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Is building a custom home REALLY all that bad???

Posted by kath0000 (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 11, 13 at 2:42

We are about to enter escrow on a fabulous lot and start the process of building a custom home in Southern CA. We have a number of friends who have done custom homes in the area in the past 5 years and EVERY single one of them tells me how aweful it is and how they would never do it again and how it almost broke up their marriage, etc. I just don't get it. Is it really THAT BAD??? I don't want our marriage to suffer, we have done a LOT of research, have a clear idea of what we want and I feel like DH and I are on the same page with most everything. Plus he loves things like planning out the AV/wiring and I love stuff like cabinet colors/finishes and appliance selection, etc.

So are we in for the worst experience of our lives? That seems to be what everyone tells me but I just can't fathom why that would be. We already have a very experienced architect who is starting prelim drawings (which I will def post here) and have interviewed some builders with good reps and so on.

Maybe I am just naive but I don't see how this process could be that much of a nightmare.

Has it been that bad for all of you? Kath


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Is building a custom home REALLY all that bad???

It can get really stressful, and I've taken out frustrations on my H before. As long as you communicate with each other, and remind yourself that it'll all work out in the end, it's worth it.


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RE: Is building a custom home REALLY all that bad???

No.

But unexpected things do happen, and situations do occur at otherwise busy times in one's life.

Some suggestions:
--Do as much as possible to pre-plan, design and specify as much as possible before bidding. Reduce or eliminate allowances;
--Do your due diligence on all the other related expenses so that you will know the range of all costs related to design and construction, i.e., professional fees, permits, utility expenses, site improvements, levies, taxes, etc.
--Investigate the various types of construction contracts--fixed fee, not to exceed; cost plus fee, etc., and pick the one best suited for your temperament and budget;
--Pick architect and builder who can work together respectfully and constructively;
--Use the architect's services during bidding and construction to be your representative, advise you and to protect your interests;
--Decide to enjoy the experience and make it a learning opportunity.

Good luck on your project!


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RE: Is building a custom home REALLY all that bad???

It wasn't a fun experience. It would have been a lot worse if DH was especially opinionated on the finishes, kitchen details, etc. Since he left a lot of that up to me, there was less head butting that I've heard other people had.

Still, we had issues with our builder (being shady) throughout, the contractors messed things up, etc. I am sure the dream builder experience is out there (phoggie, I'm jealous,) but despite our best due dilligence*, our experience wasn't a dream. It was stressful with lots of last minute decisions (not things that I would have been able to plan.) Our build didn't meet the deadline, so we also had to deal with living in a 1 bedroom apartment with two large dogs, moving multiple times, worrying about our locked interest rate running out of time, etc. (Our other house sold before this one was done.) All of those life details, with all of the stressful last minute stuff that could come up was a lot to juggle at once... on top of the life we already had.

This certainly didn't "almost break up" my marriage, but it was the hardest time we have had together. Reading what I just wrote sounds dramatic, but OP's friends' comment have truth to them. If you don't sell another home in the middle of it or have to worry about where you are going to live and then get stuck in a very small space, you might be better off than we were. :)

* Disclaimer: Our builder had been highly recommended and had a good track record. I don't want to disclose anything online, but other stuff was happening in his life at the time that changed everything. The realtor who represented him for years ended up firing him after that, he stopped building, etc.


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RE: Is building a custom home REALLY all that bad???

We're at the very beginning of this, and maybe I'm naive too, but a lot of home building horror stories remind me of the awful childbirth stories some women feel compelled to tell pregnant women. There are real horror stories, of course, but I think there are plenty of people who have a pretty easy time of it, and they don't talk about it because it would be rude to tell your story of your build that went basically as expected right after someone talked about their awful experience. And stories about how everything went according to plan aren't worth telling, most of the time.

