A custom home is the dream of many homeowners, but not all are well-versed in the process of actually building it. Many people end up making big mistakes that could cost them time and money, or even worse, result in an unsafe space for their family to live in. Here are the 5 biggest mistakes people make when building a custom home, and what you can do to avoid them
Mistake #1 – Choosing the wrong location
Whether you’re building a custom home for yourself or another family member, your location should be carefully considered. The right location can make or break a custom home’s resale value in years to come, so choosing a location that is not ideal could cost you thousands of dollars in wasted expenses down the road.
If you’re hoping to build a custom home as an investment property and rent it out, finding an area that’s attractive to tenants is key – but don’t forget that you’ll also want to keep rental rates affordable! Or if you’ve got your heart set on a certain city but they’re facing issues with overpopulation, look into other nearby cities instead. Try doing research on potential markets before committing to one!
Mistake #2 – Not doing your research
Whether you’re building a custom home, a new commercial building or developing land, any major project is going to come with its own set of issues. Your job as a homeowner is to look ahead and address those issues before they happen. While nothing can be done about changes in government policy (such as interest rates and property taxes), you do have control over your research and due diligence. The more comprehensive you are with your research from day one, the less likely it will be that you’ll run into delays down the road.
Things like permits, variances and zoning are all potential hiccups for homeowners who aren’t careful enough with their planning process. If these issues aren’t addressed right away, they could ultimately hold up your construction timeline significantly.
To avoid being stuck with costly delays and setbacks, spend time upfront doing your homework on how building a custom home works in your area.
For example, if you’re building in an area that has strict height limits on buildings, but you want to build something taller than what is allowed, then there are some things you need to know upfront so you don’t end up spending too much money trying to fight city hall later on.
Similarly, if certain zoning rules prohibit certain types of businesses within city limits but allow them outside city limits then consider looking at areas outside of town when deciding where to buy land for development purposes.
Mistake #3 – Not Communicating
Communication is key in every aspect of life, but in building a custom home, it is essential. You must share your ideas and visions with your builder throughout each step of building your home. If you fail to communicate with your builder, you may receive a product that doesn’t match what you expected at all.
More than likely, your builder will have to go back and make changes that cost both time and money. For example, many custom home owners do not like carpeting installed in their homes but fail to tell their builders; as a result, they find themselves frustrated because carpeting was installed despite their objections.
Communicate early and often with your builder so you don’t run into these types of problems. Your builder should be able to address any concerns or questions you might have along the way.
Mistake #4 – Choosing the Wrong Materials
Builders and their clients often fall into the trap of choosing materials that don’t last, but require lots of upkeep. This may seem like a small issue when choosing between granite or marble countertops, but it can really cost you over time. Materials that need to be resealed or repainted every few years will get old very quickly—and so will you if you’re stuck doing all of that work!
Instead, go with materials that are low-maintenance (like hardwood floors). It’s best to choose materials that are timeless so they can stand up to your busy lifestyle without too much care.
After all, you’ll have plenty on your plate as a new homeowner. And by avoiding fancy or trendy options, you also avoid having to pay for them again in just a few short years. There’s nothing wrong with splurging once in a while—but it shouldn’t be an everyday occurrence.
So stay away from trends and instead stick to durable choices that won’t cause you headaches down the road. As my dad always says: You buy cheap stuff, you get cheap stuff. He’s right about most things — including house construction.
Mistake #5 – Not getting a designer involved in the process
The biggest mistake you can make when building a custom home is to not involve a designer or architect in your project. One size does not fit all and every home is different. even if you are purchasing plans, it’s important to have a professional walk through with you and help select materials, finishes, floor plans, layout, etc.
The key thing to keep in mind here is that if you don’t have an experienced designer involved from day one of your project – you will end up building something that doesn’t look like what you envisioned for your dream home. Just remember – good design will always add value to your home but bad design can destroy it. So be sure to choose wisely!