Traps To Avoid When Building A Custom Home (Checklist) | Engineer Supply - EngineerSupply

800.591.8907 M-F 8-5PM EST

21 Years Serving Customers Like You. Buy With Confidence.

Traps To Avoid When Building A Custom Home

infographic tips when building or remodeling your home

Using construction tools to build a custom home for you to live in can be a rewarding experience. There’s nothing like looking around your living room while recognizing that you’re responsible for its construction and design, so there’s no surprise that more people are turning toward custom homes for their next place of residence. But despite the allure that’s associated with building your dream home, there are many pitfalls that should be avoided.

Traps To Avoid When Building A Custom Home infographic

Here are some of the traps you should avoid while you’re building your custom home.

#1: Rushing the Design Process

One of the most dangerous traps you can fall into when you’re building a custom home is to rush through the design process. Because it’s a custom home, it will have a unique layout and design that you will have to decide on before you start building. Some homeowners love this part of the process, while others are more interested in the actual construction because they like the idea of “building something with their own hands” instead of getting caught up in the design.

It’s important not rush this part of the process, because it can lead to a misunderstanding of your own design plans. When it's time to order a certain amount of materials, you may inadvertently order too much or too little because you rushed through the design process and didn’t take materials into account. The planning process is where you will figure out things related to the cost of building your own custom home. The importance of having certain financials in place can’t be overstated. Pay attention to how you plan to budget the construction process, or you may be left stranded with a half-completed home.

#2: Going for a “Basic” Design

You’re using construction tools to build a custom home, so it doesn’t look like all the others in the neighborhood. Many homeowners get overwhelmed by all the decisions that go into the design process, which can cause them to shut down. When that happens, your designer or architect can help you with certain recommendations. But there’s one thing you need to keep in mind. Their suggestions will be based on the design features that work for most homeowners, but it may not necessarily be right for your home.

You’ll get the most out of your design if you come into it with a set of ideas. Take the time to do some research. After all, you’ll be living in this home for a long time. And if you decided to build a custom home, there’s a good chance you won’t be selling it any time soon. So, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t plan for the long term. Your needs may change as your family grows. And if you're planning to stay there for the long term, you’ll want to build a home that will accommodate your needs as you age. You might want to opt for a first-floor bedroom, wide hallways and entryways, as well as other architectural features that will maximize your comfort when you’re no longer a proverbial spring chicken.

#3: Adding Rooms You Don’t Need

When you’re building a custom home from scratch, it can be easy to get carried away. So, why not add a game room and home theater? You may even want to add a gym or home spa. But if you have ever been in a home that’s too big, you know these spaces don’t always feel as vibrant and cozy as you think. As you work with your architect to design your home, you need to think carefully about what you actually need. Otherwise, you’ll be paying to heat and cool an empty room.

#4: Losing Track of How You’ll Actually Use the Space

Arguments have occurred over simple things like access to closets. Your relationship may be solid, but taking some care into your home’s design can save you a lot of frustration and potential marital problems. More showers and dual bathroom sinks will make your mornings a lot more pleasant, and the same can be true for two offices or living spaces because it will make everyone happy and out of each other’s hair. Shop Construction Tools

#5: Not Double-Checking the Windows

You may decide to spend the extra money for some energy-efficient windows, but you’re not going to see a lot of savings on your monthly bills if they’re not installed correctly. A faulty installation will allow hot or cold air into your home, which can increase your utility costs and put your home and risk for mold, mildew, and water leaks. A lot of general contractors and builders don’t use laser measuring tools to install windows correctly. You can avoid this problem by asking detailed questions about the installation process and double-checking their answers with local window professionals.

#6: Not Having a Design That Fits Your Budget

While getting exactly what you want is a large part of building a custom home, you also need to know what your budget is before moving forward. With a good budget in mind, you can avoid miscommunication between you and the contractor so expenses don’t get out of control when it comes time to use construction tools to build the home. Working with an experienced home builder can also make sure you and the crew are on the same page.

#7: Picking the Wrong Team for the Job

It’s important to find a good builder for the job — someone who will work with you throughout the process. This is because most homeowners don’t have the experience to manage the entire project by themselves. The quality of your home builder is of the utmost importance. So, make sure you hire the right person for the job. Otherwise, the project will be over budget and behind schedule. The National Association of Home Builders has released some guidelines that can help homeowners as they’re reviewing potential builders. They remind you that it’s best to start local, because you’ll be more likely to depend on people who are in your area.

It’s also important to quality-test potential builders ahead of time. Don’t ever take them at their word. You should test their expertise and ask them about the work they have done in the past. If they have a long-standing record of successful projects and happy clients to which they can refer you, they could be right for the job. But every custom home builder is different. So, make sure you spend enough time looking around before you decide who will be the one to bring your vision to reality.

#8: Forgetting About Family

Even if you don’t have children, you may have some one day. Many couples make the mistake of building a custom home only to find out that they made it too small to house an entire family. Make sure you have enough space for future decisions, and don’t build yourself into a proverbial corner. Otherwise, you may end up spending a lot of money on a beautiful home that you’re forced to leave as your family grows. It’s also a good idea to listen to feedback from your kids. If they want a playpen in the backyard, adding one could raise the property value later on. Another family may want to pay the extra money for a child-ready home. Shop Laser Tape Measures

#9: Leaving the Environment Behind

You shouldn’t forget about the environment as you use laser measuring tools to design and build your home. All custom homes should try to be as energy-efficient as possible, so we can work to mitigate our environmental footprint. Take a look at how you can “go green” when you’re building your home because it’s essential in the modern age, but many homeowners ignore this advice. Think about adding a green roof or some solar panels to your custom home, so you can save money and help the environment.

