Okay, I think this part is exciting. This is where your dreams start to take shape. Framing is where you get an idea of rooms, views and livability. This is where the tone is set for the rest of the project. This is also where you can start to see the problems with your vision.
Take a long slow breath. Understand that framing is part science and math and part art of interpretation. No two people read or interpret a blue print exactly the same. I know that sounds scary but it is not as bad as you may imagine. When ever you translate 2-D into 3-D it can be misunderstood. I also want to say that this is where you start to realize that measurements that are on a 1/4 inch scale do not always translate when rooms are full size and three dimensional. Some rooms or hallways seem ridiculously small and others rooms seem much larger than you envisioned in your head.
Treasure: Your rooms will actually appear to change sizes throughout the building process. In general, they will seem large at frame stage. They will seem smaller at drywall and then they get bigger after the walls have been painted. Tricking your eye all along the way.
Things you should pay attention to at this stage are windows (or what will soon contain a window) both size and view, room sizes, and walkability (I will explain that later). This is where you want to make these changes. Yes, it will cost you, but it will be the least expensive time to make any changes to your homes layout. I also caution you to make sure you really want to make a change before you do it. It will cost you in most cases not just in money but in time. Time can really make a change cost double, especially if it delays your closing or moving date. Just stop and think of the many different ramifications and honestly talk to your builder. Ask questions and let your builder know what your priorities are. He/she is the professional and is there to help.
Treasure: There are such things as happy mistakes! They are not unicorns they actually happen. Be open to them. Building is a human industry subject to mistakes. A builder should not charge you to fix a mistake, however, it could be in your best interest not to fix some mistakes. Read on for examples of a happy mistake.
Windows: They are an important key to the worth of the resale value of your home. So, here in Colorado, along the Front Range, a view of the Rocky Mountains can increase the value of your home. Now, I know that every place does not contain a view of majestic mountains but almost all lots contain a nice view of something. If you and your builder did your home work you may not sit your home square on your lot. (Yes, I also know that sometimes you do not have a choice nor a view. If this is the case feel free to skip this part.) It would be a shame to have situated your home just so on your lot and then find out that unless you are standing on a ladder you can not see your magnificent view. So during framing bring a folding chair and go around to your key view windows and sit and stand in front of them. Make sure you can see what you want to. You may not be able to see everything from both a standing and sitting position, but you will want one or the other for sure. Warning: Moving things can effect many other things so be careful here. Talk to your builder and see if it is truly worth moving a window. If it is going to compromise your architecture on the outside of your home or if the window will make the functionality of a room obsolete then you might not get the view you thought you would have. If you have to raise the roof it is probably not worth it. Usually a few inches to the right or left or up or down can be done for a reasonable cost. This goes for deleting windows too.
Wait! I can hear you now, “Look we deleted a window! Look at the money we will save.” Not necessarily true. If the windows have been ordered (and I can almost guarantee they have by now) you will be the proud owner of a window without a home. Check with your builder on that specifically. If that is not a problem you can almost always donate your extra window to Habitat for Humanity. They love those donations and you can write it off, Recouping at least part of your cost.
Room Sizes: Make sure your rooms will be large enough for their purpose. The thing to remember here is adding room to one space will take room from another space. Will six inches make a difference? It could depending on the room. In a small room, like a bathroom, it could make all the difference. In a large room, like a family room, probably not.
Load bearing walls that are involved with the engineering of your home’s structure can only be moved at the greatest expense. I almost never recommend moving a structural wall. The time and expense will almost always be greater than the worth. Earlier I mentioned that you should pay attention to the size of rooms at the blue print stage and this is why. That being said it is not the end of the world if you have to make a minor adjustment here or there. So maybe I should make a correction. This is the second least expensive time to make a change.
Walkability: So this is really just how the home flows. How does it feel moving through your home? Are there any areas that seem pinched? Places that you have to turn to the side to get through? Typically spaces that you pass through should be around 4 feet. That should be sufficient to get through comfortably. This does not include doorways that have doors in them. However, this could tie in with moving walls and effect room sizes. Just simply pay attention to the ease of use and movability at this stage of your home. Can you get to a bathroom easily? Is it as open as you want it?
Take a big breath and just go slowly and check things carefully. Do not go overboard. Really determine how badly you would like to move things. Ultimately you would like to not have to move anything. This is an attainable goal. Between happy mistakes and careful consideration there may be no changes required. However, if you feel that something must be changed then have an open dialog with your builder and make sure you know all the ramifications of your requests. Mistakes that are not happy should be fixed at your builders expense. Make an appointment to meet your builder at the home with a set of blue prints, a tape measure and a sense of humor and have an open discussion. Things will all work out so just relax and enjoy. Sprinkle some trust on that and you will be just fine.
I am Erica, and I help you buy the house you can afford and make it a home you love. Finding a home you can afford can be one of the most important financial decisions you make. Making it the home you love can be one of the most rewarding things you do.
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