Top 10 mistakes to avoid when building a new home

Building a new home is an exciting time for everyone who has had the privilege of undertaking the challenge. A challenge because if you don’t know what you are doing, you may try to cut corners where corners shouldn’t be cut. Many new builds can turn into a nightmare for their owners if details are overlooked, and communication and goals aren’t set from the start.

With that in mind, we have come up with a list of the most common mistakes to be aware of when building and how you can fix them before they become an issue. This should help to ensure your new build goes as smooth as possible.


1 – Not double-checking your plans

Poorly designed house plans will cause issues later down the road. The best way to avoid this is by getting a professional to develop your plans and get them double-checked. Incorrect plans create problems with builders and contractors alike, leading to expensive mistakes and project delays.

The plans of your build will be the heart of the house. If something is not on the plans or there’s a mistake, then these errors may come to life if not picked up earlier. A good builder will tell you if there are issues, advising that the more detailed the set of plans, the better your final result will be.

Your plans aren’t just for you to see what your house will look like; it becomes the instruction manual for the team working on your build. All the contractors, sub-contractors, workers, etc. and anyone on-site during the construction will see the plans and use them to guide their work. So, check, double-check, triple check the plans to avoid any costly mistakes down the road.

2 - Bad designing at the start leads to bad designs in the end

The planning stage of your design is critical to the outcome of your house. It’s vital that you take time and think about every detail of your design. Although time-consuming, it will pay off in the long run.

Think in-depth about the size of rooms, placement of windows, the layout of your floorplan, length and width of hallways, and the size of the deck and outdoor space. Every element that you want to be included in your new home should be carefully considered.

Taking extra time at the start of your project to think through the design of your project will mean you’ll be able to change and adapt things before they cause any issues. Little things like shifting a window, changing a draw, moving a switch can truly impact design. Good planning and designs at the start of a new home will result in a home you’re happier with in the end.

New Home Build

3 – Not future-proofing your home

When designing your home, it is common to think about what you want right now and not what you will need in the future. Future-proofing might be a scary thought for some, but you will want your home to adapt to your lifestyle as it changes over time.

Are your kids at the age where they will be leaving the nest soon? Or are kids expected in the nest in the coming years? Is a home office a requirement or a boat shed big enough to fit all your toys in? Will you have guests that might stay or a landscape you can tend to?

These questions need to be taken into account when you are looking at building a home. The benefits of future-proofing outweigh the costs. By building a house, you can design something that will suit your needs for now and for the future.

4 - DIY

As much as companies like Bunnings and Mitre 10 encourage you to tackle any project yourself, sometimes things are better left to the professionals. You would be surprised how many people think they can manage the build of a house by themselves. Unfortunately, this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make and can prove extremely costly and ineffective.

Regardless of how well the picnic table you made last summer turned out or how well you did when knocking down that wall in your living room, taking on an entire house build is a massive task for any one person – let alone a weekend DIYer. Building a home comes with many challenges, meetings, technical jargon, product sourcing, applying for permits and consents, and project managing the entire process. This will require more than hours in the day and should be left to a professional team.

You may think you’ll save some money, but in the long run, you might be creating more significant, long-term and more expensive problems that could’ve been avoided with professionals. Project managers and construction firms have a sound understanding of the build process, and they know what to look out for. Usually, they get lower prices on materials and can run a project with increased efficiency and a higher level of attention to detail.

5 - Wrong location

Compromising on location is one of the biggest regrets people have when they decide to build. Choosing to go for a cheaper property to build a larger and more expensive house may seem like an excellent money-saving idea, but location truly does matter.

Location is what sells a house. When the time comes to move, potential buyers won’t be interested in the wrong location, regardless of the features it has to offer. Homes in prime locations will always sell quicker and for a higher price than those in less desirable areas.

When starting a project, start with the location. What areas do you like, and could you see yourself living in? Will the property value increase over time? Will you get back what you’re putting in when it’s time to sell? Never underestimate the location of your new home and the impact it will have down the track.

6 - Cheap quotes

Building a house has its own necessary expenses. It’s no wonder why people gravitate towards cutting corners and cheaper quotes. When choosing a company to trust with building your new home, the cheapest quote won’t always be the best. There’s an old saying, “If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is.”

