The foundation is the most important part in building construction whether it is a commercial or a residential structure. The purpose of a foundation is to hold up and hold together the structure above it. In other words, the foundation carries the building that sits on top of it. Contrary to our everyday experience the ground is not quite still and in many cases not totally solid. A house which is just plonked down on bare earth is more likely to be cracked or damaged over time by natural forces. A properly-built foundation could sustain the wrath of a natural phenomenon at a much higher level and remain safe for the people inside it.
In a house construction, although it is a mere single-level or two-level structure, its structural integrity shouldn’t be sacrifice just because of the cost involved. Some clients tend to put less emphasis and least attention on good foundation because they are more particular of a beautiful and nice looking house and put little credence to the foundation because it is unseen and buried by dirt. They unknowingly neglected the far more critical aspect of erecting a structure that is building and constructing a good foundation.
When the house foundation is not properly done and begins to fail then that is the time that you may notice the following:
• Cracks on the stucco or exterior wall finishing
• Separated block or brick joints
• Windows or doors misaligned
• Floor sagging or sloping
• Cracks on the basement wall
• Cracks on the flooring
Building a new house is not an easy Do-It-Yourself task. For one, you need to get a builder/engineer/architect for the building plans and permit. For the structural integrity of the foundation and building as a whole, you need the professional services of a structural/civil engineer. Structural/civil engineers are the guardians of public safety, ensuring that buildings and bridges are strong enough to withstand all kinds of stresses and strains. Structures are subject to vertical, or “Gravity” Loads and horizontal, or “Lateral” Loads. Gravity loads include “dead”, or permanent, load, which is the weight of the structure, including its walls, floors, finishes, and mechanical systems, and “live”, or temporary load, which is the weight of a structure’s contents and occupants. Lateral loads include those generated by the wind, earthquakes, or explosions. Structural elements must be designed so that, as a system, the structure can resist all loads that will act upon it. Structural/civil engineers are well-verse in analyzing stresses and strains and calculating loads.
In conclusion, when it comes to building projects and life in general, the foundation is the most important work and the basis of everything that comes after. It should not be taken for granted because life is at stake. Particularly nowadays, natural calamities such as storms, earthquake, floods, etc. are becoming more frequent, we must safeguard the lives of our love ones and/or families by implementing and constructing a durable and strong building foundation that adheres to the structural standards and principles.
Budget – The very first step in planning the construction of a new home is the construction budget. Developing a budget for a new home starts with deciding how expensive a home do you wish to build? A better question would be, how expensive a home can you afford to build? If you are like most people, you want the best home for which you can afford. On the other hand, some people may be able to afford much more than they really want or need. Everyone’s situation, of course, is unique. Most people already have some suspicion about how much they want or can afford to spend. Bottom line, you have to determine what amount you are willing to put into your dream home.
House Design – Living in a home that fits your lifestyle is essential to the workings of everyday life. There are several house designs to choose from cotemporary designs, minimalist, coastal, mediterranean, etc. Your house design should be compatible with the practical needs of your family. Your home should be your Sanctuary. It should reflect your personality, fit in with your lifestyle and be a place to make happy memories. So, choose a house style that you and your family like to live in.
Number of Bedrooms – This question may seem simple and easy to answer but it is worth thinking about and discussing. The easiest answer to this question would be based on your current family size and needs. You may need a two bedroom today and need a four bedroom down the road when your family grows. Or maybe you need four bedrooms today yet your kids will be off to college in a few years.
Single Level Vs. Multiple Levels – Whether or not your new house has only one level or more is really a personal decision. Some people really enjoy having single level living with no stairs to climb up and down. Some people prefer the more traditional cape and colonial home styles with bedrooms on the second floor. Some land sites are quite small and someone looking for decent floor area may only be able to build a multi-level house.
Master Bedroom – Today’s new house plans typically offer a master bedroom suite. These suites often have generous closet space, private bathrooms with bath tub, walk-in showers and even walk-in closets.
Bonus Rooms (Laundry, Pantry) – One of the most popular trends in today’s house plans are dedicated to laundry rooms and the renewed popularity of pantries.
Number of Bathrooms – The average number bathrooms in new houses has steadily increased over the years. Nowadays, a decent home has at least two (2) bathrooms. One is in the master bedroom and the other one a common bathroom.
Kitchen Style/Design – Sketch a few ideas you have in mind for the layout of your kitchen. After which, you could decide whether to have a basic kitchen design or a decent and sophisticated kitchen design.
Dining Area – decide whether to have a separate dining area or a dining area with close proximity with the kitchen area.
Living Room – is the most popular place in a house for the entertainment of guests, and where families come together to end their day, relax after a long workweek or to enjoy a television program together. In most cases this room is on the main level of a home and sees a lot of activity. This is why it is imperative that this area to be decorated and made into a friendly atmosphere to ensure the comfort of visitors. When planning a living room design, the first and most important factor to decide is the purpose of the room. One thing to remember when designing your living area is that you have to be comfortable in the room and like the style since you will most likely be spending a lot of your time in the room.
Carport – Nowadays, ownership of a car is a necessity. If you already own a car or desires to own a car/s in the future, it is wise to introduce a carport in the floor plan.
House/Land Site – The house site can sometimes play a big part in the style, floor plan and functionality. For instance, if you have a very small site you may need two floors. The floor plan design of your home depends primarily on the shape and area of the lot.
There has been a proliferation of commercial developers offering house and lot packages. A lot of homeowners goes on this direction of buying homes from developer of housing subdivisions. Of course, there are pros and cons. If you are in dire need of a home that is decent enough for your family, of course, your recourse is to buy from developers of housing subdivisions even at a higher costs. If you lack funds to acquire a house and lot at once, these housing developers offers you an immediate home by providing in-house or outside financing and said home shall be yours literally though you have to pay in installments for a determinable period. Notwithstanding the costs, homeowners who has gone this path of acquiring a home has nothing they can do because of financial limitations and need.
But if you have enough savings, will it be much better and cheaper to hire a trusted home builder to build your dream home? Building your own dream home is better in the sense that you are able to fit your requirements and preference for your future home. Purchasing from housing developers, you are made to accept their own designs with limited features. Whereas, hiring a home builder will enable you to get what you wanted for your home particularly for added features such as a walk-in closet, service area, pantry, guest room, dirty kitchen, patio, etc. In addition, it is much cheaper to hire a trusted home builder. It is cheaper because of savings that will be realized by eliminating the developers’profit, overhead, interest expenditure and other non-building related costs plus the commission paid to a real estate agent and broker. Commercial developers hire the services of architects, engineers, contractors, finance and marketing people, agents and brokers, etc. If these are removed from the equation, these would translate to savings to the home owner.
Regardless of what path you choose in acquiring your dream home, the most imporatant thing is you are happy, satisfied and comfortable with it because that will be your abode for a very long time. Living in a place you love the most is worth it despite of the many burdens behind its acquisition.
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