3 Mistakes to Avoid When Constructing a New Home

DATE: Nov 6, 2014

Construction Worker Building Timber Frame In New HomeIt can be easy to place blame on your builder anytime there’s a problem constructing your new home. While some of these issues may be out of your control, there’s a lot you can do as a homeowner to ensure your construction is not delayed by silly mistakes.

To help you achieve this, we’ve compiled three common home construction blunders as well as a few tips that will keep you from making a costly slip-up.

1. Designing a home you can’t afford

When you start talking to architects and contractors about building your “dream home,” it can be tempting to go a little overboard with your design. Maybe you’re so excited about the kitchen layout that you decide to change your countertops from laminate to granite. Or perhaps you tell your builder to add an extra three feet of square footage to the master bedroom, or you buy expensive hardwood flooring instead of carpet.

Although these may seem like minor changes, they can have a big impact on the total cost of your home. And without a budget in place, you may lose sight of how much you’re actually spending.

Tips:

  • Have a budget (and stick to it!)
  • Secure a loan before you design so you know how much you can afford
  • Resist the urge to make design changes without assessing the cost

2. Selecting the wrong builder

You wouldn’t make the largest purchase of your life without fully researching the builder, right? Let’s hope not. Of course, it goes without saying that not all homebuilders offer the same quality of work. This makes your decision to hire the right homebuilder especially important. A good homebuilder guarantees the work performed and helps you stay within your budget, so it’s a good idea to ask about these things before you hire someone.

Tips:

  • Get estimates from multiple builders or contractors
  • Ask friends, family, and other relatives if they know of a reliable homebuilder
  • Price isn’t everything—consider the company’s reputation, how long they’ve been in business, and online ratings or testimonials (if available)

3. Failing to get proper construction permits

The building inspector checks quality of installation of new windows.You probably know that most places require you to have certain permits when building a home. While this may seem like something you can skip out on, it’s important that you obtain all of your permits before construction begins. If you don’t get them the city or county may order you to cease construction, causing project delays and many other headaches. They can also slap you with a considerable fine. More importantly, insurance won’t cover the work if an accident happens, so you might want to consider getting those permits if you haven’t already done so.

Tips:

  • Ask your builder or contractor about getting the right permits for you
  • Research building permits in your area by going online or inquiring at your local city or county office
  • Find out if you have to post your permits publicly or if you have to keep them on-site

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