Considering Being Your Own General Contractor? Keep These Financial Tasks in Mind

When dealing with a home remodel or renovation, saving money is the primary goal for most homeowners. There are a lot of ways to cut costs – from doing some projects on your own and using less expensive materials to budgeting out a remodel over several years. Some ambitious homeowners might consider serving as their own general contractors, sourcing all the materials, labor, and equipment they’ll need to complete a home transformation. This can be a time-consuming job, but for some, it’s worth the massive savings.

That said, if you’re considering serving as your own general contractor, buyer beware: This job comes with a lot more than logistics coordinating. When you hire a general contractor, they are responsible for paying subcontractors. When you take on this role for yourself, you become the person responsible for individual payments. In a lot of cases, this means you’ll need to provide 1099 forms, keep complete accounting records throughout the project, and maintain these records for several years. Plus, renovations can take years to complete, especially if you’re coordinating the contracting yourself. Many D.I.Y. general contractors end up needing to invest in some brand of 1099 software to keep their accounting in line and on time.

If you’re toying with the idea of becoming your own general contractor, you should know what you’re getting into. We recommend keeping the following accounting requirements in mind before making this big decision.

  • You’ll need to generate contracts and tax/wage forms. When hiring contractors to do specific tasks, it is up to you to generate those contracts. You will also need to distribute and collect the necessary tax and wage forms prior to starting the project.

  • You’ll need to distribute several 1099 forms. The threshold for filing a 1099 is $600. Most contracted projects will blow by this figure in the first few days of work. If you hire several teams to do different projects, you’re probably going to need to distribute a lot of 1099 forms.

  • You’ll need to keep a record of your tax and wage forms. The IRS requires businesses to keep copies of 1099 forms for six years after the initial distribution. Some projects will take years to complete. Homeowners serving as their own general contractors should be prepared to handle accounting tasks for their project for up to ten years. If you don’t trust yourself to be this organized, you’ll probably need some help.

How to Manage the Workload

If you’ve already decided to be your own general contractor, there are a couple of tools that can help alleviate the labor. You can hire an accountant to help with the financial side of your project. After all, the savings made by being your own general contractor should more than pay for some accounting help. But, if you don’t want to waste these savings on a separate service, try a payroll software. These tools can help generate, fill out, and store documents essential to a home renovation. Plus, you’ll be able to keep better track of who’s been paid, when they were paid, and how much they were paid – all information you’ll need to report to the IRS.

How to Deal with Homeowners Associations when Building a Custom Home

Most people dream of finding that perfect home to set up residence and live comfortably for many years to come. Unfortunately, the reality for some is finding out that their dream area is covered by a Home Owner’s Association with potential heavy restrictions. This may cause issues if your dream plans go against what the HOA permits, but this does not necessarily mean all is lost; how do you negotiate with the HOA?

It’s important to know that if you are building something on the chosen land covered by the HOA, you must obtain permission from their own approval as well as a building permit from the city. It’s important to start by doing research on laws for both parties to ensure you are legally allowed to build what you desire before beginning work.

Homeowners Associations try to maintain the quality of life for all neighbors. The restrictions are typically in place to help neighbors from making atrocious decisions; this includes someone living next to you obstructing your view of scenery, taking up space in your yard, or keeping trash in their yard. Although these are not life or death issues, the value of the home fluctuates based on the surroundings, so the HOA allows you to sell your home for it’s maximum value in the event you wish to leave. You will not have this luxury if neighbors around you do these things outside of a HOA.

One common solution people will take when wishing to build on their property is to go to their neighbors for help. As long as you are in good standing with those around you, and your project does not harm their way of living, most neighbors will do what they can to help you out. There is a power in a numbers, and trying to change a rule is best accomplished when you have those around you in agreement. Your neighbors are paying the same fees for the same regulations that you have, so this could benefit them for future projects they may also be interested in.

