Let’s go through the first steps of a modern farmhouse new build. We’re building in the country on a 10-acre property so there are different regulations than building in a subdivision.
Once you have your house plans finalized, a contract with a builder (contractor), and your new construction loan approved (if you’re going that route) the real fun begins. (Just kidding!)
Choosing a Contractor For Our Modern Farmhouse
Note: Picking the right contractor is important. Once we had our plans printed out, we contacted several contractors, took them a plan, and asked for a quote. We really clicked with the builder we ultimately went with. He did not give us the highest or lowest bid but we really liked him and his work.
You need to know that there are different types of home builders. You have custom, tract homes, and spec home builders.
Custom Home Builders
Custom home builders generally build one-of-a-kind homes on your property. Our builder is a custom home builder. These type builders don’t usually have a high volume of homes being built at once.
Custom builders do not start building until they have a client. Custom builders are only limited by your budget, imagination, and building regulations.
Note: We actually had a couple of tract home builders bid on our house. One of the builders told us that he had so much work that he really didn’t have time to build a custom home. I completely understand.
Tract (Production) Home Builders
These builders are big, established builders that are often statewide or even nationwide. They are large-volume builders who own large tracts of land. They build dozens or even hundreds of houses in each neighborhood they design.
Production home builders usually have a set number of house plans and finishes to choose from in their own design center.
Buyers can buy before the new build begins and choose all the finishes or they can buy during the process. They can also buy after the house is completed. This type of build is usually efficient and economical.
Spec (Speculative) Home Builders
This builder will buy land, build a home, and sell the home. If the house sells during the construction phase, the buyer gets the opportunity to choose some of the finishes.
These type builders don’t own large tracts of land as tract builders do.
Pray For Patience
If you don’t have patience, now is the time to pray! It takes a lot of patience to build a home. Hurry up and wait is what I call it!
Please Note: The following regulations are for our county in South Carolina. Other states/counties may have different regulations.
Once all the above is done, it’s time to take your first step toward the building process.
First Step For My Modern Farmhouse New Build
Before our building contractor can get a building permit, DHEC has to visit our site and do a soil test to make sure a septic system can be installed. We had to fill out an onsite wastewater system packet and pay the fee before an inspector approved it. They were behind because of the pandemic so it took a few weeks.
The test used to be called a perc test. I found out that our state did away with the perc test in the 70s. These days they take soil samples, look at the slope of the lot, and how many bedrooms will be in the home.
We passed! Yay!
Note: I jokingly said that I could do my own soil sample. I did one for my 4-H project when I was in middle school and attending 4-H camp at Rock Eagle in Eatonton, GA. I came in 3rd place in my division. Oh, well.
Modern Farmhouse New Build – Second Step
Once DHEC approves, it’s on to the DOT (Department of Transportation). You have to pass step one before moving to step two with the DOT.
DOT has to make sure our land is 911 accessible. In other words, there has to be a driveway on the property that will allow emergency vehicles access to the property.
Third Step – The Building Permit
Now that we have DHEC and DOT approval, our builder can take two sets of plans and copies of the two approvals to the Permits, Inspections, and Zoning office in our county to request the building permit.
Reminder: Because we are building in the country on our own land, we have to do these steps ourselves. If you are buying a spec house or tract house, you probably won’t have to concern yourself with any of these things.
Also, we had to have 5 sets of the plans printed out. Two of these plans go to the Permits, Inspections, and Zoning office. We kept one and the builder gets the other two.
Fourth Step – Temporary Electricity
So, the builders need electricity to build the house, right? That’s another step in the long process of my modern farmhouse new build.
We met with someone from our electric cooperative a few weeks ago to determine where the electric pole would be placed for the builders. Then the builder had his electrician erect the pole. The electric company will hook everything up once the building permit has been issued and the temp pole inspected. Yes, it’s a process!
Note: We had the tap and water lines (rural water company) put in months ago. Thankfully, that step is done and done.
Fifth Step – Meeting With Builder Before The Build Begins
The permit has been granted. We will meet with the builder again to go over the plans one room at a time and to make sure we are on the same page. There are a few things I want to add (oops) and several things I need to point out.
Join me next time to see which foundation I selected (slab or crawlspace) when I ordered my house plans. One of them costs a lot more than the other.
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