Building Tips

Five Obstacles when Building a House and How to Overcome Them

Building a house can be very rewarding in the end, but sometimes the journey getting there can seem long and even frustrating at times. We know this journey all so well, and are very familiar with the many obstacles that can take the joy out of building.

Knowing these obstacles may occur and knowing how to deal with them is a major part of the battle. The ultimate goal is to enjoy each part of the journey and stage you are in.

Sure, It will still be frustrating at times, but you will know ahead of time these pitfalls may occur. I think when you are prepared upfront, it may make those seem less negative and easier to deal with.

Weather

Our current build has actually been one of the easiest ones to date. It has not been very stressful, but the biggest obstacle we have had so far is rain. This is something that is out of our control, but has really set us back several weeks.

Whether it be rain, snow, or any other weather condition, it is frustrating and makes the building process delayed and take longer. Not to mention, if you experience extreme weather during your build, it can even destroy or damage parts to the construction. This is where it is so important to have builders risk insurance. We’ve been fortunate to not have to deal with this.

There is no way to prevent bad weather, but you can at least try and make up for a few lost hours. A couple of suggestions would be asking the workers to work on Saturdays and longer days when the weather cooperates.

This is one area God has really taught me patience. Throughout all of our builds and remodels, I have learned very quickly to get a rigid timeframe out of my mind. Its not going to be the end of the world if it takes a few extra weeks.

Workers Not Being Dependable

This is a one of those problems you hear about all the time! Why does the construction business have such undependable workers? When being your own contractor, you are the boss, the one who hires, fires, and responsible for the crews showing up. If they don’t come, the house doesn’t get built.

On our last build, the modern farmhouse, this was a huge issue for us. I felt like I was back in school teaching high school boys. I felt like I had to be at the house first thing in the morning, sometime during the day, and at quitting time all to keep an eye on what was going on and just making sure they showed up. This can can be discouraging and take a mental toll on you during the building process.

The biggest recommendation I have is to really do research on who you hire. Talk to people who have used them in the past, and don’t be afraid to ask tough questions during the interview process. If you do enough homework on who you’re hiring, you should end up with a good crew.

Going Over Budget

Going over budget is one pitfall that is hard to avoid. Most people say to go ahead and plan on going over 10-15 percent up front. This will help prepare you for that extra cost, and help avoid the shock that comes with going over.

There are a few ways to help lessen and even prevent this obstacle. The most important thing is to start out with a detailed budget and try to stick close to it. If you sway in certain areas, make up for it in other areas. For instance, on our current build we went over budget on our windows and are going cheaper on our roof. Another way to stay within budget is to get several estimates upfront on both material and labor. This could lead to lots of savings.

Inspection Problems

Throughout your build you will have many inspections all the way from start to finish. Some of these include wiring, plumbing, framing, and even a final inspection at the end. These inspections are done by your local county and city. Depending on where you live, they can be quite tedious.

We know this upfront, so its not that alarming to have minor changes that will need to occur. That’s just it though, we always pray for minor changes. We have been fortunate to only face those so far.

A great way to prevent major problems within the inspection is to hire crews/workers that are licensed and very knowledgeable within their field. It also helps for you to familiarize yourself with city and county expectations within each area.

Flaws

Oh my, this is a big one. We all have in our minds of what the design or each phase of our build will look like. We have worked on drawings, plans, inspirational pictures, and even described in detail of how we want it to look. The reality is…nothing is perfect and there will always be flaws, either in the design or execution.

There will be times the tile guy doesn’t completely understand your vision, the framer gets a window placement off by a foot, and the electrical guy puts an outlet in the wrong place. Welcome to the world of building or remodeling!

My biggest suggestions to overcome this obstacle is to be as clear as possible, plan in great detail, and be present. Being present just means to check in frequently of the progress along the way. And if problems do occur, as I know they will at some point, take a deep breath and just put your big girl panties on. Don’t whine and cry around, figure out the best solution and fix it. If it is something you can live with and will not even notice in a few years, just let it go.

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2 Comments

  • Reply Halley

    Great advice! We also went over budget on Windows but we felt it was a place to go over since they are pretty important. Im going to send your post to my husband as we are right in the thick of it all.

    July 24, 2019 at 4:49 am
    • Reply Brooke

      Thanks Halley! I feel the same way about windows. That is one place where I don’t mind spending extra.

      July 25, 2019 at 1:34 am

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