Unless you’ve done it before, building a custom home is a new and challenging process! Today we’re going to look at some of the most common mistakes that people make when building a custom home, and tips on how to avoid them.
Compromising Location for Price
A huge mistake that homeowners make concerning custom homes is compromising location for price. Although a cheaper lot may be tempting, you have to remember location. In terms of property, amenities are key. Homes in a prime location are instantly valued higher. When building a custom home, purchase the best lot that you can manage and afford. A great lot in a great location instantly adds to your home’s value.
Not Assembling Your Entire Team from the Start
When assembling your team, it doesn’t matter where you start – architect, builder or interior designer. The important thing is to assemble your entire team before starting the design-build process. This will help with budgeting and avoid the setbacks that can occur when a new team member with new ideas is brought on after the design process has already started (or even worse, is already finished).
Not Spending Sufficient Time in the Programming and Design Process
Changes on paper are simple, and much less expensive than changes made once construction has begun. It’s very important to spend quality time during the programming and design process to optimize how your new home will live. This ensures a high-quality design that you’ll love calling home and avoids potential costly changes once the process is further along.
Not Making Timely Decisions
Due to long lead times and busy schedules, making timely decisions and selections is more important than ever in order to avoid delays in the construction schedule. In order to build a custom home effectively, many selections must be made before construction even begins. This allows a complete plan to be established and helps the building process move along smoothly.
Second Guessing Yourself at Every Turn
You’ll make approximately 280 decisions over the course of designing and building your custom home. Your initial gut reaction is often the best decision for you – second guessing yourself throughout the process will only cause stress and delays. When doubts arise, rely on your team – there’s a reason you chose them.
Trying to Utilize an Existing Plan When Your Program Requires Custom
A true custom home is one-of-a-kind. Depending on what you’re looking for, trying to modify an existing plan to fit your custom program can be like trying to fit a round peg into a square hole.
There are many builders who offer semi-custom homes, which can be a great option depending on your program, budget and the degree of customization you’re looking for.
Over Spending on a Remodel Where New Construction Would Have Been More Cost Effective
It’s a common misconception that remodeling is cheaper than new construction. Depending on what you’re trying to achieve, remodeling may or may not make sense. If you’re considering a large-scale remodel, it’s worth a conversation with your architect and builder about what makes the most sense for your project.
Not Leaving Money in a Contingency Fund for Overages
Even with the best laid plans, something will almost always occur during a new build or remodel that wasn’t accounted for in your original budget. For this reason, we always recommend building a contingency fund either into the builder’s bid or your own over-all budget. The amount of the contingency fund varies depending on each person and project, but as a general rule, plan for a minimum of 10% of your over-all construction budget. If possible, 20% is ideal.
Homeowners Giving Direction to Subcontractors
Subcontractors are not the ones to communicate with or give instructions to during construction (cookies and milk are always welcome though). They are there to do the portion of the job given to them by the construction manager. Therefore, the construction manager or builder is the person to discuss your home with. They’re the only ones who have all the information concerning the project.