YOU’RE BUILDING A HOME AND YOU ARE WORRIED ABOUT THE TYPICAL THINGS … budget, making the right decisions, trying to pick finishes from (ridiculously) small samples, etc. All of these are all valid concerns … but there’s more! There are MANY other things you won’t even realize you NEED to think about until you are in the build process or just beyond! Don’t worry … I’m sharing 9 things I WISH I had known before building a house! Some of these are a *little* odd!!
1. GET A PORTA POTTY (!)
Did that get your attention?! I am VERY serious about this recommendation! Guess what happens when you don’t have a porta potty (or whatever you call it in your city)?? Subcontractors might use your sump pump as a urinal! (I wish I could insert the big eyeballs emoji here!)
This happened during my home build … unfortunately I had no idea until I started smelling the evidence. GROSS! Learn from my own #homebuildfail!
2. VISIT YOUR WORKSITE DAILY
It is very time consuming to visit your home build site daily (especially if you live in a different city like I did), BUT if you want things done correctly, you NEED to oversee installs!
If you aren’t on-site to direct electricians and other subcontractors, they will make the decisions for you. You do NOT want that! This is precisely how I ended up with an un-centered breakfast nook pendant! Ugh!
3. THINGS THAT BOTHER YOU DURING YOUR BUILD WILL BECOME A DISTANT MEMORY
Once you have furniture in your home, you will no longer be laser focused on the imperfections (e.g. a small crack in your wood flooring). There WILL be imperfections (lots of them, in fact) in your new home and this is totally NORMAL!
We all assume a new home will be perfect, but it won’t (unfortunately)! The good news is that the imperfections won’t be as blaringly obvious once you furnish your home! Honestly, you’ll be SO thrilled that the build process is behind you that you won’t even WANT to fix the imperfections anymore!
4. YOU WILL (MOST LIKELY) GO OVER SOME ALLOWANCES
This is a tip that I’m sure you’ve heard before! I’m not saying you have to go significantly over budget (we didn’t!), but you will most likely go over some allowances. We far exceeded our appliance allowance, but were under budget on cabinets so it all worked itself out!
Just be prepared to go over budget a bit when building a home. You can read more about how my husband and I stayed *close to* budget HERE.
5. YOUR HOUSE WILL APPEAR SMALLER THAN EXPECTED DURING THE FRAMING STAGE
During the framing stage, my husband and I got a little nervous. We had conversations about whether or not our family room and bedrooms were big enough. They looked TINY at this stage!
Thankfully, our builder reassured us that this is NORMAL! It’s some kind of optical illusion, but once the drywall goes up, you’ll feel MUCH better about your room dimensions! PROMISE!
6. YOU WILL SPENDS LOTS OF MONEY ON WINDOW COVERINGS
Make sure to include room in your budget for window coverings! Even the most basic (inexpensive) window coverings can ADD UP when you are dealing with an entire home of windows! Be prepared to spend several thousand dollars on blinds or shades (YIKES).
7. YOU’LL ALSO SPEND LOTS OF MONEY ON YOUR YARD
Your yard will be a blank slate when you move in. I recommend sodding your entire yard if you can. We planted grass seed in our backyard and it took three years (and three planting seed tries) before our yard finally looked plush!
The good news is that you can do your landscaping in stages! You can budget this out over several years … and you can do most of the work yourself to save money!
8. YOUR (GORGEOUS) TRIM WORK WILL CRACK
This really made me sad (bc I have a TON of trim work in my home)! I had NO idea how much cracking would occur when my home ‘settled’. I do live in a climate with extreme temp variations and high humidity so I think this makes my location more susceptible to settling and expansion.
At any rate, be prepared for cracking! It WILL happen … and it will continue to happen. The first couple years are the worst, but we still experience cracking at the (nearly) five-year mark. What?!
Thankfully your guests will NOT notice the cracking as much as you do! Also, most builders come back at the one-year anniversary and fix any house issues. After the first year, it’s typically up to you, the homeowner, to remedy any issues!
9. YOU’LL WISH YOU DID AT LEAST ONE THING DIFFERENTLY
Hopefully, you will be VERY happy with most of your choices BUT there will be at least one thing you wish you did differently! This is totally normal and OK! Just make a mental note for what you want to do differently in a future build! Haha! You can learn about what I would change in my home HERE.
Hopefully, you learned something from the things that I wish I had known before building a house! (sorry about that porta potty tip … it’s gross but I do NOT want you making the same mistake I did!)
Just knowing what to look out for (and knowing that these things are NORMAL) will help you feel more confident (AND will allow you to leave plenty of room in your budget for window coverings and landscape)!
If you are preparing to build or already in the thick of it, I think you’ll love my absolutely *FREE* Custom Home Build Prep Guide to help you build your dream home with less stress, more confidence, and a strategic plan to stay on budget!