New construction: 10 questions to ask before starting
You decided to have a new house built ? Bravo, but have you made the point to avoid financial drifts and other difficulties? House side you needle and reveals the top 10 questions to ask before the construction of a new property.
To embark on the building a house new can be stressful, and many important elements need to be considered. Construction costs, plan, insurance ... To guide you, Côté Maison has listed the 10 questions to ask before building your home, to avoid mistakes.
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1. Did you consider all construction costs?
Land costs first, to ensure sustainability: if you buy land in a subdivision, little fear (these costs are usually included in the price). But if you are in diffuse housing, you will need to finance the necessary equipment to connect the ground to the EDF and GDF networks, the water supply, the sewer ... The expenses related to the house then: besides the insurance, you will have to regulate the VRD (road and various networks), not to be confused with the previous expenses of viabilisation. This is not to connect your land but your home to electricity, water, sewage system. These expenses are rarely specified on the construction quote!
Other fees (small streams make big rivers ...) to pay directly: the installation of the meters of water and gas, the telephone line, not to mention the EDF cable which connects the cubicle (located generally at the edge of the ground) to the electric panel, that only an EDF technician is entitled to ask. A package called "blue ticket" exists. It is valid for a distance of less than 30 m and its price is, depending on the region, around 1 000 euros. The rainwater treatment has become a concern and, at the request of the municipality, you may need to provide a recovery system. Fortunately, a tax exemption is now possible. Again, this is often a detail rarely taken into account by the manufacturer.
Come next some taxes : TRE (sewer connection tax), a few hundred euros. The town hall will inform you about the exact amount. The TLE (local equipment tax), to which a municipality can give up to attract new residents! Hopefully, yours will have made that decision. Payable with the TLE, the new TDENS (departmental tax of sensitive natural areas), old green space tax: the town hall or the tax department can give you an idea of the amounts to be expected.
Read also: the rules to know to enlarge or build a house
2. Have you foreseen the "unforeseen"?
Do you really want to live your next twenty years with a low-end bathroom tile or door handles in bad plastic offered by the manufacturer to present a more enticing quote? You signed at a time when you needed to take a lot of decisions very quickly, so you did not have the opportunity to go into this, and it's under construction that some changes to the contract you will be indispensable.
Be aware that a budget "door handles" can be multiplied by 10 or 15 depending on the model (prices range from 10 to 150 euros and more!). Also, here is a piece of advice taken with surprising unanimity by the "new owners" we met: when you have considered a global budget, remove at least 15% of this amount before announcing an amount on which the architect or builder will start working. You will put this money aside for the crises of conscience and the unexpected expenses to come.
3. Have you evaluated the operating expenses of your next house?
No need to hide your face: the operation of a house is more expensive than that of an apartment. And before you take the plunge, it is better to make an assessment as close as possible to the expenses that you will have to bear each year, besides the repayment of the loans which you will have contracted. Namely: local taxes, land and other. Important elements to take into account often: the obligation of a second car, the transport of children to school, then the purchase of their own means of locomotion when they are older ...
4. Have you thought about the future life of the house?
The children are still small. What will be the conditions of their schooling in a few years? Will the neighborhood offer opportunities or will they have to travel long distances every day? They will quickly need independence. And you too will get older ... You will climb upstairs to get to your room with a little less enthusiasm. One day maybe you will want to stay on the ground floor. All these changes are to be considered before signing the "good to build" in terms of your project, even if you plan for future expansion when the time comes.
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5. Are you satisfied with the plan of your house?
Among the false good ideas, spaces too large occupy one of the first places. Grouping on 130 m2 well ventilated a stay, a living room, a dining room, a corner reading and a kitchen in the American style, it is to renounce the independence and a part of the intimacy of the members of the family community . It is better to favor a larger number of rooms and to modulate the space by pocket doors. In addition, an independent entrance is often preferable to a walk-in access to a living area.
In the more northern regions, the tendency is even to make a sort of airlock equipped with cupboards, trapping the cold air that does not fail to enter the house during the comings and goings with the outside. Finally, separating day / night spaces and children / adults, with each bathroom, is now one of the essential options.
6. Have you chosen the right heating system?
The choice of a heating mode is a fundamental point in a construction project. The alternative is often between a relatively cheap system at installation (all electric) but at high operating cost (and unlikely to fall in the future), or more sophisticated solutions combining solar and gas / fuel, for example, for better controlled operating expenses. A folder is devoted to this subject in this magazine.
7. Will you have time to devote to your new home?
"In a house, there is always something to do ..." This sentence, pronounced with enthusiasm the first time, is nuanced by a slight bitterness as the years go by. Eh yes ! To live in a house is to change people and few people can dispense with getting their hands dirty! What is very acceptable - and often a part of amenities - in a second home, quickly becomes a burden when you have to work long hours at the same time and worry about the many details that keep your home healthy. Finishes that never end (we had planned to do the small work ourselves to reduce the bill and spread the expenses), development, plantations, then the maintenance of the garden that we often regret have chosen too big, etc.
8. Does your manufacturer offer all the guarantees and insurance?
After having chosen it on its references and having seriously explored the contract that it proposes to you, check that your manufacturer holds indeed a guarantee of delivery given by an insurance company or an approved financial institution for this activity. It is intended to allow the completion of the works in case of failure. It is obligatory, and if it is reluctant to present you a copy, it is better to choose another manufacturer! Other insurance is also necessary. Also ask the commercial court to find out if the company is not filing for bankruptcy.
To read also: what assurances for the construction of a house?
9. If you chose a subdivision, did you evaluate the easements?
You will share the ownership of the common areas, with all the advantages, but also the disadvantages that this represents. We have seen, more often than we think, people selling their houses after trying, for a few years, to comply with the laws of promiscuity. The anecdotes are numerous and some television shows have made a specialty of keeping a regular chronicle of vendettas between embittered neighbors condemned to live together because of co-ownership.
10. You have decided to be prime contractor, do you know what awaits you?
You will be the grand master of choice, but also the main cause of your possible setbacks. You choose companies yourself, juggling labels, certifications and standardizations of all kinds to decide. Be aware that the work supervision is a specialist business. It demands precision, availability, knowledge and tenacity. You will have to fight with the Administration (sometimes) and with the contractors (often) ... But to oppose a building professional is not easy! While you are the payer, your legitimacy to require a modification or a repair will not necessarily be recognized if you do not have a minimum of technical baggage. Good luck nonetheless!