Building a custom home can be one of the most exciting things you will ever do. Home buying is a big step, and designing your perfect home is even more significant. You need to make sure that the home you are building is one that has excellent functionality and comfort rather than rushing or making the home building process more stressful than it needs to be.
Price Over Location
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when building their home is to choose the price of land over the location that they really want. Happiness should not be sacrificed for price. If your ideal location is out of your price range, you might be better off waiting a little longer and saving more money instead of purchasing land you don’t love.
Price Over Value
Price is important, but do not buy something because it is cheaper. If you need a big shower room sacrificing for a narrow space will only frustrate you. The same goes for things like which kitchen you choose. Do not try to cheap out on things that you really like or dreamed about having in your home. Consider saving more money or make a cut somewhere else.
Overspending is not good either. You do not need the top of the line of everything. If you are only going to use the guest bathroom once in a while, you do not need to make sure that it has all of the perks of your master bath or kitchen. Make a budget and stick to it. If something is over budget, find another area where you can make a cut but do not sacrifice quality.
Putting the baby’s room on the other end of the house is not a good idea. At 4 AM, you will hear crying and realize what a big mistake you made. You will want to make sure that your house fits your needs and that the layout is not more work than it is worth.
There is nothing worse than poor lighting. Cooking dinner in the dark is nearly impossible. Kitchens need more lights than the ones over the stove in the range hood. Likewise, super-bright bedroom lights may be annoying at 5 AM. Be sure that each room not only has adequate lighting but that the lighting is comfortable for the room. If you have a library or study, be sure that you can read by the light but that it is not too bright.
You will most likely have some HVAC system, but do not forget to consider vents, filters, and accessibility as a leaky duct system can have devastating effects on homeowners. You do not want to create more problems for yourself by not paying attention to your home layout in conjunction with the HVAC system. Consult an expert when planning this part of your home. Getting more than one opinion can be beneficial, as well.
Listening to Someone Else
While expert opinions are fantastic, and you should consult them on the things that you do not understand, listening to someone else over your own wishes is not the answer either. If marble countertops are on your wish list and they are within your budget, you should have them even if your mother hates them. Unless she is going to live with you and be doing most of the cooking, your home should not be built to suit her opinion. You can absolutely take their opinions into consideration but you should not build your house to suit someone else.
Not Enough Storage
One of the things people complain about the most is not having enough closets, cabinets, or storage space. Be sure that your home meets the needs that you have. If you want garage shelves, build them. If you have enough shoes to start your own store, you will need closet space. Consider these things when you are building your spaces. Also, consider what you may need in the future. If you are planning for children or grandchildren, be sure that you will have the space to store their items.
Even if you are not a chef, you will want to make sure that your kitchen has plenty of space. Many social gatherings revolve around food and a small kitchen can make entertaining difficult. Make sure that it is functional and has enough space to accommodate your future needs and wants.
Forgetting the Basement/Attic Spaces
Storage, extra spaces, new bedroom spaces, and game rooms can all be created out of basements and attics. Forgetting their functionality and access can limit your choices later. You should also take into consideration moisture and access to equipment such as water heaters, ductwork, and HVAC filters. Making these spaces inaccessible can hinder using the spaces to their full potential.
You must decide what you want from your home, but if it feels like you are making too many sacrifices, chances are that it is true. Never sacrifice what you want for price or someone else, but you should always pay attention to expenses and expert opinions. If you are building with your spouse, consider future needs and functions. You do not want to have to make significant renovations in five years because you did not consider building to accommodate future needs. What did you find was the most frustrating thing about building your custom home? Was it easy to do?
Elizabeth Shields is co-owner of house cleaning company HappyCleans. She is passionate about construction and interior design.