Home construction is just one path to your dream home, but it ensures a home that fits your needs now and in the future. As with any major project, some challenges may arise. Fortunately, you can avoid these pitfalls with some simple solutions and enjoy the process of building a house as much as you love living in it.
The construction pros at Schar Construction put together this guide to the top five home construction problems — from unexpected costs to delays in building permits — as well as their solutions.
Problem #1: Unexpected Construction Costs
According to the National Association of Realtors, home construction costs are already soaring due to labor shortages within the construction industry and higher transportation costs for materials. When you factor in high interest rates, new homeowners make a significant investment when building a house.
The fear of unexpected construction costs is ever-present, as they can arise for various reasons:
- Incorrect upfront cost estimates: Estimates should factor in the chance of unexpected problems that arise throughout the project. An inexperienced construction company or one that doesn’t have access to the most up-to-date average material prices might give you an estimate that’s off the mark.
- Material and subcontractor payment delays: A contractor unable to pay invoices for materials and labor may pass fees onto you, increasing the project’s overall cost.
- Lack of skilled workers: With a labor shortage and poor project management, you could experience delays of weeks or months.
- Poor resource management: Contractors have finite labor or materials resources. Their poor management may lead to more than initially planned and unexpected construction costs.
- Design and construction errors: Problems with the initial construction design or throughout the construction process that delay the project or require rework can cause problems.
- Unexpected worksite conditions: Your construction company may need to address bad soil, poor water drainage, or other conditions on the property.
While the cost to build a house will never be cheap, a professional, experienced general contractor will ensure an accurate estimate upfront. This estimate includes room for reasonable rework and delays. While the estimator may be responsible for putting together the initial document, the contractor will review it for accuracy. Inspecting the worksite and reviewing the construction plans prevents delays and unexpected costs.
Problem #2: Shoddy Subcontractors
Subcontractors who either aren’t skilled in their trade or rush through their work will lead to rework. The same subcontractor might do the additional work for free or at a discount, but if another company needs to complete the repairs, this could increase costs.
If your contractor doesn’t catch the poor workmanship before construction is complete, the quality of the home could suffer and cause problems later, leaving you with costly repairs long after you’ve moved in.
Well-respected construction companies work with a network of skilled, experienced contractors they trust to get the work done on time and within budget. Working with a skilled construction company ensures professionalism throughout the home building process. See our additional resource for the 19 essential questions you should ask your builder.
Problem #3: Incorrect Custom Orders
Home construction often requires custom-ordered materials depending on the blueprints for your multi-family or single-family home. If the custom flooring, paint, or countertops aren’t correct when they arrive, you’ll have options, but both come with downsides.
- Adjusting the original plans: You may choose to use the delivered materials, even if they aren’t correct. This will avoid delays but require changes to the construction plans you may not want.
- Reordering the correct materials: Delays could lead to extra costs as subcontractors are put on hold. Depending on the reason for the problem, it could also lead to unexpected expenses. For example, if your construction company made a mistake when ordering the materials.
Incorrect building materials do happen from time to time. However, an experienced construction company will order the custom materials correctly and follow up with the manufacturer to ensure arrival at the worksite on time and with the proper specifications.
If the manufacturer is to blame, your general contractor will know how to manage the error, possibly negotiating to get the incorrect materials discounted as an incentive for keeping them. An experienced contractor can also rework the plans to minimize delays and unwanted changes to the home’s overall design.
Problem #4: Blueprint Confusion
Revisions are part of the design process. Taking into account requirements for building permits, contractor specifications, and your dream for the home, each requires new blueprints for approval. Because of this, homeowners usually pay for several sets of blueprint drafts. A construction company or subcontractor working from outdated blueprints could cause serious structural problems.
Building a house requires organization and keeping track of the work and who is doing it since several subcontractors are likely working simultaneously. A professional construction company will oversee the entire project, working from the correct blueprints and ensuring that everyone else is as well. The company will also inspect the work throughout the process and when it’s done to confirm it matches the approved blueprints before continuing.
Problem #5: Unnecessary Delays
We’ve already explained various reasons for unnecessary delays. However, many things can hold up construction, including not securing or following up on building permits. Poor project management is the most significant cause of delays, leading to increased housing costs as you have to move out until the contractors complete your home construction. Unnecessary delays lead to frustration, turning the excitement of building your dream home into anxiety and aggravation.
Regular communication from your construction company will keep you up to date on any delays and their reasons. Some delays are unavoidable, such as the weather or a truly unforeseen problem with the work site. An experienced general contractor understands how to manage delays and minimize their impact on the project.
Building a House? Work With the Professionals at Schar Construction
Avoid many home construction problems and ensure a smooth process when building your single-family dream home or multi-family investment property with Schar Construction. We manage the project from the design process with our architect through overseeing construction and handing you the keys.
Call Schar Construction at (541) 229-6270 to start your home construction project!