Mistakes to Avoid When Building a Custom Home

aBuilding your dream home can be a lifelong goal that, when finally realized, is nothing short of exciting.  However, while it’s important to go into the project with a positive outlook, it’s still vital to maintain a level head throughout the process in order to protect yourself from future frustration.

Therefore, when making the decision to build, there are several common mistakes worth avoiding if you’d like to live in the best version of your dream home.

1.  DO NOT ACT AS YOUR OWN GENERAL CONTRACTOR.  This point is extremely important because, no matter what you may hear about saving money or how organized you think you are, you have not had the time to form the same industry relationships as a contractor.  While this may seem like a small thing, especially since foraging relationships would appear to be a moot point during the building process, the truth of the matter is that everyone from roofers to electricians make their living through repeat business with general contractors.

Therefore, if one of your plumbers has to make the choice between working on your home or completing a rush job for one of their regular contractors, who do you think they’ll choose?  Long-story-short, the subcontractor knows that he/she will never be working for you again, so your level of importance will always rank below the general contractors they already have a relationship with.

2.  THINK AHEAD.  If you regularly follow my blogs, you’ll know that this is a step I frequently emphasize because it comes into play when considering everything from kitchen and bath remodels to custom builds.  Plain and simple, building a home is a large financial investment, so you’ll want to make sure it’s something you can grow into.  If you’re younger in age and having children is even a remote possibility, you’ll want to factor that possibility into the design process.  On the other hand, if you’re entering your later years and the kids have all moved out, you may want to consider living in less space or building something without a second floor.

3. ENGAGE YOUR INTERIOR DESIGNER THROUGHOUT THE PROCESS.  If you’re planning on utilizing the services of an interior designer once the build is complete, you’ll actually want to hire them early in the process.  While this may seem silly since the decorating is akin to a cherry on top of the sundae, many décor options require very specific building instructions to support the design.  For example, if your designer is considering an especially large chandelier, the builder will need to make sure there’s a safe way to attach it to the ceiling.

4.  BE AWARE OF YOUR HVAC SYSTEM.  This aspect is extremely important, especially here in the South where the summers get hot and humid.  Poor HVAC planning can lead to moisture issues which may contribute to terrible mold growth, as well as a general loss of funds due to efficiency problems.  If your HVAC models are too small, they will underperform and fail to heat or cool your home effectively; however, overly large models will utilize too much energy and therefore, too much money.

5.  STORAGE. STORAGE. STORAGE.  At one time or another, most of us have lived in a home or apartment that lacked any semblance of storage.  While it may seem easy to resent certain areas such as closets or cupboards, which may detract from potential living or aesthetic space, it would be a mistake to underestimate the amount of square footage you’ll need to store your belongings.

6. POOR LIGHTING.  Plain and simple, light fixtures, outlets, and windows should be plentiful.  Light awakens the senses and helps homes feel more open, so make sure large windows are present in every room.  With this, consider adding skylights and stylistic touches such as recessed or pendent lighting.  The mood of your home will take a hit if you make the mistake of forgetting this step.

7. UNUSED ROOMS.  Sure, your ego may get a boost every time you tell someone that you have your own personal gym or game room; however, while things like multipurpose areas sound enticing, you’ll want to make sure that what you’re building actually gets used.  All-too-often, under-utilized rooms turn into dumping grounds for things like Christmas decorations and off-season clothing, so if you plan on adding a spare room, make sure it is capable of having multiple uses (i.e. sewing room/guest room, office/gym).

8.  LETTING OTHER PEOPLE TELL YOU WHAT YOU NEED.  You are the one who will be living in YOUR house and you are also the one who is in the best position to understand your family’s day-to-day needs.  While it’s important to heed the advice of experts and professionals in regards to safety features and building codes, you’ll still want to exercise prudence when it comes to making decisions about the various features and upgrades at your disposal.  While these specialists may be able to make suggestions, the ultimate decision still rests with your judgement.

If you’re considering a custom build and would like to learn more about the building process or would simply like some advice about a current or future project, please contact me.

Mirko Attolini | CRES Builders, Corp. | www.CRESBuilders.com | 770-983-4698