Building a home from scratch is no small feat, and it takes a lot of careful planning and know-how; it is crucial to connect with the right designers and contractors. The better you plan it out, the less likely you are to face unexpected, expensive surprises. While it may not be possible to fool-proof the process 110 percent, you can minimize obstacles by educating yourself on the process, and one of the most important things to be aware of is the most common mistakes people make when building a home. Here are a few to get you started:
Not Hiring a General Contractor
One of the biggest concerns you probably have about this venture is saving as much money as you can without compromising the project. At first thought, you may not think it necessary to hire a general contractor. After all, you can easily arrange the hiring of the plumber, roofer, and the guy doing the sheet rock, right? Technically, yes, but it will probably not go as smoothly. These people all have relationship with general contractors, who bring them work regularly. So, when it comes to prioritizing tasks, guess who is going to get the shaft? The general contractor who helps them make a living with repeat business? Nope. It will be the one-off client who they will never work for again. This is just one of the many reasons why trying to save a buck by cutting out the general contractor can bite you in the behind big time.
Letting Other People Tell You What You Need
Contractors, designers and other professionals involved in this endeavor play an invaluable part in helping you construct your dream home. They know things about the process that you simply don’t, and their advice is valuable. But, a common mistake made by people building their own home is letting themselves be convinced that these professionals know better than them what they need. No one knows your lifestyle and needs better than you; so while you should carefully consider suggestions, don’t let people sway you away from what you know is best for the design of the house.
Not Investing in Good House Plans
While it would seem pretty obvious that a solid set of plans is an important first step in building your own home, many people surprisingly skip this step in hopes of saving a few bucks. But, there is a good chance this decision will end up costing you more in the long run. It is not enough to draw a general sketch on a napkin, take a picture of a home you like, make a copy of a plan from a house plan book, or have some vague idea that is simply living in your imagination. Without a set of really specific plans for the project, it will be hard for contractors to give proper estimates on labor; you will not be able to put together a good list of required materials. You will be in for lots of mistakes, misunderstandings, delays and conflicts among the different subcontractors. And, the cost of fixing all of these problems will most likely fall to you. Unless you are swimming in dough, you want a solid set of plans so you can get an accurate estimate.
Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who blogs about all things home improvement; she recommends you try Roll Off Dumpster Direct for your next construction project.