Avoid These Errors When Hiring a Home Contractor

Are you planning on remodeling or renovating your home sometime soon? Rather than do it yourself, you should hire a home contractor to take on the challenge. As long as you bring the right home contractor on board, they can bring all the ideas that you have for your home to life and make it look its best. To hire the right home contractor, you’ll want to avoid making a series of common mistakes. Here are some of the mistakes that homeowners often make.

Hiring the cheapest home contractor they can find

Hiring a Home Contractor

When you’re performing a home remodeling or renovation project, you want to try and keep the costs associated with it as low as you can. Unfortunately, this leads some homeowners to choose to hire the cheapest home contractor they can find, even if they’re not the best option. The home contractor you hire should provide great services at a competitive price. Even if they’re not the cheapest contractor, you’ll be better off working with them than someone who won’t do a great job.

Failing to check out the references for a home contractor

When you’re trying to decide which home contractor to use for your home remodeling or renovation project, you should always ask contractors to provide you with references. What’s more, you should also go the extra mile by calling on as many of those references as you can to find out everything you can about a home contractor. Don’t allow those references to go to waste like some homeowners do.

Working with a home contractor that doesn’t have a business license or insurance

“Do you have a business license and insurance?” is one of the first questions you should ask to a home contractor. If they aren’t able to respond with a resounding “yes!” right away and provide proof of a business license and insurance, you should run the other way. The last thing you want to do is make the mistake of working with an unlicensed and/or uninsured home contractor.

When you contact Scott Merle Builders to serve as your home contractor, we’re confident that we can deliver superior remodeling and renovation services to you at the right price. You won’t have to worry about making a mistake when you hire us to take on your project. Call us at 315-409-4124 to find out what makes us different from other home contractors.

Is It Better to Renovate Your Home Or Build a New One?

Is it better to renovate or build a new home? That’s a good question.

If you’re looking at an older home to renovate, you have to consider expenses. Would it be cost effective to renovate the house or would it make more sense to just build a brand new one? What are some of the factors that would influence your decision?

Consider the Foundation

Home's Foundation

First, how’s the foundation? Older homes were built long ago when construction techniques were different than they are today. Therefore, your foundation might not meet the standards of today. If you have a basement, it might need all new wiring, heating and ventilation– and these are just the basics. Oftentimes, the really older homes– from the late 1800s or early 1900s for example– are just so old that it’s more cost effective to build a brand new home and start fresh. However, if it’s a home from, say, the 1950s onward, it might make sense to renovate. One thing to consider in particular is the land the house is built on– is it prone to flooding? Is your foundation cracked or sinking? Are your floors level or not? Sometimes the land a house is built on is just not a “good fit” for a home and it behooves you to move and start over in another location. But, for most people, the land below the house is stable and renovations, if not too expensive, make sense.

Flexibility

Next, if you were to build new, you could pick and choose what you want in your new house. There are cost advantages to this “flexibility.” For instance, if you don’t want or need a garage, then don’t get one. Or perhaps you don’t want a fireplace in the new house… or a pool out back… With constructing a new house you get to customize it with regards to your desires.

What’s the Budget

The budget is usually what ultimately guides the decision on whether to renovate or start new. You have to assess your financial situation and decide how much money you can afford for fixing up an older place versus starting fresh with a brand new one. Costs tend to need a little “wiggle room,” so if the estimate is, say, $10,000 to renovate a part of your home, keep in mind that unforeseen circumstances may require an extra $1,000 or two. This is true with new builds, too. And, of course, there are maintenance costs to be considered as well. If you can, come up with a spreadsheet that is detailed with cost estimates, including potential overruns. Look at the sheets, comparing renovation costs with new build costs to get a clearer picture to help influence your final decision. It’s a good idea to write down your end goal(s) and to get advice from experts about your project. 

Home Renovations Vs. Complete Rebuilds

Duration

Here’s something to consider: time is an issue. Some people don’t want the hassle of living in a home that is being renovated. And sometimes renovations take a long time. Should they move into a hotel temporarily? Or live at home while workers are coming and going, daily? Then again, waiting for a new home to be constructed will probably take even longer!

Personal Preferences

Ask yourself this simple question: “What do I want most?” Can your existing home get up to par with renovations? Or is it impossible to please you, even with potential renovations? Here’s something to think about… some people live in developments where they’re not allowed to make big changes. The homeowners association has a set of rules and regulations. For example, a house in this kind of community might have been built with a one car garage. But the person living there marries, and his spouse wants a two car garage– but that’s not allowed. In this case, it would make sense for the couple to build a new home somewhere else, matching their wants and needs. 

