What began as a leisurely Saturday afternoon spent looking at models of homes quickly became a complete commitment to build a house. This is how my husband and I transformed from being a couple with looky-loos to building a house in the span of one year. It’s now a hilarious story we share when we talk to family and friends. However, during the process, there was another story to tell. In hindsight, however, is 20/20.
When we first started our home construction, we were young with all of the enthusiasm that we could muster but it wasn’t enough to save us from the risks of creating a house. What would I do differently? Absolutely it wouldn’t. Should I alter the number of closets for linen in my house? Absolutely. After more than a decade in our custom-built home there are certain things I’d like to have known at the time we built our home.
Here are 10 tips you can take from my experience in hope that your building goes with a bit more ease.
1. Your schedule is a reference point.
The construction took place over the course of a whole year. At first we were optimistic, but our contractor provided us with a much more precise timelineand we were hoping to finish the job in just nine months. Naturally, what believed was a definite and measurable plan was really just an undefined plan. Weather conditions, construction issues and scheduling contractors meant that the timeline was not our responsibility. I would have understood that the schedule was dependent on every circumstance within the guidelines. In terms of the things to consider when building an house, understanding that your ideal plan may not be able to come through is the first thing on the list.
2. Design your future with a futuristic look.
When we were 21 and 25 my husband and I were not experienced. This was evident when we designed our home. We couldn’t even think about what living with children could be like. However, we had three kids over 10 years. The things which worked well for our non-child couple may not work in the present. Our home was designed using “right now” in mind however, the design would’ve worked much better to have a fiveor 10 year view.
3. Do the final touches before you move in.
It may seem to be a common advice, but as you’re at the conclusion of a lengthy build and you’re ready to move into the house. Plans to finish your basement or landscaping your backyard appear less important when they hold the date of your move-in. However, I would have liked to finish everything prior to moving in because the last few things required years of work to complete. When you have contractors already in place it’s much simpler to complete projects today rather instead of having them come back later. Be determined and complete all those little tasks completed prior to your first night at home.
4. Create a plan for storage.
Nobody is that enthusiastic to think about their storage spaces. A lot of attention is paid to finishing the master bath and the details of cabinetry. However, homeowners who were surveyed the majority would prefer more storage space rather than, for instance, a larger bathtub. I wish I had known that storage is a prime piece of space in a house. The planning for storage isn’t always the most thrilling part of the process, but it can have an enormous impact on your life and how you organize in the future. Make it a priority of your thoughts when planning and building your home.
5. Researchers and contractors.
The roofing professional and gave him a large payment before he’d be onto our land. Rookie mistake. The contractor escaped with the money and we never heard from the guy once more. In retrospect, we haven’t done our homework or conducted a thorough research on all our vendors. In some instances we were lucky however we could have sought out referrals and feedback prior to working in the first place with contractors. This could have helped us save time and money in the end.
6. The king of sweat equity is sweat equity.
My husband is a fan of telling guests at the house about me grouting our bathroom tile when I was nine months pregnancies with our very first child. At the time, I believed it was cruel and a bizarre punishment, but I’m thankful to have the sweat equity we poured into our home. It wasn’t just a cost-saving method; it also assisted in making the process more quickly, too. As opposed to waiting around for the contractors squeeze our schedules it was possible to work on our own and do some of the tasks by ourselves. Don’t be afraid to let some tasks to experts (no self-plumbingplease!) But don’t hesitate to join in and lend a hand wherever you are able to.
7. Put money into fixtures.
It was hard to determine what to do with the money when building a brand new home. There were plenty of stylish things I’d have preferred spending money for – decorative pillows perhaps? However, ultimately it was best to buy fixtures. They are the elements of your house that stay for a long time, regardless of how you decide to change the décor. With the help of better-quality fixtures and fixtures, we’ve been able change out the finishes and colours to refresh the home without having to make massive adjustments or even repairs.
8. Go neutral.
If you asked the husband or me what the biggest design regrets regarding the home is, we’d each say, “The dark green.” We utilized two-toned paint throughout our house, using dark, mossy, dark green on the bottom, and neutral beige on the top. The beige has lasted beautifully however, we’ve also put up with the green. It was great for a couple of years and then when it was time to revamp the decor it was a massive task. I would have preferred to have chosen more neutral colours and rearranged accents, instead of having a particular color throughout the house. I’m not even able to tell you the amount we’ve spent on primer and paint to make up for our errors.
9. You’ll be spending your own money.
We were fortunate enough to get an Construction loan which meant that everything was taken care of. However, we didn’t take into account the things we’d need to pay out of pocket on the route. We could make cash advances to the bank for the wall or foundation however, visits in the store to purchase screws or sandpaper for a dime cost a lot. If we look back the past, having a contingency fund to cover construction costs would have eased many headaches.
10. It’s stressful, but it’s also rewarding.
The information you’ve heard about building relationships affects your relationships is accurate. It’s a common make the joke that if you’re able construct a house together there’s nothing that can break your marriage. Instead of just choosing an existing house it’s a never-ending struggle between desires, needs and compromises. You can easily let anxiety consume you, particularly when debating the benefits of flooring layouts. If you keep the principal goal in the forefront that is a house in which you can live and grow, as well as love it’s much easier to discern the most important things. Select your top three problems and then expect to compromise on other options. My husband and me often discuss building again. One thing is that we’ve gained so much knowledge so that the next build won’t be as difficult. However there’s something wonderful about living in a house you’ve built from a single piece of scratch paper into the structure of your dreams and memories. It’s not for the weak of heart and for those who are courageous enough to tackle this challenge, the benefits are incalculable.