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Helpful Hints

Looking Beyond the Square Footage

The most often asked question building industry professionals hear is "What’s the square footage cost of a new home?" Looking for an answer to this question is like walking into a restaurant and asking the waiter how much your meal will be before you’ve had a chance to order or even look at the menu.

Without knowing your options, there is no way to know the cost of your meal. Without knowing the choices available in your new home, there is no way to determine the square footage cost of your home. The question could be easily answered if all homes were built the same. Since they’re not, there’s no consistent answer to square footage cost.

The lot your home sits on, the location of your home and the materials used in your home are some of the factors that affect its cost. Cost differences of your new home begin with your lot. Depending on your home’s plan and the type of lot you choose, costs can vary by thousands of dollars. If the home of your dreams is a ranch plan or a home with a walkout basement, you can expect to pay more than you would for a home without these characteristics. The lot’s physical conditions are also calculated in the cost of your home. For example, if extensive grading is required you will have charges that the home down the street did not incur.

Yet another variable in the cost equation is the where you plan to build. Throughout the region, utility hookup and other fees vary by municipality. In many ways, buying a house is like buying a car. You don’t pay for the car or house by the inch. Homes vary in price due to the options and upgrades that you find necessary to meet your lifestyle. If you have shopped for a new car lately, you know there are more options than ever before. The same is true for your new home. You can completely customize your home to make your life and home more enjoyable. Additionally, product upgrades can mean that your home costs more per square foot than the seemingly identical home next door. To fit your lifestyle needs, you can upgrade your carpet and your countertops. You can also upgrade your plumbing fixtures, locksets, cabinetry, furnaces, windows, doors and so much more throughout your new home to make it more enjoyable.

NAHB HouseKeys- Hints, Tips, Ideas

The National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) offers quarterly e-newsletter alert designed exclusively for consumers. Subscribers can anticipate getting consumer news from America's home builders quarterly, so subscribe today ​ — it's free!

Typical content includes news about housing issues that impact current and potential home owners, household hints and tips from builders and remodelers, as well as the latest in home building techniques, design concepts, and new ideas for your home, apartment, townhouse or condo.

NAHB will not sell or provide the NAHB HouseKeys subscriber list to any other organization or business.

Dictionary of Terms for Home Buyers

Buying a home can be an overwhelming process if potential homebuyers do not understand the terms used by most professionals in the industry. From financing to completion, it this guide offered by the National Association of Home Builders will help make those planning their home. Get the information HERE!

How to Resolve Problems that May Arise with Your Builder

The typical house contains more than 3,000 different parts. These components must be assembled with skill to form the new product you will call home. It would be unrealistic to expect your new home to be perfect. Even the best built homes are likely to need a few corrections. Most problems are corrected routinely by the builder. However, if a non-routine problem should arise, you should follow certain procedures to correct the situation. Always refer to the Residential Construction Performance Guidelines, available at This is the standards for residential construction.

First, identify the exact nature of the problem. Then you should put it into writing and send it to the builder. Many builders require all complaints to be in writing and will respond to telephone complaints only in emergencies.

Aging in Place

#1 Hint about Remodeling:

Always ask for a contractor's license number (issued by the LA State Licensing Board for Contractors). Then call the LSLBC at (225) 765-2301 to verify that your contractor is licensed.

A LSLBC license or registration is NOT THE SAME as an Occupational License.

The Remodelers Council was organized by the Home Builders Association of Greater Baton Rouge to assure homeowners in this area that contractors of established business stature, financial stability, and knowledge of the remodeling business are available to serve their needs. The Council's membership is limited to firms who have proven their dependability and trustworthiness to both customers and suppliers.

"Membership in the CRBA Remodelers Council represents a special distinction."

Members listed as "Remodelers" are LICENSED* by the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors. "Supplier" members may hold a registration to do remodeling work between $7,500 - $75,000 or they are a supplier of products or services to make your project a success.

Members take pride in their workmanship and their profession. They have an excellent knowledge of the remodeling business and subscribe to the highest standards and traditions of the industry. Quality construction performed by remodeling experts is your best assurance that the dollars you spend in home improvements will be a lasting investment.

Before you begin your home improvement project, call 225-761-2800 to see if the remodeler you have selected is a member of the Remodelers Council.

*Members were licensed at the time of joining CRBA and the Remodelers Council. Always check with the Louisiana Licensing Board for Contractors (LSLBC) to be sure any contractor is up to date with licensing, insurance, etc.

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