Four Common Problems You May Encounter When Building a Custom Home

Building your dream home comes with a lot of excitement and anticipation, but it can also come with unforeseen problems throughout the construction journey. Finding a builder you trust is significant in constructing your custom home. If difficulties arise, you want an experienced builder with problem-solving skills to help fix the issues out of your control. Think ahead and avoid unnecessary stress by learning more about five common problems you may encounter when designing a home.

Permit Delays

When you hire a builder, they are responsible for all permits, licenses, HOA approvals, and inspections. Therefore, you should always confirm and stay up-to-date with your builder on the approval process and timeline to start construction. Permits can take a long time due to internal delays and inspection problems, so it’s crucial to talk with an experienced builder who knows how to navigate this process seamlessly and efficiently.
Even though permit delays can happen and set your timeline back, you can accomplish much of the design process while waiting for approvals. An experienced builder will start other projects like architectural plans and specifications, soliciting and vetting additional bids, and helping you secure financing if desired.

Material Delays and Lead Times

Materials like cabinets, sinks, flooring, countertops, hardware and fixtures are ordered early in the design process, but delivery may take weeks or even months. Without suitable materials, the builder will push your initial timeline back. Order your materials as early as possible to get around an extended delivery time. Typically, a builder will give you a list of specific deadlines for materials so you know what you need to select by a particular date. However, if your builder needs to provide a document, you should stay on top of asking them for material deadlines.
Give yourself plenty of time to consider your options. Stay within your budget, ask questions, research materials, and then decide if this choice is right for you. Feeling indecisive or struggling with decision fatigue is common, but a frequently changing mind could push your timeline further. Keep a priority list handy to ensure your needs are met and that you feel confident in your home-building process.

Grading and Drainage Issues

Once your builders acquire materials and start construction, ensure that water drains away from your home, and your gutters are set to direct overflow or rainwater away from your foundation. Many moisture issues in new houses are the result of improper grading issues.
Even if your grading is installed correctly when your house is first built, it’s always good to check the drainage after at least a year. If anything changes, you may need to use dirt to fill the spaces around the house’s foundation to maintain your drainage. This is why many builders suggest that homeowners hold off on landscaping their property directly around the house until they can see how much settlement occurs.

Cracks in the Drywall

Settling, also known as lumber shrinking, happens when lumber loses moisture content over time. When lumber fails, this can cause cracks in the drywall of your new home only a year after being built. Luckily, houses often have a one-year builder warranty that covers this issue. After one heating season, the builder can come to your home and repair any cracks due to settling.
If any cracks appear, you may want to wait at least the first year of your home’s completion to fix the drywall because the lumber of your house may continue to shrink and needs time to dry. Remember that this issue isn’t your builder’s fault, new lumber or “green lumber” contains a high level of moisture and tends to move slightly as it dries out. An experienced builder will fix the problem as soon as possible.
Many issues, like not enough wiring in the home, will only be taken care of during the installation process if you actively consult with your builder and electrician. As a first-time homeowner, researching beforehand helps you understand what to ask your builder during the entire process. And to note, there will always be things out of your control, so stay positive in those times and look toward the finished product instead!
Are you looking to purchase your ideal parcel of land to build a custom home around Tucson, Arizona? Contact me, Rick Sack, by phone at 520.5477 or by email at, and I’ll help you find the best lot of vacant land for you and your family.

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