Common Mistakes People Make When Building a Home

by Alek Sabin

Building your own home is an exciting experience. For many people, actually building a home from the ground up is something that they save to do with what they imagine as their dream home. This means that there is a strong emotional attachment to the homebuilding process. For this reason, people should take special care with the construction process to make sure that they are getting what they want out of their new home.
Rushing through the process is sure to lead to mistakes that are always going to bug the homeowner, if not outright haunt them because of how easily they could have been fixed. Here are some common mistakes that people make when building a home…

Failing to properly communicate with the contractor

First of all, a person should never try to be their own contractor when they are building a home. After all, you wouldn’t try to be your own doctor, would you? (Hint: you shouldn’t.) Picking a proven and experienced contractor is an important part of the home  building process, but even that is only part of the equation. It is important to make sure that you keep an open line of communication with the contractor, so that there is clarity about the process between both parties. Make a list of questions to ask them about whenever you talk to them. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, but also be sure to respect their profession, as well.

Using cheap materials where it matters

If you are building a brand new home, then you want to make sure that you are building something that is going to last and be comfortable to live in for years and years to come. Despite this fact, some people try to cut corners when they build a home, and opt to get lower end materials. The materials that you use on your home are going to determine its longevity and how much it is going to be worth, in the end. For this reason, always budget out to get quality materials that are going to get you a quality home. Don’t settle for linoleum. Get tile! Don’t settle for laminate countertops. Get that granite; you deserve it!

Trying to do too many things, themselves

This goes hand in hand with the above point, but people tend to think that they can save a buck or two by trying to do many things, themselves. However, when you are building a home from scratch, it is probably best to let professionals with the proper specialty handle most tasks. Sure, there are some things that families can do that are going to save some labor costs, but don’t assume that you should put up entire frames or shingle a roof just because you’ve helped do it once before. If you make a mistake, it is likely going to cost you a lot more, in the long run. Be realistic about whether or not you should do this task, and then call a professional.

Building in a bad area

When people want to build a home, they get so wrapped up in the specifics of the actual structure, that they sometimes miss the fact that where your house is located can be just as important as your actual house. Buying a lot of land in an area that isn’t growing (or is growing too much for your liking) or that doesn’t have great access to schools and hospitals can make you begin to resent a home, after the novelty of a “new house” wears off. Just remember, site location should be just as important as any other aspect of building a home.

Not budgeting a contingency fund

The difference between building a home that you love and a home that you’ll settle for comes down to one thing: budgeting. If you are scraping pennies and trying to turn nickels into dimes the entire time you are building a home, then you are probably going to get something that is notably different from the vision that you started with. For this reason, you should budget out how much you expect it is going to cost (after professional input, of course), and then you should add about a 10% contingency fund to that budget, so that you can handle any unexpected expenses (which always pop up).


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