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Living with Legalities - Why Permits and Code Compliance Matter

Living with Legalities - Why Permits and Code Compliance Matter

Two of the reasons it’s so important to choose a reputable home building company are those pesky issues of permits and building codes. Building your home yourself, or even contracting a small, independent construction company, might sound like a great money-saver, but in the long-term it could cost you much, much more. Once you choose the right ranch house plans for the home you’ve been waiting your whole life to own, be sure to take the legal route and avoid the risks of non-compliance.

Why Compliance Matters

Most law-abiding Americans wouldn’t dream of committing a crime, so why does it sometimes seem like a good idea to avoid complying with building codes? Don’t let your inner rebel persuade you that there are ways around issues; most model codes are based on the minimum requirements for safety and efficiency in building design. They’re intended to protect public health and to offer defense against natural disaster threats and terrorism, while making homes solid and sustainable for generations to come.

The codes date back to the Code of Hammurabi (1800 B.C.) which is generally accepted as being the world’s first building code. Codes offer guidance on the design, building and operation of homes, and give the insurance industry a baseline from which to estimate and manage risks. Without codes to comply with, your insurance company would have no idea what to charge in the way of premiums, or what value of damages to insure your home for.

Examples of “Short Cuts”

Some of the risks and short cuts common in the building industry include:

- Using unlicensed contractors for building, electrical, plumbing etc

- Skipping getting a building permit

- Avoiding building inspections

- Not having a signed contractor’s agreement

Given that your home is the largest individual investment most couples ever make, it’s vital to leave no stones unturned when you’re looking for someone to build it for you. If your ranch house plans aren’t pre-approved plans sourced from a reliable, registered company, put the entire process on hold until you’ve resolved this.

Choosing a Reputable Home Builder

There are so many home building companies out there, how do you ever know you’re choosing the right one? Specific criteria to look out for, long before you even ask for a price estimate, include:

Experience: Find out the experience of the company you are considering. How long has it been in business, where has it built houses, do you know anybody who used the company’s services?

Location: Choose a building company with experience in the area you want to live in. It’s difficult for anyone to move into a new area and start building without being familiar with the codes and practices of the local authority and the region.

Floor Plans: Most homebuilding companies have a selection of floor plans from which to choose. Take a look at what’s on offer before you start trying to design your own home. Remember, the architects are professionals who can take your ideas and tweak them to suit you, but nobody can make an amateur design work.

Comfort: Select a builder you feel comfortable with, who hears what you have to say and doesn’t hesitate to tell you when something is impractical or expensive.

Quality: Visit some of the homes your prospective builder has erected. Speak to the homeowners or residents and find out what their overall perception of quality is.

References: Personally follow up references on your builder of choice. Speak with former clients face to face if you can, to ensure they are genuine. Don’t accept referrals that speak of generic work done, ask for specifics of the home that was built such as date, location and time frame.

Once you’ve made your choice of ranch house plans, sign the dotted line so your builder can get started on erecting your new home.

For more information about our new home styles, please contact Saddlebrook Properties at 1-865-966-8700.


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