Having a new house built is an exciting endeavor for people looking to move into their dream homes. Whether you have been saving your money for years to buy a beautiful piece of land or recently inherited a property, there is a lot of initial planning required before the foundation can be laid. From ensuring that the land is properly zoned to getting the right kind of permissions to access gas, electricity, water, and other utilities, landowners need to do months of planning and research. Below you will get in-depth information about all of the basics of preparing to build a brand-new home, from the ground up.
Checking Land Zoning and Survey Records
In addition to looking to see that there are no outstanding liens or delinquent property tax bills due on your land, you first should be certain that your parcel is correctly zoned for residential purposes. Property can be zoned for residential, commercial, agricultural, mixed, or multipurpose usage. In some cases, land zoned for one purpose can be converted to a different type of zoning. However, there are no guarantees that land zoning can be changed at any time or for any reason. Land survey records tell property owners exactly where the bounds of their land begin and end, which is extremely important when you are preparing to start on a new construction project.
Applying for Building Permits
Realize that any major changes or improvements that you make to a piece of land have to be approved by the local government. This includes everything from digging a trench so that your future home doesn’t flood, to building a fence, erecting a shed, or cutting down a substantial tract of trees. You can search up Courthouse Records to see how your property has been annexed, rezoned, and changed hands over the years. This is crucial information for you to have as your local government will need to see proof of ownership as well as survey records before they will approve any kind of building permit. You can find courthouse records online at Public Records Reviews and see what information on your land parcel is available publicly. This company supplies landowners with convenient online tools that can be used to check property records remotely.
Working with Public Utility Companies
In addition to getting permits to build your home, landowners also need to get permits and permission to connect their plumbing, septic system, electrical wiring, gas and propane lines, and internet wiring to various public works. These permits allow contractors to not only connect new home constructions to public works, but also to make adjustments, add on extensions, and otherwise alter existing connections so that the homeowner can have safe, reliable, and uninterrupted service. Note that all permits for construction and utilities have set timetables, so your construction manager will need to be aware of any changes that could delay progress. Sometimes, new home builders have to apply to extend permits or apply for additional permits in order to complete a job.
Handling Inspections and Staying in Compliance
During various stages of the home construction process, city inspectors will make physical visits to ensure that all work is up to code. Most of these inspections will be scheduled ahead of time, but officials also reserve the right to show up unannounced and check that everything is in order. Talk to your construction manager and contractors frequently about how they plan to keep the construction site fully in compliance at all times. Construction site inspectors can and routinely do issue fines and even orders to immediately cease work when they find the rules being broken. Things as simple as having fire safety violations, including exposed or faulty wiring, can lead to construction being halted. Since you don’t want that to happen, it is smart for you to personally visit the site of your home as often as you can.
Getting Your Certificate of Occupancy
Before you can move in, you will need to receive a certificate of occupancy from the city or town where you live. Certificates of occupancy aren’t typically issued until construction is complete, including having all windows, doors, and insulation installed. What a certificate of occupancy does is certify that your home is safe for habitation. After you receive the certificate of occupancy, or COO for short, you can have your utilities scheduled to be shut on, arrange for the movers to deliver your belongings, and begin to move in.
New home construction projects usually take more than a year to complete from start to finish. It can take much longer to have a home built if you run into any obstacles, such as liens, issues with zoning, or problems obtaining the proper types of permits. In any case, whether it takes months or years for your new home to be complete, you won’t need to worry about getting permission to make changes to your home until you decide on making a major change. Easements are required for homeowners looking to add on additional rooms, wings, or floors, in most cases. Permits are necessary for erecting decks, pools, and fences. However, every time you make a major change to your home, know that you are helping to make it a more valuable investment.