Financial Implications

Budget for Building or Renovating a Home

For those with a mortgage, did you know some mortgages include clauses that deal with whether or not you can tear down your home to make way for a rebuild? Stipulations might be in place about how soon the rebuilding process has to begin, and some lenders will want to be included in the planning process. In some cases, your mortgage could forbid you from demolishing your home!

Energy Efficiency

Finally, if you’re the type of person who wants a more “green” type of house– one that’s more environmentally-friendly, then you’ll be thinking about more energy efficient windows, siding and appliances. Building a new home basically gives you the opportunity to make the greenest of choices with things like high-efficiency insulation and water-saving fixtures. It can be harder to achieve green goals with remodels.

Are you thinking of renovating your house in the Syracuse area? Or do you want to build a brand new house? Either way, Central New York’s Scott Merle Builders can meet your needs. Please call 315-409-4124 today with your questions. 

An Overview of Buying Land to Own a Home

Building a Home on LandDo you have your sights set on buying land and building your dream home on it? Before you get too carried away with making plans for your new home build, you’ll have to go through the process of finding land and putting in a successful offer for it. There are some things you should keep in mind when you’re working your way through this. Learn more about them below.

Make sure you’re able to build on land before buying it.

You might be surprised by how many people buy land without checking to see if there are any zoning issues with it. They purchase the land only to later realize that they’re not allowed to build on it. This can force them to sell the land immediately and put their home-building plans on hold. Avoid this by making sure there aren’t any zoning issues with a piece of land before agreeing to buy it.

Check to see if you’ll be able to hook up utilities to a home built on land.

In addition to making sure you’re able to build a home on a particular piece of property, you should also check to see if you’ll be able to hook up utilities to a home once it’s built on land. If you’re planning on building on a remote parcel of land, you might not have easy access to electrical, gas, or plumbing. This is another thing you should inquire about prior to purchasing land.

Consider the cost associated with buying land and building on it.

You don’t want to blow your entire budget on land and leave yourself with next to nothing to spend on your new home. Be patient when shopping around for land and look for land that won’t cost much to acquire. It’ll give you more freedom when you’re designing your new home.

Scott Merle Builders specializes in helping people put together custom home plans and designs. We can build a home for you on any land you want and make the entire process of building a home less stressful on you. Call us at 315-409-4124 today to find out more about how we can assist you.

Should I build a One-Story or a Two-Story Home?

Building a One or Two-Story Homes Building a home from the ground up is an exciting experience for most people. But before they can break ground, they need to decide whether they want to build a house that’s one story or two stories tall. This is a pretty difficult decision to make since it’ll affect the entire design of their home. Here are some of the pros and cons associated with one-story and two-story homes.

One-story homes

There are lots of benefits that you’ll get to enjoy when you build a one-story home. For starters, one-story homes are usually simpler to design. They’re also easier to maintain once they’re built. And if you’re going to have people living in the home who are either on the younger or older side, they’ll even be safer in most cases. But one of the big downsides of building a one-story home is that you’ll need to invest in more property to give you the same square footage as a two-story home would. You’ll also have less privacy in a one-story home since every room in the home will be on the ground level.

Two-story homes

Just like with one-story houses, there are many benefits that come with building a two-story home. You’ll have more design options when putting the home together. You’ll also be able to give yourself better views in a two-story home and provide your family with more privacy. Additionally, most two-story homes are more secure than one-story homes with a decreased risk of burglary. But you should keep in mind that it can cost more to heat and cool two-story homes. There is also going to be an increased risk of accidents taking place due to the presence of stairs.

Only you can decide whether you want to build a home that’s one story or two stories. Whichever one you pick, Scott Merle Builders will be by your side to bring your dream home to life. We have experience building both one and two-story homes and can talk to you more about the pros and cons associated with each setup. Call us at 315-409-4124 today to get the home-building process underway.

A Look at the Process of Building a Home

The Process of Building a HouseFrom the outside looking in, building a home might seem like a relatively simple and straightforward process. People pick a piece of property, design a home to put on it, and then build it. However, there’s much more to it than that, which is why people really need to hire an experienced builder to get the job done. Here are the steps that must be taken to successfully build a new home from scratch.

A piece of property is purchased and prepared.

Before a home builder can start to put a home into place, a piece of property for it needs to be purchased. Additionally, that property needs to be prepared so that a builder can put a home down on it. The land will often need to be graded before a foundation can be put down for the home. This is arguably the most important part of the process since a strong foundation is a critical aspect of any home.

Plans for a home are fully developed and approved.

While a piece of property is being prepared for a new home, a builder will work with either a developer or the owner of the home that’s being built to map out what it’ll look like. An architect is usually brought in to take the ideas that a developer or homeowner has and bring them to life. Once plans are in place, a home builder will then need to get those plans approved by the city or town in which the home will be located.

The home is framed and then filled with everything it needs.

After the plans for a new home have been approved, a home builder can start framing the home. The frame of a home will give it its structure and allow everything else associated with it to fall into place. Following framing, a home builder will add other essentials like windows and doors, roofing, siding, electrical and plumbing systems, insulation, drywall, flooring, and trim.

The finishing touches are put on the home.

The new home that’s being built will almost be finished at this point. But before a home builder turns over the keys for a home to a developer or homeowner, they’ll have to add the finishing touches. This includes things like countertops, cabinets, lighting fixtures, and even paint on the walls. It’ll make the home livable.

It’s important to work with the right home builder when you’re building a home. They’ll make sure everything goes according to plan from start to finish. Scott Merle Builders is a company you can trust

for your home-building needs. Call us at 315-409-4124 today to see how we can assist you with custom home plans and designs.

How to Find the Right Builder For Your New Home

Selecting a Home Builder The best way to get the home of your dreams is by building it yourself. You can customize each and every aspect of a home when you build it from scratch. But before you start mapping out a custom home, you need to hire the right builder to help bring your ideas to life. Take a look at some tips for choosing the right builder for your new home below.

Research the options in your area.

You might be surprised by how many different home builders operate in your city or town. You likely have dozens and dozens of options to choose from. Start your search by putting together a list of home builders in your area and learning more about each of them. Read online reviews for the builders and try to speak with those who have worked with them in the past if you can.

Take a look at some of the work builders have done over the years.

Most good home builders have websites set up. They show off the work they’ve done over the years on these sites so that you can get a better idea of what they’re capable of doing. Check out as many examples of past work as you can find for each builder you’re considering. You can also reach out to the builders to speak more with them about specific projects they’ve done.

Make sure you don’t have any issues communicating with a builder.

Once you’ve done your homework and found a builder with a style you like, get in touch with them and talk to them more about the home you want to build. While speaking with them, make sure you feel comfortable with how they communicate. If you hire them, you’re going to spend a lot of time communicating back and forth with them. You want them to be someone that speaks clearly and puts your mind at ease when you express any concerns.

Scott Merle Builders would love to help you build your dream home. We would be more than happy to tell you all about the custom home plans and designs we can put together for you. Call us at 315-409-4124 today to find out more about our home building services.

Don’t Forget These Things When You’re Building a Home

Building a New HomeBuilding a custom home from scratch can be an amazing experience. You can create your dream house and customize it to suit your needs and preferences. Nonetheless, it can be a little bit overwhelming trying to remember all the little details that will make your new house a home that you’ll love for years to come. Here are some things you should try not to forget when building a new home.

More than enough electrical outlets

From smartphones and tablet computers to TVs and gaming consoles, the average American family owns dozens and dozens of gadgets. You’re going to need somewhere to plug all of them in, and there’s nothing worse than realizing you only have one or two outlets in a room full of electronics. Make sure your electrician installs lots of outlets, so you don’t have to go back and add more later.

A drain in your garage floor

Do you want to make sure it’s simple to keep the floor in your garage clean? Install a drain in it that’ll allow you to clean it whenever you want. The drain will also come in handy when you pull your car into the garage in the middle of a thunderstorm or when you experience unexpected flooding in your area.

Heated flooring

There’s nothing worse than stepping out of bed on a freezing-cold winter morning and putting your feet down on a floor that feels like ice. Heated flooring can heat your floors up and make your entire home more comfortable. It can also heat your home more efficiently, which can reduce your energy bills. You won’t mind getting out of bed in the morning anymore when you have heated floors to greet you.

A large embedded safe

Studies conducted over the last few years have revealed that more and more Americans are stashing cash and other valuables in safes in their homes. And while most people can get away with a freestanding safe, you might want to consider embedding a safe in a concrete wall if you plan on putting very valuable items into it. This is something that’ll be pretty easy to do when a home is first being built.

These are just a few of the things that you should remember to install in a custom home. Scott Merle Builders can talk to you about some of the other great features you can add to your dream house. Call us at 315-409-4124 today to hear about how we can help you bring your dreams to life.

Should You Remodel Your Home or Build a New One?

Home Renovations Vs. Complete Rebuilds Do you want to improve the look of your current home or wish that it functioned better? If so, you might want to think about remodeling it. During a remodel, you can give your home a much-needed makeover and fall in love with it again. Or, if you don’t want to go that route, you can also consider building a brand new home from scratch. It’ll give you everything on your wish list and deliver the perfect home. So, which is the better option for you? Here are some things that’ll help you decide.

