Common Pitfalls to Avoid in Residential Construction


Residential construction can be a massive venture to undertake. While there’s a lot of excitement accompanying this process, there’s a chance that you may make a mistake or two without knowing it. These mistakes could cost you valuable time and money as time goes by, so knowing common mistakes to look out for can help to steer clear of them.

Failure to Follow Area Building Codes

Building codes are put in place as guidelines for people building homes to show them the right standards to uphold. These legal standards are meant to improve their safety and make sure that houses are all constructed to a high degree of quality. While constructing, you may forget about a specific code or ordinance in your area. This is easy to do because different areas have different building codes to follow. If you build something without upholding the requirements as per the building codes, you may end up having to demolish and build afresh, an expense that you definitely don’t need to deal with.

These codes apply to practically every aspect of a building, with the International Residential Code, for example, saying that a living space in the basement must have a height of at least seven feet from the floor to the ceiling. For bathrooms, the required height is six feet. These regulations are usually decided after years of research about the safety of certain living conditions. To get the best outcome, therefore, do thorough research on the laws that you should be aware of when building so that you can save yourself from a lot of trouble.

Hiring the Wrong Builders

You also need to know that not all builders are created equally, and take time to find the right one. Whether you find them online via an internet search or you get a referral from someone you know, it’s crucial to do the necessary background checks. One of these is having a look at their online presence so that you can see any reviews left under their services. When you work with the wrong builders, they may be unaware of some best practices or lack experience.

This could leave you with a problematic outcome, such as gaps and spaces being left where there should be none. For example, the United States Department of Energy states that air leaks around your doors and windows can add a whole 10% to your heating bills. This means that you may end up having to spend more money than you need to.

Financial Issues

There’s no doubt that there will come a time during home construction for many homeowners when they wish that the process wouldn’t cost as much as it does. At these times, the home builder is likely to have a look at their budget and try to find ways of cutting costs. While doing this, it’s important to make sure that you don’t make drastic cuts on finance that could affect the outcome of your construction.

You also need to know that the construction industry is well-known for slow payments. To make the best plans and get ahead of issues with cash flow for the project and also offset the negative impact that late payments have, construction businesses have some measures in place. This is by billing for contracted labor and materials before work gets completed, a practice called overbilling. A construction company could benefit from this practice as they’ll be able to manage financial covenant ratios if there are any associated with debt.

According to Levelset, the Project Manager is the one who oversees the main three facets of a build, the time scale, the budget, and the quality. Their responsibility is to monitor these factors and make sure everything is above board, and in the case of an issue, responsibility would fall to them first.

Keep these pitfalls in mind so that you can avoid getting into trouble while trying to construct. When you do, you’ll have a better chance of getting the outcome that you want, since you’ll be able to plan effectively for financial, legal, and all other aspects of your construction.