Mistakes happen. But when it happens to the new home you built, it can cost you. It can lead to your cost going way over your planned budget. Or it can lead to you having to cough up money only a few years into enjoying your new home.
The best thing you can do is try to avoid mistakes – at all costs. That means looking at the common mistakes others have made and learning from them! It all comes down to your planning. Here are the top 15 mistakes to avoid when building your brand new home.
1. Look into Your HVAC System
It may seem like a small aspect right now – but on those hot summer days or cold winter nights, you’ll want a system that works properly with your house size. You won’t want to choose a system that is too small and can’t efficiently heat or cool down your entire home. Bigger than you need units also pose a problem – they may cause your monthly bills to skyrocket. Further, you don’t want issues involving mold or moisture. Make sure you do your research on this one. Discuss your options with your homebuilder.
2. Pay Attention to Space Planning and Design
“No doubt, the layout of your home matters. Don’t rush the planning at this stage,” says Greg Covell, a Maple Ridge, BC real estate agent. Think about the best way to use each space. Do you really need that extra storage space where your bathroom is? You need storage – especially if you live in a 4 seasons environment. But be careful as to where you think you need it. You don’t want it to take away space from other rooms.
3. Consider Your Lifestyle
Unfortunately, sometimes your dream home or what you think your dream home is, doesn’t always match your lifestyle. Have you thought about the future? Where will you be in 5 years? 10 years? Will you have a family? Do you plan on retiring here? Take this into consideration. Make sure your home has the necessary things you will need at these stages in your life. For example, if you plan on having children, you may want to make sure you have enough bedrooms to comfortably expand your family.
4. Light Fixtures Matter
Ever move into a new place, only to find that part of the living area isn’t well lit? Make sure there is more than enough light fixtures. Rewiring after moving in can prove to be a bit of a nuisance. Another thing to consider are the windows. Windows provide natural lighting during the day. In main rooms, aim for big windows that allow light to shine in (this means you won’t have to turn on any lights and it could potentially lower your hydro bill).
5. Will You Use That Room?
That room you have in the basement for the gym – will it be used frequently enough to have that separate room? When designing your home, ask yourself if you will actually use certain rooms. Frequently, many rooms go under-utilized. In turn, they become a dumping ground for storage, laundry, and more. Maybe that craft room and office room can be combined – which lessens the chances of it becoming under-utilized.
6. Laundry Machine Placement
When building a new home, you have options for your laundry. Do you want it in the basement? The main floor? Or near the bedrooms? Ideally, near the bedrooms makes the most sense. You won’t have to drag loads of laundry up and down the stairs. However, if you throw your laundry on at night, you might prefer the machines farther away from your sleeping area. This one comes down to personal preference. But you definitely want to pay some attention to it!
7. Bedroom Location
The location of the master bedroom will matter a lot. Sleep is important! We need it to function. Thus, you want your bedroom located somewhere quiet. If you have a family that comes in late, you likely won’t want your room to overtop of the garage. If you live near a busy road, you’ll want your room as far away from it as possible. Make sure you also don’t share a wall with the main living space. For families with different sleep schedules, this may cause tempers and tension to fly high.
8. Kitchen Convenience
There’s a lot of things to note about the kitchen. First, a lot of gatherings and parties tend to end up in the kitchen. Ideally, it’s always nice to merge the main living area with the kitchen. The cook gets company and you won’t have to worry about marching food back and forth. Open concept homes are great for this. Another thing is to have the kitchen close to the main entrance – this will make carrying groceries in less of a hassle. A kitchen located next to the garage, front and back entrance, and main living area is best. Keep this in mind when planning the layout of your home.
9. Keep in Mind the Garage Placement
As aforementioned, you’ll likely want your garage close to the kitchen for convenience. It is also a good idea to have the entrance go into your mudroom or lobby area. Mud and other muck can get dragged through the garage. It’s nice to have a transition area so it doesn’t also get dragged through the house.
10. Keep YOUR Priorities in Check
Don’t let someone tell you what you need – especially if it’s adding to your cost. While we recommend listening to an expert, also doing your own research is highly advised. You know you and your family’s needs best. You know more than anyone else what you will need in the years to come. You know your lifestyle, your activities, your sleep schedules, and preferences. Voice them and your priorities! Layout what you want before booking that appointment with your builder. If they recommend differently, revisit the drawing board and do your research (while taking into account your lifestyle). Make the priorities list ahead of time. And make sure to assess how realistic it is. Is it within your budget? Is it a must-have?
11. Choose the Right Homebuilder
Choosing the right home builder makes all the difference. You want someone you can get along with and communicate your wants and needs with. Arrange more than one appointment – see if you’re a good fit. Again, do your research. Find out their credentials. Check up on their reviews. What have past clients said about them? It can help you determine if they are right for you. Plus, you likely plan on having your home for many years. Choosing an experienced builder can help avoid things going wrong. Or if they do go wrong, they will likely know how to handle it and proceed.
12. Have Signed Contracts
Haven’t signed anything? You should! If anything goes wrong, you want something to back you up. You also want to have a proper legal agreement with your builder. It’s also a good idea to have a lawyer review the contract with you. Find the loopholes before they become problems. Find out what happens if things do go wrong. Make sure the dates and costs are clearly written. This may save you a ton of stress and worry later on.
13. Don’t Skip the Inspection
Before you move in, have a home inspector check out your new digs. Surprisingly, this is a good idea for new builds, as well as buying homes on resale. The last thing you want is to move in and start finding tiny issues and problems with your brand new home. Have them do the full inspection – it’s worth it for your peace of mind.
14. Plan for Delays
A lot of people get stressed out when their build gets delayed. However, it’s actually fairly common – especially if the construction of your home interferes with colder months. Weather may set back construction. Ordering of parts and pieces may cause delays. Lack of permits may come into play. If you plan for delays and things go smoothly without delay, it’ll be a pleasant surprise!
15. Double-check Things With Your Homebuilder
Don’t waste time second-guessing things. Instead, just ask! Did you tell your homebuilder about how you want the bathroom slightly moved? Double-check. Remember, you have to live in this home for years to come – make sure it is the way you want it to be! Communication is key. Don’t assume. When you assume, that’s where problems and disagreements happen.
Avoid the common mistakes many people make when building a new home. Do your research ahead of time. Thwart problems before they happen. For more info on building your new home in the London area, contact Forever Homes. Our experts are more than happy to address any questions or concerns you have.