I also think people get stressed when they want an outcome that is perfect or when they want certainty where certainty isn't possible. My builder can't tell me when we'll get our permit, or what the weather will be like next week. If I were inclined to let that make me nuts, building would be pretty unpleasant. I'm still kind of stressed by it, but it's stress I can manage, KWIM?


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RE: Is building a custom home REALLY all that bad???

I have to say....it's tough. It takes a toll on your life physically and emotionally. You can read our horror story under the post about "how to fire a builder." That was the most stressful time - lots of tears, wasted time and wasted money....we felt so "cheated" by that builder. We trusted him, he had good reviews, and for us, it was the worst. He still won't admit it...he thinks we were just more difficult than the average person. He never "lead" the project....we felt like we had no guidance...even he couldn't guide himself.

Virgil made some excellent points - PREPLAN!

Our new builder has been a DREAM! He requires that everything is picked out and is signed off on BEFORE the shovel hits the ground. Yeah, a tough endeavor, but it makes for a very speedy build and much less stress. Can I change out a light fixture or tile selection, sure, as long as it is before it is ordered and as long as it doesn't have a 4 month back order. We have watched a "pick as you go" house and it has been almost 18 months and it still isn't done...the homeowner cannot make up her mind and it has slowed down the process.

It consumes alot of my day and I am a stay-at-home Mom. Gosh, roof and floors are the hardest for me. I think it consumes me because I have the time to seek out the samples, research different manufacturers etc....so, I take some of it on myself.

Our builder wrote a book about how to build your custom home...after reading that book, we knew he was the builder we needed to hire.

Be organized too...make a file system off all your brochures, selections, samples etc...it keeps you organized and on task.

Best of luck...
Pam


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RE: Is building a custom home REALLY all that bad???

Let me be a voice of positivity. First, I will echo the others...pre planning is key to not having surprises and stress. It helps to know what you want and plan for it budget wise. Inevitably, things will come up that you won't plan for but planning certainly helps.

Overall, my husband and I have really enjoyed the process and spending the time together planning our dream home. We quite often joke that we won't know what to do with our time when it's not consumed by evenings on houzz and at design showrooms selecting materials, paint, etc. We have also been fortunate to have an amazing builder who is also a planner. It helps when they don't use allowances and factor their bid with considerations for the actual materials you plan to use...again, this helps prevent surprises.

I also think it depends on your personality. If you enjoy diy and home decorating as you've mentioned, that makes a big difference. My husband and I are the same way. My in-laws, on the other hand, hated making all the decisions when they built because they're just not into decorating and home design so the selections and process were more stressful for them.

I hope that helps. Good luck with the build and enjoy it! It really can be fun!


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RE: Is building a custom home REALLY all that bad???

Go through and find threeapples' posts... Make sure you can handle a bad GC. Know how specific you'll be about the way things look/finish out. Know your level of tolerance to things not looking exactly as you pictured them. Know your level of tolerance to ridiculous subs. Have a great GC that communicates well. Etc.


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RE: Is building a custom home REALLY all that bad???

One more thing to add:

Make sure your builder knows what your expectations are....for example...cabinets....

are your expectations to be soft close, solid wood? yet the GC's idea is particle board

Alot of it is conflict of EXPECTATIONS...


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RE: Is building a custom home REALLY all that bad???

I think it's also important to hire a builder who typically builds the kind of house you want. If he's used to building high end homes and you don't have the budget for that, there may be problems. Similarly, if you want a high end, high detail home, you don't want to be with a builder who typically does all builder grade. You're better off with someone who is working in their comfort zone.


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RE: Is building a custom home REALLY all that bad???

We are in the rough--in process. So far it hasn't been too bad but in the past ten years we have diy-remodeled our entire current house so we have "worked out the kinks" in our decision-making processes. Also, we both like to be very involved with picking things out.

There are frustrations--weather delays, lack of communication with the subs, unexpected delays, changes popping up etc. but definitely no horror story.

