In building a custom home, everything is to be done according to what you desire (unless you’re being unreasonable!). You get to decide the room layouts, finishing styles and quality of materials.
Although you have those benefits, being in charge of everything also means exposing yourself to stress. It’s important to know what mistakes to avoid when building a new home to prevent unexpected costs and delays.
If you want your custom home to be built within budget and on time, here are five tips to save you from unnecessary stress.
Tip #1 – Adapt your design to the site.
Each building site has a distinct character and shape or size. If you already have a narrow lot for example, you’re better off adjusting your home design to the features of the site. Trying to force your design will only cost you time and money and the design won’t work as well as it could if you designed it to suit your block.
If you really want to insist on getting your design done, make sure to pick a site carefully.
Tip #2 – Create a budget beforehand.
In building a home, something unexpected can eventually happen. You should have a contingency fund in case the construction exceeds your budget.
It all comes down to setting budget boundaries in your home design. Your design will impact everything about your project. Set a realistic budget in advance to keep costs from growing out of control during construction.
In relation to Tip #1, you also have to consider the preparation and service connection costs. The common features you look for in a home, e.g. waterfront views, privacy features may go well beyond your budget.
Do you have a contingency fund in case there’s a need for environmental remediation and municipal zoning? These factors will affect the cost of servicing and preparing your site. To avoid price shocks, consult with a custom home builder to conduct a feasibility analysis on your site.
Tip #3 – Build your home for the future.
When planning your home, think not only about your present lifestyle and factor in possible changes or improvements for the future.
Don’t always go with the latest trends. Fill your custom home with home technology and quality materials that will stand the test of time. State-of-the-art furniture can look great but can quickly become outmoded or old-fashioned.
Buy materials or products that have been on the market for more than a year. They’re inexpensive and never go out of style. Go for fixtures and features that are timeless so that your home will always look classic or up-to-date.
Tip #4 – Carefully select your builder.
There are many headaches that emanate from working with an incompetent builder. Before you choose a builder, check out their history, reputation, and quality. This will give you an idea of whether or not they are capable of building your custom home.
Below are the qualities you should look for in a builder:
- Good Reputation – Get customer references. Check with the local builders association in your area to review their work history. You can also ask the builder if they have built houses near your site which you can examine in detail.
- Commitment – Always take note of how professional and knowledgeable the builder is. Do you trust them enough to work with them throughout the entire building process? When issues arise, a good builder should address them promptly and professionally.
- Quality – Is your builder trained on the latest construction techniques? Their sample works should demonstrate quality. Lastly, the standard materials they use should be high-grade. You wouldn’t want your custom home to be crumbling down just after a few months.
- Flexibility – How flexible are they to accomplish what you want? A good builder should have an in-house design team and an array of floor plans. They should be open to making minor changes to the plan to meet some needed last-minute changes.
- Warranty – Your builder should provide warranty and service. Most warranties last for about ten years, and they cover most aspects of your home structure.
Tip #5 – Investigate the area.
Do some extensive research. Before buying a lot, check out the school district and crime rate in the area. You can also drive around the vicinity to check for the convenient access of schools, restaurants and retail shopping centers.
Don’t Overbuild. Before you finalize your home plans and begin your construction, evaluate the home you’re planning with other houses on the same street. You wouldn’t want your house to be out of place on the block. Plus, you won’t recover the money you will spend on building it even if you sell it off eventually.
There are many ways to build a custom home. The builder you choose to work with is as important as your design planning. Take note of the tips above to avoid problems that can trigger stress.