House Extensions – Things You Need To Know

Rather than moving to a new house, every budget conscious homeowner desires to extend or upgrade their existing home to save both time as well as money. Home additions are a perfect choice for increasing your living space and adding property value. A home extension substantially increases the functional space inside your home and undoubtedly increases the property’s resale value to a great extend. However, before you jump into a final decision, here are some important points to consider regarding a home extension procedure.

Is it a wise choice?

Are you looking forward to an extra bedroom, a new living area for the whole family to enjoy or for a home office? The first and foremost step is to verify the viability of a house extension procedure in your property, no matter whether it is a single storey extension or a two (double) storey extension. Always keep in mind that only a well-planned sensible design can be cost-effective and provide you the likely benefits. Before you proceed, it is also necessary to recognize the need of a planning permission and verify whether your property is located in a conservation area. If so, it is highly recommended to seek advice from your nearby building control authority and do a research about the legal procedures related to the extension work.

Next, take time to find an answer for “how much does an extension cost?” For this, your exact requirement has to be analyzed in detail. Based on your need, you can either choose a rear extension or a side extension procedure. A single storey extension, either done on the side or rear portion, is comparatively cheaper and it requires only minimal disruption. However, if you need more ventilation, then a double storey extension is considered as more beneficial. An extra investment is often required when you adopt additional painting or interior design services. Also, make sure to implement adequate safety measures, before your home remodeling job, to avoid unexpected costs.

As there are multiple possibilities in a home or kitchen extension project, it is extremely essential to find a reputable professional who utilize highly sophisticated construction methods for a hassle free home improvement job. Such professionals inspect your site and suggest the most suitable design pattern, based on your specific requirements, budget and the building’s pre-existing conditions. Moreover, they adhere to essential quality standards and offer adequate work warranty for the job undertaken to ensure utmost customer satisfaction.

Top 5 Qualities of Landscape Pathway Materials

You can easily find your way to a better yard with the right landscape pathway materials. If you are looking for new solutions for your outdoor area, then you will also want to consider the qualities for the hardscape you are working with. This will make a difference in how you approach your next landscape project while ensuring that you have the right options for your pathway. Following are the top five qualities to look for with the materials.

1. Water Resistant. A common mistake that many make with landscape pathway materials is the water erosion that occurs. Often, jointing sand, stabilizer for aggregate pathways and other materials don’t have resistance to water. You want to make sure that you have the materials that allow you to maintain the pathway for a longer time frame.

2. Durability. Nothing is better than a durable pathway. You not only want to find stronger paving stones or aggregate. It is also important to make sure that your jointing sand or stabilizer is durable with the pathway. This will assist with a long – lasting solution for your pathway.

3. Low Maintenance. Even though all landscape pathway materials claim to have the best options for maintenance, they often erode quickly or don’t provide you with the correct solutions to upgrade your path. You want to find materials that allow you to replace sections of your pathway or to find solutions that are based on long lasting formulas.

4. Easy to Apply. Some of the landscape pathway materials are mixed with chemicals and other materials that are not compatible with aggregate or paving stones. You want to find options that are natural and are able to easily mix and work with the applications for your pathway.

5. No Chemical Residue. For paving stones and other unique materials, there is often a white haze left behind from poly haze. If you are applying specific pathways, then you want to make sure it won’t leave behind chemicals and white residue. Environmentally friendly solutions with the landscape pathway materials you are looking for will provide you with different levels of compatibility for your hardscape.

Upgrade your outdoor area without problems. If you are looking for different options, then landscape pathway materials can assist you with the desired options. There are a variety of alternatives that you can look into, all which will provide you with high quality, long lasting materials for your next hardscape project.

Enjoy All the Advantages of Affordable Venetian Marble

If spending got in the way of acquiring the super marble and granite looks and feel, read on about Venetian marble. Since recycling is everywhere in our fight to preserve the environment, salvaging natural marble brings us this solution to many dreams. Instead of the rather expensive cultured marble and granite, why not opt for the man-made Venetian marble?

How is Venetian marble made?

