They say hindsight is 20/20 and looking back it seems so crystal clear…. I compiled a list of some things that I’m glad I did before breaking ground on my Barndominium build, things that in retrospect were right on point! There is something on this list that could save you some time and money!
Sit down and develop a budget, really break down your finances and see what you can honestly afford before anything else. This should be the first real conversation. A loan officer at your bank would be a great person to assist in creating a budget and even with the loan if you need help with financing any institution where you keep your money will be happy to help you with a budget if you ask them, just tell them you are wanting to build a home and want to develop a budget to see what you can afford.
Save more money, when we thought we had enough money saved up to break ground we were right, but we cut things closer than I care to admit, in retrospect It wouldn’t have hurt us to save up for another 6 months and not have the stress and worry the whole first part of the build wondering if you saved enough money to finish things? Wondering if your cost to build estimates is accurate. If I could go back, I would have saved more money before breaking ground.
Build a rock-solid cost to build breakdown or find a spreadsheet online that you can plug all your financial data into. I cannot stress how important this is to saving you money on your build, call as many builders, drywallers, roofers, and flooring specialists as it takes to get a good idea of what each will charge you based on your house plans in that specific area If you get 3-4 good solid quotes you can begin to get a more honest picture of what it is going to cost you to frame up your barndominium. This way you know who the best price is and has the best quality around because you have already got quotes from everyone else, this type of planning takes much longer than just calling up and taking the first guy at his word, and is he giving you the best deal in town and can he get started right away. This is something different than just taking the first quote someone gives you. This is a strategy and the name of the game is equity and savings.
I love to set goals for myself, it turns into a game to see if I can meet my goals on a specific timeline that works well in terms of building a home. Having a rough timeline for those goals helps to keep focused and on track, those milestones can really give you the motivation that you need to continue working those long nights. Setting goals for me was invaluable, especially in terms of keeping a timeline as it served as a schedule of sorts to see what was coming next. Also, you can start to prepare for that ahead of time as well as just follow the build progress.
My mother always told me to “Be Patience and not to get in a rush” this is solid advice as it served me well later in life. When I get excited and rush, I always miss something or leave something out but when I take my time and I’m diligent, things get done correctly and usually much easier on my end when building a home, it’s important to be diligent and patience because not everything always goes to plan and not to panic when things start to crumble.
Try out friends and families’ homes or go Airbnb one weekend or 2 weekends as R&D to see what you like or dislike, must have or would never use, and honestly to just get new fresh ideas and influences you can use in your build. This really helps you get into the designing mode, most people don’t think about how they would like the layout of their home if given the chance to change it, it’s thing like this that take a little contemplation I recommend staying at a handful of places that look interesting to you, something along the same lines of what you are planning to build, so you can really start to get a feel for the style and design elements you want to bring over and incorporate into your barndo when you go to design your plans. Even when picking out stock plans you still want to find the plans that fit your needs the best.
Being committed and following through on decisions was a tough thing to learn for me, I always have too many irons in the fire as they like to say. I have multiple things going on, so it was always hard to focus on one thing at a time, but I found that if you want to do it right that really is the best way to go about it. One thing at a time until it’s done then on to the next project.
Modify your house plans, yes you can do that! Who knew! If you have a set of plans you have bought you can modify those plans to accommodate a mother-in-law suite, a gym, garage, game-room, man-cave anything you can imagine as an addition you can modify your plans to accommodate it. Companies like Buildmax modify their own plans to meet your specific needs as well as having plenty of stock plans to choose from.
I like to have everything on paper, work off the main outline, sketch things out if I need to, and it’s good to have a cost to build spreadsheets handy during the build as well. Have things organized because once the ground gets broken people will be everywhere and decisions will be made on the fly so it’s important to have the whole plan laid out on paper in case you need to look something up fast. You will have your professional set of house plans that will include all the detailed instructions the builder needs to build your barndominium. That is really all you need if you want to be technical but it’s a good idea to have things organized and ready just in case it’s needed.
This is just a compact list of some things that I’m glad I did before breaking ground on my barndominium. Hopefully, you can carry something away into your build.