5 Mistakes to Avoid When Building A Custom Home

In our years of designing and building custom homes in the Texas Hill Country, we have met with hundreds of clients. During this time, we learn about our future home owners and get a really good feel for things like design preferences and budget.

It’s our job to make recommendations that enhance your home and protect your budget. Here are five of the most common mistakes to avoid when designing the home of your dreams.

1. Starting the design without a clear understanding of your budget

I cannot stress this point enough. Starting a custom home design without a clear understanding of your budget can create an unpleasant experience, primarily because it can lead to disappointment. Before starting your project, you need to be really clear açai about what your budget is and how that budget will be allocated. How much money will be spent on the house itself? What about the landscape and interior furnishings? By having a good understanding of your budget and clearly communicating that to the designer, the designer can help you work through your priority list and accomplish what’s most important to you.

2. Designing your home before selecting your property

I get this question a lot: “I want to build a new house, what do I do next?” We want to begin each design knowing the property first. A custom home is not only custom to a family’s lifestyle. It is equally custom to the property it’s built on. The grade of the property can significantly impact the cost of construction and the design. Building your home in the right space on your property will enable it to be oriented in a way so that you can capture the best views.

3. Orienting your home without considering the effects of the sun


We touched on the orientation of the home as it relates to the property. But what about the home’s position in regards to the sun? The west sun is the hottest, most intense sun, so it’s important to avoid orienting your home with the main living area exposed to the west. Direct exposure to the sun’s rays can damage furnishings or prevent the A/C from cooling properly.

If the house must face west because of other considerations, we want to design the home appropriately. Deep porches help reduce the impact of the sun on the house. Outdoor living areas would be ideally designed to face the southeast because the southeast breeze is most prominent.

4. Locating the outdoor kitchen far away from the indoor kitchen

We love outdoor kitchens and think they’re a great addition to any home. The same amount of consideration that went into the main home design should also be taken when planning for outdoor spaces. The location of the outdoor kitchen is extremely important. You must account for its location relative to the house and the smoke put out for the grill. You want it close enough so that you can access the indoor kitchen, but positioned so that the grill is far enough away and smoke doesn’t get trapped. The close proximity of the outdoor kitchen to the indoor kitchen will make it easier to transfer food and serving dishes from one place to the other.

5. Avoid long hallways

It makes the most sense financially to avoid long hallways. Hallways can be turned into galleries by situating rooms next to each other on one side and opening up to exterior windows on the other side. You can also add a specialty room, like a game room, to separate two parts of the house. If you must have a hallway, adding a powder bath or a closet in the hallway is a great way to make it a more functional space.

As a professional custom home designer and builder, we take pride in being a knowledgeable resource for our clients. Our goal is to help set realistic expectations up front and give valuable advice that will help enhance the overall building experience and the happy years to come in your beautiful home.