Are you about to build a new home, and believe you’ve covered everything during your research? Think again! It’s more than likely that with the vast number of items on your list to consider, there are some potential issues you’ve forgotten to investigate.
When it comes to designing and building a house, it’s important to look at your new home from a variety of angles. Consider things like both your current and future lifestyle, as well as the likelihood of an expanding family. Do you like to entertain on a regular basis, or do you need plenty of space for an ample home office or lots of guest accommodation? Can you really afford the type of house you’re planning to build, and do you feel confident with the contractor you have chosen?
Make sure you take your time during the planning phase so that you can avoid many of the potential pitfalls of new-home construction. Read on for five common problems you can avoid.
Carefully Choose Your Lot
Considering that most people stay in a newly-built home for years, if not decades, you can imagine that it’s essential to select the right house site. If you’re going to be living in a home for a long time, you want to feel confident that the location and aspect is suitable. To start with, consider both the suburb and the street that you’re buying into. Factor in things such as the potential appreciation value over time, the security of the area, and the closeness to any necessary facilities.
When it comes to choosing a particular house site, don’t forget to consider the size of the block and any potential pitfalls to its construct — for example, when considering more affordable yet smaller home sites, you might want to look at narrow house plans that make it easier to build on a smaller lot. Consider factors such as the site’s elevation and any easements on the block as well.
Make Sure Your Financing Is Ready
Building a new home is stressful at the best of times, so minimize any further issues by ensuring your financing is ready long before you begin construction. The more organized you are with your budget and home/construction loan, the easier the whole process will generally be. Remember that a new home can take anywhere between 4-6 months to build (often much longer if there are delays due to the weather or contractors), so make sure you have access to the funds you need over this time. It’s also imperative that you plan your budget realistically and factor in contingencies for unforeseen costs.
Select the Right Builder
Another crucial element of building a new home is choosing the builder that’s right for you. Many people run into trouble because they select an unreliable or untrustworthy builder that leaves them with many regrets.
Remember that often high-quality workmanship comes at a price, and this is an area where you really don’t want to skimp. Choose a builder that has a great reputation for completing projects to budget and within timelines, and don’t be afraid to ask for plenty of references. Since you will be dealing with this person for many months, you want to make sure that you feel comfortable interacting with them and trust their ability to deliver on promises.
Cater to Your Current and Future Needs
Another area where homeowners can tend to get stuck is not planning the design of their home well enough. When you’re choosing house plans, take into account not just your family’s current needs, but the future ones as well.
For example, if you don’t currently have children but are planning on adding to your family, ensure you include enough bedrooms and living space in your home design to cater to the extra size. Similarly, if you are getting on in age and may not be able to climb stairs or get around so well in the future, consider designing a single-level home, and potentially even adding ramp access for a wheelchair.
Ensure Careful Placement of Rooms and Windows
In a similar vein, the placement of rooms and windows to suit your family’s needs is the key. Many people run into trouble because they don’t include enough windows or skylights to create ample natural light in their home.
Others realize all too late that the placement of a garage away from the kitchen means regular traipsing of heavy grocery bags through the house; or that the placement of a bedroom at the front of the home, or over a garage, can lead to sleepless nights.
Weigh all of these factors when you’re planning your new home and you’re sure to save yourself many gray hairs.