Common pitfalls when building a custom home

Building your dream custom home should be an exciting and gratifying experience. Provided you set out with good intentions and realistic expectations everything should be fine right? Unfortunately for some homeowners, this isn’t the case.

To make sure your experience is a positive one, we’ve pulled together some of the most common pitfalls when building a custom home to help you navigate your custom project like a seasoned building veteran.

Making last minute changes to the design

When building a custom home, most builders will be able to provide you with a fixed price quote once the designs and plans are finalised. While a fixed price quote is always good as it provides you with more control and certainty around the financial element of the build, fixed prices will only remain fixed if you build exactly to the specifications included in the quote.

The moment you decide to alter your original plans, both the pricing and project schedule will need to be updated accordingly to accommodate your changes. While you may only request what you think is a relatively minor alteration, any changes made late in the piece come with the potential for significant cost or schedule implications.

The key here is to develop your plans carefully and make sure you get them right from the get-go. Don’t be afraid to seek advice from family, friends and your builder at each stage of the design process to help you finesse your designs. Once you think the design is exactly what you want, it’s worthwhile giving yourself a few days to mull it over before you provide final sign-off just to make sure you’re 100 per cent happy.

Not understanding the contract

Your building contract will underpin everything that happens during the build process, so it’s integral that you have a good understanding of what it entails.

Having a sound understanding of what is and isn’t included in the build, who is responsible for completing various tasks, any estimates, allowances and required council approvals from the beginning will help you avoid a range of issues down the track.

You should take particular note of any prime cost or provisional sum items, which outline possible additional work, fixtures or fittings where the price listed is based on a reasonable estimate because the exact pricing is not available at the time you sign the contract. You should also check for any allowances you’ll need to pay if you cause any delays to the building process.

Choosing an inexperienced builder

While some newer builders who are trying to break into the market may try to entice you with an attractive price tag and grandiose promises of excellent service, the reality is they may not be able to deliver to the same standard as a more experienced builder.

Builders who have a wealth of experience under their belt will typically have a more in-depth understanding of each element of the design and build process, minimising the chance of any time or budget blowouts. Because they’ll have more established relationships with their suppliers, a team of more experienced designers and a proven history of providing good service, they’re more likely to be able to deliver on their promises.

For more information about how to select the right builder for your custom project, read our post about what to look for in a custom home builder.

You can rely on the experts

If you want an experienced, professional builder to help you create your luxury custom home in Melbourne, you need look no further than Glenvill.

With more than five decades of experience building custom homes that are beautifully imagined and masterfully executed, our aim is to impress, inspire and excite from the onset to ensure you’ll have an experience you’ll treasure forever.

Contact us or visit our design centre in Cremorne to discuss the possibilities for your custom home build.