What Not To Do When Building A Custom Home

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If you’re thinking about building a custom home you’ve probably been dreaming about various aspects for months, maybe even years. You know how many bedrooms you want. You’re certain that a kitchen island is a must-have. You would prefer an open concept, but could potentially be persuaded in another direction if the right layout presented itself. And really, even more than interior specifics, it’s a feeling that you’re searching for and hoping to attain when this dream becomes a reality.

That feeling might be something you can’t quite vocalize, but it’s probably one filled with love, laughter, smiles, calm, tranquility, belonging, togetherness, and so much more.

The anticipation for this is even possibly what’s propelling you forward. Maybe your current space is one that causes you undue stress and anxiety when you think about the home improvement projects that are left undone, the must-do items that keep overtaking your want-to-do list, and that one catch-all drawer that’s overflowing; you swear you’d Marie Kondo that spot if only you didn’t have that darn must-do list.

So instead, you plan for your custom home and what that will look like. But, if you’re really ready to start making strides toward having this become a reality then it’s important to keep in mind that what you don’t do is just as important as what you do.

Here’s are some top don’t do items when building your custom home:

1) Don’t Forget to Consider Options While Avoiding Too Many

There are a million decisions that will be made while a house under construction from each nut and bolt that is used to the color of white you’ll select in the entryway. And, for each area of the home, there will be so many directions you could go in. The options truly are overwhelming. So, give yourself options, but don’t become weighed down by too many.

A great way to do this is to consult with your home building design center and local experts. Tell these specialists what you like and don’t like and ask them to help you narrow your choices down from potentially hundreds to five. Then, consider what you like and dislike among those few and select one.

If you don’t allow others to help you, it’s likely you’ll encounter decision fatigue or become unnecessarily anxious. Both of these scenarios will leave you wishing the project was complete already or that you never even started. Avoid this situation and keep the custom home building journey fun.

2) Don’t Make Decisions on Your Own (Unless You’re on Your Own)

If you are the master of your domain and a solo-riding boss babe or dude who wants to design your custom space, go for it! But, if you’re planning to live with your spouse, life-partner, best friend, in-laws, children, or whomever else (particularly if this is their investment too), then make decisions together.

In some households, one person who doesn’t care about the details might relinquish all custom home decisions to another. That’s ok too, but have that discussion.

Otherwise, anyone in the space should get a say, with the funders of the project getting the ultimate say. For example, if you have children who will be living in the home ask what their want-to-have list includes. It may be something simple like Superman sheets or much more complicated like a slide instead of a staircase. But ask anyway because they might also give you ideas you hadn’t considered and would be great to add on like Jack and Jill bathrooms or a laundry chute.

3) Don’t Delay Your Responses With the Builders

When working with any custom home builder, you’ll be provided with a timeline. Along each stage of the project you’ll have to make various decisions and, ultimately, there will likely be a few adjustments. Just like no plan in life goes exact, so is often the case when building a home from scratch. So, if the builder isn’t able to source a particular bathroom faucet you initially chose, this person will contact you to make another selection.

If the builder reaches out to you and you delay in your response, it’s going to push out your timeline. So, if you want things to move at a constant pace so that you can move in sooner rather than later, make sure to return calls and emails with haste.

4) Don’t Forget the Details

It’s easier to focus on the bigger picture and not care about the smaller decisions as much, but they are important. It’s what really brings the finished product together just so. Think about a luxury hotel or restaurant. Everything is meticulous from the flooring to the molding to the accessories. Each and every decision was made with care to reflect the exact ambiance that was desired. You can have this same feeling in your home if you take the time to slow down and pay attention to the little things because they will matter once the final project is complete.

5) Don’t Be Unflappable

While the details do matter and you should have your custom home just as you desire, you must be willing to compromise. Again, nothing is going to go exactly as planned so be ready and willing to pivot. Keep backup plans in mind that you might like, consider various color schemes and window placements, and use the builder as your guide in making the harder compromises because this person is an expert. And, most importantly, know that at the end of the day it is all going to come out just wonderfully.

6) Don’t Build Outside of What You Can Afford

Your mind will wander when you’re dreaming up your custom home, but what you want and what you can actually afford may not always align. If you’re really serious about making your dream come true, start putting in the work. Price out items for various things you want like those specific countertops you loved in that one magazine or the natural hardwood floors you read about recently and the track lighting you’d like added to various rooms.

As you make your list you might be surprised by what you find. It may be that you can get everything you wanted. But, if you know you’re going to be over budget with certain upgrades, then some things should be switched out for others so you stay within your allotted budget. Don’t worry; you’ll still be so delighted with your final choices once you move in.

7) Don’t Listen to the Above if it Doesn’t Work For You

This is likely a once-in-a-lifetime experience and something that you’ve likely been dreaming about for many years, so the only must-do is to have fun. If any of the above guidelines interfere with that, then throw them out and forge your own path as you will in your new home.

1 COMMENT

  1. My biggest takeaway from this is to respond to all the builder’s communication with haste. I wouldn’t want my custom project to stall because of my indecision.

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