#10: Choosing Materials Only for Their Aesthetic Appeal

Some materials have a longer lifespan than others. You might be eying that marble countertop you found on Pinterest, but it doesn’t have the durability and stain resistance of quartz or concrete (which can be made to resemble the same material). What looks great now may not look the same five years later, and you’ll have to pay more money to replace it. It’s best to not get too fixated on a certain material but to look at your options carefully. Pay attention to your designer’s suggestions, because he or she may have some long-lasting suggestions. Unless you love home improvement projects, you probably don’t want to spend a lot of time fixing the place up.

#11: Changing Your Mind During the Construction Phase

It only takes a few seconds to make an adjustment during the planning phase of a project. But once the foundation has been laid and the framing has gone up, any change you decide to make can add days or even weeks to your building schedule. Not to mention, the extra cost it would take to make the changes. That’s why it’s a good idea not to rush through the design process. Take every decision one at a time while thinking about how adjustments can affect its appearance, flow, and presence of natural light in each space. You should also take advantage of the expertise offered by your designer and architect. Ask them for their thoughts because after all, that’s what they’re there for.

#12: Picking a Location That Doesn’t Work with Your Lifestyle

If the location you choose isn’t near your work or your child’s school (or if you don’t have convenient access to grocery stores and gas stations) life in your new home isn’t going to be as nice as it could be — regardless of how beautiful the view is. Before you decide to buy the land, use survey equipment to stake it out. And try to get a feel for what life will be like once you move in. Pay attention to the site survey as well, because it will give you information about the tree density as well as the home’s orientation. SHOP LASER LEVELS

#13: Purchasing a Lot Without Knowing the Expense to Add Services

traps to avoid when building a custom home

A lot of people have already picked out the lot on which they plan to build their custom home. But while you may have found the “perfect” place on the water or near other amenities, you also need to determine the cost of adding the following services:
  • Gas
  • Water
  • Sewage
  • Electric
You also need to look at how much it will cost to prepare the lot, which can include a number of tasks. Some of them can include:
  • Removing trees.
  • Blasting out ground rock.
  • Redirection of natural waterways.
There are also other factors (such as municipal zoning and environmental criteria) that may need to be considered. One of the best ways to avoid these extra expenses is to use survey equipment to perform a feasibility analysis of the site before you decide to buy it. It can give you valuable information, so you can either choose to move forward or look for another space.

#14: Skipping the Inspection

Now that you have spent the time to build a home from scratch, you need to get it inspected. A warranty is no substitute for a home inspection, so choose a third-party inspector that’s unbiased to take a good look at your new space before you move in. Otherwise, you may discover that your dream home is loaded with minor problems that could turn into major issues. You may find out that the vents weren’t properly sealed, the electrical work isn’t up to code, or missing insulation in key areas. By doing an inspection, you can identify these problems and notify the builder before closing the project.

#15: Ignoring the Ductwork

Before you start the construction process, you should ask about adding high-quality ductwork sealing and insulation. While it isn’t necessary to meet code requirements, having energy-efficient ductwork can improve your HVAC system by up to 20 percent. It’s a common oversight in newer builds. But if you take this step early on in the process, it’s a lot easier than trying to revisit the problem once all the walls have been closed up. It will also give you substantial savings in terms of your energy costs.

#16: Not Expecting Delays

If your construction timeline falls somewhere during the colder months (or you’re somewhere in the North), you should expect delays. If you’re building your home during early winter in the Pacific Northwest (when it’s cold and wet), it will be almost impossible to schedule contractors. Delays can also happen because of proverbial red tape, which you should also anticipate. Many contractors believe that the country, city, or state in which they work is “the worst” when it comes to issuing permits. The bureaucracy will not only delay you but will also cost you money.

Whether you’re looking for laser measuring tools or some other tool you can use for surveying and construction, be sure to look at what we have at Engineer Supply.

Shop Drafting Supplies

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I use laser measuring tools?

traps to avoid when building a custom home

Laser measuring devices are based on the principle of reflection, which is what happens to a laser beam when it hits a specific surface. The device sends out a pulse of laser light in the direction of an object. Then, it uses the time it takes for the beam to reach the object and reflect back to its source to measure the distance.

How accurate are laser measuring tools?

Most construction lasers are accurate up to 1/8 or 1/16 of an inch for every 100 feet. For basic estimating, a laser tape measure with a 1/8-inch accuracy will be enough. But longer-range models with a 1/16-inch accuracy are also available.

Can I use laser measuring tools outside?

All laser measuring devices can be used outside. But depending on the conditions, it can be a hit-and-miss affair. Laser measuring tools work by sending out a laser beam, which reflects off the surface and is sent back to the device. They use the time it takes for this process to occur to measure distance. The important thing to know is where the beam strikes the surface. And to do that, you need to physically see the beam.

What kind of equipment is used by surveyors?

Surveying is a discipline that has been around for hundreds (or even thousands) of years, and some of the equipment used today have their origins from what was used back then. While the technology has improved, they’re still the same instruments. And in many ways, they do the same thing (which is to map the position of and measure the distance between specific points).

How does survey equipment work?

Surveyors need to take large measurements. In fact, almost every civil engineering project starts with a survey because they have to determine the legal boundaries between properties. Surveying can also be helpful if you need to determine the location of an existing structure, as well as the topography and slopes of a piece of land. And to get this information, they need to use special equipment that can take these measurements.

If you need to find construction tools or any other tool you can use for building and surveying, be sure to look at what we have at Engineer Supply.
Please Wait... processing