Either this is for you and for others, there are certain things you need to consider to prevent you from going off-course. Based on this fact, we have compiled eight mistakes you need to avoid if you want to build a dream home.
Not Prioritizing Planning
Planning should be prioritized when starting anything. Putting your habits and lifestyle into consideration when designing prevents you from running into unnecessary problems. Will you be here during retirement? Is it safe for kids? How long do you plan to stay here or do you want your tenant to stay here? And other questions might help you dig deep into what you need and what matters. Think beyond now and prevent yourself from designing and building what won’t matter in the next few years.
Not Carefully Selecting Your Lot
It’s true a cheaper lot can be enticing but never compromise location for the price. Remember that there are reasons why that lot is cheap and if you look into it carefully, you may realize that you’re going to pay for it in the long run. Also, social amenities should be considered when selecting a lot. Do you need to drive a distance before you find a grocery store? Is your lot close to a highway? How close is it to the nearest school and parks? These are questions you need to ask when making a decision.
Not Working with a Professional Designer or Architect
Yes! You’ve planned and made a rough draft of what you want. Now is time to work with a design firm or an architect to put your idea on paper with scaled measurement of what it would be in real life. Another benefit of working with a professional designer is to guide you and provide you with your local construction rules and code of conduct. For some people working with a contractor is not necessary but if this is your first custom build, you are advised to work with an experienced professional to guide you through the design phase of your project.
Having no Signed Contracts
You’ve spent enough time planning; you’ve selected your preferred homebuilder and now you’re preparing to break ground without signing the dotted lines? My advice to you is to stop! Never entrust your project to a contractor without signing a contract—even if they are your closest friend and relative. If you are having difficulty understanding the contract, hire a lawyer to review it (or if your contractor is reluctant to create a contract, let your lawyer create one for you). Having a written document signed by both parties can save a lot of stress if there is a misunderstanding between you and your contractor.
Receiving a warranty from your contractor does not guarantee that your property meets construction standards. It also does not serve as a substitute for a home inspection. So, never skip a home inspection after construction is complete. Hire a licensed, unbiased, third-party home inspector to carry out necessary checks on the new home before you move in. Who knows, the property might be riddled with problems. An inspection would help you detect it earlier when it can be easily fixed thereby preventing you from spending unbudgeted expenses on repair.
Wanting to DIY with no Previous Experience
Wanting to be their own contractor is one of the mistakes many first-time builders make. Do It Yourself (DIY) is not bad. It’s a way to save money. But it is always advisable to work with an experienced home builder when you are building for the first time. However, if you still decide to try doing it yourself, here’s a checklist you can use. You should be able to:
- Review design and building plans for potential problem
- Estimate the material and labor cost
- Read and understand the builder’s bid
- Order material and Schedule Deliveries
- Obtain a Building Permit
- Know what steps to take when problems arise.
- Supervise subcontractor’s work without a hassle
Always Keep Your Mortgage Costs in Check
It is very important to keep check of your mortgage cost so you won’t end up with a bigger mortgage than you applied for. Spend more time in planning and designing to prevent unnecessary delay during construction. Have a good sense of material used because an unexpected change in material can lead to delay and change in the cost of construction which can affect your mortgage.
Not Preparing for the Worse
You might have a proper plan in place and follow all the rules for perfect project execution but it should always be at the back of your mind that things will not always work out as planned. This is where the contingency fund is useful. Either build contingency fund into the builder’s bid or separately budget for it. Unlike the construction funds, the contingency fund varies and it depends on personal preference and project type. But the general rule for contingency fund is that a homeowner should plan for a minimum of 10% of the total construction cost budgeted.