The reprocessed marble undergoes a procedure of pressing and heating with polymers and pigments. The result is a very strong, non-porous surface. Made of slabs in the factory, fabricators cut and polish it, ready for installation. You get VM in several attractive colors and enchanting edges for a fairyland feeling. Designs come to life in dreamy settings!

Among the Venetian marble, advantages are easy installations with little maintenance headaches, resisting bacteria and staining. Immense durability makes it appropriate for floors and shower enclosures, backsplashes and countertops.

Installations without seams

Without 48″ restrictions, Venetian marble is the first 60″ wide manufactured marble. With few seams, install it quickly and easily with little waste. Don’t you desire the most environmentally sustainable product?

Attractive color options too

Natural rock comes with many surface pits and marks from the wild underground through sustained earthly processes. Engineered stone is quite regular in coloration and surface consistency through the slab. Seams are minimal as a result and they suit applications where color regularity is preferred. Tibetan Beige and Coco Emperador are popular choices unless you opt for the more traditional colors like the Vanilla Sky and Melange.

How to maintain Venetian marble?

Compared to the conventional tile and natural stone surfaces, These marble premium surfaces present no maintenance issues. Simply wipe with wet cloth and even sponge and paper towels would suffice. If heavy stains occur, you need to use a mild soap. A neutral pH cleaner could also be used. A nonabrasive scrub pad will preserve the surface and result in many years of service with no hassles. A marble sealer is advised for additional protection. This marble being very durable, use it for backsplashes and countertops to provide the smart marble and granite look with a long life.

Venetian marble would introduce a great natural stone fantasy into the home or business at reasonable expense. Since many options exist, some are bound to meet your expectations, fancy, lifestyle, and budget. Survey our vast range of premium surfaces to make the best decisions.

10 Things You Have To Know About Wooden Garages

Wood structures are pretty much the hottest fad in the real estate world right now. Log cabins are growing in popularity, backyard sheds made of lumber are hot ticket items and gazebos are an obsession. Even wooden garages are a big hit and you may be considering getting your own to take advantage of the many benefits it can provide.

Here are ten things you should know about wooden garages before you buy.

You Have To Regularly Keep It Clean – This is a big deal and one too many people ignore. Dirt may just slide off of metal siding but it can cause damage to wood. When you get a wooden garage you are committing to keeping it clean and maintained. That will keep pests out of the corners, or from burrowing into the lumber.

Staining Is Necessary – Another element to maintaining your wooden garage is staining it. This has to be done every three to five year to maintain the integrity and health of the lumber. If you don’t do it the logs will crack, blanch and possible let in pests like termites. The wood may also become warped or even rot from the inside. Luckily it isn’t an expensive investment, is simple to do yourself and there are many environmentally friendly chemicals to choose from for the tasks.

It Is Prone To Pests – As mentioned above, wood is attractive to pests. Termites, spiders, ants, rats, mice, even racoon..they like the wood. For the most part this won’t be an issue as long as you stain your wood, keep the garage clean and look out for cracks. But if you find a hole you should fill it as quickly as possible to avoid an infestation.

Materials Can Be Expensive – Looking at the cost of building a wooden garage you may be shocked by the discrepancy in cost when compared to metal structures. The other side to that argument would be how sturdy lumber tends to be, as well as how attractive it is. People who buy wooden structures are essentially investing in the property. When you look at it that way you will see why the cost can be worth it.

Pre-fabs Are More Cost Effective – If the price tag on a custom built wooden garage is a deal breaker it may be time to consider an alternative. Pre-fabs are much more inexpensive, fitting into most budgets. They come in multiple sizes with various features, such as automatic doors, or even manual double doors for a more rustic look. These will average between $1500 and $5000 for most models, though more complex garages can be more.

You Can Fix Them Yourself – This is a big plus for a lot of folks who don’t want to have to turn to a contractor to fix future problems. Wood is easier to work with than metal and you can replace whole logs if you have to. Any lumber seller, from hardware stores to wood based recycling centers, can help you find the right size, color, shape and weight to make a repair. But in many cases you can just to small patch jobs to take care of problems. If you maintain your garage properly it might never even come up. On the other hand, if you do need someone to come and fix it for you it isn’t hard to find contractors who can deal with wood. Metal repairs can cost more.

