Mistakes to Avoid When Building a House

Building a new house is no mean feat at all. This is why it is important to consider all the necessary factors before you start a building project. You don’t want to have to spend a huge amount of money building the house only to discover a major problem or fault that could have been avoided.

While building errors may be corrected at an extra cost in some cases, some other errors may be difficult to correct. What to do? Avoid making such mistakes in the first place. After all, prevention, they say, is better than cure.

In this article, we explain important mistakes to avoid when building a house.

House Building Mistakes to Avoid

Starting a building project without considering all the important factors can be disastrous. From boring a gaping hole in your pocket to becoming a safety hazard to the occupants in the house to reducing the aesthetic value of the property; there’s a long list of what a building mistake can cause. 

Here are some factors to consider and mistakes to avoid when building a house:

1. Planning and Design

You know what they say about how proper planning prevents poor performance, right? The same applies to building a house.

If there’s any stage you want to spend ample time on, it is the planning and design stage of the house. Don’t rush it. Pay adequate attention to every detail in the building plan and design and consider the role each element will play in the outcome. 

Is it really necessary to have a closet in every room? Are you optimizing the available space? These and more are some of the questions you need to ask and communicate with your architect. 

Check for modern house plans and designs you may love. More interestingly, good plans would have answered these important questions for you.

2. Power and Lighting Fixtures

Have you ever been in a building where the light and power fixtures were either hard to reach or completely difficult to use? Or there weren’t enough lights and the rooms were poorly-lit? Must have been an unpleasant experience, right? 

Seeing that you are planning to build a house, you can prevent all these at the construction stage by considering the position, type and how many of these fixtures will be necessary to have in the house. By doing that, you will also avoid the need to rewire the entire building or replace certain fixtures later.

Factor in light and power fixtures for other spaces like your garage, pantry, basement, and your outdoor spaces. Will you need landscape lighting too? Factor it in as well. 

3. Your Lifestyle and Priorities

While there are non-negotiable building considerations, it is also very useful to consider your lifestyle and priorities when you build a house.

For instance, if you plan to host parties frequently, then you probably need to consider the size of your living room. And if you think the parties will be better off outside, then the size of your outdoor space will matter a lot. You don’t want your guests getting on your neighbor’s property because your space isn’t enough.

If you are an avid swimmer, then building a swimming pool on your property will be a great idea. So, consider your available space and determine how well a pool can fit in. Do you want it indoors or outdoors? Above-ground or in-ground? Might a Jacuzzi be a better alternative to a pool especially if you have space constraints?


4. HVAC System

The HVAC system is an aspect of a house that may lead to unpleasant outcomes if it is not properly factored in at the construction stage. You need to know if the HVAC system will be efficient enough to cool down or heat the entire house.

Note that the efficiency of your HVAC depends on the size. However, while a system that is too small may be inefficient in cooling or heating the house, a system that is too big may lead to high energy bills. 

Replacing an HVAC system is not a walk in the park. So, ensure that you speak with the homebuilder before installations begin.

5. Laundry Machine Installation

The location of a laundry machine in a house is mostly based on personal preference. However, if you are building the house for occupants other than yourself, then you may want to consider a neutral location for the laundry machine.

You may choose to install the machine close to the bedrooms to make it easy for the occupants to do their laundry. However, some people think a laundry machine close to the room may be counterproductive especially if someone chooses to do their laundry at night. To be honest, no one wants to be woken up by buzzing machine sounds.  

6. Kitchen Location and Access

The size of your kitchen’s doorway plays an important role in how easy it will be to get groceries into your kitchen. And should you ever need to replace appliances as big as a refrigerator, a wide doorway will make move it out pretty easy. It will be useful to have the kitchen near your main or back entrance or near the garage for easy access.

Also, as we mentioned earlier, someone who hosts house parties regularly will need ample space to entertain guests. And as you may already know parties are likely to have guests walking into the kitchen to grab a cold drink, a slice of the apple pie, or even a selfie for the gram. You can foster socializations this way with ample space in your kitchen. 

7. Choice of a Homebuilder

Most of the mistakes people have made when building a house could have been avoided with the right home builder.

So, before you choose a builder, ensure that they have a wealth of experience in building houses. You don’t want to spend so much to build a house that will eventually not last. 

While you can take advantage of local online resources to find a good one, referrals and recommendations have also proven to be effective when it comes to finding the right builder. 

Whatever you do, ensure that the builder also has good people skills and will carry you along from the start to finish.

8. Contingency Funds

As with any project at all, a building project requires contingency funds. Not having a contingency fund is one mistake people make when building a house. So, when surprises come up during the project that they didn’t account for at the planning stage, they are either forced to pause the project or compromise on quality to make up for the new cost. 

