Build-On-Your-Lot Custom Homes in the Raleigh Area
Tips from a Raleigh Custom Home Builder - Part One
You've carefully chosen your lot, in an area that's perfect for you. Maybe you've found a couple of acres in the Chatham County or Johnston County countryside. Or you've written a contract on the perfect homesite in a community just inside Raleigh.
So now you're ready to get started on your new home! There are many terrific custom builders that are constructing beautiful homes in the Raleigh area. You're probably going to view homes, talk with several Raleigh home builders, and possibly even compare full bids from two or three different builders.
If you've never built a home before, you may not know all the details about what should or shouldn't be included in a bid. Be cautious of just comparing total cost per square foot, unless you are sure each builder is including identical features and necessary construction steps. It's like buying a car - just because a Kia Rio and a Audi A4 both have four doors, four wheels, and automatic drive, doesn't mean that they're the same car!
As a Raleigh custom home builder, we know what needs to happen at every step of the home building process, including a build-on-your-lot home in the Raleigh area. This series will let you know what to look for when choosing a custom builder for your new home.
Build-On-Your-Lot Homes in the Raleigh Area: Tips From a Raleigh Custom Home Builder
Sewer and Water (or Septic and Well)
What are the Costs?
What Questions Should You Ask Your Builder?
Septic System or City Sewer
When building a home, one thing you'll want to make sure is included in your contract is either a septic system or a connection to city sewer lines, if available. If neither one is included, you'll have a large surprise bill at some point before you can move into your new home!
The location of your lot will determine which option you have. If you're inside city limits, your chances of having access to city sewer lines are much higher. But you'll still need to budget for "tap fees" or "connection fees". Depending on the area, this could range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Make sure your builder includes the actual tap/connection fees. If they include an allowance, you will be responsible for any cost above the allowance.
And don't forget about any additional fees involved - depending on the city, you could also be charged things like "acreage fees", which help the city cover the cost of the work they already did bringing city sewer pipes to the edge of your lot.
If you're going to be installing a septic system, this normally would be included by the general contractor building your home. And you won't be able to move into your new home until it's installed! Before you buy your lot, make sure it "perks" - but more on that another time.
Septic systems can run from about $3000 to $15,000 or more, depending on the lot, the soil condition, the number of bedrooms in the home, and much more. Very rarely are homes at the top or bottom end of the scale - most are in the middle range. If your build on your lot home bid includes a septic system allowance of $3,000, but the septic system costs $12,000, you'll be responsible for the additional $9,000.
You may want to ask your builder exactly how much the past couple of septic systems they installed in this area cost, or even get a few quotes on your own to make sure the allowance given will at least come close to covering the cost, even if there are a few surprises after digging starts!
One last tip - make sure any pipe (and the labor to dig trenches) needed to connect the home to the disposal system is included!
Well or City Water
Your new home will need a water source. Make sure that any Raleigh on your lot custom builder bids you receive include a way to get water into your home!
If you're within town limits, you'll probably need to connect your home to the city water lines. This will involve "tap fees" or "connection fees", which is what the city charges to give you access to their water.
In the City of Raleigh, 2007 fees for connection of a standard ¾" water line is $2151. There's also an "acreage fee", which is a charge to help pay for the cost of getting city water to the edge of your property. In Raleigh, this fee is $294 each for water and sewer. Fees vary greatly by city and year - just make sure your bid includes all the current information.
On top of any city fees, there may be subcontractor plumbing charges to pipe the water from the home itself to the city connection at the edge of your property line. Make sure this is included! A basic subcontractor plumbing bid may include only the plumbing within the home itself.
If city water is not accessible at your property line, you'll need to dig a well on your property. Most likely the county will already have a specified well, septic, and home location for your particular lot.
When drilling a well, you'll want to have at least a 4-10 gallon per minute water supply. Make sure your bid includes a sufficient allowance for drilling a well to a depth that will provide a good water supply. Some build on your lot builders may include a "minimum" well that produces only 1 gallon per minute, but this will not provide enough water pressure to comfortably serve most households.
Well drilling itself can cost anywhere from $2,000 to, in severe cases where more than one well is drilled, $15,000 or more. Until the drilling begins, no one will be able to tell you how far down you'll have to drill. In some cases, water is hit at 200 ft on one lot, while the lot right next to it has to drill 950 feet to get the same water pressure. But most wells fall somewhere in the middle range. And remember - this is just the cost of drilling.
Again, ask a Raleigh area build on your lot custom builder what the past few wells have cost in your county and area, or call a few local contractors yourself to get at least a general idea of what the final cost will be. Even if you're working with a national build on your lot builder, they should be able to give you specific information about the past few projects they've worked on, even if it's just other projects in the same county.
In addition to drilling the well, make sure the bid includes costs of installing the pump and running water lines to the home (this alone will be $1000-2000), installing required casing, installing a cement slab for the well pump to sit on, and, if desired, a well cover. Well covers can look like decorative rocks and add to the landscaping features.
You may also be interested in these Raleigh new home lot resources:
Thinking of building a new home in the Raleigh area? There are many great places to live near Raleigh, including Angier, Apex, Bear Creek, Carrboro, Cary, Chapel Hill, Chatham County, Coats, Durham, Fuquay-Varina, Garner, Harnett County, Hillsborough, Holly Springs, Knightdale, Lillington, Morrisville, Orange County, Pittsboro, Rolesville, Sanford, Siler City, Silk Hope, Wake County, Wake Forest, and Wendell.
Finding Your New Home in the Raleigh Area
Stanton Homes makes it easy! We'll guide you through the entire process - select from thousands of different floor plans, and hundreds of different locations, with a focus on new custom homes in the upper $200s to the $500s. Custom design build options available too!
Call 919-278-8070 or visit www.StantonHomes.com to find out more about new homes in the Raleigh area today.
Articles copyright Stanton Homes 2006-2012. Unauthorized use is not permitted. Provided for informational purposes only, no claims are made by Stanton Homes regarding the validity of any statements. Please note: all listing information per MLS, and current as of posting date. Information subject to change. Stanton Homes does not make claims to ownership of any lot listings, but can work with homebuyers to purchase available lots and build. Home plans to be approved on an individual basis, subject to neighborhood restrictive covenants and lot restrictions. Ask for further information regarding any community, lot or floor plan. Photos represent typical homes and details of each neighborhood, to help highlight different options available in the Raleigh/Triangle area. No claim of ownership is made to homes or land pictured.