Young Upstarts

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Building Your Own Home: Common Mistakes

If you have the funds, there’s no doubt that building your own home is the ultimate dream. If you can source the land, putting together a design that suits your family’s needs down to a tee couldn’t be more perfect.

Finances aside, there are other reasons why it’s not a simple process. A lot of people who haven’t been through the process are quite blind to it, and perhaps fall for some common mistakes. Through today’s guide, we will mull over some of these.

Mistake #1 – You treat all costs as gospel.

We said we wouldn’t mull over the finances too much through today’s article, but if we were to give you just one piece of advice along these lines it would relate to your forecasted costs.

In short, don’t believe them. You simply must have a contingency fund (up to 10%) as in pretty much every case, there will be unexpected surprises that result in the cost of your build skyrocketing.

Even though your architect may have given a rough idea on what something is going to cost, when the builders get to work things can change. The cost of materials can change, while in some cases the architect may have even underestimated various parts.

Mistake #2 – You treat all dates as gospel.

Something else that you should question are the dates you are given. Again, these are rarely worth the paper they are written on as a whole host of external factors can impact the build time.

It again means that you need to build a contingency. This might be by having a storage unit to store your belongings or, of course, somewhere for you and your family to live during the process. This again needs to be added to your costs.

Mistake #3 – You don’t think about the weather.

In truth, this next mistake can impact the previous two. Particularly if you are building your home in a country where the weather is all-but predictable, this is something that can set your project back significantly. The rain can mean that certain tasks can’t be completed – with concreting generally falling into this category. At the same time the forecast can also mean that some tasks have to be moved forward, such as adding a roof to rainproof the structure.

Mistake #4 – You forget the finishing touches.

Sure, the builder has lots of responsibility during this period, but when it comes to finishing touches this tends to rest with you.

In other words, unless you are utterly proactive, you aren’t going to move into a fully decorated and furnished house. The former needs to be done when all of the basic structural work is complete – whether it be finishing applying perspex to a specific area of the house – while the furniture depends on you.. Quite often, you will need some new furniture to satisfy your new living arrangements, and this again needs to be budgeted for accordingly.

Then, there are small issues like taps and lighting fixtures – all of which need thinking about towards the end of your project.


Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.

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