5 Common Mistakes Clients Make When Designing a Custom House

5 Common Mistakes Clients Make When Designing a Custom House

Many people dream for years about building a custom home. Without a doubt, building your dream home has to be one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do. However, building a home has a lot of challenges, and mistakes can be time-consuming and costly to fix. Therefore, it’s best to avoid mistakes in the first place.

Let’s go over the five common mistakes many people make when they design a custom home.

Selecting Your Lot

When you’re looking for land to build a home, there are a few things you should do for a successful build. The building site you ultimately choose will play a key role in building your home. You need to make sure the land is suitable to build on, and that you like the size, the views, and the surrounding neighborhood. Will the lot need a lot of grading? Building things like a long driveway and connecting to city utilities can all add up. Likewise, the costs of building an off-grid home can add up quickly.

You should also need to take into account the surrounding infrastructure. Will you be able to hook up to the utilities, or will you need to go off-grid? Is it close enough to buy groceries and other necessities? Are the health care services you need nearby? You need to factor in everything, before you spend any money on land.

Hiring a Contractor or Being Your Own Contractor

Many who wish to build a home choose to be their own contractor. While being your own contractor can save money, it’s not always the smart choice.

Before you choose to be your own contractor, decide whether you can:

Evaluate building plans for possible problems.
Accurately estimate the cost of labor and materials.
Obtain building permits.
Hire and schedule subcontractors and labor.
Order building materials and schedule deliveries.

If all this overwhelms you, hiring a contractor would be a smart move. A contractor can handle everything.

Imagine Your Space Needs Before You Design Your Floor Plan

If you’re designing and building a custom home, you’ll want to live in it for a while, and your space needs may change over time. For example, you may have more children, or, are your children almost grown, and ready to move out?

Consider how many bedrooms you will need, as well as possible guest rooms. Do you entertain a lot? Then you may need enough space to throw parties. Also, think about how much you cook, in order to design the right kitchen. Make sure you have enough closet and storage space. Carefully consider your lifestyle needs before settling on a floor plan.

Make Your Changes During the Design Phase, Not During Construction

Making changes during construction are much more complicated and expensive than making changes during the design phase. You’ll minimize the number of changes if you carefully consider the plan during the design phase. Take the time to tour houses similar to the one you have planned, and visualize what your finished house will look like, and any adjustments you’ll need to make.

What Design Features Are Really Important

You’ll need to decide where you can save money, and what to really spend money on. For example, do you really need a marble floor? Or would a marble countertop in your gourmet kitchen be a better investment? You’ll also want to consider investing in energy-efficient features, such as superior insulation and energy-efficient appliances.


It’s a good idea to make a list of all the features and amenities you want in a home, then to prioritize them. List everything from the type of flooring and windows you like, to the appliances and the building materials. While you don’t want to go overboard on fancy upgrades, you also want to build a quality home that will be a pleasure to live in.

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