Which is more affordable?

There are some people who would automatically assume that a home remodeling project would be way cheaper than a new build. However, that isn’t always the case! If you think you’ll need to do a major remodel to turn your home into what you want, it could end up costing you as much as it would to build a new home. It all depends on the current condition of your home, the ideas you have, and more. A contractor can talk to you about how much each of your two options could cost.

Which is more convenient?

A new home build will usually take longer to do than a remodel. Therefore, if you’re looking for the quicker fix to your current problem, you might want to go with remodeling. However, you should remember that you’re going to need to live in the middle of a construction zone while your remodel is going on. It could limit your lifestyle for a little bit, which is something you won’t have to worry about when you’re having a new home built elsewhere.

Which will give you what you want?

A home remodel and a new home build can both give you what you want. It really all comes down to how much you like the current location of your home. If you love the area and don’t want to move somewhere else, a remodeling project might work best for you. But if you wouldn’t mind moving or want to get out of the neighborhood you’re in now, a new build might be your best bet. Either way, you can get the home you’ve always dreamed about.

Undoubtedly, there are pros and cons that come along with both home remodels and new home builds. Scott Merle Builders can help you with either option and make sure you love the end result. Call us at 315-409-4124 to set up a consultation.

Mistakes to Avoid When Determining Room Layouts

Room Layouts Are you going to be renovating your home or putting an addition onto it soon? If so, you’re going to have to come up with the perfect layout for the portion of your home that you’re going to be changing. It’ll allow your home to function in a whole new way. Nevertheless, before you create a new layout, there are some common layout mistakes you should aim to avoid. Take a look at them below.

Creating pockets of space with no clear purpose.

There is nothing worse than having a room in your home that has a pocket of space without a clear purpose. That wasted space will cut into your home’s square footage without offering anything in return. When you are coming up with a layout for a room, make sure you identify what each part of the room will be used for. It’ll allow you to avoid creating space that won’t serve any purpose later.

Failing to work enough storage into the mix.

Every room in your home could always benefit from additional storage. It doesn’t matter if you’re mapping out a bedroom, a living space, or a kitchen. Find as many ways to incorporate storage as you can. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to install new closets. However, it might mean working a bench or another feature that can double as storage into your plans.

Forgetting to consider where your furniture will go.

Your home’s furniture will undoubtedly change over the years. Therefore, you don’t want to plan an entire living area around your oversized sectional. Nevertheless, you should obviously keep it in mind and plan out where you’re going to put it. The last thing you want to do is complete a bunch of home renovations only to find that some of your furniture looks out of place within the new layout.

These are just some of the room layout mistakes that homeowners make. Scott Merle Builders can help you steer clear of them and talk to you about other layout mistakes. Call us at 315-409-4124 today for all your renovation needs.

The Importance of Flexibility When Building a Custom Home

Building Custom Homes Are you planning on building a custom home for you and your family? If so, you’ll want to work with a builder that is experienced when it comes to customizing homes. You’ll also want to work with a builder that will utilize the best materials when putting your custom home together. However, maybe most importantly, you’ll want to work with a builder that knows the value of flexibility. Here are a few reasons why you should try to work with a flexible builder.

You likely have a very clear vision of what you want your custom home to look like.

You’ve probably spent months, if not years, dreaming up the perfect custom home. Therefore, the last thing you want is a builder who is inflexible as far as making your dreams come true. Your builder should be capable of taking your dreams and turning them into a reality, rather than looking for shortcuts. A builder should help inject as much character and personality as you want into your home.

You might change your mind once your custom home starts coming together.

While you might think you know what you want your custom home to look like, there’s always a chance you’re going to change your mind during the process of building it. If you realize that you want to make changes, your builder needs to be flexible enough to make those changes for you on the fly. The last thing you want is for your builder to refuse to make a specific change and give you something other than what you actually want.

You won’t always love specific aspects of your custom home once they’re finished.

It’s going to be impossible to change certain aspects of your home once they’re finished. For example, a builder can’t pick up your custom house and move it if you realize you don’t like the positioning of it. However, if a smaller thing is bothering you, a builder should be prepared to work with you to make the necessary changes and make sure your home is at

Scott Merle Builders has been building custom homes for years now. We understand the importance of flexibility and work to be as flexible as we possibly can when customizing homes. It allows us to produce homes that are unique to our clients. Contact us at 315-409-4124 today to see how we can bring your custom home dreams to life.