You probably already know that building a house usually takes longer than you might expect. But, do you know how long the build up is to building a house? Us either! So many people shared with us “Be prepared for delays. Building a house can take a long time.” NO ONE said, however, “be prepared that the build up to the build will take longer than you expect.” If you are dreaming of building a home we are here for you, friend! Here, we outline what to expect as you plan the house of your dreams.
3 Things You Need to Know Before You Build a House
1. Plan to wait
Notice, in the timeline above that we were ON IT! I mean, we started shopping for contractors and designing our home within months of purchasing our land!
Read here: “Buying the Land of Our Dreams… On a Budget!”
We’ve found that our longest waiting periods have been spent waiting for subcontractor quotes and mortgage loan appraisals. These times of waiting are brutal because you have no control over how quickly they get done. There is no fast forward button and there is no skip… these things are vital so, my advice? Just prepare yourself ahead of time.
Speaking of preparing yourself…
2. Be Prepared
In this process, we have noticed that there is a lot of hurrying up to wait some more. For example, you wait and wait and wait for your house plans… but then when you get them you want to take your time and make sure they are right. This is a very important process and should not be hurried! However, if you are able to be as prepared as possible, armed with the knowledge that you will probably want plugs next to the couch, or will likely want wall sconces in the guest bathroom then you can get back to your contractor with any amendments needed more quickly than if you don’t do any of this preplanning.
I used this process where we planned our build and design as much as we could up front. This was a great way to make decisions ahead of time- before we were faced with the need to make fast design choices we would regret!
Read here about how we DIY’d our custom build house plans to perfectly fit our family!
3. Save as Much Money as Possible
This might go without saying for some, but for us we were told that owning our large piece of property outright would likely count toward our construction loan down payment. This ended up being false information and caused us to have to extend our wait to build our home for another 6 months! You can avoid this by assuming that the bank will likely require a lump sum of cash and saving as much as you can!
Read here about how we saved $22,000 in 6 Months!
Planning to Build: Make the Wait Worth It
I’m not gonna lie… waiting is hard. It is my firm belief that waiting is so much more difficult than it is to deal with difficult news.
The following tips outline how we’ve survived this long…
Find Your Style
I might regret saying this but… I am actually a little thankful that our process has taken longer than expected. From the beginning of planning to build to present day, my design choices have changed A LOT. In the beginning, I was all over Pinterest. Most of these pins were of styles and finishes that are very popular. Here’s the thing though… they weren’t me. After a while I realized that I was gravitating toward choices just because they were in style rather than looking for choices I would still love five to ten years down the road!
Using design books like Homebody by Joanna Gaines and eliminating things from my Pinterest boards that really didn’t reflect our style, we’ve been able plan a home that truly represents our personalities. Not the latest design trend!
Check out our design style on Pinterest!
Focus on Your Land
Sitting around and waiting can lead to boredom and that can lead to frustration. One of the ways we’ve been able to get out some of our nervous energy while we wait to start building our home is by focusing on clearing the land. Some of these are big tasks, like cutting down trees, but some of them are also small and fun… like planning my garden plot, identifying foliage growth or gathering brush and having family bonfires!
Read more about how newbies like us cleared our own land in “Well, We’re Stumped!”
Tell Your Story
Taking time to curate pictures of our land and chronicling our journey has reminded me how much we have to appreciate. Whether you do this through social media, a personal journal or through a blog this gives you a chance to review your own highlight reel. Who knows? You might realize how awesome your current circumstances are! Or, at the very least, when this process is complete you will have your memories preserved.
Visit our About Page to find out more about us!
Start a Project
Go garage sailing and redo a few pieces of furniture. Learn how to sew your own pillow cases so you can decorate your new home on a dime. Learn to paint or draw so you can fill your brand new walls with the perfect personalized art piece. While these things won’t build your house faster… they will help you channel your house planning energy toward something you can actually do right now! Doing something rather than nothing always makes me feel better!
If you are planning to build, I hope this timeline helps you feel more prepared for what’s ahead. If you find yourself in the midst of waiting for your dreams to come true, I hope you feel encouraged that there really can be value in the wait!
Have a happy week, friends!