Published: Sep 27, 2019 | Updated: Sep 26, 2023

What Is The Hardest Part of Building Your Own Home?

Before you jump into the custom home building thing and start building your own home, let’s examine some of the problems you may face.

Dining Room Decorative Moulding Home Builder Sc

Building a house and finding the perfect home builder in SC is an exciting adventure! It's so much fun to dream about a new home and make big plans for the future. If only you could just watch a time-lapsed video of the construction process and get right to the moving in. The joy of moving into your new dream home and the "happily-ever-after" of living there are the best parts. 

But in between the dreaming stage and the glorious move in date, what are the main challenges of building a new home? Before you jump into buying real estate game and building your own home, let’s examine some of the greatest problems you may face working with home builders and the entire home building process.

7 of the biggest challenges of building a custom home:

1. Managing expectations

If you have never been through the process of building a custom home before, you may not know exactly what to expect. Some of the greatest disappointments in any area of life tend to occur when people expect things to be one way, and then reality is very different. 

Thankfully, this issue is easy to rectify if you take some time to research the home building process and talk with your trusted, experienced builder about what you can reasonably expect.

2. Finding the right build site

Some people think it is best to find their lot first. But it can be wise to choose your builder first so that your builder can evaluate a potential lot. This can save you time, stress, frustration, and money.

A reputable builder will be able to tell you if the lot you desire is a good fit for building a house. They can also find potential problems so that you can avoid them way before you start the build process.

3. The wait

Building a custom house, on average, according to the US Census Bureau in 2018, takes about 10-16 months. Your builder can give you the most accurate estimate of how long your particular project may take. The exact timeline depends on many factors like:

  • Have you designed the house, or hired an architect to design the house already?
  • Do you already have the lot and is it suitable for the house you want to build?
  • How much work needs to be done on the lot before it is ready for the build?
  • Where is your house going to be built? In a rural area, the suburbs, and urban area? Are you in the Northeast, the Southeast, The Midwest, the Rockies, or on the West Coast?
  • What weather challenges will your area face during the build?
  • How efficient are the local municipalities and permitting offices?
  • What kind of relationship does your builder have with suppliers and other contractors?
  • How many decisions will you need to make after the building process starts?

4. So many decisions!

The best thing about building a custom house is that you get to build exactly what you want. You are very involved in the design process and in the building process. 

You get to choose the floor plan you love the most. You can decide if you want a 1200 or 6000 square foot home. You plan how energy efficient you want your home to be. You choose all of the materials, finishes, hardware, paint colors, and even the light fixtures. 

You get to choose everything and your options are essentially unlimited.

However, what is fun and exciting for some people can feel overwhelming for others, at times. So that is something to consider with your spouse or partner before you get started. 

  • Are you on the same page about wanting to build a house?
  • Are you both on board with making lots of decisions together about big and small things?

5. Unexpected delays

An experienced builder should be able to give you a pretty accurate estimate range when your house should be able to be finished. They will likely include a fudge factor to account for some weather related issues. 

But it is important to remember that no one can accurately plan for a large hurricane to hit your region or for a 1000 year flood. And no one can accurately predict a shortage of a certain kind of material that could create a problem and set back the entire project. 

An experienced builder will do all they can to minimize problems and setbacks. However, some delays that are unforeseeable. 

6. Unexpected expenses that add to construction cost

Many things can add to your total cost to build. Your builder should go over your budget with you carefully before you begin the building process. So you should have a realistic expectation of what kinds of additional expenses could arise and how you want to handle these decisions. Hopefully, your builder will stick with your target budget, however, it is a good standard practice to plan a 10-15% fudge factor in case you decide you want to make additions or upgrades or in case there are unforeseeable problems that arise.

(With our company, we settle the budget issue up front and don't go above it unless that is what the home buyers expressly desire to do.)

7. Relationship strain

Building a new home can be stressful, at times. The wait, the expenses, the time involved in the building process, and so many decisions to make can put additional strain on your relationship. It’s a great idea to prepare your family, in advance, for what to expect and for how you can handle the stress in healthy, productive ways together. Remember that your family and loved ones are more important than the house. Remember to continue to invest time and energy into your relationships. And don’t forget to have a sense of humor. This can help you keep things in perspective.

Great room and kitchen under construction

Minimizing the challenges of building your dream home

Thankfully, even though building a new home can be stressful, it doesn’t have to be unmanageable or overwhelming.

If you take the time you need to become a bit knowledgeable, you will be well-prepared for each stage of the process.

When you choose a reputable, local custom home builder, you have a valuable ally on your team. Your custom home builder can walk you through the decision-making process and may be able to give suggestions to help you avoid delays and unexpected expenses. They can also help you prepare for what to realistically expect before you commit to building a new house.

If you do your research, you can be well-prepared as far as what to expect when you design and construct your dream house. It doesn’t have to be frustrating. It could even be pretty fun! 

Building a new home doesn’t have to break the bank. You are in charge of your budget. You get to decide how much you can comfortably spend. Be sure to choose a builder who respects your budget and the limits you set. 

Are you ready to build a new home in the Columbia, SC area?

Contact us today and let’s get started!

We are a luxury home builder in areas including Blythewood, Forest Acres, downtown Columbia, West Columbia, Pine Ridge, Lake Murray, Lexington, Irmo, Ballentine, Chapin, and more. 


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