Pitfalls to Avoid When Building a Home in Kokomo, IN

Home ImprovementPitfalls to Avoid When Building a Home in Kokomo, IN

While perhaps most known for the Beach Boys song of the same name, Kokomo is a charming little town in north-central Indiana. It has experienced significant population growth in the recent decade, primarily due to its reasonable cost of living and small-town charm.

After welcoming nearly 15,000 new residents between 2010 and 2020, Kokomo has become a pretty competitive housing market, which has made many decide to build their own homes rather than seek one on the tight market.

If you’ve decided that you’d like to build your dream property in this charming area of the Midwest, you must recognize the potential pitfalls of doing so, seeking to prevent such problems before they ever arise.

Knowing what to avoid is a key element of a successful project; here are some of the pitfalls you must consider when building in Kokomo.

Trying to DIY Everything

It’s common to believe that if you have a bit of handyman experience, you’ll be able to handle everything independently, but it can be dangerous.

While the City of Kokomo does not require general contractors to be licensed, they do strongly recommend that you work with a licensed contractor who is familiar with all building codes.

The Howard County building ordinances manual is quite complicated, and it may be hard for you to identify what you are and are not supposed to document, which is why an experienced contractor can help.

For example, they will be able to partner with a reputable concrete pumping service that can get this key element of home construction done much faster than you would expect, all with highly effective and sturdy materials.

Not Shopping Around 

On the other hand, many people just want to find a full-service contractor and be done with it, assuming that pretty much every company can provide the same quality.

However, the contracting industry is entirely of less-than-honest contractors who understand that potential homeowners aren’t very familiar with the industry, and they take advantage of a customer’s ignorance.

You must take your time when finding a builder and ask them pertinent questions, such as how long they have been in service and what aspects of the project they will help with.

Some may expect you to do certain things independently, while others will take care of everything for you, offering a turnkey installation.

You should also ask them what kinds of companies they work with, such as concrete pumping companies and electricians, to ensure that those companies are also above board.

Generally, a good contractor will happily provide references, discuss their processes, and show you examples of their work. You should be suspicious if they seem annoyed with your questions or fail to answer things straightforwardly.

The more expensive the project, the more you should research and ensure you will be happy with the result.

Ask for quotes from as many companies as possible, then seek one somewhat in the middle. You can also look at averages for projects of your type recently completed in Kokomo and compare the quotes you receive.

Failing to Futureproof

Futureproofing refers to designing a building with the next few decades in mind rather than simply going for what is popular now.

This includes the future of climate change in the area and the available technologies.

While you do not have a crystal ball, you don’t want to waste money wiring your home for a specific type of technology that will be obsolete in a few years.

You’ll also want to look at the climate risks for Kokomo, Indiana. Currently, Kokomo has a moderate risk of flooding, a high risk of wind damage, an increased risk of extreme heat, and no risk of wildfires.

You’ll need to build your new home to be resilient to flooding, sturdy enough to withstand high winds, and properly insulated to keep you comfortable during heatwaves.

Of course, building with fire-resistant materials like fiber cement is still a good idea even if Kokomo does not experience wildfires, as they may protect you should a neighbor’s home catch fire.

One of the best things you can do is install solar panels, which have been proven to reduce electricity bills and improve your home’s value, but these should be installed so that they are easy to take care of and will not break down within a few years.

Be sure to orient them so they are not directly under a tree, which can both shed leaves that damage the panel and obscure the sunlight.

Final Thoughts

Building a home is an expensive endeavor; it takes careful planning, good foresight, and the assistance of excellent professionals.

Perform your research on contractors and their contacts carefully, and think about the future of your home in Kokomo, not just now. If you keep all this in mind, you’ll be able to enjoy a beautiful home in north-central Indiana for years to come.

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