Building a custom renovation may happen only once in a lifetime, which means mistakes have the potential to linger for years to come. What seems like a great decision today might not be as comfortable to live with later. And forgetting a major detail, such as installing a fireplace, can affect other elements of the project. Early planning is vital. You’ll want to set aside at least one month, and likely more time, for the planning process.


Amid your enthusiasm to get the project underway, be sure to allow plenty of time for brainstorming on your own, and with your custom home builder. The more details you iron out in advance, the less chance there’ll be for a hiccup later. Here are a few mistakes you can avoid so that your renovation runs as smoothly as possible.

Overlooking Built-in Furniture
Since you’re building from the ground up, you have the ability to design cabinetry in all shapes and sizes to fit any room and space of your choice. Custom cabinetry looks beautiful, is functional, and can be made with virtually any style and finish that you like. The following built-in units are popular: window seats, bookcases, storage, entertainment centers, bathroom vanity seating and storage, and custom kitchen and bath cabinetry.

Not Factoring in Delays
Every reputable builder strives to meet deadlines. If there’s anything certain in renovations, however, it’s that delays can easily happen for a variety of reasons, and they’re usually unpredictable.

Material and supply backorders are one of the most common reasons for a delay. The sooner the decisions are made about materials, the sooner your builder can order them. A good home builder should always factor in time for these types of decisions, as well as the necessary time for ordering and shipment. Weather is another potential issue that causes delays, but that one is harder to control.

Being Overwhelmed With the Details
Most luxury custom home renovations consist of myriad details. There are numerous choices that must be made up front and along the way. For example, the lighting schematic will depend greatly on how you plan to use the room. You’ll also need to choose fixtures and receptacle covers and decide whether to use CFL bulbs or LEDs in a cool, warm, or daylight temperature range.

The details can overwhelm some homeowners, but there’s a simple way to manage them: compartmentalize. Make a binder with sections, keep a computer file with different tabs, or just jot down notes in a segmented notebook. Use one section for each major decision. This way you won’t be distracted by floor covering options while trying to settle on the perfect cabinet hardware.

Forgetting About Green Practices
These days, green building isn’t a fringe concept. It’s more than just smart for the environment and cost efficient — building green can also be beautiful. Sustainable materials such as bamboo flooring can be warm and inviting. And exterior glass with high thermal stability, enhanced heat gain protection, and optimal thermal insulation values also comes with a unique aesthetic.

Lower energy consumption is, of course, a concern for most homeowners. There are several active and passive methods available for managing it. For example, an upgraded high-efficiency HVAC system can dramatically reduce energy consumption. So can carefully planned window placement and upgraded insulation.

Trading Dreams for ROI
It’s disappointing to watch a homeowner give up on a dream in exchange for something else that might ensure a higher ROI one day. Your home should be everything you want it to be. If that means an indoor playroom for the kids complete with ceiling-mounted swings and a basketball court, so be it. If you want a home office or a spa, there’s no reason to opt for something safer (ordinary) on the eventual resale end.

Resale return on investment might be important if you plan to sell in a year or two. But if you plan to stay in your new renovation or addition for several years, there’s no reason to let go of a dream studio, home gym, or game room that would be enjoyed every day.

Not Considering a Temporary Move
Homeowners who believe that living through a renovation is easy probably haven’t lived through one before. There are temporary sacrifices that go hand-in-hand with having even the best and most considerate work crew on site every day. If possible, consider renting a temporary home or even staying in a nice hotel for a while, at least through the major construction phase.

If a temporary move isn’t possible, try to create a zone inside your home where you and your family can forget about the project once in a while. Renovations are exciting, but they’re also labor-intensive and sometimes a bit noisy.

A new addition or renovation is one of the most monumental changes that you can make to your Fairfield County, CT, home. The decisions and details also make it one of the most challenging. Wright Building Company works closely with homeowners to get the big and small details right the first time. After all, you’re not just improving a house; you’re creating a lifestyle space.