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Best tips to make your construction project less painful in 2023

Why is it commonly believed that building your dream home is so frustrating? If your goal is to design the house of your dreams, how can you prepare for the process to reduce the pain and make it stress-free? Here are the best ways to prepare for building your new home and ENJOY the process. Listen to podcast episode #55 here or watch below.

Building a new home or remodeling your existing one is notorious for being an unpleasant experience. There are so many decisions involved, a lot of time, and it's likely one of the most significant investments you'll make in your life. So, how can you make the process LESS painful and actually enjoy the experience? Here are the best tips to help guide you through your new build.

Understand Cost

As mentioned above, building your dream home is likely one of the most significant expenses you will encounter. So, go into the experience with this understanding. Nail down your budget early on and speak with professionals to determine whether your budget aligns with what you want. If not, consider what needs to be adjusted. Make sure you add a contingency to your budget to prepare you for unexpected expenses. Doing so will help reduce stress by allowing flexibility in your finances.

Lack of understanding

Most people who build a custom home have yet to go through the process. That's ok! It's normal to go through this experience only once in your life. So, make sure you ask questions and work with professionals that give you precise details about the process. You shouldn't expect to know everything, but you should have professionals who are willing to take the time to explain it to you so you can make informed decisions. When everyone speaks the same language, it's easier to arrive at the solutions you want. So, when you are confused about something, ask! Make sure communication is clear to reduce the stress of the unknown.


Building a dream home takes time. The design process takes anywhere from a few months to a few years. After the design process, the project goes through permitting, and then the actual construction begins. All of this takes time. Make sure you add a buffer to your schedule for inevitable delays. You never know what will happen with the supply chain, permitting process, or any unexpected obstacle coming your way. Allowing a buffer or flexible timeline will enable you to move through the process efficiently and with less worry.

Lots of decisions

There are a lot of decisions to make during the process. A lot! Having a good team on your side is critical to help you effortlessly make these decisions. Making decisions early, especially before construction starts, and sticking with those decisions is the best way to have a smooth project. If you change your mind a lot, be clear about this upfront and have a good understanding of how this will affect your project. Changing your mind often and late in the process leads to delays and cost increases, so be prepared for this.

Lots of research

There will inevitably be a lot of research while building your dream home due to the decisions required and the unfamiliarity with the process. Usually, clients will start this before we even meet because they are excited about the process! Once we begin the design process, it can start to feel overwhelming. So, again, ensure you have a good team who can help answer questions and make informed decisions without having to do all the research on your own.

What professionals to use

Trying to understand what professionals you need on a project can quickly become overwhelming. Should you start with the contractor? Do you need an architect? A structural engineer? Not having a clear idea of who to turn to can prevent people from getting started. So, it's always best to start with an architect. Reach out to a local architect to discuss what your goals are and have them help you determine what the next steps will be. If you start with a contractor, they will typically only be able to tell you so much without a set of plans or a clear understanding of what is needed. So, start with an architect, and they will be able to tell you a list of professionals a project like yours will entail.

Dealing with delays and cost overruns

During the past couple of years, delays and cost overruns have significantly impacted the construction industry. Prices fluctuated comically, and some items took 12+ months to arrive. Building during a global pandemic is not typical, but delays and cost increases are standard. Speak with your contractor early on to determine what decisions you need to make and when to get items ordered in time. Having a clear idea of a timeline can help you prepare. When delays or cost overruns inevitably occur, be patient with the process. Having a buffer in your budget and schedule is an easy way to prevent this from leading to frustration.

Compromising what you want because of cost, availability, and codes

When designing your dream home, you want to maintain all your wants and needs! However, sometimes there are obstacles, like codes, that prevent us from creating precisely what you desire. Situations will arise during the process that requires compromise, which can be challenging. Ultimately, your home will be perfect, and your design professionals can help give you the best possible solution.

Keep the end goal in mind

Remember to keep the end goal in mind as you move through the process. During your build, there will be stressful times, but one day soon, you'll be sitting in your living room drinking your favorite beverage and watching the kids play outside in your beautiful backyard. You won't worry about the little hiccups along the way. I promise it will all be worth it!



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