Building a custom house is a privilege that not everyone has. I’m beyond grateful for the supplemental income provided by my side gig with Monat hair products for this opportunity. Building a home is fun, stressful, lots of work, and rewarding. I’ve learned a lot during these home building process so this blog is about things to consider when building a house.
10 Things To Consider When Building a House
While I’m sure there are more than 10, these are the things I wish someone would have told me the first time around. Keep in mind that we used a custom builder. If you’re adventurous enough to build a house on your own, I think you’ll still find these tips helpful.
1. Plan Ahead
It’s a fun idea to want to build a house, but lots of things need to be planned before you begin. Have as many details in place as possible before starting the building process. Things such as, how many cabinets and how much counter space will you want? How high do you want your ceilings? What kind of flooring do you want? That way, when you go to the builder’s design center you would be there for 12 hours. This will also prevent you from making a bunch of changes during the build process. Changes are expensive and difficult to coordinate when all the subcontractors already have your original plan on file.
2. Be Flexible with Your Schedule
You might want a house built and designed in 9-12 months. Sometimes that’s feasible, but many times it’ll take longer than you want. A lot can affect your schedule like weather, design changes, money, and the schedules of your contractors. That being said, have a realistic goal, but be flexible and patient with delays. If you are selling your current home to move into your new one, talk with your realtor about the best time to list the house and how to adjust your timeline if needed. If you are renting, find a flexible lease or overestimate the time you will need on the lease just in case.
3. Know What To Expect
There are many things to consider when building a house that you might not expect. Some of those things are how quickly little things like drawer pulls or handles add up. Or how weather can delay your build for months. Ask these questions and make sure you know just how much those seemingly little expenses add up, and how the builder handles inclement weather or a back ordered item.
4. Hire the Best Builder
This is huge. Seems like a no-brainer but do not just pick the most affordable and the earliest available. Chances are if they are inexpensive and readily available, there’s a reason. Here are some other things you can do to ensure you’re picking the best builder for your home:
- Ask friends, family, and coworkers for referrals
- Look at online reviews- these can tell you a lot about their experience in managing a big project
- Visit their models and review their online portfolios. We liked the Houzz site for this.
- Meet them and make sure personalities jive.
- Review what the builder considers a standard feature and what they don’t
- Ask for references and ask those references about how their houses are holding up (see if you can visit the their home)
5. Build For the Future
Make sure you don’t design your home for only the present. You may be single or be a kidless couple right now, so think ahead towards the future if you want kids or dogs or lots of guests. Think about storage spaces, social places, and child or pet-friendly rooms. Build your home to enjoy now, but also to enjoy in the future.
6. Use a Designer
If you don’t have a knack at interior designing, that’s fine. It’s better not to pretend like you do and end up unhappy with your home. Consider hiring a designer. This can be a lifesaver. Depending on the builder you choose, sometimes their firm has interior designers in-house that you can utilize. The upfront cost might seem like a lot, but remember that they can save you from lots of mistakes, time, and money in the long run. It’ll be worth it.
7. Visit the Site Often
During the house building process, things will go wrong. The lighting company will forget you changed the LEDs to can lights. The rain glass you ordered so your neighbor won’t see you naked in the shower will be substituted. You see, these aren’t obvious to everyone. But, they are obvious to you. Walk the site as frequently as you can and make sure your vision is being carried out. Keep a running list and communicate it will your builder. That brings me to my next tip.
8. Communication is Key
Make sure your your builder has provided you a point of contact. This should be your project manager and you should have their cell phone number. Don’t be afraid to over-communicate your vision to them often. Some people assume that their workers understand what they mean, but that doesn’t always happen. Make sure they know exactly what you want because you’re paying them after all.
9. Go with your Gut
Your architect or designer might give you some advice here and there on what they think is best. That’s fine and can be helpful, but sometimes, you need to follow your intuition. For example, your architect might not care that your two boys’ bedrooms and bathrooms having to be identical down to every inch of wall space. But he doesn’t have to deal with them fighting over it. Remember that you’ll be the one living in the home, not them.
10. Enjoy It
All these tips are not meant to scare you from building a home. They are to help you enjoy the process. Going from designs on paper, pins on Pinterest and lots of brainstorming with my husband to an actual home that I get to wake up in every day is incredible. Don’t let stress, finances, or mishaps make the journey of building your home no fun. Make it fun and enjoy every part of it.
With that said, I hope these tips are helpful. I know that I wish I had known some of these during my first home building process. If you’re building a home, or have in the past, comment below with stories or any more tips that you’ve learned on your journey. I’d love to read them.