Making the decision to build your own home from scratch means you’re making more work for yourself, but it also means that you’ll be able to design the exact home you want. It will be a longer, more tedious process than simply buying an existing home and redecorating it, but it can also be more rewarding in the end. When visitors come over, you won’t have to apologize for the weird carpeting in the living room or the the dated wallpaper in the bathroom. Instead, you’ll own all of the house, for better and for worse. It’s both more pressure and more freedom.
It may help to look at the general aesthetic in your neighborhood and town. You can try to either match that aesthetic, or you can depart wildly from it. This part of the process will be highly dependent on where you live. The flooring design options in Portland, Oregon, aren’t going to be the same as the flooring design options in Portland, Maine. Think about what sort of message you want to send with your house. Do you want something cozy and rustic, or do you want something sleek and modern? Do you want a lot of big light fixtures, or do you want to keep the lighting pretty basic and complement it with candles and antique lamps? Each question you answer will get you one step closer to putting together the puzzle that will become your house.
The process of creating a new home also means consulting with a lot of contractors and subcontractors. There will be electrical experts working alongside plumbing professionals. You want to make sure all the necessary parties are communicating with each other–and with you. If there’s a delay, you should be able to find out the particulars as soon as possible.
Weather conditions are a big reason for those delays, unfortunately. Unless you can find a contractor who is capable of controlling the weather, you’re going to have to prepare yourself for inclement weather that slows down the construction process. Building a house outside Detroit in December? There may be days where it’s too cold to pour concrete. Or maybe you’re building a home on the beach in Florida in September, in which case you need to keep a careful eye on the Atlantic hurricane season. Nothing ruins the pace of construction quite like a Category 5 hurricane.
On average, a house takes about six or seven months to build from start to finish. You may get lucky and finish your house in four months, or you may run into a string of bad luck and need fourteen months. There are extremes at both ends of that rough average. Before you even start taking meetings with contractors, it’s important to prepare yourself for a grueling process. Building a house isn’t for everyone, and that’s just fine. You can still find a great home that means a lot to you even if you didn’t personally oversee its construction. But once you commit to building your own place, there’s no going back.