Before, During, After
If you’ve never built a new home before, the prospect of building one can seem daunting, and full of so many unknowns. That’s why we think it’s helpful to remember that it is a definite process and should be a fun one. At BlueStone we understand that this process can be overwhelming but we will be with you every step of the way to make sure you dream becomes a reality. Take a moment to look them over. We think they’ll help you see that the big picture isn’t so big after all.
Decide what kind of new home you want to buy.
What is your timeline? You need to decide if you want something right away or if you want to take your time and build a house to your specifications and your personal touch.
Need it Now:
You will want to look for a “spec” or “inventory” home. You have the benefits of living in a new home, but the initial design and building processes have already been determined for you.
100% Your Style:
If you have time and want to build a home that reflects your taste and style building from start to finish is the way to go. You have at your disposal infinite freedom in determining every aspect that you want to personalize to fit your lifestyle.
If you want the best of both worlds, you can purchase a home in mid construction which depending on where they are in the process will allow you to tweak finishes and customize certain parts of the home while saving time from some of the other pre construction decisions.
Decide on a builder.
Begin by selecting a builder who specializes in the type of home you want to buy. Important questions you don’t want to forget to ask:
- When can they begin your project?
- Do they offer a comprehensive warranty?
- Are they financially stable?
Be sure to check their references and talk to past customers about the level of satisfaction with their homes.
Select a lot.
First things first, you can choose the location of your lot in a community. Additional amenities that accompany a community range from clubhouses and pools to golf courses and fitness centers so educate yourself on the entire community, as well as the proximity of the available lots to these amenities. Usually, lots located close to such amenities maintain a higher re-sale value.
Figure out a budget. You need to know how much you want to borrow and for how long. Your loan will be approved at the finalization of the sales contract with the builder, but you won’t assume the mortgage until the house is closed. At this time you may also decide you want to add more options. Instead of making you pay cash, BlueStone will adjust your loan to account for the upgrades. Be prepared with your latest income tax returns, statements detailing your assets, your credit history and so on. Below is what a bank will typically ask for:
Select your home and options.
When selecting a home from an inventory of existing plans, you have to make some decisions regarding how many stories you want your home to be, how big your garage will be, the number of bedrooms you want and the amount of storage available. Only after you’ve made your selection can you truly customize your home. You can pick your floor plan and then the design options which include features such as appliances and flooring.
Let The Pricing Begin
Once your plans are drafted and approved, we will price out all materials, labor, and options for you. We only award work to quality crews of skilled craftsmen who take pride in their work – and it shows. We will consult with you on the final costs before drafting the final bid
Contacts and Commitments
Once all bids are received and approved, Bernie will draft a final contract then meet with you and your realtor. Once the contract is signed, we’re ready to begin building the home of your dreams!
The time it takes to build your new home varies considerably. It can take anywhere from 2 months to more than a year (most homes take 6 months from the time that the hole is dug for the foundation). The complexity of the home is a big factor as well as the availability of construction trades and materials, and, alas, the weather.
- Setup and Introduction
- the hole is dug for your basement and foundation
- structural steel is installed
- concrete is poured
- water and sewer lines are installed
- interior drain for sump pump is installed
- black tar waterproofing is applied
- all interior and exterior walls are framed
- roof is framed; all windows and exterior doors are installed
- Exterior Trim
- siding and all exterior trim are installed
- soffit and facia are installed and gutters are attached
- Mechanical Systems
- heating system is run throughout house
- plumbing rough in installed
- electrical rough in
- shingles and roof vents are installed (The type may depend on neighborhood covenants)
- insulation is blown into all exterior walls creating an airtight and noise-free environment
- bat insulation is rolled into all vaulted ceilings and rooflines
- drywall is nailed and screwed onto interior walls
- all joints are taped and drywall mud is applied to smooth seams
- Exterior Flatwork
- concrete driveway, porches and patios are poured, according to your custom plan
- Trim and Cabinets
- custom cabinets installed and all interior trim work completed
- all trim is stained or painted, all walls painted
- plumbing fixtures installed
- electrical fixtures installed
- Carpet and tile
- carpeting and tile is laid throughout the house
- floor registers are installed
- drywall and paint are touched up
- Final Inspection
- your home is inspected by several government agencies, including the Building Department, the Planning and Zoning Department and the Public Works Department. Once approved, your home will be certified safe and ready to occupy.
- Final Walk-Through
- you will participate in a walk-through of your new home with a third party home warranty company
- once all corrections (if any) have been made from your walk-through, you will meet with your realtor and financial institution to sign your closing papers. Once the papers are signed, your dream house is finally all yours!
Each home includes a “2-10 Warranty Program” which is includes written standards and coverage:
- A one year written builders warranty
- A 5 year “Service One” warranty
- A 10 year “Home Buyers Warranty Co.” structural warranty
- Multiple long-term manufactures’ warranties
A homeowner’s maintenance manual.