Because of this strength in numbers, it’s best to stay involved with the community. Sit on on community meetings and help out others to stay on the good side. Also, visiting these meetings can be a great pedestal to speak on, as other people with similar issues can gather and speak together directly to the board members and attempt to change regulations. If you have remained in good standing with the board and paid your dues on time, sometimes they will do their best to meet an in between with you at least.

Unfortunately, it is possible to be stuck with a stubborn HOA who won’t budge. If you have not caused any trouble for them in the past, are active in the community, and have at least a few neighbors on your side without any plausible reason not to build your project, it may be time to give up an find a new place to live. This can be a huge bummer, but there are plenty of good-natured HOA that will budge for good community members.

What’s Different about Custom Cottage-Style Home Plans?

Custom Cottage-Style House Plans – what to look for

Cottage style home designs evoke a picturesque storybook charm. They combine informality, efficiency, and are woodsy. They embody vertical board-and-batten, gable roofs, stucco walls, bay windows, shingle, balconies, and small windows.

Custom cottage-style homes are an affordable option for first-time homeowners looking to make the most out of their block of land. Cottage homes feature several great advantages. The cottage homes offer individuality and clients are able to create a timeless feel of what they love in their homes. They have a practical and highly functional design, with open plan layouts modern cottage-style homes are spacious while at the same time remain cozy and comfortable. Cottage-style homes are low maintenance and offer easy care, an owner can enjoy free time without unending cleaning or gardening plus other chores. With just minimal creative ideas you can create a wonderful street appeal for your cottage home because they’re designed to fit narrow blocks. Decorating can be expensive, but cottage-style homes come in handy because size is a factor hence, spending much won’t be a problem. With just a little spent, you can make your cottage house look marvelous.

The downside to cottage-style homes is they are small and a big family can’t fit in, so for people who love bigger spaces it is not an option. Creating a custom home also can be time-consuming.

What’s Different about Custom Tudor Revival Home Plans?

Custom Tudor Revival House Plans – what to look for

Tudor revival homes are ancient homes designs that date back to as early as 1485. They are easily recognized by their outstanding design of exposed timber framing and arching front doors, a steeply pitched roof, and leaded glass windows with a diamond pattern all through.

The Tudor homes interior features, high ceilings with exposed beams, the floor involves tile or stonework, and there are elements of stone, brick and wood around the house. Another defining feature is large chimneys fitted in the grand fireplaces. The house has a cozy feel naturally. Due to lack of much natural lighting from the design, flickering candlelight illuminates a warm glow on the wood panels. Custom made Tudor Revival home offers you a rich architectural feel within your own house. Brick and stone accents, wood cabinetry, and board paneling offer a feel of nature. The house can be updated by adding paint to the exterior.

Just like many homes the Tudor Revival home comes with downsides. Most natural lighting is used in living rooms and hence deeper parts of the house are really dark. Another setback on the design is the steep angle of the ceiling that leaves weird space if the living room doesn’t go all the way to the rafters. Tudor homes are also very costly to maintain due to their frequent need for additional care.

What’s Different about Custom Craftsman Home Plans?

Custom Craftsman House Plans – what to look for

Craftsman home plans are the most popular home designs in the USA. They embody a curb appeal, feature natural materials, wide porches, and often open-concept layouts.

One of the best pleasures of building your own house is choosing the design that pleases you. That is one of the advantages of custom craftsman homes. For people who value family time and their homes environmental impact, then the beautiful design and enduring nature of craftsman homes are what they need. Beauty is a top and obvious reason to acquire a craftsman home. Every detail of its exterior design represent beauty, from the decorative door casings to wide windows and doubled columns porches being some of the features. The small elegantly designed interiors are another added advantage with open floor plans that offer easy traffic and diverse options on furniture arrangement. Craftsman home plans are also ecologically sound. Few resources are used to build these marvelous homes and also less energy is used to maintain them, because of their smaller footprint and less interior space. Natural materials are also used efficiently to ensure an eco-friendly process.

The cons of custom craftsman homes are they might be a bit more costly than other personalized homes. The building process most often takes time just like finding a personal architect and contractor. A custom home depreciates faster than a production home.