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Ripple Effects of Planning Before You Build

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written by:

Carrie Barker


If you’ve been listening to this podcast for a while or you know anything about my signature program, you know that I am ALL about planning, planning, and more planning before you build a house.

This (planning) is what I teach, and it’s exactly why I’ve named this podcast and my group program ‘Before You Build’.

I teach this because I know the power of planning before you ever even consider breaking ground on your new house.

Planning is honestly the key to every single positive result that you want throughout your home-build experience and beyond.

Ready to confidently build a house that you absolutely LOVE … without blowing your budget? Join us inside ‘Before You Build’ (BYB) and get immediate access to the ‘BYB Blueprint’ framework, floor plan feedback, personalized support, and so much more. Click here to get allll the BYB details.

Ripple Effects of Planning Before You Build

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Below is the full transcript for this podcast episode.

Welcome to the ‘Before You Build’ podcast. I’m your host, Carrie Barker (aka, Caroline on Design), and today in episode 59, we’re talking about the ripple effects of planning BEFORE you build your dream home.

Not just planning haphazardly, but planning in a smart and strategic way. 

Planning is at the root of everything I teach because I know from experience that the more planning you do before you break ground, the better your home-build experience will be.

I think most people know that planning is important, but I’m not sure that everyone knows just how important it is. 

You CAN have a Positive Home Build Experience!

Let me just start by saying that you’ve probably heard from others that ‘it’s impossible to stay on budget while building’ or some variation of this. 

Or you may have heard, ‘Your builder is just not going to understand your vision. Believe me, your builder is not going to get it.’

Another thing I hear a lot of people say is, ‘I don’t want to fight with my husband. I want to still be married at the end of this,’ (which, by the way, is really not that bad).

Anyway, you hear all these things, and the biggest thing that you hear is the budget thing. 

You’re going to hear these things, but guess what … they don’t have to be your reality.

I’ll let you in on a little ‘secret’ …  the people who are telling you they experienced those things (i.e. significantly over budget, poor communication with their builder, stress in marriage, etc), it’s typically because of one reason. 

That is most likely because they did not put enough time into planning their build before they even considered breaking ground. 

The Importance of Planning

Planning for your build is the most important thing when it comes to having a positive home build experience.

That’s exactly why every everything I teach and my mission is to help you feel confident building your dream home. 

And that ALL starts with the planning you do before you build. 

That’s exactly how I got the name for this podcast, Before You Build. 

That’s exactly why my signature group coaching program is called Before You Build. 

Because we go through the steps that ensure you’re going to have a positive home-build experience.

When I say positive home build experience, that’s where the ripple effects come into play. 

Let’s talk about the ripple effects of planning because, again, the planning you do BEFORE you build is what leads to a positive home-build experience and the positive ripple effects.

The Ultimate Ripple Effects of Planning Before Build

The ultimate ripple effect is that when you’re done with your build, you are going to be SO happy with how your house turned out.

You might be shocked when you pull up into your new driveway, and you look at your brand new house and think, “I can’t believe I did this. I can’t believe I brought my dream vision to life. I love my house. I can’t wait to share it with family and friends. What in the world? I get to live here?!” 

That’s how you’re going to feel. You’re going to be so excited about your house that you took from the vision in your head and brought it to life.

When you wake up that first morning, and you’re waiting for your coffee to brew, and you look around … again, you’ll be thinking “Oh my gosh, I did this. I cannot believe this. I get to live here?!” 

So that’s one of the ultimate results or ripple effects from strategic planning before you build. You’ll absolutely love your house when it’s done. 

The other ultimate ripple effect from strategic planning before you build (and this one is HUGE) … you’ll build within, or very close to, your budget.

I know that people say it’s impossible to stay on budget … there are even builders and loan officers who say that.

But it’s NOT true. 

I know this because I built my house on budget. 

Now, granted, I did it before the pandemic, but it doesn’t matter because everything I did and the steps I teach my BYB clients work regardless of the current market. 

Everything I teach is things that you have control over. 

We’re not going to let the market have control over us. 

We’re going to take control of our home build, and that starts with the planning you do before you build.

Crystal Clear Vision of Your Future Home

One of the most important parts of planning that will help you to build within (or close to) budget is to truly envision your future home.

You don’t need to know exact products and finishes, but you want to have a crystal clear vision of the style of home you want, and you need to be very clear with yourself and your builder about the level of finishes you want.

Again, you don’t have to know the exact products, but you do need to know the caliber of finishes you want.

If you want high-end appliances, you need to know this at the planning stage … before your builder quotes your house.

