Happy Homes: Tips for a Smooth Construction Process
Is it possible to build a new home and not be completely overwhelmed by the process? While we can’t promise every moment from initial property purchase to final walk-through will be entirely stress-free, there are some steps homeowners can take in order to stay sane, on schedule, and within the budget!
- Plan and plan again: It’s always easier to make changes to an in-progress design plan rather than a finished or partially completed home. That means being patient with the drafting, design, and permitting process is essential to stress-free construction.
Plan for several rounds of revisions with your architect and contractor to ensure the design actually meets your needs. For example, if your architect’s typical design plans place secondary or guest bedrooms upstairs, but you know grandparents or elederly family members are planning on moving in with you after retirement, it’s worth adjusting the initial plans to improve accessibility.
While it can be tempting to rush through the planning process in order to get started on construction right away, the more you perfect and plan, the easier it will be to move forward once the building actually begins.
- Don’t over-customize or overbuild. A larger home isn’t always better— but it is always more expensive. If you don’t really need the extra en suite bathroom or second living room, it’s worth it to save your money and avoid potential stress. It’s also worth remembering that every extra room not only comes with a host of additional costs, but additional and decisions as well: everything from fixtures and lighting to flooring, trim, and windows. These costs add up quickly and can contribute to major decision fatigue, resulting in extra spaces that are often unused once the home is finished.
Overbuilding also refers to over-customizing your home and adding specialty items or features that rarely add significant utility or value to the home. Specialty cupboards made for your favorite coffee maker, overly elaborate in-home media rooms, or even niche technology that won’t appeal to a broader audience or will be outdated quickly all hurt your budget while providing little return on investment. And while many homeowners build a home expecting it to be a “forever house,” most do end up moving at some point, and an over-customized house is always much harder to sell.
- Pick the right team. Each member of your construction team plays a critical role in building a home. From the architect and designer to the contractor and subcontractors, take the extra time to check references, get bids, and tour past projects whenever possible. And always remember that the cheapest option isn’t always the best option, but neither is the most expensive. Past work, industry repudiation, and a willingness to communicate regularly are much better indicators of professionalism and quality.
Need help assembling the perfect team to create your dream home? We can help. Consider us your go-to resource for connecting with the best architects, draftsmen, and designers on Oahu. Got a design plan ready but worried about the permitting process? Our network of third-party reviewers can help expedite the process. From budgeting resources and free estimates to design plans and revisions, building your home is a team effort. Contact us today to get started!
Previous posts in the Happy Homes series: