Building a new home can be an exciting venture and one that gives you a lot of creative control over the design and characteristics of your living environment. It can also be an experience that tries your patience and also empties your bank account. Hidden prices are an unfortunate part of the construction process, but also the capability to identify them can help mitigate the damages until they accumulate.
Several of the most overlooked expenses of building a home are the cost of licenses. Ask your contractor if those are included in the purchase price quote you received for the project, and request an inclusive list of each license that will be necessary. If there are licenses that aren’t covered, include this in your cost negotiations prior to signing a contract. This is when the builder is eager for your company and will likely be more willing to toss in the extras. Licenses and required inspections will vary based on the region and the reach of your project but normally will include approvals for excavation, septic or sewer, blueprints, surveys, water testing or well drilling, utilities and adherence to zoning regulations.
Most builders take responsibility for construction of the home itself, but not for preparing the property. Excavation and drainage prices can be extensive, depending on whether the lot has been approved for construction on and if the website is level. Soil samples should usually be offered to the county or town, and approval received prior to building permits are issued. There may be required wetland or protected habitat evaluations. You may realize that the county inspector demands a retaining wall. Consult your excavation company for a list of what is included and, more importantly, what is not. For items not included in the quote, insist on a comprehensive estimate of the cost will be and for a guarantee against overages, preferably with a cap of 10 percent.
During the construction process, there are lots of on-site costs that may come as a surprise to you. These additional fees are typically concealed in small print at the contract, leaving you with a surprise bill that you are required to pay before construction commences. These penalties can include things such as portable toilets for construction crew, debris removal in the end of each day or week and renting a fence to safeguard against theft or liability. Find out whether you are responsible for making arrangements for all these items. If there are construction delays, and you are paying for these items on a weekly basis, you will be asked to pay the additional expenses. Additional items that may not be addressed in your contract are driveways, landscaping and an adequate number of electrical sockets.
If your new home has been built in an established neighborhood in town limits, there is a great chance the lines for electrical, gas, cable and sewer will be within reach and can be brought to your house. This doesn’t indicate it’ll be free, however. You will be billed by every utility company for the cost of extending the lines to your property and also for hooking them up to your new home. This will require licenses and final approval from county inspectors, which you may also be charged for. As with many of the unexpected costs of building a new home, there is a risk your contractor will cover these items, but never assume that is the case. Always request, and be ready to pay out-of-pocket for concealed expenses and extras.