Common Challenges to Expect when Building Your Home

The idea of building a your home excites most people. Many people want to experience the satisfaction from building their own home just the way they want. However, this satisfaction doesn’t come without challenges.

Here are the most common challenges we see people face when trying to build their homes:

  • Cost: The more you understand the processes involved in the construction of a new home, the more prepared you’ll be for the tasks ahead. Get yourself a cost estimate of your home (Bill of Quantities) will help you put the financial needs of the build into perspective. Plan for a cost rise during the course of the build caused by price and availability variations on the market.
  • Focus: The builders and suppliers will often pass off alternative, substandard or counterfeit materials. Pay close attention to the supplies and installations to make sure everything is as it should be. A genuine product and good installation will save you headache in the future.
  • Quality: Low quality workmanship or shortage of skilled labour will cause your project quality to suffer. The project manager should pay close attention to the supplied material and build work to make sure regulations and specifications are followed. Poor material and workmanship could pause a health, safety and financial risk in the future. For home owners using a mortgage scheme to finance the build, a delay will be cause when the bank cannot advance the funds for the next construction phase due to poor quality workmanship.
  • Expectations: Suppliers and builders will let you down. This should be expected. Break down the build project into the Steps & Stages In The Construction Of A House to help you developing a complete, but realistic program for you project. Using your realistic program, cost estimates and contractual documents as the tools to keep the team inline as a means of sticking to the project budget and timeline.
  • Choices: There are so many decisions to make in regards to your preferred options. Some of these decisions should be left to professional as they impact the structural integrity of the home and some will come down to you as the owner of the project. Take your time researching your preferred options and remember, these options may not fully work in your current setup or with each other.
  • Time: Construction of a home can take anywhere from three (03) months to two (02) years or more. The complexity of the house, its size, availability of funds and unexpected delays will all make a difference on the final timeframe of construction. Be sure to allow extra time for every activity and remember the key to a successful home build is patience and lots of it.
  • Weather: Bad weather will cause a delay in construction of your home that can be frustrating and costly. The longer it takes to complete the build, the more money it’ll cost to keep the team on site. Plus, some delays (and weather damage) can result in additional purchases not originally accounted for, such as added material or equipment. Plan for bad weather, arrange the materials onsite to minimise damage from direct sunlight or heavy rains. A Guide to Building a House In Stages shows you how to deliver materials in phases and construct in stages to minimise the impact your local weather.
  • Environmental: Environmental considerations should be taken into account for the construction and life cycle of the home. Many of the design issues will be addressed by the architect during the design process. During construction, material extraction, waste disposal and equipment usages (including maintenance) will affect the environmental impact of your home.
    The most common environmental issues on a home site are;-

    • Human waste
    • construction waste
    • noise pollution from the machinery/ equipment and installations
    • fuel leakages from the machinery/ equipment
    • chemicals required for construction (especially cleaning and painting liquids)

    Make sure to work with the local authorities and specialist to minimise the damage to the land, water and air by handling human waste (from your team), construction waste, fuels, chemicals, noise pollution

  • Health and safety: Often overlooked and highly under estimated is the financial (and legal) impact of injury and security on your home’s construction site. Most injury to personal can be alleviated by following the guidelines and providing the necessary training to your construction team. Security of personnel, equipment and supplies can be addressed by hiring a local (or professional) team to handle their movement in and on site. Read about The Most Common Health and Safety Risks During Construction to familiarise yourself and team with what you can do to minimise and eliminate health and safety issues.
  • Disagreements: Finally, and most importantly, be open and honest with each other. Dispute Resolution is effective these days, though the need to ‘Win’ usually divides the team. Nobody wins. Everyone goes home grumpy and feeling like they’ve lost out. Sit down with your construction team and talk through each aspect of the project before the contract is signed. Identify and find solutions to any stumbling blocks, ensuring everyone agrees to the assigned responsibility, your milestones, timeline, budget and payment schedule.. Your construction team will appreciate this and is likely to be much more helpful when they feels like you are all on the same team.

Hiring an project manager can help mitigate the stress of these challenges. This may be an architect, construction engineer, quantity surveyor or someone with the experience in similar builds. By hiring a project manager, you will relieve yourself of the more tedious tasks as you focus on the fun stuff. And while these challenges may seem daunting, the most important thing to remember is the final product. A home is something to take pride, something to show off. Overall, the process may be costly and may take longer than you planned, but the feeling when you walk into your new home built just for you is indescribable.

For those who wish to take on the project managers job and oversee the process, you should read about How to Project Manage Your Home’s Construction. This article will give you insight and guidance for the task ahead.

If you’re struggling with one (or all) of these challenges, please feel free to get in touch with us for help. Write a comment below or send us an email on, we’re happy to help!

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