I'm certainly not one of those people who would want to do this every five years but to get my "dream" home that I plan on living in for the next 30-40 years, it has definitely been worth it so far.
Good luck and I say go for it!


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RE: Is building a custom home REALLY all that bad???

We had a lot of fun w/ it. We spent way more $$ than we played and it took way longer than we played but the whole process of picking everything out and watch it get built was great. Fortunately, my DH and I agreed on everything and we also were able to devote a lot of time to the process b/c we both have very flexible work schedules (both self employed). If you do not have a lot of time to devote to it or if budget overages are going to stress you out, then it would probably be less fun because it is almost guaranteed you WILL go over budget.


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RE: Is building a custom home REALLY all that bad???

Yes, writing checks and obsessing over countertops is extremely exhausting.

The guys who pour the foundation don't know how good they have it with their simple lifes.

I just got a call from my sister who is extremely glad to relax in a spa now after an agonizing two hours with the kitchen designer.


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RE: Is building a custom home REALLY all that bad???

Building a custom home is not that stressful if you pre-plan, and have a generous contingency fund. If you leave a lot of decisions until the last minute, have a lot of "allowances" in the build, and your contract takes every penny that you've saved, then you will be miserable. There is something to be said for the feeling of peace and breathing room that a good contingency fund gives to a build. It's one of the keys to lowering the stress enormously. If you get done, and you didn't decide to upgrade something along the way (doubtful), then you can use the money for some new furniture and for the kids college fund. But, if you really don't have to worry that the excavation has run 10K over, and that the flooring that was originally spec'd is no longer being made and the new stuff is 15K over, and you had to fire the builder halfway through because he was a crackhead.....all of that is water off a duck's back when you have the funding set aside to cover that possibility.


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RE: Is building a custom home REALLY all that bad???

Dh and I really enjoyed the process. Were there things that didn't go as planned? Of course. But we kept our eyes on the final picture and everything turned out ok. It really does help to be on the same page as your spouse re: budget and basic style choices. We did some give and take, and I knew what areas were most important to him, and he knew mine...so we were kind to each other and didn't force things. Compromise can be a wonderful thing!

I love design, and felt like a princess in a fairy tale getting to go to showrooms and pick all the pretty things...but even for me, it got to be a bit much toward the end. I only had one foot-stomping fit, though, so I was proud of myself! :) We like our builders and designers...it was great. Plus, we just felt so fortunate that we COULD do this, you know? Kind of puts little annoyances in perspective.


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RE: Is building a custom home REALLY all that bad???

Others might disagree, but consider looking for a home builder who has a plan that you can modify to your liking. We're still early in the process, but we switched from an entirely custom, one-off plan I designed to a modified version of a builder's plan. I can't believe how good of a value it is, with higher quality finishes than we were going to use in the totally custom house, and it is so, so much easier. This builder has built hundreds of homes in town and dozens of this specific model. Believe it or not, you can find very nice plans from builders, and with a few modifications you can often attain most of the architectural integrity that many here are seeking. Further, we're able to make the modifications we want--I planned a whole new kitchen, I will change the lights and outlets around, I changed the elevation, etc. Not all spec builders will allow such changes to their plans, but ours and most others I talked to do.

This obviously is not the purist route, but that route requires that you are willing to put in the necessary time and endure the accompanying stress. If you are not, consider this a semi-custom stock plan from a builder.


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RE: Is building a custom home REALLY all that bad???

It has been stressful. We do not have a magical contingency fund as live_oak_wire describes... but we have tried to plan for as much as we could. We have had changes, some that add costs like increasing the base board size, adding a pocket door and putting stairs all the way around our decks. Those things were something that became clear after the house was up- difficult to see on paper. We also have changed things that saved us money, like deciding we did not want any railings on our front porch or back deck. We also made sacrifices like DH installing hardwoods and tile so we could get the products we really wanted. But let me tell you, every time I drive by our house or stop by for a visit, I get butterflies. I cannot believe that we are actually doing after dreaming for so long! So all the stress has been worth it. Not everyone who builds a house is a millionaire with huge pockets of money lying around. But I don't think that those people are the only ones who enjoy building.


