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5 Mistakes To Avoid When Building a Custom Home

For most people, building a custom home is a once in a lifetime experience. And while that can make it very exciting, it also means you have never done it before. It can be easy to make mistakes if you don’t do a little research and get some advice. So, before you do anything else, check out our list of the top five mistakes that people make when they build a custom home.


Our dedicated team at Quality Homes has over 30 years of experience and expertise in building custom homes and cottages and we can certainly help guide you through the entire process, from start to finish. We are here to help!


1. Buying a lot without doing your homework.


Buying a lot without doing extensive research can end up being a real headache. Since every location is different, it pays to first find out how much the prep work and service costs are going to be for that particular lot.


Does your lot have any existing structures on-site that will need to be demolished? Whether or not a demo is needed, land preparation costs will need to factored into your overall budget. Once we inspect the land, our team can help identify those details.


It is important to also take note of other existing features of your lot – such as slopes, trees or water (any existing rivers, streams or ponds?) Though these landscape features can certainly provide spectacular views or an enjoyable outdoor setting, they are also important details that may influence what or how you build on that land.


In terms of servicing the lot, what is currently there and what needs to be installed? Site servicing costs to consider include: well, septic, hydro, gas, municipal hook-ups, phone/cable. To get a quote, you can contact your local utility providers directly.


If you have a home design in mind, you should also consult with the builder to see if the lot is going to be suitable for the type and size of home that you want to build. Our in-house Drafting & Design Team can help customize a design specifically to your lot. For instance, plans that maximize views or plans that work best for narrow lots.


At Quality Homes, since we are a modular home builder, one of the most important elements to consider is access to your lot. Our modular construction systems mean that your house or cottage is constructed indoors in our climate-controlled production facility, in modules, and then transported by truck and installed onto your lot. When we do a full site inspection to assess access to the lot, we will need to identify things like trees or hydro lines that may impact accessibility.


Click here for a list of 10 Questions To Ask When Buying A Lot To Build On.




2. Not setting a realistic budget prior to the design process.


When it comes to your custom home, you may want the moon and the stars, but can you realistically afford everything on your wish list?


The first step is to identify your budget investment level. Contact our team and we can refer you to a banking partner who will walk you through the details of financing a modular home. We work with all of the major banks and our mortgage specialists can outline exactly what kind of financing you qualify for so that you can better understand your budget.


It is important to share your budget with your builder so that they can guide you accordingly. Make a wish list of things you want and need for your new home or cottage. You may find that your wish list is bigger than your budget, but we can work with you directly to determine what is most important and how to best maximize your budget.


Remember: The budget for a custom home or cottage doesn’t just include the home. It is important to factor in costs for: land, local fees & taxes, development costs, site servicing, demolition or land prep, and landscaping. Our team can help outline all of these details, specific to your situation.



3. Cutting corners on things that are important to you.


While it is extremely important to have a budget, you also have to realize that you are planning to live in your custom home for many years. Design a home that works for you. If it is your dream to have a wrap-around porch, then that is NOT an area where you should be cutting corners.


After all, going the custom route means you get a home that is personalized to you. Think about your lifestyle and how you live. A custom home is a long lasting investment for you and your family. If you need space for your growing family, we can factor those needs into your design. Building custom means you possess complete control of your home’s design so it is a perfect opportunity to create a living space that meets your unique needs now and for the future.


  • Have you always wanted a dedicated space for a home gym, crafts room or hobby workshop?
  • Do you find you need more space in the kitchen and would value a walk-in pantry for extra storage?
  • Will you require a home office space?
  • Do you plan to entertain or host guests? Open concept layouts and additional bedrooms and bathrooms, or even basements, can help fulfill those needs.


You should also avoid using cheap materials that may have to be replaced in a short time. When selecting your finishes, what will last you longer, for years to come? For instance, quartz countertops are more durable and longer lasting than other finishes like laminate. When you build a custom home, you will receive a brand new home with brand new features and finishes. Costly repairs and renovations are not a concern when you invest in a custom home. At Quality Homes, we use the highest quality materials so that you will not have to deal with any costly replacements such as roofing or plumbing in the near future.



4. Not incorporating green design into your home.


There are so many environmentally friendly options for homeowners to choose nowadays. Not only are these options better for the planet, but many of them can save you big money on utilities. A larger investment up front can contribute to money saved in the future.


At Quality Homes, the way in which we build our homes can provide significant energy cost savings to you, the homeowner. Because our homes are built tighter and draft free, you will save on utility costs. Our precision building process also results in minimal environmental impact and minimal waste.


Click here to read more about Building Your Home Indoors: A Greener Choice.


In addition to eco-friendly building materials, think about things such as roof overhangs and window locations that will optimize your home’s energy efficiency. Depending on your lot, we can work with you directly to maximize these efficiencies with the design you select and provide recommendations on what features to include.



5. Asking for changes after the work has started.


Nothing can throw off your home’s scheduled completion date and your budget like making changes midway through the process. While some changes may be minor and doable, others might end up costing a lot more than you think.


Take your time in the planning stage. Do your research. Gather photos and inspiration. Ask as many questions as necessary. Consult with an expert.



At Quality Homes, we have an entire team and a building system in place that will give you the peace-of-mind you deserve – in what can be a very complicated and confusing process when building a custom home.



Whether it’s assessing your lot for build, exploring financing options, selecting a design, or ensuring you have the best quality materials while maintaining a minimal environmental impact, our team at Quality Homes will guide you through the entire process.


Contact us today!