If this is your first time building a house in Colorado, you’re in a unique position. On one hand, you get to look forward to the exciting journey of designing and constructing a new custom home that is perfectly tailored to your needs. On the other hand, you’re about to make one of the biggest investments of your life.

You should prepare yourself upfront for a long, meticulous process and having to make hundreds of decisions, large and small. Knowing what to expect can also help you prevent the common mistakes that negatively impact the budget, timeline and outcome of a custom project.

What Can Go Wrong When Building a Custom House?

It’s difficult to completely avoid small hiccups and setbacks when you’re undertaking a major project like creating a custom home in the Colorado Front Range. However, there are certain setbacks that can be prevented with proper planning and careful groundwork.

Here is a first-time home-building guide on which mistakes to avoid during the process:

1. Not Setting a Realistic Budget

Although you won’t know the exact price of your custom home build in Colorado until you’ve developed construction drawings, you need to go into the project with realistic expectations and a preliminary budget. These figures will be the driving force as you apply for new home financing, search for land, and design your dream house. Without establishing a clear budget upfront, you are more susceptible to scope creep and seeing costs spiral upward and past what you wanted to spend.

2. Not Considering Your Home and Land Together

When building a new home, the first step is to find a piece of land. There are numerous factors to consider when you’re picking a location; you also may be limited by what’s available at the time. First, it’s important to factor the cost of land and other associated expenses, such as creating road access or hooking up utilities, into your overall project price. Secondly, consider your home and the land in tandem, as where you build could impact what you build. If you have your heart set on a particular style, size or layout, that could further narrow down the type of property that’s appropriate.

3. Not Giving Building Practices Their Due

When it comes to those intangible characteristics of a home—such as the indoor air quality (IAQ) and energy efficiency—keep in mind that the building practices and installation methods used throughout the construction process are just as impactful as the materials and products you choose. As a first-time home builder, make sure you prioritize these features, even though they’re not as flashy and fun as picking out tile for the floor or your kitchen countertops. They will impact the long-term health and happiness of your family, as well as how much you spend on your future utility bills.

4. Changing Your Mind Late in the Game

You’re building the home where you will presumably reside for the next couple of decades, or even the remainder of your life. You definitely should take your time making decisions and trying to get each aspect just right. However, constantly changing your mind could be a sign of insufficient planning or lack of organization. Before you jump into a project and hire a contractor in the Colorado Front Range, carefully consider your current and future needs and establish your project priorities, that way you won’t second-guess yourself as much during the design phase. You also want to be fairly confident going into construction because making revisions to the plan once it’s already underway often causes delays and unexpected costs.

5. Designing an Impractical Layout

When you’re building a custom home, you want it to look beautiful and present an inviting atmosphere. However, you also have to think about logistics and develop a layout that makes sense for the flow of daily life. For example, when you’re bringing in groceries, do you have easy access to the kitchen? Is the laundry room placed in a strategic location for transporting dirty clothes and linens and also putting them away? Does the placement of bedrooms accurately reflect the behaviors and sleep routines of your various household members? An ideal custom home is not just nice to look at. It also must satisfy your unique lifestyle needs.

6. Not Assembling the Right Team

Another custom home building tip is to put together your whole team from the start. You essentially have two options for collaboration: hiring an architect and home builder separately, or contracting with a full-service design-build team. The benefit of going the latter route is that, even in the early stages, you get input from the person who will actually oversee construction, providing extra assurance of project feasibility. You also have more consistent, streamlined communication, and your home builder doesn’t have to try to accurately interpret plans they didn’t develop or compensate for architect mistakes. Either way, you shouldn’t make this decision lightly. The team you assemble will impact not only the quality and accuracy of your new custom home but the type of experience you have building it.

Starting Your Custom Home Build in the Colorado Front Range

Once you’ve done your research, clarified your vision, and established your preliminary budget and project priorities, you’re ready to find the team in Monument or the surrounding area that can bring your new custom home to life while avoiding common building mistakes. At Gowler Homes, we understand the gravity of creating a new custom home and all the feelings you may be experiencing: excitement, fear, stress, uncertainty and more. Because we offer both design and build services, we can walk you through the entire process and coordinate each step to give you a positive first-time home-building experience.

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