Damp Can Ruin The Wood – It can’t be said enough, you have to stain your wooden garage regularly! Staining seals the wood and keeps moisture out of the lumber. When the stain begins to breakdown it will no longer repel water. The damp will push its way into the logs and start to rot it from the inside. Warping will form, pushing the logs out and causing gaps where the wood has shrunk. Heat will make it expand again, exacerbating the problem. Cracks will form in the surface, letting in more damp and in some cases various pests. All it takes is a bit of rain when the garage isn’t properly fitted and you will have to replace full logs. Make sure you prevent it!

They Can Be Used as More Than Garages – Some people are choosing these structures, but not for their cars. Wooden garages make great sheds, extra rooms and even guest houses. Depending on the size you select (and that of your car) you might be able to share the space for multiple purposes. All it takes is a bit of imagination and you can turn it into anything you like. Because of the low price it might also act as an alternative to more expensive structures you were considering putting on your property.

They Improve The Look Of Your Property – Let’s face it, metal garages are ugly. They take up too much space, make weird noises in storms and are just an eyesore. Wooden garages look great, have a classic feel and are popular for a reason. If you want to make your property look as good as possible, especially if you are considering a sale in the future, this is a great step to take. Throw that metal garage in the trash heap where it belongs.

They Can Increase The Value Of Your Home – This is one of the biggest reasons people choose to go with wooden garages. There are many different upgrades you can do to increase the value of your home. Some people put in swimming pools, others go with guest houses in the backyard. Others put in a rock garden or install solar panels. Wooden garages are a practical upgrade the looks good while being fully functional. That gives it an edge to many of the other improvements, especially given the lower cost.

Architects Versus Engineers: Who Leads the Project?

Architects and engineers are essential members of nearly every construction project. There are very few projects where you won’t need the skill sets from both. The division of labor between architects and engineers is a well-known and accepted concept, but have you ever considered, who leads the project?

For anyone in construction, this may seem obvious, but it occurred to me that it may not be as obvious to everyone else. So Today I wanted to take a moment to discuss the differences between an architect and an engineer and explain why one is exceptionally qualified to lead the other.

Before I jump into the meat of this discussion, I want to share an experience I had several years ago. A higher education client was modernizing their university’s central power plant. Given the substantial engineering this project required, the Owner selected an engineer who was exceptionally skilled with the various building systems impacted by the project. The firm was hired directly by the owner and setup to lead the project. The engineer, realized that while the project was primarily an engineering project, there were several architectural elements that would also be impacted. Not having any in-house architects, the firm turned to an outside architect and hired them as a sub-consultant with the principal engineer in the lead.

The firm I was with at the time received the award to provide the architectural services. I was assigned the project and worked with the engineer to complete this project. This was the one and only project I ever worked on where the architect did not have the lead role.

It was the single worst project experience I have ever had.

I’ve got a lot of friends who are engineers. My wife is one. Many of my closest friends are engineers. This means that I have endured decades of jabs about architects and typically being the only architect in the room, I have no recourse but to laugh along. The truth is that architects do push the boundaries of engineering. Often to the point of mockery. We tend to do so out of ignorance. After all, we certainly don’t understand each system the way our engineer colleagues do.

Despite this, there is one thing my fellow engineers don’t fully appreciate. Without proper coordination and alignment between all of the engineered parts, the entire project would fail to come together.

Coordination between the various building systems is a critical part of every project. If left undone, a deficiency in coordination stands to wreak havoc throughout construction and subject the owner to change orders, additional costs, and delays.

It may surprise some to hear that architects are responsible for coordination of engineering systems.

In order to better understand this, it’s important to review the education, training, and examinations required of architects and compare that to the education, training, and examinations required of engineers.

