With the transition to work from home practices and generally more time spent at home due to the pandemic, custom home builders have recently picked up as many homeowners look to build luxury homes that feel like holiday homes.
If you’ve set out with good intentions and realistic expectations, the custom home building should be an exciting and gratifying experience, right? Unfortunately for some homeowners, this isn’t the case. To avoid running into pitfalls and having the result completely deviate from the original plan, we’ve discussed the 2 largest mistakes one can make when building a custom home and how you can avoid them.
1. Poor planning
Oftentimes homeowners design their dream home without ensuring that their plan and budget are in sync. The trick to avoid budget misalignment is to have your entire team assembled before the start of your project. Having an architect, interior design, and builder, onboard to discuss ideas and costs from the get-go is proven to be beneficial. If at any point your plan and budget are out of sync, the misalignment will be caught quickly and tweaked before your plans are finalised. Having a well-built team available to guide you on where to splurge, where to compromise, and how you can maximise the value of your home, can go a long way.
Another planning detail that custom homeowners overlook is the purpose the house serves. A handful of homeowners let the design of the house trump its practicality. Before finalising your custom home plans, a list of needs and wants should be incorporated to ensure your new abode accommodates your family’s lifestyle. As an example, if you work from home or have home-schooled children, a good plan should consider optimising the house for residential and work/study purposes.
Poor planning can also involve not fully understanding your building contract. Your building contract underpins everything that happens during the build process, so it is integral that you have a solid understanding of what it entails. Doing your due diligence instead of relying entirely on an external party is vital. The least every homeowner should do is have a sound understanding of what is and isn’t included in the build and who is responsible for completing tasks such as obtaining permits and council approvals. Not knowing these can delay the project which will result in extra costs.
The overall key to avoiding poor planning is to develop your plans step-by-step. Do not be afraid to discuss your plan with your design and build team – it is your home after all. If you have any questions or concerns at any stage of the process, raise them and ask for any adjustments that can help you finesse the plan to suit your needs better. Once you think the custom home plan is what you want, it is advisable to spend a few days to think it over before signing off, just to make sure you’re 100% happy.
2. Hiring the wrong custom home builder
Choosing the right custom home builder can be very tricky. Much like picking a spouse, you need to pick the right person for your ‘happily ever after’. Many builders just want quick money and there are also a handful of newer builders who are trying to break into the market. These builders may entice you with attractive price tags and packages that come with overambitious promises. However, the reality is they likely will not deliver the same standard of build as a well-established, experienced, and qualified builder. While price is important, you need to note that in the long run, you may spend more money and time on repairs or renovations from a poorly constructed custom home.
When hiring a custom home builder, experience and competence should be considered first. Doing proper research and checking builder profiles, reviews and credentials are key to pooling together a list of prospective builders for your project. Once a list is prepared, meeting your prospective builders, and ensuring you are both on the same page is crucial. Setting up appointments to thoroughly communicate your wants and needs and to see if they’re a good fit, can be extremely helpful.
It is also important to discuss the builder’s experience, expertise, and opinion on your plan. Builders who have a wealth of experience typically have more in-depth understandings of the entire process and have more established supplier relationships. You’ll want to pick a builder who is confident with your plan and can assure you get the best quality home within your budget.
Are you looking for custom home builders in Melbourne?
At S&B Lamble Builders, we live and breathe luxury custom homes. Our Melbourne-based custom home builders have experience with multiple custom home projects and have an extensive portfolio spanning more than 35 years.