28 Dec 2021

Building your home is going to be one of the most exciting things you will ever do so you want to make sure you get everything right the first time. Any mistakes you end up making will be costly to fix in the future and planning for those mistakes will help you avoid them. Let’s have a look at some of the most common mistakes so you can watch out for them.

1) Poor planning

Building your house is going to require choosing everything from the overall style of the exterior right down to the finish on the bathroom drawer handles so you need to make sure you are ready to get into it. Many people come into it with a list of things they want but they don’t consider what they want to avoid. Write out your plans from the ground up and be as specific as you can about everything which will ensure that you get everything you’ve been dreaming about.

When you are planning the home, run your designs and blueprints by as many professionals as you can. A plumber will be the one to tell you if your basement toilet will be able to drain properly and an electrician will be able to tell you if your large living room lighting design will need extra power. The more people you get input from on your plans, the better they will end up being.

Although your home is going to be built to your specifications and likes, you should consider what the resale is going to look like if you choose to move somewhere else. Adding a slide to get from one floor to the other might seem like a fun idea for your family but extras like that make the home a difficult sell. Keep the home’s legacy in mind when you design it to ensure you don’t have any problems if you put it on the market.

Related Post: The Ultimate New Construction Checklist For Buyers

2) Going over budget

This one is a common problem but you can avoid it by keeping track of as many costs as you can. There are some places where it’s easy to cut costs but you don’t want to skimp out on important things. Keeping in constant contact with your builder is a great idea if you want to make sure you are aware of the costs of specific things as you go along.

Keep in mind that there are always emergencies and issues that will come up and you should be prepared for them. If you can, have a buffer of around 5% of your total budget and keep that aside in case you need it. You can always pay it back to the bank if you end up staying within your means.

If you need to go over budget, don’t start getting too comfortable with the idea of spending more. It’s easy to fall into the habit of saying “we’re already over budget so we might as well…” but all of these things will need to be caught up on eventually. Keep your finances in check as much as you can so you won’t run into any major money surprises when you finally finish construction.

3) Choosing a bad builder

A good builder is going to make you feel like you’re working together to build the home instead of making you feel like you’re always directing them on the next step. Communication is key for both of you so keep each other in the loop when it comes to changes and alterations. If you find that you aren’t able to communicate with each other then you might end up with expensive mistakes.

We talked about how important communication is with your builder but that should extend to every other contractor you are hiring during the building process. Make sure you communicate what you want clearly and get contracts for jobs that require outside contractors. It’s important to get as much as you can in writing to ensure that both sides are clear on the details.

Another sign of a bad builder or contractor is one that doesn’t have good references, much experience, or any trade associations. When you choose your builder, ask them to give you some of their credentials and references to previous experience so you can get a good feeling for how well they work and who they are associated with. A builder who doesn’t want to use a contract and can’t provide you with any references is a big red flag.

4) Using poor quality materials

If you’re concerned about your overall budget then cutting corners on your materials is the last thing you want to do. Your builder should be letting you know the approximate cost of things as you go but you should make sure they’re using the best materials for your budget. If you want anything made with higher quality materials then make sure they know before they start purchasing them.

Going over your budget isn’t ideal but it might save you a ton of money on repairs in the future. Higher quality materials will likely last you much longer and give you a nicer look than cheaper materials plus they will be safer for your home. Materials that are higher quality are likely safety checked and regulated as opposed to less expensive foreign-made materials that might have lower safety standards.

5) Forgotten landscaping

When you’re planning the way your home will look, you might be forgetting about one of the most important parts and that is your yard. You will need to plan the interior and the exterior of your home and that includes the front and back yards, along with any extras like porches and gardens.

If you find the extra planning of the yard is too much and you’d rather focus on the home, look at hiring a landscape artist that will design your yard for you. They are experts at taking your budget, ideas, and space and making a great-looking yard that’s very functional. They can also design the yard with your lifestyle in mind whether you want a low maintenance lawn or a garden to stretch your green thumb.

6) No access to natural light

Windows are very important but window placement is what can make or break some rooms in your home. When you start designing the placement for windows, pay close attention to how much sun your lot gets and when it’s coming in the most. If you don’t plan this properly, you’re wasting amazing natural light which will raise your energy bills with extra lighting costs.

Align your windows to catch the light in the daytime and use mirrors in sunny rooms to reflect the light around the house as much as you can. A well-lit home looks amazing and it’s not as susceptible to pests that prefer dark and damp areas.

Related Post: 15 Mistakes to Avoid When Building a New Home

7) Doing it yourself

Although you might feel like it’s going to save you time and money if you choose to do some of the work on your home by yourself, you might end up paying for it in the future. Your builder and their contractors have the skills and equipment to do everything the right way the first time plus they are on the hook to fix it if they happen to mess it up.

You also need to consider that the task you’re choosing to take over will have to be done for the entire home and not just one small spot so you will need to work around your builders. If you have experience with painting a room and you feel like you’d be able to paint the interior of the home for much cheaper than a company then you should consider how much work the job will require from you.

8) Keep it legal

There are many different permits and legal requirements you need to look into when you start building and you can be in big trouble if you don’t follow the necessary steps. Your builder can sometimes help guide you to where and how you can get your permits but it’s up to you to make sure everything is correct and filed properly.

You also need to keep up with any inspections that your home will need and make sure they are done at the right times. Plan a safety inspection to occur just before your drywall is placed so you can catch any major issues with plumbing or wiring before the drywall covers it up. You should also plan another one to happen after you’ve done the majority of the construction to allow the inspector to see the placement of things like vents and outlets.

There are so many different things you need to think about when you are building your own home and many different things might not go as planned. Everyone wants their build to be a smooth process and avoiding common mistakes is one way to ensure it will work out well. As long as you prepare yourself and try your best to avoid mistakes you’ll end up with a beautiful home that will last you a long time.


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YOUR DREAM home worksheet

Use this worksheet when going through the building process to help identify the priorities for your dream home!