If there’s one thing Americans love to do, it’s tinker with their homes. In fact, it’s estimated that more than 70% of Americans plan on undertaking home improvement projects this year alone.
But you’re different. You want to do some tinkering, but you want to do it on a much larger scale. You want to build your own home.
Perhaps you’ve thought about your dream home for a long time. Maybe you’ve envisioned big bay windows to look out of, numerous bedrooms to house your family, a pool in the backyard, a home movie theater upstairs, and a big basement where you can build a hangout for hosting parties and watching sports.
But even if you’ve written down your own guide to building your own house, you likely know that it’s easier said than done. Even if you know all the building materials you need, the undertaking of building a house is a lot more intensive than just planning it out and you want to be absolutely sure of what you’re doing.
To that end, here are several important things you’ll want to avoid as you build your own house.
Not Giving Yourself Enough Space
Your guide for building your own house might be pages and pages long, but if you don’t leave yourself enough space to put things, you might be doomed before you ever get started.
You need to leave yourself enough space, period. But you also need to be smart about how you plan your space; that is to say, you need to be careful where you place it. For example, you might have visions of having bedrooms with huge closets, but by building such huge closets, you might be cutting off space that may be better utilized in a bathroom. Keep in mind too as you build rooms, that each room may only need one closet.
In short, you need to make sure that any storage space you give yourself makes sense. Extra closets are nice, but you could also add more space to rooms by not having closets. You may be better off getting shelves or storage cubes instead.
Poor Planning For Your HVAC System
Proper HVAC installation is of the utmost importance when you’re building a new home. Poor planning when it comes to installation or putting it in the wrong place can mean you’re dealing with uncontrollable mold and moisture issues down the road.
Not only do you need to install an HVAC system properly, but you need to pick the right model and the right size units for your home. Go too small and your home won’t be heated or cooled efficiently. Go too big and you’re left with units that use too much energy and leave you with huge bills.
Chief among your priorities in your guide to building your own house should be the lighting. After all, you want your home to be well lit, whether that’s through natural lighting or artificial lighting.
So what do you need to do? For starters, you can hire professionals from a local home window service. When building a home, natural light should always be your main source of light. These days, you can get energy-efficient windows of all varieties and sizes that will fit perfectly into your new home and offer plenty of sunlight to keep your home well lit.
Aside from windows, you need to make sure that you’ve got plenty of electrical outlets and light fixtures. But adding wire to a house and spacing everything out can be a tricky proposition. To be safe, hire a residential electrician. An experienced electrician can drill all your wire holes, keep a count of all your outlets, install conduits, set your breaker box, pull all the wires to the proper outlets, and ultimately install your circuits. In addition, you should also have them check to see if your fire sprinkler system design is compatible with the electrical work in your house. This can help add an extra safety feature to your new home.
Poor Overall Planning
Next in your helpful guide to building your own house is to avoid poor overall planning. It’s easy to jot ideas down on paper. But you really need to take time and think about how to build a practical home.
Before you even lay down a foundation, you need to ask yourself how long you plan on staying in this home you’re building. Is it your forever home? Do you any children’s needs to think about? Are you planning on spending your retirement years in your home?
By taking some time to really carefully plan a home that makes sense and take into account your lifestyles and habits, you’ll end up building a home that’s perfect for you and your family.
Poor Bedroom Placement
Placement of all rooms is important to remember in your guide to building your own house, but the placement of bedrooms is especially important.
One mistake you’ll want to avoid is thinking that you put your master bedroom just about anywhere in your new home. This is a big mistake. In fact, you want to put your master bedroom—and all your bedrooms for that matter—should be placed as far away from traffic and noise as you can put them. Additionally, you need to avoid putting your master bedroom above the garage, because the last thing you want is to have the constant noise of people coming and going as you’re trying to sleep.
Let’s say the house you’re building is a one-level house. If that’s the case, then you need to build your master bedroom at the far end of the house and work your way toward your central living area accordingly.
Laundry Room Placement
If you’re jotting down notes in your guide to building your own house, this may be toward the bottom of your list. But it’s nonetheless important. While there’s no one perfect place to put a laundry room, you may find it a mistake to put it downstairs in a basement. Ideally, you’d like to place such a room close to the bedrooms. If you’re building a one-level house, you can do this easily, but you could have some problems with anything bigger.
