Building a New Home Yourself vs. Hiring a Contractor

Have you just acquired a piece of land and you’re thinking of building your own house? You probably have many different questions on your mind at the moment. One such question might be who will build the house. Deciding whether you should build it yourself or hire a custom home building crew, we believe this article will help you make that decision.

You may believe that no one will be able to create your custom home idea, so you might have considered building your dream house yourself. However, building a house goes beyond translating a plan. It involves a lot of heavy lifting and administrative legwork that could turn the dream into a nightmare in minutes.

Although it has few benefits like saving costs and complete control over the project, its disadvantages far outweigh the benefits. These include; high risk of cost getting out of control, difficulties of finding the right subcontractors. This causes risk of scams and lowers bargaining power. Another downside is the fact banks may give loans on less favorable terms. Another downside is difficulty in refinancing construction loans, risk of delays, and more.

Things to Consider

Given these disadvantages, you will see that building your house yourself is usually a bad idea. However, if you still want to go ahead, consider the following before making a final decision to build your home yourself.

Size of the Project

It matters whether you are building a log cabin or a duplex as more challenges will arise the larger scale you decide to go.

Experience

How much experience you have in construction will include knowledge of quality and prices of construction materials, familiarity with local building codes, and other administrative and legal rules. 

Skill

Determine the parts of the job you will be subcontracting and the parts you will do yourself.

After considering the above, you are likely to change your mind and go with a custom home building crew. This is because a custom building crew is the best choice for anyone who wants the house of his or her dreams built based on their specifications and to their taste.

Benefits of Using a Custom Home Building Crew

Complete Involvement in Decision Making

Custom home builders carry you along in every decision they make regarding construction. Your plans, designs, pictures, etc. guides their construction. This is usually based on the implementation of your wishes with expert discretion.

Multiple options

There are no restrictions when using custom builders. As long as you have the money and your demands are not contravening the building codes, they will get it done for you.

Experience

Custom builders are professionals with years of experience in construction. They have trade knowledge needed to identify what is the best quality and can also help you negotiate with subcontractors. All this will save you extra costs and ensure you get the best outcome. Years of experience have also taught them how to deal with the unexpected. So, they will likely handle such situations better than you.

Saves time and Cost

Since their work is usually contractual, they work within a time frame and finish the job within the agreed period. Delays which might be costly are avoided. They are also cheaper than general contractors.

Comparing a Modern Home to a Traditional Home

The decision to choose which style of home to buy or build can be quite difficult. There are so many compelling architectural designs to pick from. These designs can be broadly categorized into two, traditional and modern. Most make the mistake of thinking modern means new and traditional means old. In reality, this is not so. We look at the two, comparing the styles.

Comparison

Traditional homes refer to any home influenced by classical building styles. Styles such as colonial, victorian, neoclassical, craftsmen, etc. Their features usually include dormers, pointed and tall roofs with gables, rafters, overhanging beams, and open porches. These houses are typically built with brick, plaster, wood, stones, and stucco. 

Modern houses are usually simple. They abandoned all the extravagant flourishes of a traditional home for a clean and simple look. The architecture is minimalist, with low sloped or flat roof, unadorned exterior, and uncomplicated interior. Modern houses use building materials such as plastic, concrete, and metal.

The Differences

The Floor Plan:

Traditional homes usually have a larger space than modern homes. However, the floor plan divides this ample space into smaller rooms. On the other hand, modern homes maximize space with large multi-purpose rooms and lots of open spaces. This makes many homeowners prefer an interior with modern style even when they go for a traditional exterior.

Windows and Lighting:

One of the things most traditional homes have in common is their similar small windows. This makes artificial lighting essential. However, modern homes have taken advantage of the development of technology to incorporate windows of various shapes and sizes into the house. Some even have a skylight, making artificial lighting less important. Traditional homes usually make up for this with classical window designs such as stained glasses and antique lighting and woodwork.

Flooring:

Traditional homes usually go with dark wood materials. Modern homes prefer lighter materials, whether in wood, rug, or concrete. The light material is more functional as it works well with most colors and gives the room a more extensive and brighter look.

Kitchen:

Traditional homes usually have large kitchens with well-spaced cabinets mostly made from wood. On the other hand, the modern kitchen favors storage over space with every equipment compactly organized into the small kitchen.

Decoration:

The most significant feature of a traditional home is the emphasis on decorations. The interior and exterior are usually exquisitely decorated. Usually with designs such as intricate rooftops, carved moldings, handcrafted wood and metal works, etc. Modern designs did away with all this because modernists believe decorations are only to compensate for poor designs. The sleek building does not need decorations to stand out.

When making a decision on which to build, we recommend that you build a home that incorporates both home features. Both have their selling point, i.e., what makes them stand out. Today, many contemporary homes show the influence of both traditional and modern homes. However, remember this when you are buying. Traditional homes are better as they usually come cheaper. They can be easily remodeled and contains vintage items that can be used during remodeling.

BUILDING CUSTOM TRADITIONAL HOME VS. MODERN HOME

When building a home, there are many decisions to make. One of the first is whether your home will be custom-built or just one of the many houses built by a general contractor. A custom home means your home will be built based on specifications peculiar to you, meaning you have to make more decisions on designs, architecture, features, etc. More decisions for you. What encompasses all those decisions is the style of home you want to build, whether traditional or modern. We look at the different features of both houses and what distinguishes the building of either style.

WHAT ARE TRADITIONAL AND MODERN HOME’S

A traditional home is one that has the features of one historic architecture or the other. It doesn’t necessarily mean old, as many people have confused traditional style homes to be.

On the other hand, a modern home focuses on simplistic designs in its floor plans, materials used, and decorative finishes.

