Everybody dreams of building their own dream house sooner or later in their lives. It doesn’t matter if it’s a child building a sandcastle or a new couple dreaming of developing their own property, or even just going for a new kitchen design, the idea is the same. Getting to create your own space from your inner vision isn’t a chance you come by every day, so when that moment comes, you’ll want to jump at it — but jump at it smartly. That means knowing what you’re getting yourself into before you get in too deep! And so it is when making that dream come true in Huntsville, Alabama.
Of course, there are many common concerns no matter where you are building or remodeling. But when staking out a new locality, it’s just common sense and prudential to learn a few things about what you can and can’t do. In Huntsville, local zoning laws and requirements will set the stage for how your house project will come together. Looking around at what types of houses are up in the area can bring the beginnings of shape. Talking to architects and contractors will impact what types of choices you make. In the end, your dream will be part of the community, so getting to know what the homes in the area are all about will also be key.
The Local Look
One thing you may notice just driving around Huntsville is that there is one style that is more prominent than any other. Two-story basement ranch designs with multiple roof pitches are extremely popular with modern builders and are probably the style that most easily conforms with most neighborhood codes. Million dollar and up homes are no exception in this regard, as the design is well suited for balancing local conditions with an appealing aesthetic. Of course, there is a lot of variation in terms of space and layout, so don’t feel for a moment that you will be limited.
Dream homes and renovations start off with an image in the mind and are shaped by what happens once you start consulting with professionals. If you’re looking to build a new structure on a plot of land you’ve purchased for development, the first thing you will need is land assessment. Getting the borders of your home exactly right as well as testing the soil — that is often rich in clay in this part of the world — can define what the very foundation of your home will be, and hence impact design. Site design can’t get started until this step has happened, and you can expect that expanding clay plots will require extensive soil treatments.
Now that the site design is known, you can work with the architect on your home. Naturally, you will want to engage one who has a good reputation in town and a hearty portfolio so you can judge the work before working with them. Because you had the land inspected, planning out will be more effective as they can choose the right construction materials to meet the needs of the parcel you’re building on. This is the fun part: laying out the kitchen, designing the master bedroom, carving out the basement. With your imitations known, the creative energy can get going and you can look forward to building that dream house.
In Alabama, all contractors need to be properly licensed and bonded. Along with these requirements come protections from the state against construction defects. So it’s important that you verify whoever you are going to work with as being in good standing with the local issuing authorities. Again, see a portfolio of their work and check their reputation. Speaking with local real estate agents can be helpful in this regard if the architect’s recommendations don’t pan out. A good contractor won’t just make a stronger house, but avoid falling afoul of any local code.
And speaking of codes, let’s round out some of the key local codes to keep an eye out for. If you’re building on any of the 100-year flood zones, for example, there will be certain requirements that construction must meet. A variety of historical districts will be a bit stricter on what designs can and cannot be erected in those areas. And any accessory structures will need extra permits, plus be at least five feet away from the property line. These and other issues should be well known by your builders.