Building a home is an exciting journey. Some people have dreamt of it for years; others have been saving for a decade.
Though rewarding, building a new home does come with its fair share of challenges. As experienced prefabricated home builders, we’ve built custom homes and helped many first-time builders through the process. These tips will help you to avoid many common mistakes when building your dream home.
1. Understand the Extent of the Planning Stage
The planning stage typically takes a minimum of six months. This includes planning your budget, drafting designs, and requesting permits. During this stage, most homeowners consult with an accountant or financial advisor about how much they can afford to spend and what the new home is likely to cost.
Visit the design center closest to you to choose a plan that suits your lifestyle and needs. Choosing the perfect model is an important step in building your dream home.
2. Think About What Your Space Needs Before Deciding on a Floor Plan
One very common mistake is planning for the short term. If you’re building your dream home from scratch, you likely plan to live in it for a while. This means that the space you need right now may not be what you need in ten years.
Consider how long you plan to stay in this home and how your life or needs might change during that time. Ask yourself:
- How many bedrooms do you need?
- Where do you spend the majority of your time when at home?
- Do you cook regularly?
- Do you work at home or do you need a home office?
- Do you have older children who will be moving out?
- What is the most convenient placement for laundry machines?
Long-term space planning can help keep your home functional as your lifestyle and needs change. If you anticipate many changes, multi-purpose rooms are a great option.
3. Select Your Lot Carefully
It’s possible that you already own your lot. If so, the building process will be more straightforward.
However, if you’re purchasing the land to build a home there, there are a few things to do to make the building process go much more smoothly:
- Don’t settle. The lot you choose will play a huge role in your home. Make sure that it’s the size, shape and view that you want.
- Of course, you’ll also want to consider the surrounding infrastructure. Are there grocery stores, good schools and attractions nearby?
- Be aware of land costs. Grading the lot, sewer, water and gas line connection all add up. Property taxes associated with your lot will also impact the cost of the project which could, in turn, impact your overall home build budget. Do your research to ensure your dream home is built on your dream lot.
4. Prepare for Delays and Possible Frustration
Home building is a big undertaking that involves many key players to see through. People tend to stress out when the build is delayed; however, delays are common and hard to avoid, especially if the construction phase overlaps with the colder months.
The weather may set construction back, as could transporting additional parts and materials to the site. We build our homes indoors at our plant in Wingham to avoid these delays entirely.
Another possible delay is the laying of the lot. You’ll also want to be sure to involve your builder or other experts when doing this. There are many rules, building restrictions and minimum requirements you’ll have to comply with and these could delay the process.
Planning for delays ensures that you will be pleasantly surprised should things go smoothly, which of course is the end goal.
Choose a Trusted Builder
Perhaps the most important step of all. Choose a local builder who knows the land, local suppliers, and reputable subcontractors. You can ask builders where they’ve built homes previously and get a good sense of their expertise.
Be sure to ask your builder all of the questions you may have and write them down as they come to mind. A good builder should be open and honest and should not hesitate to answer any of your questions.
Building a home takes a lot of work, but it’s one of the most rewarding experiences there is. In the end, your effort is rewarded with a customized home that’s personalized exactly to your lifestyle and design preferences.
If you’re interested in building a prefabricated home or cottage in Ontario, contact us to learn more about how to get started.