Being able to build your own home and design it to your exact specifications is a huge dream and is a dream that is shared by many. In many cases, it is cheaper to buy a plot of land and build than it is to buy a house that has already been built, but it is far from an easy dream to fulfil, however. Yes, finding a decent plot of land for sale may not be too difficult, nor is working out what you want your home to be like, but bringing those ideas to fruition and actually putting plans into place is a whole different story. If you do not get it right, you could end up wasting a significant amount of time and money and ending up with a nightmare house instead of your dream home. To avoid a disastrous outcome, here are some of the biggest mistakes to avoid when building your own home:
Not paying attention to the little things
When you are building your dream home, it is very easy to get preoccupied with how many rooms you will have, what type of stone you will use to make the kitchen counters look amazing and how you will layout your home to maximize its potential for your family. However, you should not let that stuff take over your mind to the point that you forget the little things like planning where to put power sockets – something that seems so minor but can have a significant impact on your daily life. Think about how frustrating it is to get into bed in a hotel room and not be able to charge your cell phone!
Not planning the space effectively
One of the best things about building your own home is that you can have complete control over the layout of your home. Unfortunately, a lot of people do not know how to use this to their advantage, and they end up using the space they have very inefficiently.
If you want your home to be perfect for the needs of you and your family, you need to think about everything you will do in your home, from exercising to washing, and you need to think about storage space, in particular. By doing this, you will be able to design a home where every room is as efficient as possible, and there is no need for it to get cluttered and untidy because there is hidden storage space at every corner. The kitchen is one of the most important places to have storage – think about where you will put things like slow cookers, juicers, coffee machines and blenders. There are no rooms that cannot have inbuilt storage closets to make life easier, so take advantage of this fact by including them in your plans.
Not planning for the future
A lot of people who build their own homes also make the mistake of not planning for their futures. They may be single or a married couple at present and build a house accordingly. Then, a few years down the line, when they decide to have children, they realize that they do not have enough space or their home just is not appropriate for family life, Or perhaps, they do not take into account their impending old age and create a home that would be difficult to navigate with an older body, and they have to make the heart-breaking decision of selling their dream home. Do not be like them – make sure that you think about the future during the all-important planning stage.
Not thinking about lighting
Few people actually want to live in dark and dingy homes, but that is precisely what could happen if you don’t think about lighting when you are in the process of building your new home.
At the very least, your plans should include windows in every room of your home, no matter how big or small, and those windows should be as big as possible. Doors should feature glass to let as much natural light in as possible, and every room should have lots of light fittings and sockets to plug in table lamps, etc., to ensure that you do not have to live in darkness.
Not thinking about heating
A house that never quite feels warm enough is never going to feel welcoming or cosy, and in the same vein, a house that is too hot all of the time is going to feel unbearable. When you are planning your dream home, consider all of the heating and cooling options. These days it is so much more than standard, bulky radiators attached to walls – you could think about a panel heater, underfloor heating and various other options. The choice is entirely yours!
Adding rooms that won’t be used
Building your cinema room, games room or library might sound neat, and it will undoubtedly impress your guests, but if you are unlikely to use those rooms very often, they are a waste of space, and more importantly, a waste of money. So, when you are in the planning stage, sit down and think about the kind of rooms that will add value to your life. Maybe an extra bathroom would do more for you than a library, or a spare bedroom would be more useful than a games room if you often have guests. Work out what will get the most use and do that, even if it is not as cool as some other options.
Not putting the bedroom in the right place
If you are designing your own home, you are probably doing it so that you can get the house of your dreams, a house that you will always feel comfortable in. You will not achieve that aim if you do not put some consideration into the location of your bedroom.
Ideally, your bedroom should be placed in a location that is as far away from any nearby roads as possible, so that you will not be disturbed by traffic noise when you are trying to relax. You should also try to locate it at the furthermost ends of the house, away from the bathroom and other bedrooms so that you will not be disturbed by the noise of your family members or guests. Locating it in an area where there is also lovely view would be good, although not quite as essential.
Not choosing the best location for the kitchen
The kitchen is usually the heart of most homes, which is why it is always good to place it in a location that is easily accessible from the outside so that your guests can pop in without having to trail right through the house. Placing your kitchen in an area close to the point of entry will also make it a lot easier for you when you are lugging groceries from the car to the kitchen, or when you have been out for a walk, and you want to avoid traipsing dirt through the rest of the house before you can get to the kitchen.
Not researching contractors
Before you start building, it is essential that you do your research on local contractors. It is sad, but there are a lot of cowboys out there, who will charge you too much, do a shoddy job or generally mess you around. You can’t eliminate the chances of this happening, but you can lower the odds by doing your research, checking references, or even better, getting personal recommendations from friends and family members who have built their own homes in the past.
Not allowing for delays
No matter how good the contractors you use, there will inevitably be delays to the build. The weather is one of the biggest things that can halt work, but there can also be problems with suppliers, deliveries, and sometimes, even the best-laid plans can go pear-shaped. By planning for these delays, you will reduce the amount of stress, and if things do go to plan and run to schedule, you will be pleasantly surprised!
Talk to your builder
It is important to remember that your builder is not a mind-reader, and nor are you, so do not waste time second-guessing things and ask if there is something you are not sure of or speak up if you are not happy with something. Remember, you have to live in this home for years to come, so make sure it is exactly how you want it! Communication is key, and it is important never to assume anything When you assume, that’s where problems and disagreements happen.
Building a home from scratch will always throw up some challenges, but with some careful planning and preparation, and by avoiding the mistakes we have listed above, you can make the process a whole lot smoother for everyone involved.