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RE: Is building a custom home REALLY all that bad???

We had a wonderful experience and I don't remember a fight during construction, although we did have a disagreement on can lighting in the great room and master bedroom - those came down, and I found sconces.

We had a wonderful GC (we are still friends) that I highly recommend to this day. Our subs were great. The estimated 11 month build only took 9 months. Weather was great, subs showed up. We came in on budget.

Part of it was although we had never built a home before,we had completed a house addition (second story) to our last home, gutted kitchen and three bathrooms. We also had experience developing commercial properties (shopping centers and office buildings - building out the offices as the buildings leased).

The second part was having the plan 99% finished before starting, so there were only two changes made during construction. Both small. But major changes were made when we first received the plans - actually spent a year looking over them (while last of kids were graduating HS) before sending back to architect.

Thirdly, we had almost everything selected before the build started, so I wasn't rushed to pick out during with a deadline. Many items were ordered ahead of time so they were waiting to be installed -stored at home, not new build so nothing went missing.

Good luck on your build!


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RE: Is building a custom home REALLY all that bad???

Yes, it is stressful to build a custom home, even with the best laid plans, a great builder, and extra cash set by. Why? Because there are so many details in a custom home that it is near impossible to avoid mistakes and to forsee everything that might develop. So my best advice (already given by someone else here) is to make sure you want to build a custom home. It will be less expensive and stressful if you tweak an existing design that your builder has built before than to reinvent the wheel. But if you do want to go the custom route, there are several recommendations already made that I think should be reemphasized:

1. Get the best architect and best builder you can find. It helps if they have worked together before, but if not, make sure they have the kind of personalities that promote cooperation, problem solving, and communication.
2. As a previous poster recommended, hire your architect to stay with you and advocate for you and the design throughout the entire construction process. That's what we are doing and it has been the best money we've spent. Let him/her be the "bad guy." Much less stressful. Plus, architects and builders speak the same lingo.

3. Try to eliminate allowances by picking out as many surfaces, fixtures, etc. as you can before you get a bid. You will have a much better idea of what you really want costs.

4. My architect is also an interior designer. That dual training/experience has saved us so much time, particularly in choosing materials, etc. before we began to build.

5. If your design is truly unique, make sure a structural engineer is involved.

6. Be prepared for cost overruns. We thought we prepared really well, but who knew the HVAC would require its own separate space? Who knew there was a buried oil tank on the premises? Who knew that we would be heating an uninsulated house for weeks to dry out the moisture from an early snowfall that blanketed the first floor?

But, all in all, we have enjoyed the process. And this is mainly because of the great people who are working on our house. We've had lots of laughs along the way. And if I had to do it again, I would only do it with this architect and builder.


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RE: Is building a custom home REALLY all that bad???

I have mixed feelings about this.

We've had our share of setbacks and pitfalls and those have caused immense stress for us and, during those times, I wanted to throw in the towel, sell the unfinished house, and forget about building forever. But, building a house was a dream of both of ours and, since it took us so many years to save the funds to do it, we had lots of time to get over our differences with various design-related elements. By the time we sat down with our architect we were generally on the same page and this insane process hasn't hurt our marriage one bit. :) I think it has taken years off our lives though! haha.

I'd recommend hiring the best architect you can and making sure s/he will stay with you through the entire process. Had ours done that we would have been spared many a headache and a bit of wasted money.

We prioritized by knowing where we wanted to save and where we wanted to splurge. My husband laid the basement flooring himself to save money and we have bought quite a few things at salvage yards or auctions.

I love our house despite its imperfections or all the things I'd change about it and the process. Many of the people who have helped to create have become friends to us and I love that their handiwork will always be a part of our home.


