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The following comments are from people who have renovated or built a custom home

I literally had no idea that there could be so many choices..It nearly killed me . I just couldn't visualize how the finished product would look. On one closet door alone there were all these choices that had to be made..the door style, the paint sheen, the paint colour, the finish of the handle, the handle style and the swing of the door. That was just the closet door, then there was the closet. Did I want wood, metal or plastic shelving, rods and shoe organizers? Did I want a light in the closet and if I did what type and how should it be switched on. A sensor or a switch? Where do you want the switch? It just went on and on. Sadly in the scope of things that was a small choice  - how about something that really mattered long term like choosing the right type of flooring for our family. I was quickly overwhelmed and remained so for the entire project.

I couldn't find a new home in the neighbourhood I wanted to live in. I felt caught between a rock and a hard place and almost forced to build. If I wanted a new home I had to build it or I had to compromise on my preferred neighbourhood. I would have much rather bought than built. 

I hired a general contractor, he cost me a lot of money. I thought he would take care of everything since he was the expert. He kept turning to me for decisions and at times I felt like I spent more time on the project than he did. Why did I even bother to hire him? I realized we weren't a good fit early on in the project, but it was too late to turn back. It was very stressful.

We had our Architect draw up plans for our dream home only to find out from our Builder that we were well over our building allowance. My take away lesson was Architects draw, Builders build. It was the first of several costly changes due to our inexperience. 


If I had known the mess, time and stress this project was going to cause me I would have bought a new home where everything was done for me. I always wanted to build my dream home - I just did not know that it was so complicated and that even in a dream home you have to make compromises.

I bought every design magazine and painstakingly ripped and organized the photos for over two years before starting our build. I thought I had done so well and was very prepared for the road ahead. I was so excited to show my builder until he told me there was no way these features fit into my budget. He referred to it as "champagne taste on a beer budget". These images I saw in all the home magazines, so I assumed I could replicate them on my budget. That wasn't the case. There were tears. I just didn't know the cost of building, how would I? It was my first time

It started as a fun and exciting dream, a once in a lifetime chance to build our custom family home - it ended up being a costly nightmare. Would I build again? Never.

There were so many decisions that required my immediate attention. I would get urgent calls at work. It went something like this. The painter needs the colours can you text them to me ASAP, he needs to know if you want gloss or matte by the way, he's starting tomorrow.  It seemed to need my constant input and I wouldn't have had time to ask others or do my research. I really wasn't prepared. 

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