dark mode light mode Search

4 Survival Tips for First-Time Home Builders

Exterior view of a newly built house

When given the choice many families are attracted to the idea of building a home rather than buying one. And there are indeed many great reasons to choose to build your forever home from scratch. However, if you’ve never taken on such a complex project before, there are a few important things you should consider. Here are some tips everyone should keep in mind when considering building a home.

1. Expect additional expenses

At face value, the cost of building a house seems straightforward. You just take the cost of the materials, add in the cost of labor, and the final sum is what you’ll pay, right? Wrong.

Contractors and salesmen may try to convince you otherwise, but the truth is that there are always unexpected costs when building a house. Both work days and materials will be lost due to human error and weather issues. The price of materials will change, plans will need to be adapted, and many more issues can — and probably will — appear.

How much you should budget for that kind of problem will depend on the complexity of the project at hand. But any contractor who tries to tell you there will be no unexpected costs is a contractor you should avoid.

2. Choose a reputable contractor

Switching teams after you’ve broken ground on your construction site can lead to a big loss in funds and time. It’s better to make sure you get it right the first time. 

Yes, hiring experienced and qualified contractors can be expensive, but if you can’t fit that cost into your budget, you are probably better off postponing the project until you have the funds to do so. Trying to cut costs by hiring less-than-ideal workers can backfire hard.

The risk is even greater when you consider that many construction mistakes are not readily apparent. A problem with the house’s structure may only appear 2 – 3 years after the house is delivered, requiring immediate attention and expensive repairs.

 Kitchen with island and iron pendant light fixture

3. Consider maintenance needs

Research is a must when you’re trying to put together a dream home. You’ll want to check not only how much certain design ideas would cost and how hard they’ll be to build but also how hard and costly they’ll be to maintain.

Ongoing maintenance needs and costs are something that hopeful home builders often fail to consider. And there are plenty of design ideas that look great on social media but may cost hundreds or thousands of dollars in maintenance every year.

There are also solutions out there that can make certain chores much easier for residents. For example, residential epoxy flooring and other concrete flooring solutions are often much easier to maintain than carpets or hardwood. And concrete floors come in all sorts of fancy styles, as this website showcases.

4. Plan for future expansion

If you truly want your forever home to be your home forever, then it’s important to plan for future growth. Adding a new wing to the house or expanding into a second floor can allow your house to accommodate your family as it grows and its needs change. And it is a good idea to make sure such expansions are possible without needing to tear down the house and start from scratch.