Summer Building Season

The summer home building season is here!

You’ve been waiting all winter to start building your new Lockridge Home, in fact you can already picture yourself sitting on the front porch gazing out over your acres of land.  You’re ready to get started, you know which floor plan is perfect for you and your family, now what are the next steps to making it happen?

Land Survey  If your land hasn’t already been professionally surveyed, this is a very important step.  The survey will show you and your Lockridge builder the details of your property including setbacks, easements, wetlands, floodplains, boundaries, size and more important information about your land.  Let’s say you choose a home design that’s 72 feet wide, but your survey shows, that because of required easements, there’s only 70 feet of building space. You’ll need to look at another floor plan or maybe you and the builder can discuss another position of the house on your property.

Soil Test  It’s not glamorous, but it’s important!  Does your land have access to public water and sewer?  If not, you’ll need to get your soil tested for a private septic system and well.  Normally, the local County Department of Environmental Health issues the permit for a septic system and provides a list of approved soil testers, ( also known as a perc test).  It’s better to have this done before you fall in love with a floor plan because the results of your soil test determine the size and type of septic system you can install on your land.  This also determines how many bedrooms you can have in your home.  It’s better to know that your land “percs” for a 3 bedroom home before you get your heart set on a 4 bedroom design.

Budget  Having a homebuilding budget established early makes the homebuilding process a lot easier, and it sets your expectations before you launch into a floor plan search!  Knowing your price range allows you to look at all the home designs that fit your style and budget perfectly.

Lockridge makes it easy for you take these steps toward building your new home.  We give you the tools, links and information you need in your personal Lockridge Account!

Lockridge is an on-your-own-land new home builder in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. (see all our Model Home Centers).  We offer a full service website that allows you to choose floor plans, get complete price quotes, get prequalified for a mortgage, and more. For more information visit our website or email us.

 

Build Your Dream

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Establish your homebuilding budget first, and save time and heartache!

You own land and have decided it’s time to live the dream – building a new Lockridge home on 5 rolling acres, or perhaps on a lot in an existing subdivision. No matter the size of your land, it’s time to build a new home of your own!

So you start searching home designs and maybe start talking to friends and family about the building process.

That’s all good, except, there’s something you should do before anything else, and that’s establishing your homebuilding budget.

What does it mean Establishing your budget essentially means a loan officer has told you a general amount of money you might be able to borrow based on your current income and existing debt.

This might sound a bit intimidating, but it’s really straightforward and you can do it online from your Lockridge account!

Save your time Knowing how much you might be able to borrow will make the process of choosing your ideal home design significantly more efficient. You can spend hours, days, or weeks looking at floor plans – and that could be a really long time spent looking at houses you can’t afford to build right now. Establishing your budget allow you to fine tune your home search from the beginning and saves you tones of time, as you can concentrate your search on homes within your budget.

Save the heartache How does establishing a budget save you from heartache? Say you’ve been looking at floor plans for three months and you finally see the one you know is right for you and you family. You start choosing upgrades and options; you’re so excited you can’t wait for construction to start!

You meet with a Lockridge sales associate to sign a contract, then rush to your lender to get that financing sorted out only to discover you don’t qualify for the required amount. Now you’ve wasted time, and you’re probably very disappointed and frustrated with what should be one of the happiest experiences in life.

Other benefits Establishing your budget first can translate to a smooth finance approval process, and you might end up qualifying for a larger mortgage than you expected!

Essentially there’s no harm in getting your budget. It’s a quick simple process that will save you time and heartache!

Log into your Lockridge Account, go to the My Budget section, click on the Loan Estimator button, fill out the form and submit it. You’ll get a secure email from one of our lenders within 3-5 business days with your results.

Lockridge is a new home builder in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and Indiana (see all our Model Home Centers). We offer a full service website that allows you to choose floor plans, customize them, get prequalified for a mortgage, and more. For more information

Our Standard Features

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For everyone who was on the edge of their seat waiting for the framing post – we’re taking a short break from all the construction stuff, to talk a little about the Standard Features of a Lockridge Home. We’ve had a lot of questions lately about what comes standard in our homes, we love hearing from you (collectively) and love answering questions! So here’s some information about what you’d get in a standard, no-options added, Lockridge home.

