Best Tips for Cabin Building Prep

Building any type of structure on your property takes time and energy. Every effort is worthwhile when you are satisfied with the result. A good plan is always the best starting point. After that, time frames and costs should be considered, which is precisely what we will discuss in further detail in this article. Read on to find out what you should know before beginning to build a structure on your property.

Where to Start

Everything is more straightforward with a plan. Special projects like building a structure on your property are no different. Start the planning process by deciding what you would like to build and on which lot. Having a plan of your own is a plus since you will not waste time searching for the perfect cabin kit or fully assembled cottage to buy. Right after that, you should think about the budget you have for this project. Building any structure requires money, not only for materials and labor, but for fees as well.

How Long Before You Can Move In

There are so many factors to determine when the construction is complete. The timeframe usually varies from a few months to a few years. Your tiny dream home can be assembled relatively quickly provided you choose one of the pre-cut kit designs and have your own lot prepared. Building a large family home on a piece of uncleared land can add time and money to the project. Additionally, exterior and interior finishes (flooring, cabinetry, doors, windows, hinges) will also add time to complete the entire construction.

10x16 Hobby House in a tropical setting


When it comes to the budget, you must know how much you can afford or finance before creating a building plan. Chances are, you will need a loan from a bank. Before signing a construction loan contract with the bank, you should be aware of the costs that are ahead. The best way to avoid overextending your budget is to meet up with your potential architect and general contractor.

Nobody can tell you for sure how much your house will cost in the end, but setting the budget is an excellent place to start. Some 5-15% of it will go to the architect you choose to design the layout. Even if you have a building plan already made, you will still have to spend some 2% of your building budget on permits for the project.

Construction Type

The next aspect you should decide on is the type and the model of your future construction. Are you going to build it from scratch, or do you prefer a fully assembled building, or maybe a construction that comes as a pre-cut kit? The latter solution is much faster to build, and you still have many options to choose from in terms of size, layout, and overall design.

Now we have come to the step where you need to choose a proper building plan for what you want to make. The prices here vary significantly depending on what you prefer. Any custom-made solution will cost more, so prefabricated plans are the best choice for those building on a budget.

Choosing a Bid

No matter how much you like what you hear from the first general contractor you interview, you should not make any final decisions before meeting at least two more builders. Get the recommendations from people you trust and who have had their houses or other structures built in the last few years. Having three bids for your project will help you decide who to hire.

A portion of your budget will go to the general contractor who manages all the building and communication with suppliers and subcontractors.

Gravel Pad with Cement Blocks

Site Preparation

If the lot you plan to build on is already occupied, you need to account for the demolition and clearing process. Also, you might need to get a demolition permit. Remember, it is not only the exact spot where your new structure will stand that needs to be clear. The good news is that a site that has already been used before probably has an electrical system and plumbing. Not having to deal with utility set up will save you some money and a lot of patience.

On the other hand, when building on a lot that has never been used before, you will have to ensure that the place is easily accessible for unloading construction materials and equipment from trailers and trucks. You will have to get the permit to build and to install various systems. The costs vary across the states and even from one city to another. To find out what you need to pay, you should contact your local building department.

The cost of your tiny home site preparation will depend on the terrain itself too. For instance, does the land need to be graded? Do any trees need to be removed? If you are new to the DIY lifestyle or have no experience in building, you might be surprised by the work scope that needs to be done even before the foundation is laid. Review the site preparation recommendations for your building in your DIY plans to choose and install your foundation before building.

Time to Build

After several months of negotiating, planning, budgeting, demolishing, and cleaning – the time has come to start the construction. If you are building in the areas with harsh and snowy winters, you will have to factor in the months when hazardous weather limits construction. Again, the project’s length will depend on the type and size of the building you are building.

The cost of all works and the dynamics of payment are the things you should negotiate with your general constructor at the beginning of the project. Here’s a practical tip: Always have a budget for contingencies. Add at least 5% to your contractor’s assessment for any potential hiccups along the way.

Budget, permits, demolition and site preparation are some of the things you need to plan before beginning to build a structure on your property. Ensuring all of these steps are in order before construction will save you from any potential problems along the way. Good luck with your project!

Author’s Bio

Tanya Jones is an interior designer and decorator. She has been in the business for over a decade now. Her other interests include landscaping and exterior design. She is very passionate about camping and hiking.

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