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The prospect of embarking on a significant life endeavor is bound to elicit feelings of excitement, inspiration, and, yes, some difficulty. When it comes to designing and constructing your own custom home, there are no exceptions.

Putting together your dream team (builder, architect, and designer) will be a massive undertaking, with hundreds of decisions to be made along the way. Eventually, something will go wrong. In contrast, if you go into the situation expecting unexpected problems, you will be better prepared to deal with them quickly, easily, and without incurring unnecessary expense or stress. We’ve put together this guide to assist you in navigating through the most typical challenges that arise during the construction of a new home.

What are the most common issues during custom home building?

Unlike tract or semi-custom homes, each custom home poses its own unique set of challenges. A builder’s well-honed skills and experience allow them to anticipate and solve the many problems that will arise. Because so many things can go wrong during construction, it’s important to work with a reputable builder. While every home is different, custom homebuilders frequently face the following challenges:

1.  Design-budget mismatch

When your budget does not allow for all your design’s bells and whistles, scaling back is the best option. Is it possible, though? Let’s find out!

The ideal solution is to avoid the problem entirely. Frequently, homeowners design their dream homes without first examining their plans and budget. They frequently experience disappointment when their dreams come to fruition and the total cost of their home exceeds their planned budget.

Early involvement with your designs will allow builders to submit updated estimates for each amendment of your plans, which will save you time and money. If there is a misalignment between your home design and your budget, contractors will identify it and correct it before finalizing your architectural plans. They can work with you, your architect, and your interior designer to value engineer your plans by first listening to your priorities and then recommending where to spend and where to save, as well as which materials and/or design elements will add the most value. Early alignment of design and budget will save money and avoid later design compromises.

2.  Delays in acquiring permits

Permits consist of two critical components. Your builder must first obtain all necessary permits, licenses, approvals, and inspections from your homeowner’s association. This is a necessary component of their job description. Consult your builder early on about the process of obtaining city permits and HOA approval.

Second, obtaining permits is almost always more difficult than anticipated. To avoid delays and inspection problems, you should stay in touch with your builder regarding permits and upcoming inspections. A builder who has navigated the permitting, licensing, and HOA approval processes successfully will save you money and time.

Additionally, keep in mind that while you’re waiting, you can apply for permits and get approvals. Proactive and organized custom homebuilders will begin scrutinizing the architectural plans and specifications, soliciting and vetting additional bids, providing you with a detailed timeline for selections, and assisting you with financing.

3.  Selection of materials and lead times

Early in the process, you must decide on and order all of the items needed to finish your ideal home. These include cabinets, sinks, countertops, flooring, hardware, and fixtures, among other things. Fulfillment of orders can take several weeks or months, and materials are occasionally out of stock. Builders are unable to complete their projects unless they have the necessary materials. The fact that you have them prepared ahead of time helps you stay on schedule.

Finalize your material selections in accordance with the builder’s specifications. Your builder should present you with a detailed selection sheet with deadlines to help you prioritize your choices. If they do not provide you with this document and guidance, make a formal request.

The process of making a decision can be extremely difficult to navigate. Allocate plenty of time for you to think about and consider your options. Ask questions, do research, and make decisions. Once you’ve made your decision, make every effort to stick to it… Mind-changing on a regular basis is widely recognized as the number one cause of construction schedule delays.

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