It’s not uncommon for companies to provide low quotes to secure a job. It’s essential to ask the question, why is it so low? Have they left out costs for consent and labour hire? Or are they cutting corners when it comes to material quality? These short cuts and ambiguity can lead to a cheaper initial quote and many unanticipated costs later down the road.

If you think your quote from 3C Homes is more expensive than another construction company, we are happy to make a quote comparison for you. We want to ensure your home is built to the highest quality for the best price. We will send you a comprehensive quote detailing what work will be done and how much it will cost.

Consult Process at 3C Homes

7 - Letting others tell you what you need

Opinions are everywhere, everyone has one, but not everyone needs to know them. When you start telling people that your thinking of building a new house, you’ll be flooded with ‘you need this’ or ‘you should get that’ or even ‘have you considered this’. People around you may try to shape your house design and tell you what you should and shouldn’t do with your home.

It’s your house! You know what you want, you know what you need, and you’re the one who will be living there. Letting others sway your thinking and changing your mind on things will only lead to you being annoyed.

Taking inspiration from others is always a good idea, and we encourage you to seek out things you like. Letting someone else change your mind on something you had already decided is a mistake you can avoid.

8 - Choosing the wrong builder

Building your dream home can be a stressful process – but it shouldn’t be. When it comes to choosing your builder, there are so many options that you could end up choosing the wrong one, adding time and unnecessary costs to your project. Here’s a couple of question to ask any potential builder:

1. How long have you been doing this?

Experience is vital when it comes to building a home, and the more experience they have, the better they will probably be. You most likely don’t want a fresh apprentice overseeing the entire build, so you want to look for some experience where the ins and outs are already known. The best results will come from builders who have been in the industry for years. Better yet – if they are a certified master build builder – then you’ve got a 10-year grantee to fall back on if necessary.

2. Can I see some examples of your past builds?

Builders who are proud of their work will happily show off photos of their completed projects and referrals from past clients. When a builder is good, their clients will sing their praises; if the build isn’t up to standard, they’re also going to talk – and it won’t be good. Seeing examples of their work can not only ease uncertainty, but it will also help you understand the builder and their process.

3. What’s included in the cost of the build?

Are they a sole trader who will work by themselves over a 12-month period, doing the build for you but nothing else? Are they a contracting company that will help you design and build a home suited to your needs?

Understanding what you are paying for is critical when it comes to building your home. Ensure you have a clear understanding of what your builder is expecting to do before you agree to anything.

Does It feel right?

A gut feeling is there for a reason. Make sure you are comfortable with your builder. The process is complicated to those who haven’t done this before, so open communication is critical. Being kept in the loop and aware of any problems that occur will significantly help you in the long run. Trust and respect between builder and client are key to any successful build.

Successful Build

9 - Forgetting the impact of the outside environment

One of the most commonly forgotten elements of a build is not considering the outside environment. Failing to utilise the natural assets of your property can be the difference between a warm sunny dining room or a cold, damp living room. When you start to design your home, utilise direct sunlight into your frequented rooms like the kitchen and dining room, and evening spaces utilising the nightly like an outdoor deck and the living room. Making the most of the natural light throughout your home might save on that power bill too.

Another thing people tend to forget about is their neighbours. Will your bedroom look straight out to their living room or vice versa? These are the kind of details people brush over and end up regretting as time progresses. You will have complete control over this design of your new home, but some things will be out of your control, so it’s best to plan ahead and make the most of blocking out the nosy neighbours.

10 - Not replying to emails

It’s understandable that people are busy and cannot reply to an email or message the minute they receive it. However, not getting back to builders or contractors who are trying to contact you can lead to costly and timely delays in your build.

Though it may be a simple question about an outlet or a colour finish, not replying to whoever is asking can avoid delays in a project. Many companies ask you to decide on paint colours and fixture styles before construction begins to avoid these potential delays further down the line.

At 3C Homes, we have proven experience. We try our best to minimise the stressfulness that is your build. We provide you with a Project Manager to oversee your whole process and communicate with you effectively and efficiently every step of the way.

We have been helping Aucklanders build their dream homes for more than ten years, with quality that stands the test of time. Our team is fully certified, and our work comes backed with great assurances, including the ten-year Master Build Guarantee. We are happy to show you our completed projects and have you read our client testimonies. Before you sign a contract with us, you will know exactly what to expect and what’s included in your contract. Feel free to get in touch for a no-obligation chat about helping you build your dream home.