You’ve heard the stories. While tales of wayward or missing contractors, premium prices for standard (or substandard) materials, and shoddy construction may not be Hollywood-level horrors, they certainly keep homeowners up at night. And you’ve also heard about the obstacles and the delays that many people experience. If your dream is a custom home, then it is important to know how to overcome the most common building challenges.

1. Choosing the Right Builder 

This topic is front and center for one very simple reason: Every other challenge you’ll face during the custom home process can either be exacerbated or alleviated by your builder. In the wrong hands, your project can easily get mired down in budget-busting delays, scheduling snafus, and other construction issues that turn creating your dream house into a nightmare.  

The right builder will deliver an exceptional experience, take the time to communicate clearly with you, keep you updated at every step, explain the impact of decisions, and overall help you navigate the process with success. And… at the end, you’ll be home 

2. Great Expectations

If you are embarking on your first custom home build, you have likely done the research, talked to others who have been through it, vetted your builder, and taken all the right steps to prepare. All the same, it can be difficult to know just what to expect – and this can lead to frustration, aggravation, or disappointment. If you’re expecting to be moving in within six months, for example, you may be in for a surprise if your build takes nine to 12 months.  

Managing expectations is a critical part of the custom home process. Learning as much as you beforehand and, of course, selecting the right builder, is the antidote for this building challenge. 

3. Playing the Waiting Game

How long does it take to build a custom home? The answer is sure to frustrate you! It depends. Your timeline will depend on a wide variety of factors, including the level of customization, the state of the supply chain and labor market, your build site, and even Mother Nature. It can take an average of 10 to 24 months to construct your home.  

This does seem like a long stretch – but think of everything that is happening during this time, from foundation to roof and inspection to closing. Your home is literally being born. Still, we recognize it is an exercise in patience (to put it mildly) waiting to realize your dream. 

4. Decision Fatigue

The benefit of a fully custom home is that it is completely you. Every decision down to the last doorknob, light switch, and flooring tile is up to you. The challenge of a fully custom home is that every decision down to the last doorknob, light switch, and flooring tile is up to you. That’s a lot of decisions. Hundreds, thousands.  It seems like the list is never-ending.  

This can lead to a condition known as “decision fatigue.” Not only are you well and truly sick of deciding, you end up making choices that are rash, impulsive, or unsound because… You just want to be done – or to stop arguing about plumbing fixtures with your partner!

You pick a doorknob that you end up hating? No big deal. You choose a floor that you dislike? Well, that is a bigger, more expensive, deal. There is a reason why this is one of the biggest building challenges homeowners face. 

5. “Surprise” In the Budget 

The reality is that you may run into costs that you hadn’t anticipated or built into your budget. Homeowners who were building when COVID reared its ugly head found this out the hard way. With significant disruptions to the supply chain and labor force, delays – and increases in cost – were all but inevitable. It may have been unexpected then, but it is not now. We have much more accurate and timely data on which to draw (e.g. economic, housing market, lumber and supplies), and we have learned as an industry to become adept at managing the “unexpected.” 

That said, most costs should be expected, anticipated, planned and budgeted for…. all with clear information and direction from your builder. 

Overcoming Common Building Challenges 

The single most effective way you can overcome common building challenges (and not-so-common challenges, when it comes right down to it) is choosing the right builder from the get-go. This should come as no surprise! As mentioned, many of the biggest hurdles can be smoothed over – or avoided altogether – by expert planning, skilled management of relationships and schedules, and a process that is designed and honed to provide the most positive experience possible. 

Remember, too, that this is your project. Your home. Learning as much as you can will empower you to manage expectations realistically, anticipate common obstacles, and plan proactively to streamline your process. Start with our helpful Built for Living Guide 

This is your story. Let’s get you the ending you deserve. Connect with G&G Custom Homes.