If you are already a BlueStone Homeowner see your Homeowners Manual for many more home maintenance tips.
- Test your smoke detector with the test button that is located on each unit at least monthly. Replace smoke detector batteries once a year.
- Clean your clothes dryer exhaust duct, damper and space under dryer on a regular basis to help prevent fire in the home.
- In case of an emergency – Be sure that everyone in the house understands the location and use of the emergency shutoff and/or reset electrical system disconnects and breakers, the water system shutoff valves and all gas valve shutoffs (furnace, fireplace, gas range, etc.). Mark these valves with a tag so that you understand their purpose.
- Check out all of the GFI outlets in the home so that you get familiar with the location of the GFI master outlet that is used to reset each circuit. Several outlets are connected to the one reset outlet. These outlets are usually not located in the same room as the master outlet.
- Check the basement egress windows in the house to be sure that they open easily in case of a fire.
Heating and Cooling System:
- Change your furnace filter monthly or as needed. Have your furnace and air conditioner system checked by a professional at least every two years.
- Check the humidifier on your home each fall and service it accordingly. Clean the water channels and replace the humidifier pad if necessary. Run it through an on/off cycle to be sure that the solenoid is working properly. Clean out the water discharge hose. Turn the valve in the 6” air pipe that runs between the furnace plenum and the humidifier to the “winter” setting. Remember: the humidifier should be turned on in the winter and it should be off in the summer.
- Monitor the humidity levels in your home on a daily basis in the winter months. Too much humidity will cause excessive condensation on your windows and may cause costly condensation problems in the roof and walls of your home. Too little humidity will cause the shrinking of oak floor planks, ceramic tile joints, and the panels in the cabinets and doors of the home. Too little humidity could result in drywall cracks and drywall nail pops. Static electricity “shocks” and breathing problems can be caused if the humidity levels of the home are too low.
- Clean out the fins in the outside air conditioning unit each spring to insure maximum efficiency. Check the unit for cleanliness several times each summer.
- Balance the air flow in your heating/cooling system each fall and spring to direct the conditioned air flow to the proper rooms. Use the dampers in the heat registers of your home to do this. Your homeowner’s manual will explain this in more detail.
- Keep your furnace fan in the “manual” not “auto” setting during the hottest and coldest times of the year to help balance the temperatures in each room of your home.
To Prevent Costly Repairs:
- Inspect grout or caulk around bathtubs, showers, kitchen and bath counter tops, sinks and lavatories regularly and re-caulk all areas that crack. This can help to prevent costly repairs caused from water seeping into these cracks.
- Check the outside of the home regularly (siding, foundation, windows, doors) for cracks and separations. Repair with a good grade of caulk or concrete epoxy filler and touch up paint in the repaired areas as necessary.
- Clean out your gutters and downspouts on a regular basis to prevent gutter overflow which will damage the fascia and soffits of your home and could cause water problems in your basement. Clogged gutters in the winter could cause ice damming which will result in damage to your roof and possible water penetration in the ceilings and walls of your home.
- Be sure that gutter downspout extensions and sump pump discharge pipes are in place and secured properly. Be sure that they are not blocked by grass or debris and check to insure that the gutter and sump pump discharge water can flow easily out of the downspouts and pipes to the yard drainage contours.
- Monitor the dirt around your foundation and in your yard. If signs of settlement are observed and if there is not a positive slope away from your foundation, install dirt (backfill) to these areas immediately to prevent possible water problems in your basement or the pocketing of water in the drainage swales in your yard.
- Check the expansion joints and control joints in the exterior concrete of your home in the late summer of each year. Caulk and seal these joints as necessary as well as any cracks that may appear to minimize water penetration under the exterior concrete of your home.
- Have your roof inspected for potential leaks at least once every two years.
- Drain your yard sprinkler system each fall before freezing temperatures begin to prevent costly freeze-up repairs to the vacuum breaker and piping.
- Remove garden hoses from your outside sill cocks before freezing temperatures begin to prevent piping freeze-up that usually show up in the spring when you first use the sill cock for the new season.
- Check the operation of the sump pump(s) in your home at least monthly to be sure that they are operational, that they are properly located in the sump pit (be sure that the float will not hang up on the sides of the pit), and to be sure that they are plugged into the sump pit outlet correctly.
- Partially drain your hot water heater using the drain valve that is located near the bottom of the tank to drain a few gallons of water from the bottom of the tank about every 6 months. This will remove the sediment that may accumulate in the bottom of the tank. Use caution as the water that is released will be very hot.
- Inspect and clean out the soffit vents in the roof overhangs of your home at least once a year. The new state of the art roof ventilation systems (power attic fans, roof turbines, and continuous ridge vents) cause a much stronger air flow through your attic than the old systems. This (airflow) through the soffit vents results in dirt, cottonwood cotton and other debris to build up in the screened portion of the vents. Furnace and water heater back drafts as well as significant energy loss situations can be caused if the attic ventilation system is clogged.