Engineers begin their academic careers in general engineering classes but soon concentrate their education in one of several major disciplines. An engineering student may choose a major in Mechanical, Electrical, or Civil engineering (just to name a few). Each of these concentrations focuses education on a specific set of physical properties in which students specialize. After graduation, those who choose to go into construction, learn to apply those concepts to specific building systems aligned with their engineering major. When it comes time to become a licensed Professional Engineer, the examinations required by licensing boards are tailored to the engineering discipline. In short throughout an engineer’s career, the concentration they choose stays with them throughout their lives. I won’t make a blanket statement stating that engineer’s don’t know more than one discipline, but I will say that I have encountered very few who either practice or even dabble in another.

On the other hand in addition to core design and architecture theory classes, architecture students are required to attend several years of classes in structures, building systems, and construction practice. When a student graduates, one of the first duties (pun intended) assigned is detailing bathrooms (where all building systems come together). When it comes time for license, an architect must pass a series of examinations (seven at last count) that include building systems and structural systems.

In short, the only licensed professional in the design team that is educated in all of the major systems of a building is the architect.

On my disastrous old university project, the engineer did such a poor job of coordination, that his own people would come to meetings often uninformed of the impacts that changes in another in-house engineering discipline had on their work. Often these guys sat just across the aisle from one another.

I certainly did not know it at the time, but the Owner’s mistake of hiring the engineer as the project lead doomed that project to failure.

It seems like a reasonable assumption that on a project that is primarily about replacing building systems, the engineer would take the lead, so I don’t fault the owner for making that assumption.

I now know what a folly that decision can be and hope I’ve helped some of you avoid this mistake.

Now, every time I am forced to hear another architect joke from one of my brazen engineer friends, I take solace in the fact that without me, the various systems they are such experts in would fail to suit their intended purpose.

I hope you now have a better understanding of the interplay between engineers and architects. Next week we will discuss whether it’s better to hire each one directly or have one subcontract the other.

What about you? Have you ever worked on a project with an engineer in the lead role? Was the project successful? Did construction go smoothly? Tell me your stories.

Timber Framing on a Budget

Timber framing construction uses tenon and lap joints along with wooden dowels or pegs to create the frame structure of a home. This is a historic method of constructing the frame structure and can be expensive. One reason is that this type of construction is more advanced that stick frame construction. People like to use timber framing because it will continue to hole up the weight of the home long after the nails of stick frame construction has rusted and created the need for some major repairs. If you are building a new home and want to use this type of construction there are ways in which you can work this into your budget.

Use the local species of timbers

When using timber framing make sure that you use whatever tree is a native species of that area. It is expensive to ship timbers across the country. For example, if you love on the East coast two of their native species trees are oak and white pine but on the West coast it would be the Douglas fir. You also have to look at the cutting and material handling of the joinery. One of the harder ones to work with is oak because it is heavier so it would take more time to make the joints.

Choose a simple frame design

If you have a complex design in mind it will simply cost you more because of the board footage of food and number of joints you would need for the frame. Some companies that do timber framing will count how many joints will be used for the frame and will give you an estimate based on that information,

Find the best pricing

This includes not only the building material but also the contractors who are going to build your timber framing for your home. Make sure that you get at least three estimates because if you only get a couple you have just one to compare against another one. Make sure that you get a written estimate that lists the costs of materials, labor costs, and anything else that will figure into the cost of the home. Do not choose the lowest price because they may be using inferior timber. If possible ask to see the timber they will be using before you make your decision. You should also ask to see the results of their construction to make sure that they have the actual experience to construct your dream home. Ask for references and check them out. You and your family are going to be living in this home for a long while and you want to make sure that it well constructed.

Following these tips will allow you to have your dream home and stay within budget.

This article is penned by Lora Davis for Arrow Timber Framing. Arrow Timber Framing has worked hard to gain the experience necessary to streamline production. Timber framed homes are built with mortise and tenon joints connected with wooden pegs.

9 Pro Tips for Selecting a Custom Home Building Contractor

Planning to build your custom home that matches your personal taste in architecture? First, you have to find a contractor you can rely on. Selecting between different residential contractors can be tricky at times, because every other company claims to be the best in business. Here are the 9 pro tips that you need.

1. Ask around. When you are looking for custom home builders, references always count. Talk to your friends, colleagues and neighbors to know about the services that they have tried so far. Ask them about the experience and why they liked or disliked a service.

