When having your custom home built, you the homeowner will affect the schedule more than the weather or your general contractor.
When you contract a builder to construct your new custom home, he will give you a schedule. What you need to realize is that the schedule only works if you (the homeowner) don’t slow it down. This might sound like an impossible thing for you to do simply as the homeowner but it’s true.
Most general contractors when putting together a schedule for your custom home build will try to take into consideration the normal amount of time it takes to build a home of the size, style and scope that you desire.
They also try to set a pace to the build so that you as the homeowner can have enough time to make all the appropriate decisions.
The more choices you are able to make before your custom home project starts, the quicker the house will be able to be built.
What causes delays is when there are key decisions that the homeowner has to make that will affect the progress of the house, but they are unable to make any or all of those decisions for a variety of reasons. A lot of things can happen when you are having a custom home built that you didn’t expect to happen. Here are just a couple of things that I have witnessed over the years that have affected home owner’s ability to make timely decisions;
• Health problems. Having a custom home built is a stressful situation for most people. This added stress can cause people to have health problems. Too much stress leads to all kinds of changes to the human body that can affect your mental state as well as your physical conditioning. Even if your health problems aren’t stress related, having your partner get sick diverts your attention and focus away from the task of making decisions that your general contractor has asked of you.
• Being overwhelmed with decisions. This is an extremely common problem for homeowners when having a custom home built. Most homeowners don’t realize they amount of decisions that they will be asked to make. The reason for all these decisions is it’s a custom home and that means that it is customized to you the homeowner. With customization comes questions and most questions have a timeline attached to them. If you haven’t taken the time to make the normal decisions like trim and floor coverings then you can end up overwhelmed when you’re asked to make decisions that you didn’t expect to have to make.
• Picking of products that are hard to get, not available or are over your budget. Going over your budget on some items requires you to rethink your decisions or other items that are less expensive. You have to make all these decisions in a timely manner or you will cause delays. In today’s homebuilding world new products come on the market everyday and they disappear just as fast as well. When a brand new product comes on the market and everyone tries to buy it you end up with manufacturing delays, this translates into delays in the building process. Unless the decision is made early enough in the building process so that the delay of the product is expected, you are almost guaranteed to end up with unwanted delays.
• The changing of your mind once you see the space. The second guessing of product choices happens routinely, especially when choices are chosen well in advance. This usually comes from watching a show on TV, looking at something in a magazine or seeing work that your friends or neighbours recently had finished. The old adage “the grass is always greener on the other side” rings true. The longer the time between when you made the decision and the time that it is installed the more chance you will have to second guess yourself.
• Budget overruns. A lot of times homeowners choose to upgrade their homes with options that are offered to them by their builder. These options were never planned for when you as the homeowner had the budget on the home assembled by your builder. A lot of homeowners don’t realize how much they have upgraded and the cost until near the end of the build when the money that they have set aside starts to run out. This then pushes them to reassessing their finishes, trying to save themselves money by picking a cheaper product at the last minute. What most people don’t realize is that one choice always affects another and changing one thing can have a snowball effect which can force you to rethink the whole space.
• Family or work problems. In life nothing goes the way that you think it will. When you have all your focus on one part of your life, life comes up and bites you in the ass. Family problems of any kind can distract you from the focus you should have on your custom home project. The biggest distraction can and almost always will be work, your work is the reason that you are able to build this house and so you have to try and divide your focus and energy accordingly.
When you receive your schedule from your general contractor make sure that you take the time to review it. In the schedule you should be able to recognize when you need to make certain decisions. If you have any questions of how much lead time your builder will require on decisions for products like tile or paint don’t be afraid to ask. A good general contractor will be able to tell you how much time they require for the ordering of material. You should be able to easily cross reference that time frame with your home building schedule.
Remember it’s your house, so it’s up to you to make the decisions on what you want the home to look like and not your general contractors. So make those decisions early and often and your custom home will be competed in a timely manner.
Village Builders Inc.