The thought of constructing house itself is so exciting. Isn’t it? It is the time when you can turn those magazine house pictures mustered for years into reality. The beautiful house you’ve painted in your thoughts is the inspiration to make it happen. With all the inputs from family, friends, home décor magazines, online architectural information etc., it is the time when you turn your dream house into reality.
You would have short-listed the architects and contractors for constructing house. You would have also planned your budget according to the quotes from various architects and feedback from the experienced kith and kin. And you are ready to put your master plan into action. Are you?
You know what you want and what will work for you but do you have any idea of what you might not require and won’t work in your interest? Did you consider your plans of expanding family or kids leaving the nest? Have you thought about your lifestyle or the parties you throw often or guests staying back overnight, frequently?
Poor planning or cutting the corners decisions can be uncomfortable or even disastrous. However, with strategic planning and being informed about issues that might surface, you can save money, time and headache. Here are the 8 mistakes to avoid when constructing house so that in real you turn your dream into home –
1. Having a budget but not a buffer
You have got the quotes from contractors, builders and architects on how much it would cost you to build a house with all your requirements. That’s great but are you prepared for the bounce in your budget in unforeseen situations? Your budget should include extra cushion of funds for overage due to time-lapse, rise in wages or other unexpected costs incurred. Start from stage-1 so that you don’t plan something that you can’t afford to build. Once your plan is ready either prepare for 10% extra (a general rule of thumb) funds or refrain from exhausting your entire budget by revamping your specifications and requirements so that you’ll still have some buffer.
2. Short term planning and not considering selling value
Do you want to age in this home or bring in your parents or aged folks? Are you young couple planning to extend your family? Your house should grow with you accommodating your changing lifestyle and the needs of every person residing in the house.
Considering that you might want to sell your house eventually no matter how long you stay in the place, the house must bring a good return on investment. The longevity and interiors of the house, convenience of the location and its neighbourhood along with the styling, all must be taken into account. Also the materials used must be timeless in order to account for a good selling value.
3. Buying ready-made plans and not customizing
Whether you are opting to buy your house plan, online, based on the area of your plot or you are getting it done by an architect, it’s important for you to prioritize your requirements. Going for the design that is trending may seem to be a good idea but not compromising on your requirements and the budget is even better.
You might not be lucky enough to get architect’s plan online with your preferences for the first time. But ask for revisions (which an ideal architect should be able to do as part of a package with no extra charge) and get it done to perfection till you are satisfied.
4. Poor space management, underused or overused
Having a big house doesn’t necessarily mean a functional one or having a small house doesn’t mean a congested one either. It all boils down to how well you utilize the existing space without compromising on the actual living area.
Your storage space, be it wardrobes in bedrooms, display unit in living room or a crockery cabinet in your dining room, everything needs to be well placed. You need to resolve any petty issues like that, in the design phase itself. You plan the positions of doors and windows accordingly without hindering either of them.
Though adding an extra room for office or recreational activities looks fancy. It can be used as a guest room or kids play room or something else if required. It doesn’t become a dumping ground in the long run.
5. Neglecting the real issue of permits
Getting the green signal for constructing house is time-consuming. If at all you have the option of assigning this job of pulling permits to your contractor then you’ll be rescued sooner than it’s otherwise done. This process may also include a series of inspections before getting approved. Another issue is dealing with government officials, which can also cost you time and money.
Keep your documents ready for moving things quickly. No-due-tax certificates for the land, attested approved layout papers, building plan approval, applications for electricity supply on site for construction purposes, etc. must be kept ready in hand. You may also have to pay a stipulated fee for every aspect related to the approval of construction. But, whatever be the situation never jump start your project in haste without right permits as it can lead to pausing of the constructing house or even fine you, causing leakage in your budget.
6. Working with wrong builders or cheap contractors
You’ll be dealing with your builder for next few months or even a year or so. You’ve to hand over your dream project into the hands of a stranger whom you trust to take care of it like a baby of his own! Your hard-earned money and your future livelihood are at stake. With so much to care about, you must make sure that the builder and the contractors are capable and reliable.
Ask your builder for photos of their work, talk to their previous clients, look for online reviews or better ask for a visit to the location. A real building stands like a testimony for their credibility before constructing house.
7. Lack of involvement in deciding materials
Don’t stand passive and let your builder decide for you. Get yourself involved in the process of constructing house. Decide on what goes into construction that is from the brand of concrete to bricks being used, tiles on the roof to the marble on floor and the wood for furniture to the paints on walls. You should be involved in deciding everything in construction of house.
Take your decisions based on style, cost, the green concept house, the durability factor, and their maintenance over a period of time.
8. Little or no attention to landscaping and exteriors
Don’t just care for the inside of your house as there is a lot to do outside as well. Good exteriors can bring your house to life. Beautiful landscapes and colourful flowers can instantly brighten up the look of your house and leave a lasting first impression. Unique window shapes that are highlighted with contrasting colours and hint of flowers grown in the baskets hung under the window can beautify the exterior without much effort.
Careful selection of colours for your exterior walls and a thoughtful front elevation can make your house light up with prosperity when constructing house. Plan ahead and visualize the beauty of your house by adding subtle but important features to finish off your exterior designing.
Who else can be a better judge when it comes to accessing your family needs and routines? Consider the advice from others and gather information provided by professionals. However, the ultimate choices and decisions should be yours. Constructing house can be once in a lifetime affair and you don’t want to ruin it by making mistakes. It can otherwise be easily, taken care of with little thinking and planning.
Authored by a Building Expert from Wienerberger India
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