What Building A Home Taught Me

Building a home was one of the most complicated things that I have ever done. It was also one of the most educational events in my life. Most of the lessons came when I made mistakes and learned how to deal with them after the fact. It would have been much easier if I had learned about them before I started and avoided those problems in the first place, so I hope that other people can learn from my experience and have an easier time with their projects.

No Assumptions

Assumptions are a trap. Something may seem obvious, and it's easy to think that everyone will know about it, but that is almost never the case. It did not take me long to learn that everybody assumes different things, and most people assume that everyone shares their assumptions. This is a problem when a lot of people are working together since it leads to miscommunication and conflicting projects.

The bright side is that I found an easy way to avoid this problem. All I had to do was communicate with my team and make sure that everyone was on the same page. As long as I didn't skip over any details during the meetings, everything went smoothly.

Measure Twice, Cut Once

I do not think that it is possible to plan too much. There are some basic things that everyone has to consider when they build a home just to get the process started, but there are also details that I overlooked. I had to choose between different tiles for the floor, choose appliances so I knew how much space to leave for them, and dozens of other little details.

I did not think about them very much in advance, which meant I had to make the decisions quickly as they came up. If I took too long, work slowed down because we could not continue until the choice was made. If I had planned properly and thought about those things in advance, the project would have been quicker and less stressful. I doubt that I could have planned for absolutely everything in advance, but every decision that I could have made earlier and with plenty of time to consider it would have made things a little bit easier.

Have Backup Plans

There are no perfect plans. I have long since learned that some mistakes are going to happen. It is certainly a good idea to plan thoroughly and try to prevent as many as possible, but nothing is perfect. That means that it is important to have backup plans to deal with problems as they appear.

That usually means buying a few extra tiles in case of breakage, or leaving extra time to deal with delays. I've also found that a home warranty plan can be a good backup plan, since it covers most of the ways that things can go wrong. It's no substitute for planning to deal with specific accidents, but it's a good way to deal with all the things that I failed to anticipate.

Study Design

I also discovered that I could deal with mistakes by turning them into happy little accidents. When I ordered the wrong color of paint, I found places to use it so I could avoid wasting all of the money I spent on it. I think the end result was an improvement to the home. It looks more organic, and it feels more like a home because I know the story behind it.

Studying up on the basics of interior design certainly helped me make good choices when I was doing that sort of thing. It also helped me to pick out furniture and make sure that everything looked good when I first planned the house. I didn't understand how complicated those choices could be until I had to make them, and I can only assume that they would have been even harder if I hadn't studied up beforehand.


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