable for development. In an attempt to determine what lies below the land’s surface, the home builders study a lot’s topography, searching for rock outcroppings, shallow depth bedrock, shallow groundwater, natural drainage sources and dense vegetation.
During this process, the home builders also considers landscaping options and erosion control. Once the builder determines a site suitable for construction, they must navigate through the permitting process.
A custom-built home is one where you are in control of almost everything going into the construction of the home. Most custom-built homes begin with an architect who takes your home builders and produces blueprints. These blueprints become the instructional drawings for the home builders. Some builders offer their own architectural services. Others limit their construction to a few select homes, which already have blueprints created.
You may be able to make significant changes to the plans for a new home in a subdivision under construction. Some builders will build new homes in existing neighborhoods to be sold when they are completed. You may be able to make changes to that construction depending on how much of the building has been completed.
Just as the name suggests, a home with custom floor plans has one or more large, open rooms that function as multiple rooms within a single living space. The most common is a “great room” that combines the kitchen, dining room, and living room in one shared space.
These floor plans usually work extremely well in homes with less square footage – sometimes out of necessity – while larger homes have more leeway to work with when integrating great rooms into a floor plan.
Traditionally, homes built pre-1990s were designed with lots of separate rooms in mind, even though many of these distinct rooms were really only separated by three-quarters of a wall and an open walkway – most often the kitchen, dining room, and living room.
The mindset was that the more rooms a house had, the more attractive, compartmentalized, and functional it was. But designers and homeowners alike started realizing that homes with open floor plan designs could fit more usable living space into the same amount of square footage.