The Seven Most Common Mistakes People Make When Building a House


Check out the homes under construction. Even a novice can get a feel for the quality of a jobsite. Is the site neat or does it look like a pigpen. This is one good test of how much pride a contractor takes in his work. Look at the framing. Are there a lot of warped boards being used? Does it look like everything fits the way it should? Remember, he will probably build your house the same way he is building this one. Would you be happy if this house were yours?

Ask the contractor for references AND CHECK THEM! You know that he will not give you names of anyone that was not satisfied so when you speak with these customers, ask them if they know anyone else who was a customer of this contractor, especially those that did not have as positive an experience. Call them as well.

Ask him what subcontractors he uses. This is important. Talk to his subs. See if they fit your standards. Ask them if they would recommend this contractor, or is there someone else who would do a better job. Ask the subs for references as well.

Do not skip this step. There is nothing that will cause you more grief in your building experience than starting with the wrong builder. NOTHING! Get it right the first time. You will be glad you did. Remember, the cheapest price rarely ends up being the best value.

Number 4

Here is something that many people do not consider. Make sure that you are building the right house for your lot. If the lot slopes up you do not want a plan that calls for a walk out basement at the rear. If it slopes sharply to one side or the other make sure that your plan fits that grade or you may end up with your garage 6 feet off the ground or something equally absurd. Do a little bit of study. You may be able to build the house you want but be forced to build its mirror image because of the contour of your lot. And, by the way, don’t make the mistake of buying a set of plans where the house is the reverse of what you actually need. Many people will buy these plans and then take them to a “print shop” where they will scan them and spit out a “mirror image”.  The only problem with a mirror image is that not only are the walls printed backwards. The dimensions and all instructions are printed backwards too! This is just an accident waiting to happen! Someone may look on a plan where a room is supposed to be 21 feet long, but since the numbers are backwards, he may cut all his boards 12 feet long by mistake.  “Fives” may be mistakenly read as “twos”. Printing of important detail notes will also be written backwards, making them very difficult to read. Because of that, most of these may be overlooked, causing big problems.

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