Building your custom home: mistakes to avoid

Building your custom home can be a thrilling experience, but it can also be a challenging one. Designing and constructing a home requires careful planning and attention to detail, and there are many common mistakes people make during the process. Here’s what you need to know so you can avoid them and enjoy the process of creating your dream home. 

Not setting a realistic budget

One of the biggest mistakes people make when building a home is not setting a realistic budget. Building your custom home to your specifications can be expensive, and it’s important to understand how much money you have to work with before you start designing your home. Create a budget and stick to it, and make sure to include a contingency fund for unexpected costs. 

Not choosing the right builder

Another common mistake people make is not choosing the right builder. It’s important to do your research and choose a builder who has extensive experience building custom homes and is reputable in the industry. Don’t be afraid to check out their design centre and past work to ensure they are the right fit for your project. 


Overdesigning when building your custom home

While it’s tempting to go all out when designing a custom home, it’s important to remember that less is often more. Overdesigning can lead to unnecessary costs and can make your home feel cluttered and overwhelming. Focus on the elements that are most important to you and keep the design simple and elegant. 

Not considering the future

It’s also important to consider your future needs. Think about your family’s lifestyle and how it may change over time and design your home accordingly. For example, if you plan to have children in the future, make sure there are enough bedrooms and bathrooms to accommodate them. 

Not planning for storage

Storage is an often-overlooked aspect of home design, but it’s essential for keeping your home organized and clutter-free. Make sure to include ample storage space such as closets, cabinets and built-in shelving. Don’t forget to consider storage for outdoor equipment such as bikes and gardening tools. 


Neglecting energy efficiency

Energy efficiency is becoming increasingly important with home design, and it’s important to incorporate energy-saving features into your custom home. These can include extra-energy-efficient windows, upgraded insulation, low-flow fixtures, as well as renewable energy sources like solar panels. 

Building your custom home is an exciting and rewarding experience, but it’s important to avoid common mistakes that can lead to unnecessary stress and costs. By setting a realistic budget, choosing the right builder, keeping the design simple, planning for the future, considering storage and incorporating energy-efficient features, you can create a custom home that meets your needs and exceeds your expectations. 


About the Author

John Liptak

John Liptak is CEO and president of OakWood, an Ottawa-based, award-winning, fourth-generation family-run design & build business that was established in 1956.



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