6 common home building mistakes
1 Not hiring the right experts
Architects are qualified like lawyers and doctors, they go through university, sit exams and do years of apprenticeships to gain their licenses – they are the most qualified to work on the plans for your home. Not hiring an experienced and qualified architect can cost you when the plans are not shaping up to be what you want and need. In most cases, custom-designed homes require the services of a licensed architect.
2 Trying to do it yourself
Going it alone and not hiring an experienced professional to project manage our build initially looks like it will save you money but could end up costing you money and be disastrous. Since you have no knowledge of the industry you could get stuck with duds, scammers and rogue tradesmen. Someone who has been in the business for several years and has weeded out the good, the bad and the ugly can help make your home build less risky.
Ron Safapour, a Toronto architect and homebuilder who has been in the business for 10 years, says, 'I have been around a long time and I know who are the best contractors to hire for every house I build. Knowing reliable, skilled tradesmen who have outstanding craftsmanship is key to getting a project right. A person trying to do this for the first time has a disadvantage, hiring an expert costs more up front but is probably going to save time, money and headaches in the end.'
3 Making changes after building plans are finalised
Once the architect gets the engineer's seal of approval (to make sure it is all structurally sound) any changes made after that can throw the whole project off and trigger a domino effect of problems and costs. For example, wanting to move a doorway, may sound simple but the current position could be supporting a beam which if moved would mean that this part of the house would need to be fitted with an alternative support. In this case, the engineer may need to revise drawings to accommodate the change – which adds up in time and cost.
Make sure your planning sessions with your architect produce a plan that is exactly what you want and need in terms of space and layout for your new home. Do not start the build unless you are completely sure of what is laid out on paper.
4 Cutting corners
Even if you are working within a tight budget cutting corners on design and materials does not make economical sense to. Do not cut corners on the fundamentals of your build such as bricks, roof tiles and windows because you want to save money for that fabulous kitchen table imported from Sweden. If hiring tradesmen on your own do not cut back on labour costs. High quality workmanship comes at a price and leads to a higher value property and a better built home.
5 Paying up front
Paying builders in advance is another common mistake. If a builder does not trust you enough to start work without cash up-front, you should not trust them either. Set up terms and pay when different stages of the work are completed.
6 Not planning your budget realistically
Going over budget happens in all aspects of our lives. In any situation whether it is going on holiday or organising a wedding having a budget with a contingency is a must. The same applies to a new house build. Make sure your budget is as detailed as possible. Finding out other people's build costs can also be an excellent guide.