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This Is The Truth About Building a Custom Home: It’s An Emotional Rollercoaster

From excitement to anxiety, we explore the emotional highs and lows of building a house and share what you can expect during the construction process. 

A master bedroom with a double bed with linen duvet. Exposed white ceiling ties. Floor to ceiling glazing shows off beautiful rural views. Balcony doors are open. Balcony has glass handrails and black timber flooring.

A custom home is one of the biggest and important investments you’ll make in your life, and we know you want the process to be stress-free. But no matter how much we plan, strategise and prepare, there are some emotions that you, the client, may naturally experience. 

Like any disruption to your routine, the process of building requires patience, flexibility and some periodic reminders that change is good. It’s why we always show our clients ‘The Homeowner’s Emotional Rollercoaster’ by David Lupberger, an accomplished American contractor who successfully created the best building experience for his customers. His graph is a surprisingly accurate depiction of the emotional highs and lows most clients experience when building a custom home.


Design Phase: Excitement and Inspiration

Excitement is high in the initial design phase. You may have been planning this project for years and finally getting your ideas down on paper brings feelings of joy and anticipation. There is great emotional satisfaction envisioning your dream home and all it entails.


Quotes, Value Engineering & Contracts: Anxiety

After the initial design is complete, it may feel like progress slows as quotes are sourced from contractors and suppliers. Money can take the fun out of things, as a clear overall cost begins to emerge. At this point, you may have to enter a value engineering phase, where your design is altered or scaled back to match your budget. This can be a tug-of-war of wants, needs and compromises.

Some clients also report feeling anxious about signing a building contract, but this is simply about agreeing on the responsibilities and expectations for you and your builder.


Construction Begins: Anticipation

Once a building contract has been signed, anticipation starts to build. Trades professionals arrive on site, materials are ordered and work begins. In the early days, progress happens quickly. Demolition, foundations, framing, roofing and windows have the most tangible progress and clients are often surprised by the speed at which it occurs. You can now see in three dimensions what your new home looks like and that’s exciting.


Mid Build: The Blues

Halfway through the project, it might seem like progress has ground to a halt as the less visible, more technical aspects of the build are tackled. At this point, electrical cables are run, plumbing is roughed in and insulation is installed. Although the builders are on site every day, it’s natural at this stage to feel like the project is dragging.


Construction Wraps Up: Optimism

The arrival of plasterers, painters and decorators is a big turning point. It’s where your project goes from looking like a construction site, to looking like a home. Optimism returns as the cabinets, flooring, tiles and finishes are installed. There is light at the end of the tunnel. 


Move In: Elation!

The best part of the building process is when your home is complete and you can officially move in. We’ll walk you through your new home and hand over all guarantees, test certificates and warranties. We’ll then follow up at one, three, six and twelve months to ensure your home is defect free and put right any issues. 

A woman walks by a kitchen island with white marble countertops and timber cabinetry. Three grey downlights hang over the kitchen island. A grey glass splashback is on the back wall, sitting above a range cooker.

The Reward

Rather than simply choosing an existing home, building is all about compromise. It’s easy to let stress get to you, especially when you’re debating the merits of finishes or floor layouts. But if you keep the main goal in sight – a home for your family’s future – it’s easier to see what’s really important. 

At Coldwells Build, we know most clients will go through some version of the emotional rollercoaster, but it’s important to remember we’re by your side throughout the building process. 

Our online project management portal is designed to keep you informed with daily schedule updates, job logs, budget tracking and more. We believe an informed client knows what to expect and is therefore less susceptible to emotional highs and lows. 

As experienced, award-winning contractors, we’re here to guide and support you through every phase of your custom build and at the end, help you step inside your beautiful new home. 

Read Time: 5 minutes Type: Custom Build - Author: Clare Booth, Director Share:

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