One of my favorite clients reach out recently; we helped she and her husband build a beautiful home a few years ago and she emailed saying they are looking to build a second home.
I couldn’t help but smile knowing she enjoyed the process and wants to do it again. They put together a great team who worked hard to build a beautiful home, and I thought it might be helpful to share a few pieces of advice so you can do the same.
Tips for making the building process successful:
1. Put together a talented team
I can’t stress enough how important it is to hire a builder, designer and architect that are known for what you are trying to achieve. It isn’t enough to hire who your neighbor used- look at their past work, check their references, and search them online.
Your team should increase the value of your project while saving your sanity. Again- they should make your life easier and be good stewards of your money.
2. Make sure the aesthetic of your designer and architect appeal to you
Even creatives with a well-versed portfolio still have a certain look and tendencies (including me). In the end, you have to feel comfortable in the home.
Just as important, make sure you like their personality and can trust them. They are going to be dealing with your money and you need to be okay sharing details about how you live.
3. Wait to break ground on your home until your plans are finished
Do Not start the building process until the plans are finished. If you don’t wait, I can promise the demo will go fast but it will come to a screeching halt. Be prepared as it takes time to draw detailed plans.
A recent project as it was being built, Dana Wolter Interiors
4. Quality takes time
Quality takes time- there is a reason the room with custom cabinetry, draperies and millwork looks so good. Details customize a home, but they don’t happen overnight or through the internet.
Cabinet detail in a master bath renovation, Dana Wolter Interiors
Prepare yourself now- there will be a setback somewhere in the building process that will delay the project. The weather won’t cooperate, you will hit rock when excavating, etc…
5. Talk budget early on
No one enjoys sharing their personal business, but it is important to have a budget in mind or a realistic expectation of what your project will cost.
Know your building budget (and furnishings’ budget) at the beginning and be realistic about what it can afford you.
Talk to your builder about the exact finishes the allowances will buy you, and see what is realistic for what you are building. Also, the more finishes and specifics you can finalize during the bidding process (know exactly the type of countertop you want to use, what line of plumbing fixtures, etc…), the more it will save you with add-ons at the end.
6. Details make a home
Not all architects, builders and designers are equal and there is a reason everyone doesn’t charge the same. If detail is important to you, make sure you hire a team where it is important to them.
7. Let your home building team do their job
You hired your team for a reason, so let them do their job. If you can’t visualize a detail, trust that they can. This means trusting their judgment over your friend’s, your mom’s, etc….
8. Save enough money to furnish the home and be realistic as to how far that furnishing budget will go
The last thing you want to do is build a beautiful, brand new home and for it to echo because you are not able to furnish it properly.
I hope these eight tips are helpful and make the building process more enjoyable and fun.
If you are interested in learning about the design services we can offer you when building, email us at email@example.com. We’d love to hear more about your project.
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