Building a new home, for many people, is a dream come true. What could be better than watching the construction and helping in the planning of your very own new house? While this process is undeniably exciting, unfortunately it’s also full of potentially costly mistakes.
During home building, most, if not all, of the work is done by hired professionals. However, during the planning phase of home construction, there are many common mistakes made by individuals with the very best of intentions. Unfortunately, these mistakes are easy to make, often go unnoticed by the pros you’ve hire, and can ultimately end up being extremely costly to correct.
Here, we’ll review some of the most common mistakes made during this exciting and nerve-wracking time. We’ll also let you know how to avoid these mistakes, saving yourself from big headaches and big bills down the road.
Home Building Mistake #1 – Attempting Too Much DIY
For many prospective homeowners, the ability to purchase ready-made house plans and perform other planning and building activities yourself is very attractive. These options save you the money spent on professional services, and it all looks fairly simple. Don’t be fooled. Professional home builders and designers (architects) exist for a reason. It’s their job to build you a solid, dependable and enjoyable home, taking every single aspect into consideration. Their years of experience may come at a price, but it’s money well spent. All that experience translates into a high level of attention to detail, catching potential problems you may not have noticed or even been aware of.
If you really fall in love with a home design you find online or in a catalog, have a professional look it over before you purchase the plans and begin construction. This will ensure that you get the home you want, and that the home will stand the test of time.
When considering tackling a home building project on a DIY basis, think twice. Then, think another few times. This is not a leaky faucet or a creaking door hinge…this is your future home. Pitching in on smaller jobs is one thing, but unless you are experienced (and licensed, in some cases), leave the bigger, more fundamental jobs to the professionals.
Home Building Mistake #2 – Scrimping on Fundamentals
While your contractor will have suggestions as to the materials used in your new home, you as the future homeowner have the final say. After all, you’re the one paying for it all. While purchasing the cheapest possible options in building materials will save you money upfront, you’re almost guaranteed to pay for it down the road. Extremely inexpensive materials are inexpensive for a reason. In most cases, it’s because they’re made cheaply, using poor quality ingredients or base materials. Is that really what you want you home to be made of? Of course not.
There’s no need to go with the highest-priced option. Your contractor will provide you with several options which they feel are dependable, ranging from moderately priced to high. Consult with them and find out how they feel about each product. Have they used it in the past? Would they use it to build a home for themselves or a loved one? In most cases, a middle-range product is all you need to ensure that your home is built with lasting stability. Remember that it’s one thing to cut corners on cosmetic items, but quite another to construct a shaky structure. Foundations, walls and flooring, as well as things like wiring and plumbing, should always be as solid and sound as possible.
Home Building Mistake #3 – Poor Financial Planning
When it comes to home building, some financial aspects are fairly simple. However, even the simplest details can get ignored in the excitement of building a new home.
Having a budget is your first and most important step. In today’s economy, it simply doesn’t make sense to plunge yourself into debt building your dream house. After all, you want to enjoy living in the home, and you’ll enjoy it a lot more if it’s not dragging down your credit rating! Create a budget as soon as you decide to build, and stick to it. While creating your budget, do some research to find out just how much your home is likely to cost. If you discover that you can’t accommodate the price, wait a few years to build.
If you discover that a new home is within your budget, research the style and size of house you plan to build. Calculate the median price range. You should also check into individual job pricing. For example, consult with an expert to determine what type of foundation you should install, then research the average cost to install that particular type of foundation. It may seem tedious to research every aspect in this manner, but the results are well worth it.
Once you have real-world figures of what the average rates are for each job, you have figures on which to base your negotiating. Nobody wants to haggle with a contractor, but if yours offers you a bid which is higher than the going rate in your area for the same work, you can show them the figures and ask why theirs are higher. They may have a very good reason, such as highly experienced workers. Or, unfortunately, they may be counting on the fact that most future homeowners don’t do this type of research, and hoping to squeeze a few extra dollars out of you. If the latter is the case, strongly consider finding a more reputable contractor to build your home.