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Home Build prep guide



3 Things to Keep in Mind When Building a House

Published on:


written by:

Carrie Barker


As you can imagine, building a home can be a *little bit* overwhelming. Maybe you’re still just dreaming about building or maybe you’re already in the thick of it and the overwhelm is starting to creep in. Either way, there are 3 things I want you to keep in mind when building a house. 

In this episode, we’re going to talk about what you *might* experience emotionally while you’re building and it’s not going to feel great … but that’s OK. 

These are thoughts that we all have, so don’t beat yourself up about it.

I’m hopeful that if you keep these 3 things in mind (and know that they’re perfectly normal), you’ll feel more confident that you CAN get through your home build. 

Believe me, you WILL make it to the other side … and I’m here to help you get there.

Listen on APPLE or SPOTIFY

This post is focused more on your mindset when it comes to your home build. 

If you’re looking for concrete advice and tips when building, no worries … head to my blog or binge on my podcast episodes because you’ll find a ton of highly actionable tips.

However, I do encourage you to first read this post because chances are, you’re going to experience everything we talk about below.

Ok, let’s do it … let’s talk about the 3 things to keep in mind while you’re building your house. 


1 | YOUR HOME WON’T BE PERFECT (but that’s OK!)

The first thing to keep in mind is that your house is not going to be perfect while you’re building and when you’re done (and that’s OK).

It’s a big misconception when building a house that everything will be ‘perfect’. 

I’m guilty of assuming this too. 

I honestly thought that everything would be installed perfectly and the house would be squeaky clean when it was done. I thought I could just move my stuff right in and not have to clean. 

Well … that was NOT true! 


Your builder might have a cleaning crew come through (mine did), but no one cleans a house like a homeowner cleans a house. 

I had to spend a day or so going through the entire house and cleaning out cabinets, rewashing floors, wiping fingerprints off of cabinets, etc.

So … no, everything won’t be clean and perfect, but it’s still much better than cleaning up after previous homeowners if you buy a pre-owned house ;).


I also thought all of my trim work would be blemish-free (nope – there were cracks).

I thought all the door and cabinet hardware would be perfectly installed (nope – it wasn’t all perfectly placed).

There were even some fixture installations that I wanted to tear out and start over (but I couldn’t because because of the budget).

However, I do have one caveat.

Obviously, you won’t be able to tear everything you don’t love out and start over, BUT if there is something that’s installed in a way that you will never be able to accept, go ahead and have it redone. 

I have two examples of things from my house.

The first was our breakfast nook pendant. It was not centered with our table and I knew that would always bother me, so I had our electrician move the pendant to center it over the table. 

He wasn’t happy, but I’m much happier that it’s centered over our kitchen table.

The second thing is our fireplace tile surround. 

I was not at the house when the tile guys laid it and they laid our fireplace tile in a weird geometric pattern that I absolutely hated. 

As soon as I saw it, I had them rip it out and retile our fireplace in a pattern I chose.

There were other minor things that I considered changing such as tile grout in the bathrooms, but these other things weren’t huge issues and I knew I could live with them so it wasn’t worth the added expense to tear them out.


Although things weren’t perfect in my house (and they won’t be in yours either), I do have some good news. 

As soon as we moved our furniture into the house and started actually living in our new house, all of the ‘blemishes’ and ‘messiness’ and ‘uncertainty’ no longer were even on my radar (and I am a ‘perfectionist’)

I was just SO happy to be living in the house that I no longer paid attention to the negatives. 

They didn’t even pop out at me.

I was so focused on what I loved about my new house that I didn’t even notice the other stuff.

And this will happen to you too.


The second thing to keep in mind is that there is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ decision.

I know my fellow ‘perfectionists’ out there are cringing at this statement! 

However, it’s true that there are no ‘perfect’ decisions when building a home (and in life in general, to be honest 😉).

Feel free to take a little pressure off of yourself and give yourself permission to make imperfect decisions when it comes to selecting design finishes for your home.

I truly believe that there are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers when designing your house. 

My best advice is to make selections based on what YOU love and don’t overthink it. 

Get the information you need (pros, cons, pricing, etc.) and make a decision with your gut. 

Then move on to the next decision.

Psst … wanna build a house you absolutely LOVE (without blowing your budget)? I’ll teach you how in my FREE on-demand training. Grab your (virtual) seat here!


The third thing to keep in mind when building is that you might feel like giving up at times.

I’m not gonna lie … building a home is stressful and I imagine that every single person going through this process wants to give up at some point. 

I know that I did. Many times.

Just *know* that this feeling might come to you … but it will also pass. 

I always say that building a home is like pregnancy and childbirth. It’s stressful and it kinda sucks at times, but it is SO worth it in the end when you get to hold your brand new baby (or move into your brand new home) 😉.

Just like pregnancy and childbirth, you WILL get through this. Just keep moving forward. One small step at a time.


Okay, so there you have it … 3 things to keep in mind when building.

  1. Your home won’t be perfect (but that’s OK!)
  2. There is no such thing as a *perfect* decision
  3. You might feel like giving up at times

I hope that simply keeping these 3 things in mind while building your house will give you some encouragement and relief that it’s all going to work out just fine. 

It’s okay to loosen up on your perfectionism standards (with your home and life in general) just a little bit because this puts WAY too much pressure on you to make the ‘perfect’ decisions.

And if you want someone to walk along beside you, I’m a Home Build Coach (a term I created … that’s why you’ve never heard it before … haha).

My mission is to help YOU confidently build a home that you absolutely love and is designed perfectly for the way YOUR family lives … it’s also my mission to help you save money while building so that you end up within (or very close to) your home build budget.

I do this through my group coaching program called ‘Before You Build’.

Click here to learn more about how this program can completely transform your home-build experience

  1. Monica Redekoll says:

    Thank-you Carrie for this post – especially telling us that no decision is perfect! This gives us permission to go with our heart and not stress out about it. This has been a fun process but the second guessing is taking that fun out of it. Thanks for putting me back on track! Your posts have been life savers in this process along with all your amazing resources.

  2. Monica Redekopp says:

    Thank-you Carrie for this post – especially telling us that no decision is perfect! This gives us permission to go with our heart and not stress out about it. This has been a fun process but the second guessing is taking that fun out of it. Thanks for putting me back on track! Your posts have been life savers in this process along with all your amazing resources.

  3. Wendy Brandon says:

    This was utterly perfect timing!! I needed to read this today. I had forgotten how draining building is (and during covid and shortages to add to the pain). I have been telling everyone the same thing about pregnancy and how it was the best way to describe the process. You just have to laugh sometimes at the things that happen 😆

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I designed my own custom home from the ground up, inside and out. A home that is cozy, comfy, laid out perfectly for the way my family lives, and makes us happy every single day. Oh, and did I mention I did this all without blowing the budget?! 

Yep, it’s true. I’ve been there, done that, and actually lived through it … and you will too. Pinkie promise!

a.k.a. Caroline on Design

I’m Carrie Barker.

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