architecture construction interior design

9 Building Mistakes That Can Turn Your Dream House Into a Nightmare

Building a new home can be an exciting yet terrifying prospect for most homeowners.  Designing and constructing a house from scratch comes with a unique set of concerns that many are not prepared for.  Staring down at a blueprint can muddle the coolest of heads with questions, concerns, and fears. Preparation is key when taking on a large construction project and by avoiding these mistakes your dream home can become an achievable reality.

New home construction design help

1. Review your Contract

It seems obvious but unless you have a law degree, have your lawyer review the builder’s contract before breaking ground.  The contract should include at a minimum the construction costs, deliverable dates, and the plan if things go haywire.

2. Overthinking the Details

When building a house, there are numerous decisions, even before the lot is cleared.  From where to put up the walls to the light switch covers, the myriad of selections can quickly overwhelm.  Avoid design paralysis by coming up with a system of making and tracking your choices.  Ask your builder for a schedule of when your selections need to be made and organize your decisions based on it. 

It’s critical to not second guess yourself once the plumbing or even the tile has been picked out.  While reviewing your choices is fine, reselecting can potentially wreak chaos on your builder’s timeline.  Choose it and move on to the next phase.

3. Tracking your Budget

Don’t let cost overruns catch you off guard.  While there is little you can do about the cost of drywall, you can temper your selections to stay in budget.  If you set your heart on that Wolf range, and it busts the appliance budget, look for other areas to save.   Perhaps a less expensive tile in the guest bathroom or forgoing the outdoor fire pit.

4.  Forever Home

If this is the home you are going to age into, consider designing with decreased mobility in mind. 
Wider hallways and doors, or even an elevator, may add to the upfront budget.  However, in the long term think about the added benefit if you say break a hip.  Even if you are not planning to stay into your golden years, potential buyers might desire those features.

Handicap accessible bathroom

5.  Roll it into the Mortgage

A construction to permanent loan, covers the construction of your house then converts into regular mortgage once the home is complete. Construction loans allow you to borrow money to purchase materials and pay for the labor necessary to build a home.  This includes the land purchase and any professional fees like your architect or interior designer.

6.  Relationship Woes

Avoid the drama with your partner by making sure you are on the same page before you get started.   You don’t want to be mid build when you suddenly find that your beloved hates the idea of an open kitchen or a closed off toilet compartment.  Review all those decisions privately then come forward as a team with your vision.

Relationship surviving new construction

7.  Have it Inspected

Your house is nearly complete and you’re scheduling your move.  No matter how fabulous your builder is, a warranty is no substitute for a thorough home inspection. Choose an unbiased, third-party licensed home inspector to take a look before moving in. Any issues that are found should be remedied prior to closing.

8.  Anticipate Delays

Construction delays are unavoidable.  You can count on the weather, material shortages, labor and waiting on inspections to add to your timeline.  Your own indecision can be a problem as well.  Having a contingency plan, if your move in date is postponed, will ensure you are not left without a place to live.  Cushioning your timeline for delays will allow you to hopefully be pleasantly surprised you’re your home is ready on time.

Construction delays

9. Hire and Expert

Having an experienced interior designer lead you through the construction process will protect you from potential mistakes as well as saving your sanity.  By incorporating your lifestyle needs and aesthetic desires into the design of your home, an interior designer can assist you with keeping your project on track.  Regardless of the size of your home, there are affordable options (see #5) to adding a designer to your team. 

Be sure to check out my virtual design site as an option when building or renovating a home!

Virtual interior design

Mr. H says: It’s not how BIG the house is-It’s how HAPPY is the home-Enjoy!

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