home improvement

Before You Build Your Dream Home

Do you have a dream to build your own home? It’s exciting to build your own house according to your own style, including all the features you dream of. We at M&K Renovations can help you do that, but there are a number of steps to take before we break ground. 

Make a budget and consider financing

This step should begin well in advance of building. Consider the costs of property, particular design features you want for your home, building costs, taxes, etc. You will probably need both a building loan and a mortgage. 

Talk to several banks to determine how much of a loan you can afford, then budget below that amount to allow for possible cost overruns and other expenses. There’s no need to blow the entire loan on building and land, then have little left to furnish it or to throw a celebratory housewarming party when you’ve moved in. 

The building financing process is something most homeowners don’t know a lot about initially, so give us a call and we can help you get started on the right track. 

Choose your location

You may have heard it said that in real estate the three most important factors are location, location, and location. That may not be the only thing that matters when building your dream home, but it’s certainly the first step in the building process. Find your spot. 

Open land is available for building throughout the Philadelphia region, even within Philadelphia itself. Bucks County and Montgomery County especially have a great deal of open land, in places such as New Hope, Doylestown, Langhorne, Yardley, Ottsville, and Bensalem in Bucks County, as well as Gladwyne, Norristown, Ambler, Villanova, Wayne, Huntington Valley, and Collegeville in Montgomery County – just to name a few. Wherever you want to settle, near work, family, or the best schools, you can probably find what you want.

A number of variables on the land may affect your dream or may make your dream easier to build, so it may be best to have a general layout for your house in mind when you look for land. For instance, property in a flood zone or on a hill may be problematic if you want a fully furnished walk-out basement. It can be done, but it will be more expensive. Talk to us about your home layout before choosing a lot to see if there are any particular land characteristics to look for or to avoid for your dream home design. 

Choose a general contractor

You don’t want to be your own general contractor (unless you already are one). As general contractors, we have a team of subcontractor experts whom we have fully vetted and with whom we have long-term relationships. We have copies of their licenses and insurance certificates, and we guarantee satisfaction for the work that any of our employees or subcontractors perform for you. 

When searching for a general contractor, confirm that all their contractors are insured, that they have long-standing relationships with them, and that they guarantee their work and will supply a lien waiver or subcontractor lien waiver clause in their contract with you. 

It is generally recommended that you get at least three bids on a project. It’s wise to remember that the lowest bid is not usually the best. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for. When comparing bids, make sure that they include all the same work. A lower bid may be lower because it’s of lower quality or because it has left out something; for instance, it has not accounted for a foreseeable problem with flooding issues (to use our example above). 

Others inflate their prices, or they don’t pass on manufacturing discounts to the customers, charging full price on materials that they are receiving at a discount while pocketing the savings to increase their profit. At M&K, we’re honest with our clients about discounts and pass them on to our customers to help them get the best quality at the best price. 

You can also talk to your general contractor about price-shopping for some materials or appliances yourself. Although this may be more time-consuming for you, it may help bring down the price. You’ll want a general contractor who will work with you and will give you the specs and measurements you need in order to find the right items for your project. 

Building your dream home is a huge project, and you’ll want someone who is already an expert in all the steps involved, from design to permits and contracts, to finding the right professionals for each aspect of the project and coordinating them all so everything runs smoothly. That’s our job at M&K. We work with you to create the design according to your dreams, then we take care of all the details so that your dream becomes reality. Call us at (610) 353-2895 today so we can start on your dream project.


Renovating the Philadelphia Area for Over 16 years