4 Crucial Home Building Mistakes You Should Avoid at All Costs

4 Crucial Home Building Mistakes You Should Avoid at All Costs
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    Many people dream of building their own home, and they imagine themselves building their dream home by hand.

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Here are four crucial home building mistakes you should avoid at all costs if you don’t want massive problems or lingering frustrations.

Building the House on Grandma’s Land

Some people take a gift of family land as the opportunity to build their dream home at an affordable price. This creates many dramas later on, such as when you try to sell your personal home and the two acres carved from a family farm parcel so you can afford to leave the area in search of work. Now your real estate transaction feels like a betrayal of the intent of the gift and “stealing” from the family.

If the home was built on land still owned by your relatives, you may not own the house at all unless they deed the land under it. At a minimum, it creates family drama and decades of resentment. At worst, you’ve built your dream home on land you don’t own and lose everything when you leave.

If you want to build a home, own the land in your own name and do so in a manner that lets you sell it if necessary without being hated by your kin.

Build Insurance? What’s That?

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not getting self build insurance if you’re building your home yourself. Too many people think homeowner’s insurance is sufficient, but that, in most cases, only covers the house after you’re living in it and the cost of repairing damage to the completed structure.

Self build insurance covers the property while it is under construction. These policies provide financial protection so that do it yourselfers trying to save money by doing work themselves don’t face horrible financial losses if materials and tools are stolen. Don’t expect site insurance to be enough, since these policies have a low ceiling.

Trying to Build a Dream Home on a Suburban Budget

One of the worst mistakes you could make is trying to build a fancy dream home on a suburban budget. When someone tries to build a $500,000 luxury home on a $250,000 budget, the end result is a house full of faux materials, if not risky engineering shortcuts. Design a home that fits the budget that you have.

If you cannot afford to build the home you truly want, consider floor plans that allow you to extend the house when you can build those extra two bedrooms or a mother-in-law suite. Be wary of maxing out your mortgage to pay for the project too, in case cost overruns leave you unable to finish a project or taking cheap ways out.

Doing Everything Yourself

A terrible mistake to make is trying to do everything yourself. Most people who worship the DIY ethos want to be like those running home renovation shows, except they aren’t as familiar with electrical safety measures, proper plumbing installation or structural analysis.

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If you want to pick out the carpets for the living room, or paint murals on the wall, these are safe things to do yourself. If you want to lay out tiles in the kitchen backsplash or bathroom shower, do so knowing you’ll have to live with the end result. For anything that involves electricity or plumbing beyond replacing a fixture, call in the professionals. If the issue is structural, you need an engineer.

A variation of this mistake is getting lost in the details as you try to do it all yourself. “I don’t have time to put up siding, I’m sorting through every type of wiring we might install.” Call on professionals to install the walls, plumbing, wiring and other elements that have to be done right and use the materials they know are up to code.

Have you ever made a huge home building mistake?  Let us know in the comments.

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