Let’s start with the absolute basics – does Lockridge build to code? Of course we do! So, on our current Standard Features list we didn’t think to include any of those things mandated by building code – for instance: termite treatment – but we do it, and you get it when you build a Lockridge home! We’re updating our Standard Features list right now to include everything we can think of that comes Standard (anything you don’t pay extra for) in a Lockridge home – and we’ll note the items that are required by code. A few of our Standard Features, like an electric range/stove, range hood, and dishwasher in your choice of black or white – are actually options with other on-your-own-lot builders. We install name-brand, high-quality appliances and HVAC units in every new home. We also install water-line/hook-ups for your refrigerator ice-makers and washer/dryers.

We’re the best value in custom on-you-own-land new home building. You’ll be able to see that in our Standard Features List, and in the price quotes you can immediately generate for any Lockridge home. We let you see the prices for every single upgrade and option. We also give you the estimate, plus a contingency (just in case fund) for your site work. You get it all, broken down, cost by cost. Not only that, you can revise/edit your price quotes as many times as you want. Delete or add options and upgrades as you look at your final price – you make the decision – its’ your dream home!

You don’t have to come into a model home to do this, or wait for a floor plan book to arrive at your house – simply create a Lockridge account from your computer – and do it at your own pace, whenever and wherever it’s convenient for you.

Lockridge is a custom home builder in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and Indiana (see all our Model Home Centers). We offer a full service website that allows you to choose floor plans, customize them, get prequalified for a mortgage, and more. For more information visit our website or call us at 877-852-8453.

Construction Process – Foundation

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Foundation, it’s another word for stability, it’s the solid base on which everything else is built. A solid foundation equals a solid home. Your site preparation work has been done, the foundation points have been staked according to the plot plan, now it’s time to break ground and build the foundation of your new home!

There are various types of foundations available. Lockridge generally builds on a crawl space or basement foundation in compliance with regional codes, and both of require some excavation or breaking ground. This is exciting stuff!

The length of time it will take to build your foundation depends on the type of construction and weather. Remember, concrete and brick need dry conditions to set and cure properly. Your foundation probably needs footers – these are the first part of the foundation poured and their purpose is to spread out the weight of your house across a larger footprint than if your foundation were in direct contact with the earth. If you calculated the total weight of your completed house, plus everything in it, I’m positive you’d be amazed by the total tonnage. Interior furnishings in an average home can weigh tens of thousands of pounds! Add that to the many tons of building materials and you end up with an enormous concentrated load, so you just might need footers. Don’t worry, our Lockridge floor plans already have them drawn in, there’s no guess-work here. In our basement and crawl pace foundations, anchor bolts are installed at the top of all the foundation walls. Anchor bolts are embedded at engineered points on top of your foundation walls and will secure the framing lumber to the foundation. If you’ve chosen to have a brick exterior, a brick ledge will be a part of the foundation, it’s offset and steps back to allow easy installation of brick.

Our basements get waterproofing applied to the outside walls to seal out ground water and may also have insulation applied, depending on local building codes. Once the foundation inspection is complete, we will backfill any spaces in preparation for framing to begin!

During the next phase of construction your home will begin to take shape above ground! Stay tuned for framing in the next blog post.

Lockridge is a custom home builder in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and Indiana (see all our Model Home Centers). We offer a full service website that allows you to choose floor plans, customize them, get prequalified for a mortgage, and more. For more information visit our website or call us at 877-852-8453.

Site Construction – Last Steps!

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There are just a few steps left before construction of the foundation begins on your new home – a big day! None of these are really complicated, so let’s cover them all now.

Delivery of Documents:
Your building permit application was submitted after the surveyor came out and created a plot plan, based on the footprint of your home and the septic system. (the plot plan and copy of the health permit had to be submitted at the time of building permit application). Right! That was done and now any remaining contract documents are given to your Lockridge agent. These include the Building Permit (a copy goes in a box on the property during construction), Funding Agreement, Approved Construction Drawings, Permits, Plot Plan, and Certificate of Insurance.

Temporary Water & Electricity Set Up:The construction crews are going to need water and electricity to complete your new home. A temporary hose bib connected to either a private well or public water supply is installed. Temporary electric service is installed by an electrician and an account is set up in your name at the power company.

Dumpster Delivery & Porta Johns:
Trash handling and Porta Johns are scheduled to be placed and picked up on your property.

Septic System Installation:
If your property requires a private septic system, it can be installed anytime between the lot clearing and grading/landscaping steps and doesn’t interfere with the building process.

