The cost to build a house varies according to factors such as the location of the property, the desired size, the quality of materials and what the architect/structural engineer has designed.
Normally a client would have identified or obtained a parcel of land for the home, and already have an idea of what they can afford, or want to spend on the project.
That dollar figure should be relayed to the architect, along with other desired specifications for the project, such as area, number of rooms, appearance and features.
The architect would then design the home to include those specifications as constrained by the budget amount.
The projected cost of building a home can vary greatly depending on the specific project. For example, if the piece of property is swampland, then the client can easily “sink” $100,000 into groundwork’s in preparation of building, before vertical structures ever rise from the ground. On the other hand, if the piece of property is on iron shore, or another solid footing, then vertical construction can start almost immediately.
The architect’s/ owners design of the home can dramatically influence costs depending on its relative complexity or simplicity. Also, the choice of finishing’s, windows and doors, roof, finish of the kitchen, material of tiles–can make the difference in whether or not the house can be built within the client’s budget.
The role of a general contractor is to be the client’s primary point of contact before and during the construction of the house. The general contractor is responsible for communicating with and managing the various subcontractors that come together in order to build a residence. Also he will deal with the local authorities, and government agencies, as well as liaise with the architect and engineer, on design changes and such like.
It is the general contractor’s job to make sure that all of the subcontractors are working in sync, to neutralise any conflicts, and to make sure the client’s wishes are carried out.
The cheapest general contractor is not always the best choice. Clients should look into the general contractor’s professional history, inquire about past work, request reference letters and look at previous projects. Important things to consider are work quality, time spent on the projects, and if the projects were completed on schedule and within budget.
Most clients spend considerable time planning their dream with the chosen architect, and think they won’t need to alter anything during construction. This may happen on very rare occasions. A client should find out what the hourly rates are for all trades involved in the project, and ask the contractor before he starts an alteration to the contract, how much it will cost.
The professionalism and personal manner of the general contractor is also key, because the client and contractor are bound to work with one another for a long period of time, much of that face to face and sometimes under potentially stressful conditions.
As construction progresses, especially when walls start going up and the layout of the house and individual rooms start becoming apparent to the client, conversations between the contractor and client can occur on a daily basis. A good general contractor will want as much information and feedback from the client as possible.
After all, the house being built is often the client’s dream home, and the contractor and client both want it to be as perfect as it can be.
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