custom home building mistakes

6 Mistakes to Watch Out for When Building a Custom Home

Custom homes are on the rise — and no wonder given the state of the real estate market over the past few years. With home prices at historical highs, buyers are now more willing to take on the cost of a home built exactly to their preferences.

Analysis by the National Association of Home Builders of U.S. Census Data found there was a 28% increase in custom home building between the first quarters of 2021 and 2022.

Building a custom home ensures you have a home that’s right for you and your family, but it also comes with more decision-making responsibility for the buyer. To help you through the process, we’ve put together a list of 6 common custom home building mistakes and how you can be sure to avoid them.

Quick Takeaways

  • It’s essential to invest time into choosing the right builder for you and your home.
  • Balancing structure and flexibility in your timeline and budget prepare you to deal with unexpected costs or adjustments without stress.
  • Choose timeless design and floor plan options rather than overly-trendy ones.
  • Make decisions with both your present and future in mind to build a home that’s livable at all stages of life.
  • The internet is a great resource for design inspiration ideas.

6 Custom Home Building Mistakes to Avoid

Choosing the wrong builder

Choosing your builder is one of the first and most important decisions you’ll make during the custom home building process, and it’s an important one to get right. Choosing the wrong builder can lead to serious issues down the line — including building and design choices that don’t fit with your vision.

Your custom home builder should be like a partner to you throughout the process, guiding you through decisions and checking in to ensure the home is meeting your expectations at every stage.

Take time to vet your home builders by researching thoroughly, requesting recommendations, reading testimonials and reviews, and spending time asking your own questions. It’s a good idea to talk to multiple builders to get a sense of which is the right fit for you.

Here are some helpful tips on the right questions to ask:

Having a too-rigid timeline

Your project timeline is quite important when it comes to building a new custom home — it gives you a benchmark for monitoring progress and keeps the overall process on track. That said, it’s not a great idea to try and squeeze the build into a timeline that’s either unrealistic or set against a hard deadline.

Even if you have a great builder, a solid budget, and a detailed plan, surprises inevitably occur throughout the home building process. Over the past few years in particular, we’ve seen how unexpected supply chain challenges can lead to delays.

Avoid stress by building in flexibility to your timeline, giving you plenty of time to work through challenges while still completing your home by the planned deadline.

Squeezing your budget too tight

This one’s similar to your timeline — you absolutely need a budget to stay on track, but planning it down to the penny with no room for adjustments is just not realistic.

Be sure you’re in the financial position to take on costs (some that are unexpected) associated with building a custom home, and build a line for miscellaneous expenses right into your budget so you have it when needed.

Getting too trendy

The main benefit of a custom home is that every detail is exactly to your liking. You won’t be left dealing with old wallpaper from a previous decade or fixtures and finishes that are totally outdated. But remember — even the most outdated (and seemingly impractical) features of a home were on trend when they were added.

It’s a mistake to get too caught up in home design trends at the expense of practicality and/or good design. Think about what works best for you and your family, talk to your builder about potential design ideas, and go with options that are likely to stand the test of time.

Forgetting to think about the future

If you’re building a custom home, you’re likely hoping to live there forever. That means thinking about what life will be like 5, 10, 20, even 50 years down the road so your home remains livable and low-maintenance for you at every age.

This could mean building enough rooms for the future family you intend to start, or including universal design features that will allow you to age in place.

The future may seem far away, but when you get there you’ll be thankful you planned for it in your custom home.

Not looking for inspiration

In the age of the internet, we have access to unlimited content — including design inspiration content to help you come up with ideas and see what potential design elements will look like once executed.

Some consider this to be a double edged sword (i.e. the more you see the harder it is to make a decision about anything), but we think you should take advantage of the resource during a unique experience like building your custom home.

Some websites (like Amazon or Home Depot) even allow you to upload a photo and see what a particular piece of furniture or paint color will look like in your space.

Over to You

Ready to start building your dream home in the Dayton area? Oberer Homes can help you do it. Contact us today to learn more and get started.

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