Navigating the Challenges of New Home Building

Exterior of a new home under construction

Building a new home has great perks, such as considering the options of a walk-in shower or soaking tub, as well as a host of other decisions, all of which will impact how much you enjoy your new home. Moving into a brand-new home also comes with challenges. In today’s market it looks a bit different than it did 4 years ago. The costs of items are fluctuating more than ever, and we’re seeing much longer lead times to obtain fixtures. This completely changes the process of new construction. Here are some tips to help prepare you for building a new home in our current market.

Prepare for Decision Fatigue
This is a real thing. There are hundreds of decisions to make throughout the home building process. It’s important to start early and know that towards the end of the project you will likely feel “over it…no more decisions please!” Luckily, my job is to start working with you very early in the process. I break the decisions into bit size pieces that reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed. I like to give my clients three options for each item to select. If you know what you want or have a pretty good idea, make your selections early and get them finalized.

Order Early
In today’s world of major supply chain issues, it’s important to order your fixtures and finishes early. If you have a great builder, they know things must be ordered much earlier than in previous history. For example, windows are a minimum of 12+ weeks out. Yikes! Paying attention to the current market for supply pricing is also important. I know lumber prices have fluctuated greatly in the past 12 months. It goes up, then back down. If possible, it’s nice to buy your lumber package when it dips in price if it’s doable for your project. There are an exponential number of items to consider like this.

Heads up- I also know many furniture companies are 6 months out for delivery!!!

Be skeptical of the timeline
When we built our home, a surprise takeaway was to never trust a move in date. I would say this is just common to construction, but this is even more true now than in the past. With items being in stock one day and the next day being backordered with no restock date, delays are inevitable. Not to mention there are occasionally delays in the closing documents, or occupancy permit. A builder must receive this before a homeowner can move in.

You’ll spend more than you expect
Splurge when needed. You don’t want to install cabinets you don’t really love. In a couple years, you don’t want to be remodeling your newly built home. Make sure you get what you want. In the end you will be living in the space and what’s a few dollars more at this point? You’re already hemorrhaging money, so add what you need to make it something you’ll love for many years to come. Yes, we all have an overall budget, but extra costs always come up, so be prepared for the inevitable. Defining your “must haves” in the very beginning will help keeping your emotions from overruling your logic.

There are many more items that have affected the construction/design world today. These are just a few items to be prepared for. If you’re thinking about starting your new home build or renovation, I’m happy to assist you navigate the process!

Ashley Neff-Hinkle is a local White Salmon resident servicing clients design needs in new construction and remodeling. For help with your project, contact me today.

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