With that being said, a contingency fund between 10 to 20% of your overall budget is considered ideal.

Bottom Line

 Building a new house is rewarding in many ways. It is a nice addition to your portfolio of assets and can significantly boost your financial status. However, for it to be as rewarding as it should be, there are certain mistakes to avoid at the planning and construction stages of the project.

In this article, we stated the importance of avoiding mistakes related to the planning and design, choice of a home builder, your lifestyle and priorities, space optimization, HVAC systems, and contingency funds.

If you take note of these mistakes and avoid them when building your house, your chances of having a successful outcome will increase.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a House?

If you have carefully considered the differences between building a house and buying a house and have settled for building one, then you may be curious to know how much such a venture is going to cost you. Let’s break it to you – the cost of building a house is high! But this cost may vary with the property type, location, materials used, and cost of services rendered.

However, while this cost is high and requires time and effort, building a house is usually worth it in the end. Moreover, by building your own house, you get to choose how you want the structure of the house to be. You can also add whatever it is you want to the house.

Since the cost comes before the building, let’s now examine how much it costs to build a house.

The Cost of Building a House

The average cost of building a house is between $100 and $200 for every square foot. So, for a 3,000 square-foot house, you can expect to spend between $300,000 and $600,000 for building costs. Meanwhile, if you want a custom home or luxury home, it will cost you between $200 and $500 for every square foot of the home. 

Labor costs will usually take up about 40% of the total building cost and will include costs of acquiring permits, cost of materials, and design fees. 

Before You Call a Building Contractor

Here are a few things you to do before calling a contractor:

Find a Good Property

Some people prefer to go property hunting themselves while others just employ the services of a real estate agent. In property hunting, you look out for how accessible the property will be, how developed the area is, the neighborhood, etc.

If you would rather not do this on your own or do not know how to go about it, you can talk to a real estate agent. However, even if you will be hiring a real estate agent, don’t hands-off the process and leave it to the agent completely. Give your real estate agent a brief on what to look out for and keep in touch with them.

Draw Up a Plan

Once you’ve secured a property, the next step is to draw up a plan. Prepare a budget you are ready to work with and present it to your contractor. At this point, ensure that you have a concrete answer to the question, “What type of house do I want exactly?” 

Write down your answers and share your vision with your contractor. This is important if you want to avoid change orders where something will need to be added or taken out of the original contract. Change orders are risky because they can impact ongoing projects negatively.

Building Stages that Affect the Overall Cost 

There are several stages of homebuilding. By identifying these stages, you can estimate how much money you will need to spend. These stages include site work, foundation, framing, exterior finishes, major systems, interior finishes, cost of miscellaneous construction, and sales price. 

Let’s examine each of these stages:

Site Work

Site work includes inspections, building plans, and permits. At this stage, various levels of tests are done on the land. The land will be surveyed, reports such as soil reports will be run on it, you will need to get permits from the government office in that location and of course, also get an architect to draw up your building plan.

When choosing an architect, it is better to go with one that has foundational knowledge of the building process. This way, they can collaborate with your contractor to get the best outcome.


At the foundation level, a lot of excavating, clearing, and leveling will be done. Because you will be excavating and breaking the ground, you will need experts in this field. Some of them have the high-duty equipment that is required for the job. If there’s any equipment that they don’t have and is necessary for the building process, you will need to rent it.

Meanwhile, if there are large rocks under the property, excavation costs may increase.

After this, the builders will begin to lay the foundation. Meanwhile, if the house you want has a basement, you will need to pay more on a cost per square foot basis. 


The framing stage of a house is the part where the skeletal form of the house is built. After it comes sheathing which is used to cover the frame. 

Exterior Finishes

This includes installing the exterior walls. These walls are built to support the structure of the building. 

Other exterior finishes include doorway and window installations.

Utility Systems

This involves setting up basic utility connections such as electricity, water, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and sewer systems.

Interior Finishes

This includes the floors, doors, countertops, painting, insulation, lighting, etc.

At this stage, there are usually specifics. Some materials cost more than others so consider this in addition to the cost of interior finishes.

Miscellaneous Costs

These costs are usually not in the budget. They are unforeseen costs that you may incur in the course of the project. An example is traveling costs. Your contractor might need to run a few errands in the course of doing his job. Consider miscellaneous costs like this and ensure that you have a contingency reserve to accommodate such costs when they come up. 


One look at how much it costs to build a house costs can make anyone reconsider and decide to buy instead. For some, it is the convenience that comes with buying a house that they are after.

Regardless, when you make up your mind to build yours, contact an expert house builder. You deserve to get a ton of value from the huge sum of money you’ll be spending.