Site work is done! The construction crew is ready to start building the foundation of your new home! Paved driveways, sidewalks, and landscaping (seeding/sod/etc) occur after your home is complete.

Lockridge is a custom home builder in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and Indiana (see all our Model Home Centers). We offer a full service website that allows you to choose floor plans, customize them, get prequalified for a mortgage, and more. For more information visit our website or call us at 877-852-8453.

Survey Plat & Construction Staking

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We’re moving right along with site construction and it’s time for your land to be surveyed. A licensed surveyor will visit your land to prepare a plat which will be required by your local building inspection department. This is also when the footprint of your house will be determined and marked on your property. The surveyor uses plans drawn by Lockridge, and study your property in order to place the house on your property in full compliance with any local regulations or ordinances, and in consideration of septic, well and drainage issues.

Your surveyor will include information on the plat showing the direction of drainage away from your foundation. Any differences in ground elevation found at the major corners of your house need to be stated on the plat, and submitted to Lockridge as soon as possible. That way we can add to the foundation if necessary.

Rule of thumb, if any two ground elevation points along your foundation vary more than 3 feet – it’s strongly recommended that an overall grading plan be arranged. The fee for properly grading your site will save money in reduced foundation and drainage costs, and there’s not much curb appeal in 3 extra feet of foundation.

Construction Staking
Your surveyor will stake the footing so all corners along the perimeter of the foundation can be located. The center points, that will be the piers of your foundation walls, will also be staked.

At the end of this stage, you’ll be able to envision your house built on your property, you’ll see the orientation on the land, size, driveway location, etc. !

We continue to break down your site work, step-by-step! Check back for what’s next!

Lockridge is a custom home builder in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and Indiana (see all our Model Home Centers). We offer a full service website that allows you to choose floor plans, customize them, get prequalified for a mortgage, and more. For more information visit our website or call us at 877-852-8453.

Site Work – Your Water Source

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Let’s say your lot has been cleared, the soil has been tested for a private septic system, you know what capacity the system can handle and where it will be installed on your land along with the drain field (unless you have access to public sewer). It’s time to consider your water source. Does your property have access to the public water lines, is there an existing well, or do you need to have a well installed? Your local Department of Public Utilities will be able to tell you if water service is available to your property.

Public Water Service: if public water is available, you’ll need to find out where the connection to the main line (“T”) exists on your land. If there isn’t one, we’ll contact the Department of Public utilities to apply for a new connection. Lockridge will arrange to have the lines and water meter installed and connected during your site work construction.

Well: the location of your well will generally be considered and approved by your local Department of Health. A site plan showing the proposed well site, property boundaries accurate location of actual or proposed sewage disposal systems (why an early perk test is so important), recorded easements and other sources of contamination within 100 feet of the proposed well site. Different localities may request a proposed well plan detailing how it will be constructed. The Health Department will evaluate the site and inspect the well for safety after it is installed. It may sound like a process, but remember you are going to drink this water – you want it to be safe!

Well Installation: once the permit has been approved Lockridge will install your well. Your land might be mostly soil or mostly rock, that’s going to make a difference in the drilling. After installation, many wells will need to be grouted. Now the Health Department can come back out and verify the water is safe to drink.

We’re breaking down your site work, step-by-step! Check back for what’s next!

Lockridge is a custom home builder in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and Indiana (see all our Model Home Centers). We offer a full service website that allows you to choose floor plans, customize them, get prequalified for a mortgage, and more. For more information visit our website or call us at 877-852-8453.

Site Work Issues – Delays

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It has been a wet and rainy late winter/early Spring in the Mid-Atlantic Region where Lockridge builds. Rain and bad weather can mean delays in home construction, but we’re in this together, so let’s talk about how weather can affect the construction timeline of your home building project.

Site Work: rain can turn any construction site into a giant mud hole, preventing access to the site by all building trades people and heavy equipment. Vehicle traffic has to be restricted to prevent sinking and destruction to the site. Wet sites will slow all site preparation: grading, trenching, backfilling, paving and foundation work. You can’t pour footings or a foundation into wet soggy ground.

Brickwork: brick is like a sponge, it has capillaries that soak up moisture. As damp brick heats up with the sun (when it comes out) it causes the moisture to expand and can crack the brick or its mortar. Even if the weather is just misty, the brick mortar will not cure in normal time and can crack.

