7 mistakes to avoid when building a new house

Adobe / seanlockephotography

Research shows that about one-quarter of home buyers would prefer to have houses that are custom-built for them over buying an existing home, and with good reason. A custom home lets you have the house of your dreams. You get to hand-pick everything, from the lot you build on to the finishing touches.

But what if you overlook something or make a judgment call you end up regretting?

While there’s no right or wrong answer to what constitutes the ideal home, considering several common missteps, misconceptions and miscalculations could help you avoid making one yourself.

1. Compromising On Location

Picking a lot for your home that isn’t ideal simply because the price or size is good could cause heartache over time. Research the area to find out more about the school district, crime rate and property taxes. Consider factors such as whether there’s a sidewalk, whether the land is relatively level and your proximity to neighbors.

2. Not Checking References

Giving Google reviews the once-over before hiring a contractor is not enough. Consider obtaining several proposals. Request multiple references from recent clients as well as suppliers. Contact them all to make sure the contractor shows up when promised, completes work on schedule, communicates clearly and pays bills on time.

3. A Floorplan That Doesn’t Fit You

Someone else’s idea of the perfect layout might not suit your family. Would you like the washer and dryer upstairs near the bedrooms or do you prefer to sort and fold in the living room while binge-watching Netflix? Does an open floor plan appeal to your entertaining style or do you dream of a cozy, closed-off kitchen? Consider how you’ll use the rooms in your new home and what seems most convenient, practical and inviting to you.


4. Failing To Prioritize Amenities

They say it’s the little things that count. This holds true when building a home, as well. Along with the construction, exterior and style of your home, give a great deal of thought to features such as flooring and lighting, fireplaces and bathtub styles and upgraded fixtures. Some will increase the value of your home and improve your quality of life while others could be unnecessary expenses.

5. Skimping On Energy Efficiency

Some splurges are definitely worth making when building a home. This is especially accurate when adding energy-efficient upgrades. Storm windows can reduce heat loss through windows by as much as 50% and a programmable thermostat could save up to $150 a year in energy costs.

6. Including Numerous High-Maintenance Components

Reconsider the use of high-maintenance materials, such as natural stone or marble. Using low-maintenance or maintenance-free components could save money as well as time both initially and as the years go by. Consider options such as composite decking, metal roofing and tile flooring.


7. Not Planning For Problems

Unforeseen issues are bound to crop up. Something major (or a handful of minor problems) could result in additional delays, extra expenses or both. Putting a contingency plan into place and leaving some wiggle room in your budget could help you breeze through an otherwise stressful situation.

Are you prepared to build your home from scratch?

Design & Architecture, DIY & Improvement, Home

About the Author
Tricia Goss
Tricia Goss is a Texas-based writer and editor with nearly two decades of experience. She is passionate about helping readers improve their skills, gain knowledge and attain more happiness in life. When she’s not working, Tricia enjoys traveling with her husband and their dog, especially to visit their five grandchildren.

From our partners