2. Check if the company is genuine. Don’t be surprised to find that many of the contractors don’t have any experience working with clients. They often offer the best discounts and sell the contracts to smaller subcontractors to make some easy money.

3. Make sure the company is licensed, insured and bonded. You need to check if the contractor has the required permissions to work in your city and area, and they must be insured, as well. These are basic aspects that people often ignore while comparing the options.

4. Are they open to your ideas? A good and reliable general contractor will take the time to understand the needs, expectations and requirements of their clients. They will also discuss the ideas that you may have in mind, and depending on the practical aspects, they may suggest the right things.

5. Will they offer an estimate? As a client, you should be extremely careful about your choice of contractor, especially with regards to the estimate that they provide. Check if their prices are genuine and in sync with the standards. Getting an estimate is also important because you can compare the options.

6. Specialization counts. Always work with a contractor who has worked on and managed projects similar to yours. Not all commercial contractors deal in residential projects, so ask them about their areas of expertise.

7. Check their previous projects. You can never rely on a service that doesn’t have enough clients. Check the work they have done so far, so that you know the kind of experience they have with residential projects.

8. Ask for references. It is not enough to see a few pictures of their previous projects. You need to know the experience of their clients with regards to their services, and for that, nothing is more important than references. A company that has been doing business for more than five years will have enough clients.

9. Ask why you should hire them. As a client, you need to know why a company believes that they are better than others. Know about their highlights and ask them questions about their work. They should be able to convince you about their highlights and the kind of things they do.

Finally, take the time to set up a personal meeting. You may need two to three meetings before you can give a nod for the project.

Is It Possible to Build a Log Cabin In Winter?

The snow is beginning to fall. The chill is in the air. Right around the corner the holidays await us. This is the time to sit inside with a cup of hot cocoa and a twinkling Christmas tree, listening to carols. But wouldn’t that be so much more satisfying if it were in a log cabin, the perfect setting for those winter activities? Too bad you have to wait until it is warm again before you can start building your dream cabin.

Or do you? It is actually possible to build a log cabin in winter. Sure, it takes a big of preparation and know how, but that doesn’t mean it is out of your reach.

Preparing The Site of Your Log Cabin

Winter isn’t actually a bad time to get to work on the site of your log cabin. Groundwater is a lot lower than during the warmer months, which makes it an easier job and requires less work to get rid of it. Frost can be an issue if you are deep into the season, so you want to get started as soon as possible. You can prepare the site with up to two inches of frost. Snow is a bigger issue and unless it is temporary powder, once real snowfall hits it will be too late.

Preparing Yourself For Work

Are you ready to be working in the cold? There is a distinct advantage that you have in winter over summer and that is the lack of heat. Anyone who has done manual labor or labor intensive projects in the summer knows that it is a miserable and even dangerous task. It can be a real relief to be working on things in the colder months, but you need to be properly attired. Have a thick coat and layers. Have good gloves with texture to keep some friction for holding things. Put on thick socks (or multiple pairs) under solid boots that are both warm and anti-slip. A scarf or balaclava and a hat to protect the face, neck and ears are also important. For some additional comfort you can get pocket warmers that can help you on those chillier days. Make sure you are aware of weather conditions and plan your build accordingly.

Hiring a Company for Construction

Putting up a log cabin is difficult in the best of conditions. In winter it can be really hard for people who don’t know what they are doing, or who just don’t have help. You should consider hiring builders to do it for you. Many will work in the winter for an additional fee, which also ensures it will be done faster and right the first time. Be prepared to pay a premium but you will be glad for the work when a crew of five or more people get your log cabin up within a few weeks instead of a few months. Keep in mind that they may only get the exterior done at first as quickly as possible and worry about finishing and interior after, when they don’t have to worry about being stuck outside.

Prefabricated or Custom Built?