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RE: Is building a custom home REALLY all that bad???

So far, building is much, much more stressful and difficult than I thought it would be. (And we're nowhere close to done yet!) I'm much better at remodeling and renovating. That way, I know whatever decision I make, I am improving the home. When you start from the ground up, it puts a ton of pressure on you to get it perfect. Thus, I'm constantly second-guessing my decisions and selections. Yes, I've already shed tears during this process! I do hope I end up saying it was worth it when it's all done.


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RE: Is building a custom home REALLY all that bad???

We are approaching our delivery in the first week of April.
From time of contact with builder to delivery - will be about 1.25 years.

That's bypassing the more conventional purchase land, hire architect, hire project manager, hire subs - route that most follow.

We chose to go with builder who had his own land & design that we could heavily revised (almost 100% revisable) & work through him as project manager.

So far no-hiccups as we have gotten what we want because all parties have been on the up & up & we have done our part to add value to the project as partners.

My word of advice is open communication & be up front right away with expectations including your spouse.


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RE: Is building a custom home REALLY all that bad???

Great feedback everyone. Thank you! So far so good for us but boy are we early on. Lot is in escrow and architect is meeting with us in a week with first set of (very prelim) drawings. We are both very excited and hope to use your great advice to keep us sane and grounded!

Kath


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RE: Is building a custom home REALLY all that bad???

It took too long, but for the most part, I enjoyed it....I loved seeing the house that I had in my mind for so long actually come together exactly as I had envisioned it....and I met a lot of really great people in the process...


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RE: Is building a custom home REALLY all that bad???

The first time, it was stressful and I swore I wouldn't do it again, but I did, but only because we outgrew that house and I found a perfect piece of acreage in the rural area I have always loved. This time, I loved it and would do it again in a heartbeat. A really great builder who worked with us every step of the way and was even more of a perfectionist that I am made all the difference. I love this home so much that I really doubt that I'll ever want to leave it.


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RE: Is building a custom home REALLY all that bad???

Honestly, (And this is coming from a licensed general contractor), I would hire an outside construction project manager/administrator (if you can find one) or General Contractor, who is willing to consult for you. A competitive consulting GC is a screw jobs worst nightmare. A Consulting GC could ensure that ALL YOUR WANTS AND NEEDS ARE CLEARLY COMMUNICATED IN CONSTRUCTION TERMS, you are getting the best price for your project, and they can review the contract prior to signing to ensure you don't get screwed by contract language.

Also, they can review quality of service, product provided, and invoices to make sure you dont overpay. They can also quality any change orders to make sure you aren't getting "nickel-n-dimed".

Again, this would save any problems you're worried about having. Just make sure you hire a reputable, knowledgable, and trustworthy individual or GC who you beleive is invested in the outcome of your project.


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RE: Is building a custom home REALLY all that bad???

I've designed and supervised many new houses and renovations and have never had an unhappy client but I have always assumed that was because I worked so hard to protect them from the more painful circumstances.

I suspect homeowners still get what they pay for so DIYers suffer quite a bit more then those who hire professionals to help them. I understand the desire to DIY; it's always been my personal approach but if you want to do it that way you must be prepared to pay a higher emotional price.


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RE: Is building a custom home REALLY all that bad???

NicholasKlein, thank you for your great suggestion. We have thought about doing exactly this and I have a GC in mind. It's someone I worked with on my office remodel and he has been doing smaller homes and mostly remodels in the area for 20+ years. He says this job is a bit too big for him (about 7000sf of home) but he would be a perfect person to work with because he knows the details and costs of just about everything. He is very detail oriented. I just don't want to make my GC/builder mad. I already have the architect agreeing to supervise the construction carefully (and we paid him an extra $3000 to do this for the whole project, going out weekly while under construction to review stuff) but I think it would be helpful to have another contractor in the mix too.