BUILDING MATERIALS

The traditional home building uses traditional materials like bricks, stucco, plaster, stone, and wood.

On the other hand, modern homes use modern and more efficient building materials such as concrete, which can be ordinary, reinforced, or even precast. Wood is also used to add a contrast to the dull grey of the concrete.

KITCHEN

One of the most places where the distinction between modern and traditional homes is most evident in the kitchen. A traditional kitchen is designed to have wide space, with its furniture spread apart. The cabinets are built with polished or distressed wood.

Modern kitchen on the hand maximizes space and makes the best of a small area by providing storage and designing the cabinets and other kitchen features easily. Here, builders can build cabinets into walls and high up to create storage space.

ARCHITECTURE

Traditional homes reflect historical styles such as Victorian, neoclassical, colonial, etc. While there may be a difference in these styles, they all have common features such as wide and open porches, roofs with gables, overhanging rafters, etc. 

Architectural design is not a big deal in a modern building. Every piece of architecture serves a functional purpose. It is designed to be simple, with no unnecessary elegant flourishes, especially on the exterior.

COST

The cost of building a home is determined by factors such as the cost of labor, location, size, and quality of materials used. However, regardless of all these factors, building a modern home is more expensive than that of a traditional home.

This is because the structure of a traditional home is one that can be very challenging for the builders. This home prides itself on having wide space due to its floor plans. This means fewer walls. Thus it is more challenging to support the roof or floor above. Additional structural beams are used to solve this problem. Custom builders for modern homes are expected to be precise so that the house can be perfect. This is due to the various precise details that go into buildings a modern home, and the fact that there are no decorative finishes to cover up any imperfections in the structure.  Another feature that takes cost is the high-end large windows that are commonly used.

TIME OF BUILDING

Building a modern home will usually take more time than it will take to build a traditional one. According to experts, a modern home will require about twenty-five percent more time to complete than a traditional home. If you’re planning to build a modern custom home, be ready to wait the extra time.

CONCLUSION

The decorative finishes and picturesque architecture of a traditional home make them a great place to live in, but a modern home is not without its charms. Choosing which style to build can be difficult, which is why many homeowners nowadays incorporate both styles into their custom home, the home is custom after all. For advice on which style would best suit you feel free to visit the premiere Home Builders Oahu has to offer.

CONCRETE VS. ASPHALT

When building a home or repairing the one you’re living in, one of the major constructions you will do is the driveway. Your home driveway is an essential feature that can add to the value of your home.  It is likely the first thing any visitor sees, and when it is in good shape makes your home look better and further makes driving safer and gives more packing space for visitors.

Picking the right material for your driveway can be tricky; there are tons of materials out there, such as stones, concrete, asphalt. However, in the end, it comes down to two – concrete and asphalt. Homebuilders usually trumpet either of these materials, claiming one is better than the other. Both have similarities, such as the fact that sand and stones are used in mixing them, and they both have gravel subbase.

We look at the differences between them below, using their major characteristics.

ADHESIVE MATERIAL

Although both concrete and asphalt use similar materials, there is a difference in the adhesive that binds these aggregates together. While cement is the adhesive material in concrete, the binding material is tar.

PRICE

Concrete is more expensive than asphalt. While the price is not the same everywhere, it costs between $6 – $12 per square foot to install a basic concrete driveway. Additional finishings will further increase the cost.

However, asphalt installation costs between $2 – $4 per square foot. This price fluctuates based on crude oil prices.

REPAIRS AND MAINTENANCE

A concrete driveway does not need to be sealed, but it is better because it makes it easier to maintain it. For instance, if degreasers are not applied, oil stains might deface the driveway. The major problem that the driveway can have is cracks, and this is hard to fix and cannot be hidden unless you resurface the whole driveway.

Asphalt concrete requires sealing, first within a year after it has been installed, and subsequently every 3 – 5 years.  You can seal it yourself with the right sealants or employ a professional for the job. Sealing it ensures its durability. Where the asphalt needs repairs due to crack, this can be easily done to retain the aesthetics of the driveway.

LIFESPAN

When it comes to durability and reliability, concrete comes out top. With proper maintenance, a concrete driveway can last over fifty years.

On the other hand, the asphalt driveway will last for about thirty years with the right maintenance.

AESTHETICS

If you’re looking for a colorful driveway with different designs and patterns, you should go for concrete. The material can be finished in various ways, such as tinting, staining, stamping, and etching. Finishes are available in different colors and patterns, so you have unlimited options.

Asphalt cannot be easily decorated and finished like concrete. However, there are certain sealants that have coloring and tints, though they are usually limited to black.

CLIMATE ADAPTABILITY

It is essential to consider the weather and climate when deciding on the material for your driveway. Concrete is very reliable and adaptable, however, it can be affected by extreme cold. The constant thawing and freezing can cause cracks in concrete.

On the other hand, asphalt does not do well in hot climates. The extreme heat causes the asphalt to melt and soften, and in some cases sticking to shoe soles and tire tracks, where there is an alternation of heat and cold, the variation in weather conditions will cause cracks in the driveway.

SPEED OF CONSTRUCTION

A concrete driveway takes a longer time after building before it is ready for use. It takes at least a week after construction before the concrete cures, and you can drive on it.

On the other hand, the asphalt driveway can be used within a few days after its installation.

CONCLUSION

Deciding which of the two materials is best for building your driveway can be challenging; they both have their advantages and disadvantages. However, factors such as your budget, the appearance you’re looking for, the climate of your area, etc. will eventually determine which material you choose.

Pedestrian walkway concrete mold stamping design at terminal bus station.