If you want 9-foot ceilings on your second floor, you need to communicate this to your builder before they quote your house.

If you want luxury vinyl shake shingle on all four sides of your exterior, you need to communicate this to your builder before they quote your house. (that’s a personal example because this was a must-have for me on my house)

Those are just some examples of what you need to be clear about during the planning phase.

So those people who tell you they were significantly over budget most likely decided during their build that they wanted these upgrades.

Or maybe they didn’t decide during their build, but they weren’t clear with their builder about the caliber finishes they wanted before they got a quote, so then they become a change order or upgrade during the build which leads to going over budget.

If you’re clear with yourself and your builder about the level of finishes you want before they quote your house, you’ll get a realistic quote.

And if it comes in too high, that’s ok. 

You just start paring it down (while it’s still on paper), and you figure out where you’re willing to splurge (or invest) and where you’re willing to save (or compromise).

You pare it down until it’s a number you’re comfortable with and then you stick to it.

So the ultimate ripple effects of strategic planning BEFORE you build are:

  • A house you absolutely love (and can’t wait to share with family and friends)
  • A floor plan that is laid out perfectly for YOUR family (at your current life stage and into the future)
  • A mortgage you are super comfortable with (because you built within, or very close to, your realistic budget)

So those are the ultimate ripple effects (a house you LOVE within budget). Now let’s talk about the ripple effects during your build.

Ripple Effects During Your Home Build

The more effort you put into the planning stage, the more confident you’re going to feel throughout your entire home-build experience.

You’ll feel confident making design decisions for your home.

You’ll stop second-guessing your decisions.

You’ll feel empowered when you communicate with your builder and other members of your home build team.

You’ll feel confident talking to your builder about your vision for your home because you’ll know your vision in such crystal clear detail because you took the time to plan.

You’ll have improved communication with your spouse because you’ll both figure out your vision separately and then together so that you’re on the same page. 

You and your spouse will decide what’s most important to each of you. If one of you has a must-have, you’re going to honor that. For example, my husband, his must-haves are things I do not care about at all. But you know what? I honor that because those are must-haves for him.

You’re going to feel confident that you have a solid design foundation that will guide every single design decision you make. That’s just a little side note. That’s something we do inside the BYB Program.

You’ll walk into the flooring store, for example, and be able to communicate your vision because you know what they’re talking about when they say things like cut pile versus loop pile, just little things like that. You’re just not going to feel like, “Oh my gosh, I have no clue what I’m doing before I go in.”

You’ll feel more joy. You’ll actually enjoy the home-build process. 

Building a house doesn’t have to be a stressful, overwhelming, horrible process. 

Yes, it can be overwhelming, and it’s a lot of work, but the more planning you do before you build, the less you’ll feel that sense of urgency to make decisions in real-time

You’ll feel so much less stress when you take the time to plan ahead. 

You’ll feel excited because you won’t have that dreaded feeling of, “What if I make the wrong decision? What if I make a costly mistake and I can’t change it later?” 

Believe me, most people go through their home build without doing the planning ahead of time.

I’m telling you … they have a totally different experience than I had and now my BYB clients are having.

We are the exception to the blanket statements … ‘everyone goes over budget’ or ‘building a house is so stressful and hard’.

You can be the exception too.

The simple ‘secret’ that will lead to a better home-build experience is just to PLAN.

When you take the time to plan, it will show in your results.

You’ll have a joyful home-build experience. 

You’ll have less stress and less overwhelm.

You’ll have better communication with your spouse and your home-build team.

You’ll feel excited and confident.

You’ll feel in control of your entire home-build experience.

You’ll know you’re making the right decisions for your house.

You’ll stop second-guessing every single design decision you make.

These are just some of the ripple effects. 

And that ultimate ripple effect is that you’ll build a house you absolutely love that is perfect for your family now (and into the future) … and you did this all within (or very close to) budget.

This can be your reality.


If you take away just one thing from this episode … I want you to know that the more planning you do BEFORE you build, the better your entire experience will be (both during your build and beyond).

I want you to plan, plan, plan. 

And if you want help doing that, check out my BYB Program because I walk you step-by-step through exactly how to plan for your home build in a smart and strategic way that leads to all of those ripple effects that we talked about, all of those positive effects and results. 

Click HERE to get all the BYB details.

Happy planning!

Ready to confidently build a house that you absolutely LOVE and is perfect for YOUR family (now + into the future) … without blowing your budget? Join us inside BYB today and get immediate access to the ‘BYB Blueprint’ framework, floor plan feedback, personalized support, and so much more. 🙌 Click here to learn more about BYB.

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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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