Would you advise that we notifiy whichever builder who gets wins our bid/project that we will have this "administrator" over his head right at the beginning, maybe before the job is accepted? That seems like the best way to make sure everyone works together.

Renovator8, thanks for your comments. We are definitely building a "team" as we are the least handy people on the planet and DIY scares the daylights out of me! LOL.

K


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RE: Is building a custom home REALLY all that bad???

We are only at the framing stages but I am enjoying it like a kid in a candy store.I am the general contractor (not my everday profession) and know all of the subs from other projects we have worked on together so that certainly helps a lot. I also know all of the vendors and get contractor pricing on all materials.
I try to make it out to the site at least once a day to answer any questions and if I can get away for longer periods I will jump in and help the subs out. I don't get in their way though and always go through the foreman/contractor with any changes or comments.
One of my close friends is a General Contractor and visits the site a couple of times a week and has helped with a few decisions and this has been helpful also.


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RE: Is building a custom home REALLY all that bad???

It sounds like you're very organized for your build. If you decide ahead of time on how to handle 'conflicts' ... both with your builder AND within yourselves I think that might be helpful.

Decide to ENJOY the process... focus on how lucky you are to be able to do this project. Take it one step at a time because it can be overwhelming... that's really what everyone means when they say it's so awful. This is what I've decided to do... as we embark on our second custom home build.


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RE: Is building a custom home REALLY all that bad???

Jannz, congrats on your 2nd build! Thanks for the great advice. Yes, I feel totally overwhelmed at the thought of it all right now (packing, putting up our house for sale, moving, building, moving again into the new build....). But when I look at it one day at a time, it feels like as long as we get tasks done one by one, we should be fine. So today I am boxing up my kids' clothes that are too big/too small and organizing our current home. We are 10 boxes in and it doesn't even look like we made a dent! EEEK.

LOTO, DH and I both work full time so we can't be on site daily (and we would not really know what we are looking at anyway since we are totally "unhandy" people). But thankfully the lot is only a mile or two from our home and I have Fridays off, so my goal is to get out there on Fridays during the build and meet with the GC or architect or whomever needs me.

I can't wait for the first round of drawings from the architect. 2 weeks and we should have those.....

Kath


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RE: Is building a custom home REALLY all that bad???

kath0000...I also work full time but with the help of smart phones I can help and take care of business too. Weekdays are my slower work times but usually work every weekend.


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RE: Is building a custom home REALLY all that bad???

Maybe I'm naive and will have to eat these words in future years, but I do not expect my husband and I to be overly stressed about building our house. Several reasons:

- We can't leave this area 'til our youngest finishes high school in two more years, but we're planning NOW. Our hope is that with two full years to prepare we'll have ample time to know just what we want, and we won't make mid-build changes that everyone says are stressful and expensive.

- We have ample resources and are building a modest house. We probably will be faced with some unexpected expenses, but with a substantial cash reserve, we will grumble . . . but will be able to pay. Likewise, since we're doing a cash build, we will not have to bother with bankers and mortgage lenders.

- The two of us are in agreement about what we want in a house -- we do have some rather unique wants, but isn't that why we're doing the custom thing? We each care strongly about a few things (i.e., he is bound and determined to have a shower large enough to need no door), but we're both willing to "give in" on those points to make the other happy. And, none of those wants are overly extravagant.

- We are building about 30 minutes from our current house (but across county /school district lines), so we can visit the site frequently to see that things are going to our liking.

- By the time we break ground, our children will all be out of the house / in college. So we will have time to devote to monitoring the build process. I expect our lives will revolve around the building, but we won't be dealing with homework and kids' activities at the same time.

Again, maybe I'm naive, but I fully expect to enjoy actually seeing the house go up.


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RE: Is building a custom home REALLY all that bad???

This past year was our first time, and although it's behind schedule, and we're about to be kicked out of our rental (our landlady has another tenant coming in and didn't count on us this far behind schedule), I would definitely do it again.