Not Allowing Enough Kitchen Spaces
There are a lot of important things you’ll need to account for in any guide to building your own house, but one of the most important steps is allowing enough space for the kitchen and putting a kitchen in a good spot. The last thing you want is to have to walk halfway through your home, your arms full of heavy groceries just to get to the kitchen.
When it comes to house planning and house building, there are a great many mistakes you can make in the kitchen alone. Here are a few that you’ll want to avoid:
- Not allowing enough space for your kitchen triangle—an area comprised of the stove, the refrigerator and the sink.
- Not leaving yourself enough counter space.
- Wasting your storage space.
- Putting in bad lighting.
- Not allowing for proper ventilation.
- Putting in the wrong kind of kitchen island.
- Trying to follow current trends with your kitchen design, rather than designing something practical.
- Not seeking professional help should you so need it.
So what can you do to avoid those mistakes? Be practical with your kitchen building. Install plenty of useful cabinets and vanities to store your items. Install your kitchen triangle so that there’s enough room for people to move around. Put in good, bright lighting and build a kitchen that’s going to work for your family, not one that you just thought looked cool in a magazine.
Erring On Your Garage
In many homes, the garage is one of the central places of movement. One of the worst things you can do is making your garage too small or unable to accommodate all that you may need to store in it.
Instead, build yourself a big, brand-new garage with garage doors that allow you to come and go easily. Build one big enough to accommodate a car (or two). Make sure you have to store things like lawn furniture or a lawnmower or a snowblower.
Not Doing Your Research
When it comes to creating the perfect guide to building your own house, you, and only you, know what’s best for your family. Even if you don’t quite have all the know-how when it comes to building, you know what you want in a house.
What you don’t know, you can talk to professionals about and let them make suggestions as to what you might do. But remember, these are just suggestions. One easy mistake to make is letting professionals tell you all that you need to do. Some things might work great within the plans you have and some things that just might not fit. You need to ultimately make sure that you keep the power to make final decisions.
Neglecting The Roof
At the top of your guide to building your own house should be putting the right roof on your home. Your roof is what protects you and your family from the elements and keeps keep you warm. Poor workmanship or skimping on supplies can lead to serious problems done the road, so you’ll want to avoid these mistakes when you put up your new roof:
- Bad installation: Taking shortcuts on your roof will cost you plenty of time and money. If you need help with your roof, don’t hesitate to hire experienced contractors.
- Mismatching shingles: Assuming you’re installing an asphalt roof, singles come in a lot of colors. You want to get them all in the same shade so you’ve got a cohesive look.
- Poor ventilation: One of the mistakes you’ll want to avoid is not venting your attic properly. Failure to do so causes your roof to heat up and this can drastically drive up your energy bills. You can keep your roof and attic cool by installing foam insulation.
- Bad flashing installation: When installing a roof, you typically install flashing around your vents and chimneys to prevent leaking. Not doing so can lead to water damage.
Neglecting The Plumbing
If the roof is the most important thing in a guide to building your own house, the plumbing is at least in the top five. This is another area where mistakes can prove costly and you’ll want to avoid these slip-ups:
- Your connections are too tight: Cranking too hard on connections can easily crack fittings and cause leaks.
- Not having spare parts: If you’re installing plumbing, you won’t do yourself any favors not having any spare parts. Having spares on hand allows you to make easy fixes when you need to instead of having to trek to the hardware store every time you have an issue.
- Not turning the water off: As you’re installing your plumbing system, you need to turn the water off. Keeping it on means you’ll have full water pressure and possible leakage.
- Choosing the wrong kind of plumbing: These are lots of different types of plumbing and you need to pick the right one for your home. Stainless steel, for example, looks great, but is costly and can corrode. Copper plumbing is reliable and is durable, but it usually requires soldering. Galvanized piping works well, but is subject to rust.
Bottom line: you don’t want to take any shortcuts on your plumbing system. Talking to a plumbing service about the right type of piping and hiring experienced contractors can ensure you’ve got a system that works and will last.
Remember, It’s All Up To You
Remember, your guide to building your own house is all about what works best for you and your family. If that includes custom shutters on your brand-new windows, so be it. If it includes an extra bedroom or extra closet space, build it if you need it.
By taking time to plan out a thorough step-by-step guide, you’ll avoid many if not all of the mistakes described above. New home construction undoubtedly takes a lot of work, but doing all that hard work means doing it the right way, and you’ll be happy with the end result if you take time to plan.