Building a new home is an incredibly exciting and rewarding undertaking – especially if it’s your first time. That being said, it’s a huge task, and things can go wrong. These are the top ten mistakes that families make when they build their own homes – and how to avoid them.
1. Location Matters
Where you choose to build is incredibly important. It might seem like a cheap block of land at the start, but it will turn out to be the neighbourhood where you are living and raising a family. Buy into an area that you like spending time in, because it’s going to be your new community.
2. Choosing the Wrong Builder
Research is critical at this stage of your project. Before you begin anything, you need to thoroughly research your builder to make sure they are the right team for you. If possible, ask to see their previous work so you can get an idea about their style and finishes.
3. Poor Planning
This is another very important step. Don’t just build a house for now, build for the future as well. For example, if you’re a young couple who’s planning on starting a family soon, building a one or two bedroom home isn’t a good idea. Similarly, If you’re planning on downsizing in a few years when you retire, should you be building a huge house now?
4. Lack of Storage
This comes into the planning stage. Unless you’ve got the budget for a spacious mansion, then storage is key. Without adequate cupboards and cabinets, you’re setting your home up to feel cluttered and cramped from the get go.
5. No Natural Light
Potential homebuyers spend a lot of time searching for a house with natural sunlight streaming in through their windows. If you’re building, then you’ve got the opportunity to put large windows in every room. You can always get curtains later – it’s a lot harder to add more windows.
6. Not Using Rooms
Don’t create extra rooms just for the fun of it. Unused rooms often become the dumping ground for the whole family, and you’ll soon find yourself with a room filled with clutter. You might not use a spare bedroom that often, but if you add an office nook and a treadmill, you’ll find you’re using it all the time. Or, simply forgo the spare room, and have a large lounge or master instead.
7. Laundry Room Placement
You might not think about the laundry that often, but I promise you’ll regret putting it in an awkward room. Ideally, you want it to be close to the back door so that you don’t have to bring your laundry all through the house when you’re hanging it up. Instead of dedicating a whole room to the laundry, you could even have a Scandinavian style Laundry Cupboard. After all, do your dirty clothes really need a whole room?
8. Where is the Kitchen
Kitchens are increasingly becoming the heart of our homes. Whether or not you like open plan living, there is no need to hide the kitchen in the back of the house. Also consider how far you’ll have to carry heavy groceries from the car. Big open spaces can make the kitchen a lot more inviting, especially if you’re not a huge fan of cooking.
9. Don’t Make Big Purchases
This isn’t necessarily to do with building your house – rather it’s something to keep in mind as you go. Don’t make any big purchases like a new car or expensive plane tickets while you’re in the process of building your home. You never know when something could go wrong, and that extra cash could have come in handy.
10. Be Realistic
Hope for the best but expect the worst. You’re going to have to be realistic about the real-world cost of building a new home from scratch, because that’s the best way to avoid disappointment. The same goes for time frame. TV shows would have us believe that it takes eight weeks to build and decorate a new home, but that isn’t the case. Be patient, good things come to those who wait.
This is an incredibly exciting time for you and your family, and the best thing you can do right now is be prepared. With the right builder, you’ll be able to turn a block of land into a beautiful home. Avoid these mistakes and you’ll be well on your way to making your dreams a reality.