Some things that helped make it "enjoyable":

1. We had a great builder - honest, knowledgeable, and very communicative (although the one time he made an assumption without consulting us, he ended up eating the cost to rip out the built-in as we wanted stain grade wood).

2. We worked with our builder in more of a partnership model. For example, he couldn't find enough of the gimbaled LED lights from his supply sources and I looked it up online and found which Home Depot stores had what, and we split up and each went to various one to pick up enough quantity needed (we needed 25, and the word was that the manufacturer had some issues at the plant, and it would be awhile to get these same ones restocked). In other times, he worked with us to redesign something that he didn't like or didn't fit what the architect drew out.

3. I work from home most days, and have a flexible schedule as well as mobile technology that allows me to work anywhere. Our rental is about a mile away from the site, so I could pop in and out as needed to answer questions on site when the builder wasn't there or if he didn't know the answer, check in daily to watch progress and catch errors (of course, the one big one that I didn't catch ended up costing over $20K extra after the fact).

4. Had a positive attitude going in, along with a network of people to bounce ideas and questions off of here and on houzz. I felt that there were no issues that couldn't be solved with everyone here. I may have overanalyzed things and may have been paralyzed many times, but somehow got through it.

5. knowing ahead of time that things happen, and taking the position that sometimes you just have to roll with it and make adjustments in real time. This is more of the attitude readjustment.

6. planning ahead - know what are the critical decisions that need to be made and when, and then a month ahead of time, do your research and education so you can make the right decision. Nothing more stressful than having a short time to make a decision because someone needs it the next day.

7. have a set of "guiding principles" for those times when things fall outside of the norm - when something is unavailable, when something got done wrong and something needs to be altered, when there is too much choices available, etc. Those guiding principles will guide you back - for example, when looking for an entry light (an easy decision, right?), we were overwhelmed with choices, and we had to go back to what was the look we wanted (not necessary the light, but the look) and then use that to remind ourselves to stay on track.

8. enjoy the experience. If you go into it with dread and trepidation, it's going to turn out that way. Enjoying the experience doesn't mean that there isn't going to be bad days and trying time, conflicts, etc., but by and large, remember to treat it as a positive experience.

Hope that helps.


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RE: Is building a custom home REALLY all that bad???

I'm glad someone has started this thread, because I've been worrying about this. My husband and I get along wonderfully (we've had probably about three big fights in the 12 years we've been together), but I think the closest we came to getting divorced was the time we decided to repaint our entire upstairs in a weekend (long story).

I'm hoping things will be OK. Our builder has a terrific reputation, and we are not on any particular timetable. I think the most conflict will come from my rather expensive tastes. (We keep having the discussion about stuff we want now vs. stuff we'll have to add later, but my husband points out how often I keep saying, "Well, we HAVE to get X right away because of Y!")


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RE: Is building a custom home REALLY all that bad???

Am I understanding that you aren't going to go to your building site except on Fridays? If we have people working, we go every day--sometimes more than one time a day---to answer questions, make sure things are done the way they were supposed to be done, etc. We have caught several things that were overlooked, not communicated adequately, or were just plain done wrong because we were out there checking. Maybe you expect your GC to do this. If so, I would make sure he has a very clear, very detailed list about everything you want.


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RE: Is building a custom home REALLY all that bad???

storyofmylife: great post! Thanks so much for all the advice.

sanveann: good luck to you too! We will prob be building around the same time

okpokesfan: I will be out on Fridays. Yes, I expect NOT to be a daily supervisor to a bunch of subs. In my mind, that's what a GC's job is. I don't even know what I am looking at when it comes to the details of a build. I am not a construction expert and I am not doing a DIY project. But you raise a good point that I will need to be very clear with the builder as to just how much time he would expect from us each week. We will have thorough architectural plans for the GC also.


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