Another factor in how quickly you can get your log cabin built is whether or not it is going to be done from scratch. This can take a year or more to complete so you would only be pushing through the winter to get it done a little sooner. That is usually way too long for most people, especially when there is a faster alternative. A prefabricated log cabin is one that has been ordered and manufactured in a factory in large pieces then shipped to your erection site. A crew (or you and a few others) can then put them up in sections, making it a much faster process that can be done within weeks instead of months or years. You may also be more likely to find a building crew to handle the construction if they know it is just a prefab and so they can knock it out fast, before the snow starts. Want another reason to go prefab? They are much cheaper (sometimes by tens of thousands of dollars) and can be customized if you go through a company that specializes in their own designs.

Potential Risks In Winter

Now that you know that a log cabin can be built in winter you should know the risks. It can be difficult sometimes to find a construction company that is willing to handle a built that late in the year. That might leave you holding the reigns and if you don’t know how to construct a log cabin that could be a really challenging DIY that might not be within your capabilities. Then there is the weather itself. When it is cold you are risking hypothermia and frostbite, both of which can come on much faster and at higher temperatures than you might expect. Slipping is another very real issue, as ice can be on the ground and totally unseen if it froze in a thin, hard layer. The more you move around the site, especially where there was groundwater, the more you risk slipping and injuring yourself. Finally, there is just the construction itself. Let’s say you get started and you miscalculated the snowfall. It begins sooner than you thought and before you are done. You can’t just leave the site, you have to cover it and hope that there is no damage to what you have already done before spring comes.

As you can see, winter construction is possible when you want a log cabin. But your best bet is going to be hiring a construction company that handles prefabricated dwellings in order to get it up and operational before the snow comes. Once the exterior is done they can take more time on the interior and final touches.

So if you are worried that you have to wait until spring to get your dream log cabin, don’t worry. It is within reach, you just have to take the proper precautions.

How to Protect Trees During Construction Work

The trees on your property add much value to it. Whether it is a commercial or residential site, shade trees are important not only because they contribute to the looks of the place, but also because they offer practical use.

When nearby construction work occurs at a given site, the importance of preserving the trees is even higher. As a matter of fact, homes are often constructed near trees due to their environmental and aesthetic value. It is construction work that causes the most damage to a tree. To avoid both long and short-term tree damage, you need to consult with arboricultural consultants and every other party involved in the project. Here is what you should be mindful of:

Protection of existing trees – heavy machinery and construction work within proximity of trees can cause irreparable damage. According to arborists, fixing tree damage is considered far more expensive than preventing it. For this reason, establish visible and durable barricades that keep trees protected. Young trees of 1 to four years require minimal protection of 30 cm area for each 2.5 cm of trunk diameter. For mature trees, the protected area should span two meters from the widest measure of their crown.

Protection of root systems – trees contain two types of roots: large and small absorbing roots. The large system expands in a horizontal direction and is 15-60 cm in depth. They serve to provide anchorage and nutrient transport. The smaller roots average 0.16 cm in diameter and serve to absorb nutrients and water. Damaging any of the two systems can have a significant impact on tree’s health.

Soil compaction – once a tree is established, any soil changing activity can prove detrimental to its health. With construction traffic near the tree, soil can become severely compacted, thus reducing permeability. Compacted soil significantly restricts root growth and contributes to less water and nutrients. A layer of 10-15 cm mulch of wood chips can reduce compaction.

Soil fills – adding an excessive amount of soil around a tree interferes with proper moisture and air circulation. With soil fills, roots can be exposed to improper gas exchange and build up carbon dioxide. The only soil fills that are harmless to trees are those with topsoil less than 8cm. Excessive fill symptoms include small leaves and premature autumn discoloration.

Direct physical injury – construction equipment can damage the bark in what is known as ‘skinning’ process. A tree cannot possibly survive without its bark, making that sort of damage particularly problematic. Trenching can also physically damage a tree’s roots. Boring a tunnel under the roots is the best way to save them. If trenching is not avoidable, it should be placed as far back from the trunk as possible.

It is wise to consider a tree survey before and after construction work takes place on your property. That is the best way to ensure trees are in good shape or what measures should be taken to minimize damage.

