Building a home is a dream come true for many people. It’s often the culmination of tremendous hard work, planning and accomplishment. But it can also be a stressful period, full of difficult decisions and the anxiety that accompanies a life-changing event. The easiest way to enjoy the home construction process is to avoid mistakes that could make it an unpleasant process. Here are 9 mistakes to avoid when building a home.
1: Just Taking The Lowest Bid
One of the most common mistakes to avoid when building a home is just taking the lowest bid. It makes sense that a future home owner would want to save as much money as possible when selecting a home builder. Unfortunately, many new home buyers are under the mistaken impression that the lowest bid is the best choice. In reality, the hard costs of building a home are fairly consistent. It’s entirely possible that the home builder with the highest bid is being totally honest with the construction costs and that a lower bidder could be less than ethical with not revealing the full or actual costs involved up front. It’s also possible that different builders put different value on the quality of their workmanship and skill of their crew.
Low bids can be completely legitimate (and great), but as a homeowner, you must make sure you are very clear about what any builder offers in terms of price, and why. Don’t just take the lowest bid. Make an informed decision and resist the temptation to take a bid for the sake of it being the lowest bid and nothing more.
2: Ignoring or Neglecting To Inquire About Change Orders
It’s vital that a home buyer understands what a ‘change order’ is and how it can affect the cost of their home construction. A change order involves work on the home that is either added or eliminated which would alter the original contract price or completion date. The home owner can end up paying more due to projected work that was incorrectly estimated. That’s why it’s important to choose a builder with a great reputation and solid recommendations. Change orders are pretty common, but you don’t want to find out later that a change order was created by a ‘low bidder’ who knew they could create changes in order to make up for their low bid.
3: Not Researching A Builder’s Background
Of all the mistakes to avoid when building a home, never neglect the opportunity to research your builder. Not every salesman is invested in their buyer’s satisfaction. Not every teacher is concerned with their students’ education; and not every home builder will share your commitment to the construction of your home. Choosing a home builder because they were the first one you found can be a very bad idea. As with every occupation, some builders are better than others. And some are more concerned with your results. Ask your potential builders about their passion for the craft. Ask them about the products they use, the subcontractors they hire and how they’ll communicate with you. Ask for referrals, browse online and check out previous projects from potential builders. An excellent home builder will be easily accessible to prospective clients when questions arise and they won’t hesitate to provide you with answers and information that will help you make a decision about building your home.
4: Making Changes After Plans Are Finalized
Late changes aren’t a good idea. Make sure any revisions you wish to make are made early in the process. Something as simple as asking to move a doorway can increase costs once plans are already in motion. That seemingly simple task could involve supporting beam issues, rewiring and so on. When revisions are made, professional alterations require time and effort, which can translate into sizeable expenses!
5: Skimping On Quality
Everyone wants to save money; and trying to find a bargain where we can cut expenses is sensible in many cases; but this shouldn’t apply to cutting corners with your home construction. If building a larger home is only possible when quality is compromised, a new home owner will end up with inferior results. Cutting back on quality will not only affect a home’s resale value, but inferior materials will wear down long before quality building products. Whether it’s the flooring, roofing material, windows or more —replacing inferior components over time can be very expensive!
6: A Floor Plan That Is All About You
One of the mistakes to avoid when building a home that happens time and time again, occurs when a home buyer makes a floor plan that’s all about them. There’s nothing wrong with adding unique individual elements and touch to the nuances of a custom home. Bold or outlandish carpet, bizarre fixtures and eccentric decorations can be replaced if the home were to be sold. However, a floor plan or amenities designed by the original home buyers can prove to be a detriment to the home becoming sellable in the future. Dome-shaped ceilings, unusual doorways or funky room configurations might seem interesting, but “interesting” is not often what encourages potential buyers to purchase a home. Be sure to share your home design ideas with an architect or seasoned home builder who knows what is universally accepted and what is not—what sells and what remains stagnant. The professionals have the vision to view a project from a different, far more objective lens than most of us. Don’t visualize your home in terms of the ‘now’, but be willing to envision it further into the future since selling your home may either be planned or unplanned, at some point.
7: Taking A Lot Because It’s The Last One Available
Don’t make the mistake of choosing a lot simply because you feel pressured that if you don’t buy it, someone else will. First, there may be a reason this lot is the last one left and secondly, never compromise on your location. There’s far too much money put into building a home to simply ‘settle’ for where it will be situated. Investing more in a spacious, aesthetically-pleasing lot will add tremendous value to your home right from the start.
Factors such as slope, water table and terrain will affect how easy or difficult it may be to construct a home to accommodate the lot’s geographic features. Within reason, purchase the most expensive lot possible that works for your dream home; and you will have made your home much more marketable not to mention your enjoying your ‘location, location, location’, without regrets.
8: Overbuilding a Home in a Less Expensive Neighborhood
It happens more often that you might think—larger, more expensive homes being built on lots in neighborhoods with far smaller homes that sell for far smaller prices. Perhaps a less expensive lot was chosen in order to afford the larger home—it doesn’t matter. That larger home will not reach its full sale potential simply because it is now located in an area where the market value of neighboring homes will always be considerably lower; and they will determine, to a large degree, the selling price of the larger home if, and when, it is sold years down the road.
9: Acting As Your Own General Contractor
Unless you have an impressive understanding of the home-building business, you likely don’t have the kind of insight and experience required to tackle such a detailed undertaking. The idea behind acting as one’s own builder would be to save money, of course, but that theory is trumped by the reality of what it takes to successfully complete every phase the home will go through for completion. Not only do general contractors devote their days to handling the logistics of homes being built, but a professional contractor will know exactly who to contact and what to do when challenges arise. And they will. And because subcontractors like to work for contractors who provide regular work and steady pay, you may face great difficulty hiring help to complete your home. Meanwhile, professional contractors often have a team of experienced professionals whom they trust and work well with, available to help build your home.
Those are 9 mistakes to avoid when building a home that can apply to just about anyone. Want to know more? Contact Turner Homes today to request a free consultation and we’ll share recommendations to take advantage of, mistakes to avoid when building a home and a detailed estimate and projected cost for your project. And of course we’re happy to discuss anything and everything from our reputation to previous results. Contact Turner Homes now, click here.