4 Key Ques­tions to Ask

Timber Home Living - - Annual Buyer's Guide -

1 Where will I build?

This is the most im­por­tant ques­tion you need to ad­dress, be­cause it can af­fect all your other choices. And once you know the answer to this ques­tion, your tim­ber­pro­ducer op­tions will nar­row sig­nif­i­cantly, since most pre­fer to build rel­a­tively close to their shops. Also, ship­ping costs can add up when dis­tance is in­volved.

It’s smart to buy your land and eval­u­ate its con­tour be­fore you be­gin de­sign­ing your home. Know­ing what your prop­erty’s char­ac­ter­is­tics are will help you make de­ci­sions, such as where and how to in­stall your drive­way, sep­tic sys­tem, plumb­ing and foun­da­tion.

2 What kind of floor plan do I need?

De­cide what fea­tures are im­por­tant to your fam­ily’s present and fu­ture needs. Are there rooms in your cur­rent house that are es­sen­tial, like a first­floor master bed­room or an of­fice? Do you no longer need four bed­rooms? Con­sider a floor plan that sup­ports your fam­ily’s ac­tiv­i­ties and will help your home re­main func­tional and en­joy­able through the years.

3 How will I choose a tim­ber com­pany?

Since each tim­ber pro­ducer of­fers a va­ri­ety of plans, ser­vices and wood species, know the op­tions be­fore you set­tle on one com­pany. Be­gin by call­ing the pro­duc­ers in the re­gion where you’re plan­ning to build. Re­view their lit­er­a­ture. Call their client ref­er­ences in your area. Visit their web­sites for pho­tos of their homes. Look for a com­pany that you feel is trust­wor­thy and can pro­duce a qual­ity home within your bud­get.

4 How much can I af­ford?

If you don’t have a solid bud­get in place, you’ll be un­able to eval­u­ate de­signs or com­pare tim­ber com­pa­nies and con­trac­tors. A bud­get for the ac­tual struc­ture, in ad­di­tion to other ex­penses, such as land and well sys­tems, al­lows you to set priorities and di­rect your en­er­gies to­ward a re­al­is­tic plan.

De­cide which ameni­ties you need now and, if money’s an is­sue, which items you can post­pone un­til you can af­ford them. Then fig­ure out how much you can mort­gage, what the taxes are and what types of in­sur­ance you’ll have to carry.

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