Fibrous & Porous Material: we’re talking about wood, insulation, masonry, and drywall. These are all materials that can absorb and hold moisture. Moisture in or on these materials can lead to mold – so we are careful to keep them dry and protected before, and during construction.

The Snowball Effect: our goal is to build your home in 3 1/2 to 4 months. When one job gets delayed and the contractor has to wait to start working on that house, it can create a snowball effect – now they can’t start working on the next originally scheduled house because they aren’t finished with the first one as planned, and so on. You get the picture. Your building supervisor will to try and find another contractor he can count on to do the job.

Our builders take pride in quality construction and staying on the scheduled timeline. It’s tough to wait out a delay, and we know you might not enjoy it either. We’re in this together and your builder is the best resource for communication and information. They’ll tell you what’s happening on your site and why. If you need more feedback, your Lockridge sales associate will be happy to help you.

Lockridge is a custom home builder in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and Indiana (see all our Model Home Centers). We offer a full service website that allows you to choose floor plans, customize them, get prequalified for a mortgage, and more. For more information visit our website or call us at 877-852-8453.

Site Work Continues – Your Next Important Step!

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We’re talking about the stages of building your dream home, continuing with the very important elements of site work. If your property isn’t in a planned community or neighborhood, or maybe you’re lucky to own one or more acres of land, you may not be served by public sewer. It’s not a glamorous topic, but it might be one of the most important issues when it comes to land and building on it. Does your land “perk”? In other words, is your soil suitable for a private septic system? You’re going to need a private system if you don’t connect to public sewer lines.

In general, your County Health Department will issue a permit for installing the system and will either send an environmental specialist to your property to test it for a septic system or they will have a list of approved specialists who can do the inspection. The key point here is what the inspector finds. They will write a report and give you a copy – which will tell you what type of septic system will work on your land, and the maximum capacity – which equals how many bedrooms you are allowed to have in the house your build. The report will also tell you where your system can be installed and where the drain field will go. That’s right – the soil test determines how big your house can be and where you can build it on your land! That’s why we suggest land owners obtain this test as soon as possible. If you want to purchase land, you probably want to know this information up front, before you buy. What if you have your heart set on a 4 bedroom home, but the property will only support a 3 bedroom house? That’s something that can’t be changed.

Lockridge can assist you with any questions you might have about obtaining a soil test just click the Perk Test button in your Lockridge account, or we can even help schedule a soil test just let your sales associate know.

Lockridge is a custom home builder in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and Indiana (see all our Model Home Centers). We offer a full service website that allows you to choose floor plans, customize them, get prequalified for a mortgage, and more. For more information visit our website or call us at 877-852-8453.

Site Work Construction Steps – Clearing

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There are stages to the construction of your dream home, and it begins with Site Work.  You’ve probably seen the site work line items on your Lockridge price quote; we list each one so costs are not a surprise.  For most people building with Lockridge is their first construction experience; terms might be unfamiliar and folks don’t know what to expect.  We’re going to help de-mystify the steps in building your new home. Let’s get started!

 Site Work  in general this means preparing your property for the construction of your new home.  After contract signing, your Lockridge Building Supervisor will meet you at your land to do a Site Visit.  Your Supervisor will talk to you about where your house is going to be built on the property, discuss septic, well or public utilities, grading, clearing, and access to the site.

 Clearing:    your land might be heavily wooded, or maybe it just has small trees and brush.  Either way, trees, shrubs and other debris must be removed from the areas where your home, septic, well, and driveway will be built.  It’s generally recommended that nothing is left within 25 feet of the actual house site.  As the property owner, you can also decide to have other space cleared for your yard or garden.  Trees in the area to be cleared can be marked with spray paint or with survey ribbon.  The time and cost for clearing will depend on the conditions specific to your property.  If there are lots of 100 year old trees, it will take longer than if the land only has a few saplings and a lot of shrubs or underbrush.  Luckily, your Lockridge building supervisor will let you know what to expect during your site visit.  Lockridge also supervises the debris disposal, so there’s nothing for you to worry about.   

 Check back for our upcoming posts on Site Work and the building process!

Lockridge is a custom home builder in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and Indiana (see all our Model Home Centers). We offer a full service website that allows you to choose floor plans, customize them, get prequalified for a mortgage, and more. For more information visit our website or call us at 877-852-8453.