When homeowners begin the process of building a new home from the ground up, they often fear the unknown. The process can involve pitfalls, but with some preparation you can take several steps to ensure it moves along smoothly. One of the most important things that you can do is learn from, and avoid, common mistakes that are often made when building a custom home.

Common Mistakes


#1: Hiring the Wrong Contractor
The right building contractor knows the industry and building process in depth. They also have the right connections, they understand how to purchase materials, and they’ve developed strong working relationships with quality subcontractors.

Hiring the wrong contractor, on the other hand, can lead to financial consequences and major schedule issues. Watch out for contractors who seem too good to be true, and avoid those who won’t listen to you or take your concerns seriously. Your contractor should have experience building high-end luxury homes, additions, and renovations. These are complex structures. Building them the wrong way can lead to major problems down the line. Also, it probably goes without saying that if a contractor avoids questions about licensing and other basic credentials, they should probably be avoided.

#2: Acting as Your Own General Contractor
Some homeowners consider acting as their own general contractor, with the idea that it will save them money. The truth is that it can actually cost you in the long run. Contracting a home construction job, particularly on luxury home projects in Fairfield County, CT, can be extremely time-consuming and complicated. Experienced, licensed contractors realize pricing breaks for materials, and they know the best architects, engineers, and subcontractors. Hiring yourself can almost be as detrimental to the success and budget as hiring an unscrupulous contractor.

The reality of being your own general contractor will mean getting up early, answering calls all day nearly every day, and finding, scheduling, and managing all of the subcontractors. Building a house, even with a GC, can be stressful for homeowners. Adding this extra level of stress and responsibility tends to be too much for most individuals. Hiring the right contractor will mean the job is done right — and that it is finished on time and on budget.

#3: Not Hiring an Architect
Another common mistake is building a luxury house without an architect or building plans. Although that’s unimaginable for some, it is more common than you may think. Most people will have a general idea of what they want in a home and think it’s as easy as sketching out ideas on paper. This approach can lead to budget overruns as additional work typically ends up being needed as a result of poor planning and execution. For example, you probably have a vision for your family room or kitchen, but how will the HVAC system be accounted for? Homeowners probably aren’t considering critical factors that will come into play — such as a bank of windows that will end up providing passive solar heat gain. This will affect where the HVAC vents should be positioned in the room.

#4: Ineffective Space Planning
Some of the most interesting and beautiful homes don’t use space very well. For example, if the kitchen is too far removed from the front door or garage, you’ll end up lugging groceries a lot farther than needed. The same rule applies if the laundry room is too far from the bedrooms.

Good space planning is vital in new construction. Without it, some homeowners find themselves remodeling and planning additions soon after they move in. With an experienced, trusted builder and architect, you’ll be able to effectively plan the traffic flow, closet sizes, room locations, and even the best place to build the garage.

Mistakes are bound to happen in any build or remodel, but they don’t have to cause a major disruption to your life or the finished product. When you plan effectively for your next home construction job, the results will speak volumes.