Building a custom home offers many exciting possibilities, including working with a builder to bring your vision to life. Unlike buying an existing home, however, the process of starting from scratch has its own unique set of challenges. Taking time up-front to consider possible challenges and prepare for contingencies will help alleviate construction-related stress down the road.
We’ve identified the five more challenging aspects of building a custom home:
Understanding what goes into building a home–all the construction details, coordination and supervision, as well as labor and materials–can give you a better idea of why a custom home is likely to cost more than a production-built or existing home. Doing some research will prepare you for that first estimate. Keep in mind, however, there are ways to make a custom home fit your budget and still give you the individuality and personalization you desire.
Building a custom home takes time–six months to a year or more–so, patience is key here. Weather conditions, the availability of materials and labor force, as well as the size and complexity of the home can all create unanticipated delays that impact the construction timeline.
The idea of a custom home can give you the impression that you can have everything! The truth is, a successful project involves knowing your budget and sticking to it by establishing clear priorities. Choosing what stays in the plan and what goes can be difficult. Deciding early on what features and amenities are must-haves, which are nice-to-haves, and which are don’t-need-to-haves, will make the process smoother and minimize disappointments.
The upside of building a custom home is that you get to make all the decisions. The downside (if you want to call it that) is the sheer number of decisions to make. Staying focused and utilizing available resources (such as relying on the expertise of your builder and his or her design team) will make the process much easier and way less overwhelming. Nevertheless, the decisions are yours to make.
You’ve agreed on the total cost. You are comfortable with the amount you are willing and able to spend. Now it’s up to you to stick to the budget. In the process of building and finishing your home you will see many attractive, shiny objects and want to slip them into your must-haves list. Going over budget, however, does not make financial sense, is not realistically possible, and will make building and owning your beautiful new home an unnecessarily stressful and burdensome experience.
All these challenges are real, but you can overcome them by working with the right builder.