We are in “wait” mode while the appraiser gets his comps together and presents to our lender bank for our close on the loan for this project. Then the dirt will fly. In the meantime, we got the soil tests which showed there is a lot of clay in this soil. The report was sent to the engineers who will advise how much strength the foundation will require. We also got the applications to the water dept and the electric dept so they can evaluate how the utilities must be installed and the projected costs. We will pay them up front before any work is started. The temporary electric utility pole must be set and the water line must be in place.
We are in an undeveloped subdivision (at one point there were grandiose plans for “ranch” size estates of several acres, but for whatever reason, it was not fully developed. All lots have been sold, however).
We are also not sure of the phone service/internet service. There are no telephone poles visible. Our cell phones do have service out there, but hooking up for internet service could be an issue. We are told there is a tower nearby but cannot be sure we will have an unobstructed view which could mean one of those dishes mounted on an exceedingly tall pole. We would not be happy with that and would need to figure out a less conspicuous structure.
We have also purchased all things in advance that we want to save money on (all cabinet hardware on EBay for about 79 cents each compared to over $3 each in the store), most chandeliers/lighting and ceiling fans (at various internet sites or in local stores), and soon the bath fixtures that we know we want and can be found at a good price locally. Not being in a hurry, with plenty of lead time before construction, has allowed for plenty of web surfing and store shopping to narrow down decisions as much as possible. I found my clawfoot tub at a local teardown, and my highbacked cast iron sink was found in a local antiques shop. All cleaned up and looks almost new again.
Remember, you usually don’t have to buy everything at your builder’s recommended materials providers, but ask first, just to make sure. We do know that our flooring items must come from his provider, but if we can tell them exactly what we want and it’s still in our ballpark through their system of markups, then they can order it for us with no issues.
If you can find any way to save money, then do it if your builder is in agreement. He must agree to your purchases outside of his preferred contacts. These items will be paid out of your pocket so set aside funds for these types of purchases and know your financial limit to purchasing out of pocket.
We pretty much have made all our decisions in this down time, having gone from flooring stores to tile stores to home improvement stores, and will have our list of decisions ready to review and hopefully order when the loan is finalized.