Everything You Need To Know Before Buying a Mobile Home

Mobile homes have an unfair reputation for being low quality or trashy. That just isn’t true. A mobile home is a great way to get your own property, place it anywhere you choose and for less than many more stationary houses tend to cost. It is becoming an increasingly popular option, with variations such as tiny homes and mini cottages becoming a darling of the real estate world.

If you are reading this you are probably considering making a purchase yourself. Before you go shopping for the perfect little place of your own, here are some things you should know.

There Are Many Kinds of Mobile Homes

Mobile homes are not all the same single level family affair that you may be used to. There are multiple styles and types, as the couple mentioned above prove. Tiny houses are miniature homes that attempt to utilize every inch of space, all in a very small package. Mini cottages are similar, though usually one room wood houses with lofts.

There are also multi-level mobile homes. These are less portable, which makes them a mixed bag. But if you are looking to get a manufactured home and you aren’t concerned with being able to move it quite as easily it is definitely a good option.

If portability is your goal there are models that come on wheels, which can be either kept on at all times or slipped under with some tools.

The Cost of Mobile Homes Can Vary Wildly

With so many mobile home styles it probably won’t surprise you that these dwellings don’t come in a standard price range. According to Forbes, the average cost of a tiny house is around $23,000. But the average cost of a single story mobile home is around $64,000. Multi-level manufactured homes can vary, but you can assume between $50 and $100 per square foot.

The varying prices is one reason that it is important to know what it is you are looking for in a home. You should also consider other costs that are associated with your house. The land that you are building it on, for example, or the hook up costs for electricity, plumbing, gas, etc. These may not be built into the price and so require additional installation and fees.

Quality Is a Factor

Not all mobile homes are created equal. In fact, going to the wrong provider can end in some serious headaches. A major storm can topple it over or damage can be done to the exterior, pieces can fall off, etc. It is critical that you find a reputable dealer or construction crew to help you find the right mobile home.

You are looking for quality materials, designs and reputable reviews for who you work with. If you find all three you will wind up with a beautiful, sturdy home.

Manufactured or Prefabricated Homes Are Awesome

These style of houses are fantastic. Not only are they lower cost than from scratch models, but they are easier and faster to put up. A crew as small as two people can construct a manufactured or prefabricated mobile home, using pretty basic tools. Sometimes it can be done in as little as an afternoon.

That is because the pieces are already put together and ready to combine. They have been shipped from the factory with everything needed, to the location you specify. So the people putting it up just have to go through and hook all the parts, from the walls and foundation to the different compartmentalized rooms and features.

Getting a Loan Can Be Tricky

When you are getting a mortgage you go to a bank, right? Most mobile homes won’t qualify under mortgage programs. Instead you have to either go through an official mobile home company that specializes in financing, or you have to go through a credit union that has a loan specifically for this style of house.

The idea is that mobile homes are portable and many people mistake that to mean temporary. They are also lower cost, so there is less profit gained through interest rates. Many banks don’t see the point of funding them.

Thankfully, it isn’t hard to get a loan from one of these specified places. If you have an account with a credit union it is all the better, as that improves your odds of approval and they often have competitive rates.

Location Is Everything

You could have a gorgeous, well crafted, amazing mobile home. But if it is sitting on an ugly lot in the middle of a crowded area, what good it is? You want a location that is central to what you need, but still pretty, functional and offers you whatever you are looking for. Some people choose mobile parks in order to have a neighborhood feel. Others choose more isolated locations where they can enjoy a plot of land.

Whatever works for you, location is a pretty important part of buying your mobile home. It is also a good chunk of what you will be paying for. Renting land is possible, such as in mobile parks. But buying your own ensures you have greater equity in your property. It is a sound investment, even if you plan on uprooting and moving somewhere else. Land is also cheaper than you might expect, depending on the area.

Retail Cost Versus Invoice Cost

Once you know what you are looking for and where you are going, it is time to go to a reputable dealer. When dealing with closing costs make sure you ask to see the invoice cost of the property. If they resist, insist on it or possible go to someone else. This is a better representation of cost without inflation that can come from retail markups.

Don’t let them corner you into telling your budget or what you can pay monthly. Just have them give you flat invoice prices for a described model and then negotiate based off of that price.