One of the major distinctions when building new construction homes in Baltimore City and Baltimore County – is selecting a contractor with groundwork and foundation experience. In order to build new construction homes, it starts with civil and structural engineers, then come the digging machines and then the concrete subcontractors. Don’t let engineers and big rigs deter you from pursuing New Construction – these may make the project more challenging, but selecting a company with experience doing these projects can ensure a quality build once you break ground.
After the groundwork is laid for your new construction home, you will bring in the framers. Using wood or metal construction studs, these folks will erect the skeleton structure for your building. Quality framing contributes tremendously to a project. Think about it this way – everyone who comes in after the framer will have to hang their finished work on the walls he has built. Projects that are built “out-of-level” or “out-of-square” lead to complications further down the line – thus figuring out how to get this built with a quality framer is of huge importance.
CUSTOMIZABLE VS. CUSTOM
There is an important distinction to understand before you begin building a New Construction home with a builder in Baltimore – Customizable vs. Custom. Custom homes are through and through designed by the homeowner, alongside their builder. And because of the boutique nature of these projects, they carry a steeper price tag too.
Customizable homes are less expensive than custom homes because of the limits to their customization. For floor tiles or kitchen cabinets, you may only have 2-3 options to choose from, which allows the builder to build the home at a more reasonable cost. This is an important distinction to understand before entering into a New Construction home project alongside your builder.
BENEFITS OF A NEW CONSTRUCTION HOME
Well, for one – its new! Like having a new car, new homes also come with that new home smell. Having a new home can be a wonderful investment. With all the advancement in building products, you can now build a more energy efficient, aesthetically pleasing and structurally sound home compared to renovating an old home. Plus, when you build a new home alongside a builder, oftentimes your builder will warranty the home for 1 year. A home under warranty is fantastic as well because any defects will be taken care of. When you purchase a renovated home from another homeowner, the home will likely be sold as is and you don’t get this benefit. New homes should typically come with state of the art mechanical systems – central heating and cooling with efficient furnace and air conditioners, PVC and CPVC plumbing pipes, new wiring and new appliances. New construction materials, which are energy efficient will lead to lower utility bills. Also your new home will have newer design styles so that your place of living can be consistent with the times – living through a renovation is not for the feint of heart.
HOW LONG TO BUILD A NEW CONSTRUCTION HOME IN BALTIMORE?
Typically from the day you put the shovel in the ground, until the day the homeowner moves in, will be right around 6 months. Note, that if you are building a new home, there is even a lead time prior to putting the shovel in the ground – think engineers, permitting, design – all of which will add to your construction timeline. The best way to track new home progress if you are working with a builder is to have a schedule illustrating the different phases of construction and when they will occur. This way, you can predict how long you have in your temporary residence prior to moving into your new home.
Additionally, the final stretch always leads to the most gray hairs. The finishing touches are what shine most prevalently in your new home and giving your carpenters, painters, tradesman and builder room to breathe and a bit of time so that they can finish your home properly is an important part of the process.
A SAMPLE PROJECT OF FOUR TWELVE’S WORK
In 2017, we started a project which is currently in production – building 4 new construction townhomes in Baltimore City. This project is our own personal project, which we refer to lovingly as 1600 Barclay. These new homes were built “slab on grade” as they say – i.e. – no basements. Then they were built off the slab with wooden studs and fire rated drywall in between the homes to meet code. Typically a renovated rowhome in Baltimore City will be built with brick walls separating two domiciles. But when building new construction rowhomes side by side – these drywall shafts are the preferred method. The homes that we built have the benefits of modern energy efficient building techniques – spray foam insulation and double pane, low-e windows. They also combine many of the latest styles popular in homebuilding today – reclaimed wood, quartz countertops, modern cabinetry, polished concrete floors and exposed brick. These are a perfect example of New Construction projects in Baltimore City, done right.