5 Common Mistakes When Building a Custom Home

Building a custom home can be a lifechanging experience filled with excitement and endless possibilities. You get to tailor a design to your exact needs and watch the process of your home coming together one step at a time, from the ground up. After 20 years in the industry, our construction contractors have been a part of many dreams realized — and we know what to watch out for too. Here’s some information about what can go wrong when building a custom home so we can help make sure everything goes right!

Avoid These Mistakes

Mistake 1: Not Properly Researching Vacant Land

Wyoming has so many wonderful, wide-open spaces. But before you set your heart on building on vacant land, be sure zoning and building codes will allow you to construct the home you want. You must find out if the area around the land has access to running water, sewer and electric service, or if you will have to spend money to run new infrastructure to a home. Outside of city limits, you will need to research drilling a well and installing a septic system. In Wyoming, road access and winter plowing are also important but easily overlooked.

Other expenses may include excavation of the lot, clearing trees, installing water drainage and purchasing permits.

Mistake 2: Settling for a Cheap Lot

Lot features are very important when you’re planning a custom home. It can be tempting to compromise location for price but homes in a prime location (such as on a corner lot or with a view) are immediately valued higher. When planning for a custom home, buy the best lot that you can afford and manage. Gateway Construction offers lots in Cheyenne’s most sought-after communities. To speak to a member of our sales team about our current lot inventory, call (307) 509-0608.

Mistake 3: Considering Budget Too Late in the Process

Your budget determines the means available to construct the project at hand. Planning a new home before identifying your budget is like going for a drive without knowing how much gas is in the tank! Discuss budget with your contractor as early in the process as possible so they can suggest ideas and options within that price range. This establishes trust and good communication from the beginning and doesn’t waste anyone’s time.

Mistake 4: Not Doing Due Diligence Before Hiring a Builder

Not all construction contractors are created equal. Building a new home is a major commitment for you as well as the contractor, so it is important to test the waters before signing anything. Interview several builders who build the types of homes you’re looking for in your price range. Friends, relatives and local realtors can be good sources for builder referrals.

Verify that the company’s licensing and insurance are current and they have a reliable reputation in the community. Pay attention to how the builder communicates. Do they answer the phone when you call? If you leave a message, how long does it take for them to get back to you? This will give you an idea of what you might experience during the construction phase. Finally, don’t forget to request references from previous clients.

Here’s our handy list of questions to ask prospective construction contractors.

Mistake 5: Not Expecting the Unexpected

During construction, something will almost always pop up that wasn’t included in your original budget or you may submit a change order that results in costs for additional materials and labor. For this reason, we recommend including a contingency fund in your overall budget. The amount of this fund may vary by project, but a minimum of 10 percent of the total construction cost is a good rule of thumb.

In Conclusion

We hope these tips will help as you build a new home that is perfect for your family. Gateway Construction, LLC would be honored to be your partner in the process. Let us put our deep experience in the residential construction industry to work to make your new build as seamless as possible. To discuss your needs, give us a call at (307) 632-8950 or contact us online. Let’s start building your future today!

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