5 Mistakes People Make When Building A Home
If only, if only! People have been repeating those words for years after having made a choice or decision that they later regretted: “if only I had . . .”. That can be true when building a new home. When you think of building a new home, it may be the only time in your life that you will choose that particular path, so making the right decisions are critical to have a positive experience and minimizing stress. After having been in the business for several years, there seems to be a pattern to poor choices, and if you can know what they are ahead of time, you will avoid them. Here are few common ones:
1) Losing Enthusiasm
One thing we have learned over the years is there are clients that have every base covered and know exactly what they want, and then there are those that are uninformed or overwhelmed by the many possibilities and choices. This has in essence been a curse of the new home construction industry. Builders often have the clients search for products that they want, instead of presenting the client with 3 or 4 high-mid to high quality alternatives to an item. Do a real quick search on a search engine, and you will see that for faucets, there are 27,600,000 websites to choose from! Now you can see why even the most enthusiastic client can “burn out”, or “check out” of the process when the builder does not limit the choices, for your sake and his, on what goes into the house. This is a driving force for True Built Home. We start with a really nice “standard” home with hundreds of potential upgrades.
2) Cutting Corners
If you think price is everything, then keep in mind the old saying: “you get what you pay for” or in other words “the cheap person invariably pays the most”. Hidden cost, cheap materials, weird techniques, like the one shown in the picture, all end up costing you more in the long run, and in some cases in the near term. Remember the Chinese sheetrock scare? It was because it was cheaper than local sheetrock. But guess what it did? It corroded metal items, like a home’s wiring! Or, as our picture shows, if a builder is using OSB on overhangs (a poorly advised money-saving trick), where else is he cutting corners? Some even opt, because they can, to use HALF as much steel in their foundations. On average, they save maybe a whopping $600 dollars, but again, when a builder is doing 200 homes a year, and he can save $10 on a doorknob, and you have on average 23 in a house, than he saves $46,000 in 1 year! Some construction companies hire an employee to figure out cheaper products to use to raise their profit margin, instead of being innovative and adding more value to the home as True Built Home endeavors to. As of this date 5/24/2013, we are the only builder that we know of that offers standard Electric Furnace Package, Real Wood Trim, and High End Faucets among our 3 major competitors. Check out our standards here.
3) “Interesting” house plans.
Don’t laugh, we get at least one of these a week. Followed by, “can you give us a price on how much this will cost?” Really?
There are hundreds of items to think about from the type of windows, siding, doors, knobs etc. Where to start?
People go to schools and colleges to learn how to design. If you think that you can do it on a napkin, or envelope, and get a fair bid or estimate, you are mistaken. Also, do you know the building code requirements for staircase width, tread and riser height? How many steps will it takes to reach a second floor and what is the minimum head clearance required for the stairwell? What about the layout of a kitchen? Kitchen design is a specialty field in itself and many people pay good money to go to school to become experts! One building company hired a computer geek to design their house plans, essentially because they didn’t want to pay for a designer. So, he designed a home plan and of course, forgot that behind the dryer is a dryer vent, which means that the dryer can only go so far back, which pushed the dryer out further than expected and so prevented the door from closing to the utility room! Other signs of poor design are off-centered windows, wrong door swings, misplaced dishwashers, etc. Too many people think they can design only to find out that, while living in the home, that they were wrong. Don’t be that person. At True Built Home, we have a designer who has real-world experience because he has framed and trimmed out homes, laid out kitchens, and knows all the subtleties and nuances of space and ergonomics.
4) Odd location
You found a great piece of dirt and it’s $20k. Except, it sits beside the city dump. Nothing against the dump, but if you build there, you may need to plan to stay there FOREVER.
5) Yea, if only
Building your home says a lot about you. If you build a house beside homes that are fancier, or not as fancy as yours, you have made the final 5th mistake. Again, this mistake may mean that you will forever live in this home, and I am not sure that the phrase “Forever Home” was meant to be applied like that.
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