One of the most exciting projects in a lifetime is a new house build! But if you scratch the surface of any new homeowner who just built a home, you’ll find a litany of horror stories. How can you avoid the common pitfalls while maximizing your chances at building a home that will give a lifetime of comfort and happiness? Consider the following essential new build Dos and Don’ts.
- Do not shut out the experts. Many would-be homeowners attempt to cut corners and save a little cash here and there, avoid taking on experts’ advice and employing them to do the work. There is only so much you can do yourself, and you are not as likely to spot critical mistakes in design. High-quality experts will save you time and money. Don’t forget to thoroughly vet your experts, either! Check up on their licensure, customer feedback, and other critical points.
- That said, do not be too hands-off. Communication is critical, and you should not assume that everyone fully understands what you want. But good communication goes both ways, and you should be prepared to put pride aside and ask if you do not understand a concept before it begins to be implemented.
- Do not be afraid to ask for customization. A good builder will be adept at creating an individualized plan based on your family’s needs and desires. Changing wall placement or adding doors, for example, is not typically a big deal to an experienced builder.
- Don’t build for an imaginary life. Potential homeowners will often list needs for a life they wish they had rather than the life they actually lead. If you are an introvert planning an ample entertainment space or someone who hates to cook but wants a full, grand kitchen with custom appliances, you won’t really get the maximum use of your brand new home. Poorly planned space typically becomes a dumping ground for clutter. Build to provide comfort for the life you have, with some imagination for how that life may grow in the future.
Building a new house can rapidly become overwhelming. But if we learn from others’ experiences, it can be an exciting, creative process that gives a lifetime of happiness.
- Pace yourself. If you skip steps, you will end up paying for it down the line.
- Stay flexible. Sometimes unexpected problems arise, and you will need to take a sensible workaround. This may require an adjustment in design, so remaining flexible with good listening will ensure you get the quality product you are after.
- Shop around! Check out other homes for sale and note their design features. Do physical tours so you can really see what you might be getting into with your own build. Look at all the floor plans. Even though you may think you are settled on a particular style or design, there are endless possibilities for floor plans and housing models, and you might find the perfect fit elsewhere.
- Know your own needs. What is your budget? Your desired timeline? Your future goals? How have you planned your space? Placement of bedrooms, kitchen, windows, and other features like HVAC is highly personal and critical to your home’s lifetime enjoyment. Don’t let someone else dictate what you need!
How can you choose a high-quality, affordable home model? There are three big truths to achieving your goals:
Truth 1: Choose an efficient floor plan and footprint!
Think smarter, not smaller! Saving money doesn’t necessarily mean constricting the size of your home. An experienced builder can help you understand where best to make the cuts.
Truth 2: Know when to spend and when to save.
You don’t want to cut costs at the expense of cutting corners. Spending on critical items in exchange for better efficiency, durability, or quality will pay for itself several times over in the long run.
Truth 3: You must plan for the future.
Think forward about your family’s needs and whether your home will be able to meet those needs in the years to come. You aren’t just planning for comfort now, but for a lifetime.