Building a custom home is not an easy task. There are lots of things you need to take into consideration before and during the process.

Let’s take a look at 10 mistakes you want to avoid when building a custom home.

Focusing On Price Alone

Choosing a builder based purely on price is never a great idea.

Rather look at what is included for their price, what experience they have, and if they truly understand your home vision.


When designing your custom home, it’s easy to think about what you want now. But don’t forget to think about what you may need in the future.

Designing your house to include features that future proof your home is the key to building a home that you can stay in for years or even decades to come.

Not Having A Clear Written Agreement

Having a written agreement that is easy to understand is essential for any new home build.

Without an agreement, there is no accountability for either you or the builder. Agreements can clearly state what is and isn’t included in the scope of works, along with rough guidelines for each stage of completion, and what changes are allowed during the build.

A clear written agreement before you start to build will ensure that both you and your builder understand the expectations placed on each other throughout the process and that the build will run as smoothly as possible.

Constantly Changing Your Plans

It’s not a good idea to keep changing your building plans. Try to work out your designs and sign off on them before the foundations are even laid.

Every change you make to your home design can have a knock-on effect to other stages of the build that you may not have even considered. It can also end up costing you more money, so avoid making changes after your design is finalised if you can.

Not Setting Aside A Contingency Budget

For every project, whether it’s a new home build or a renovation, it’s wise to have a contingency budget.

The average recommended amount for any building contingency budget is around 10% of your total build/renovation cost.

This means when unexpected things crop up, it won’t blow your budget completely or force you to cut back on other areas of the build.

Forgetting About Lighting

Lighting is one of the most important elements of your home design but often is left to the last minute.

Think about the uses of each room and the effect you want to achieve and plan your lighting into your home design from the outset.

Don’t forget how natural lighting from windows and doors can affect the lighting needed in a room – designing your home to maximise natural light is a great way to keep your home bright and energy-efficient.

Blowing The Budget

When designing and building your custom home, make sure that you account for every element of the build from day one.

Speak to your builder who will be able to ensure that every fixture and fitting is included in your budget so you don’t get any nasty surprises along the way if you suddenly realise you completely forgot to include window dressings or flooring or landscaping in your budget.

Cutting Corners

Cutting corners will undoubtedly lead to regret. While sometimes it feels necessary to cut a few corners to get the job done on time or in the budget, it will always reflect on the quality of the build in the end.

By planning your design and sticking to it, as well as having an emergency fund for any unexpected costs, you can avoid cutting corners and having to live with substandard work for years to come.

Wasting Valuable Space

By designing a home with an experienced custom builder, you can help to maximise your use of space and storage in your new home.

Poor design can lead to unused space and wasted areas in your home. Look for ways to include storage in otherwise empty spaces and make sure every room or area of your home has a clear purpose.

Not Researching Your Builder

Doing research on your chosen shortlist of home builders will help you to find the one that is perfect for you.

There are so many housebuilders to choose from, it can be hard to know what makes each one unique.

Speak to them all, get testimonials from their past clients and research them online to ensure they are reputable, trustworthy, experienced and have all the right licenses and insurance too.

Have you gone through the process of building a custom house? Share your experience in the comments.

You May Also Be Interested In:

10 Ways To Make Your New Build Home More Energy Efficient
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Would You Ever Kick Your Kids Out Of The House?

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  • We are looking at building on a block we have for retiring. I will be using all of these tips when trying to find the right builder for us


  • Good tips and also need good luck as you can do everything right and still have hassles, so especially key is getting the builder, contract and your drawings right.


  • All good tips for a future building/home project.


  • Lots of very sensible, practical points here. Thanks.


  • I would add assuming things – like that they will take the giant pile of fill they’ve excavated and git rid of it!!!


  • Gosh, lots on this list I would never have thought of if I was building my own home. My parents built a home, dad designed it, I didn’t realise there was so much to it


  • I have never considered building my own/ designing it. However my sister did and stuck to their budget. Its the most beautiful thing ive ever seen.

    • Sticking to budget is key and not being swayed is important.


  • It’s so tricky not to change a few things during the build, thus adding to the cost. Also lighting- it’s really hard to know exactly until the house is at this point in the build.


  • Even with a regular build it’s easy to miss things like lights extra power points and storage attention to detail and not rushing your choices definitely a must


  • I know a couple who used standard plans but added in imperial measurement 1 foot in the rooms along the back and front of the house. It might not sound like much but it make quite a difference when putting in furniture and having room to walk around, especially in areas such as the bathroom, kitchen and bedrooms.
    Make sure there is enough power points and they are put where you want them. I know somebody who stated how far apart the power points had to be in their bedroom. They had to make the builder move them to the distance apart as they were instructed to in writing originally. They would have been behind furniture.
    If you want some ask for outdoor power point and lights. You don’t want to have walls cut to put wiring in to put them up later.
    Ask for a key when you want to go inside and check what has been done. Collect one from their office and return it afterwards. I know some people to had to report a fault 3 times before it was fixed.


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