Published by: 3 pillar Homes, Tuesday, October 16 2018.
A complete set of plans and specs will eliminate problems and help ensure a smooth project.
Never underestimate the importance of good plans and specifications to a successful new home build. These crucial documents need to be fully completed in order to generate a realistic price, schedule, and contract. Too often, however, they’re left undone.
The plans are the visual representation of the finished home, showing what it will look like when complete. They include dimensions and other important details that guide the builder during the project. The plans should also verify any regulations that apply to the project, such as height limits, setbacks, solar access by neighboring properties, survey requirements, and whether the home is in a flood zone. In fact, most building departments want to see a full set of plans before issuing a building permit.
Specifications, or specs, detail in writing what types of appliances, fixtures, roofing, siding, and even paint will be used in the home. They may even reference written quality standards. This information helps the builder create a realistic budget and tells the homeowners exactly what they are getting for their money.
Incomplete specs are a common cause of job problems. That’s because a lot of projects get underway before all items have been fully specified. The reasons? Perhaps the homeowners couldn’t make up their minds about certain items, such as the grade of carpet in the master bedroom. In such cases, the builder and homeowner may agree on an allowance amount to spend on the items and leave the actual product decisions until later.
Most jobs proceed smoothly with some allowances, but having more than a few is asking for trouble. Remember that plans and specs set expectations and give clarity to the job, so leaving things out may lead to conflicts, delays, and unexpected price increases. The same goes for vaguely written specs—the term “midrange kitchen faucet” might mean different things to the builder and homeowners, so the homeowners could end up with a lower quality faucet than they expected or have to fork over $200 more for the one they really want.
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