A great home is the result of great preparation. As you delve into the home building process, be prepared to confront some difficult dilemmas. Unexpected problems may pop up. Timelines may go awry. Details may be forgotten. The magnitude and complexity of the project require a lot of time, effort, and creativity on your part. So today, we’re going to help you prepare for the unexpected by presenting you with a list of common home building mistakes. Read through them and discuss them with your family and your contractor so that you can make your new home as perfect as possible.
Common Home Building Mistakes
1. A thoughtlessly planned HVAC system. Without forethought, you could end up with an HVAC system that causes huge problems (moisture, mold, mildew) or heats and cools inefficiently (consuming far too much energy). This is one of the biggest home building mistakes because it affects your energy consumption, your home’s health, and your daily comfort. Plus, an enormous renovation would be required to fix it.
2. A lack of storage space. When designing a new home, most of us spend a lot of time thinking about the living space. We know how big we’d like our bedroom to be and what sort of layout we’d like in the kitchen, but we don’t give much thought to the closets, cabinets, and hidden storage space that will house all of our belongings. Give yourself a lot of extra room when it comes to storage.
3. Neglecting to think long-term. Don’t design only for the family you have now. Think about how your family might expand and shrink in the future and estimate how long you will live in this home. So, for example, design children’s bedrooms that can be converted into different kinds of rooms (offices, gyms, libraries, craft rooms). And if you’re nearing old age, you might want to keep your laundry room and a bedroom on the main floor, in case mobility becomes an issue in your future.
4. Spending money on rooms that are rarely used. People often get carried away when designing their home. Suddenly they want to build all sorts of speciality rooms—game rooms, music rooms, gyms, home theaters. These spaces could be really awesome, I’ll admit, but only if you will get a lot of use out of them. Don’t spend thousands of extra dollars creating a gym that you’ll use once in a blue moon.
5. Badly placed rooms. This sounds obvious but many people do place rooms in odd and inconvenient places, so we must include this as one of the biggest home building mistakes. Don’t place your bedroom above the garage or beside the kitchen (too noisy!). Don’t place your laundry room in the basement if your bedroom’s upstairs (too many stairs!). Don’t place the kitchen far from a main entrance (too far to lug groceries!). Carefully decide the location of each room in your house using plain old common sense.
6. Hiring an inexperienced or unreliable contractor. Before you throw your money into a new house, be sure that you’ve found the best person to build that house. Ask your friends for contractor recommendations. Scour the Internet for reviews. This is an enormous project, so you need to find someone who can handle home building mistakes with patience, care, and a good attitude.
We can’t promise perfection, but if you keep these common home building mistakes in mind (and work to avoid them), you’re off to a good start!
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