It is week 8 in the countdown. This week I am writing about one of the most frustrating things in new home construction and new house construction design – when not everything goes as planned! Building a new home and designing a new house has its challenges!
Home Construction Mistake #1: Not according to plan
When building and designing a new home, you have custom architectural plans by which the builder and contractor go by. However, they don’t always go by it.
Whether it is a subcontractor cutting corners, poor site management, or unclear instruction, you will find times in your project when you realize that X did not become Y. For example, we had very specific molding specified for our exterior trim. However, when it was completed, it was wrong.
Home Construction Mistake #2: Not making the update
Another scenario is when the project is updated along the way and new plans are issued. However, for some reason, those new plans do not get communicated down the line. Whether they are not printed, shared or communicated, the update is not…well…updated.
For example, the original plans in our home had 12 inch deep shelves. During the project – the architect and I told the contractor that we wanted 16 inch deep shelves during a walk through. A couple of weeks later, the contractor built the shelves…at 12 inches deep.
Home Construction Mistake #3: Not making the change
Another scenario during the building of a new home is that you add something new along the way. Homeowners make requests like these all the time, but whether the requests actually happen is another story. For example, we decided we wanted beadboard in a half bathroom. This was something completely new, but we decide that we wanted to have that design feature. So we told the builder. However, the builder installed bathroom with the vanity and toilet….but no beadboard.
How to Handle the Snafus
Whether not following plans, not updating plans or forgetting the plans, it can be a frustrating process. Yet, it is what you need to know when building a home – it happens.
How you handle it when it happens and the steps you can take to minimize it – is the key to surviving your new home construction or renovation.
1. Email trail – even if you make a decision during a walk through, take moment after the meeting to send an email to the architect, builder and contractor. It will remind them about what was discussed – and it will be a paper trail down the road.
2. Have a workbook – keep a workbook with you at each meeting. Jot down key points of discussion. It will help you follow up and make sure that the change is done and done correctly.
3. Regular Site Meetings – Having consistent walk throughs and site meetings helps identify problems and mistakes and the ‘whoops-I forgot’s sooner rather than later. It may be on you to make sure the meetings happen, so add it to your to-do list.
4. Decide what is critical and what can be let go – When something doesn’t go according to plan, you’ll need figure out what you need to do about it. Do you have it get done after all? Should you forget about it? Do you break it down and start over? You’ll have to find out how it affects you financially. Is it on the builder or on you to pay for the mistake? If not doing it, does it impact the resale value of your home down the road? Is it something you can live without? Would you be settling? These are the questions you need to ask. It will help you determine how to proceed when there is a construction mistake.
Make sure you surround yourself with good family and friends so you can vent and blow off steam when you are faced with these frustrating parts of the home construction process!