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Building Together

By Austin Willingham

Ever heard the saying “building a house can test a marriage,” or “building a house is the hardest thing a married couple will ever go through.” For many couples, this can be true, and for others, they find it to be a rewarding experience. The following is a summary of helpful tips we have learned that can assist in surviving and thriving in the house building process.

  • Know your budget – Before you can decide on pretty much ANYTHING, you need to know how much you can, and are prepared to, spend. You both need to be comfortable with the financial decision you are making.

  • Communicate – Take the time to talk about every part of the house. Start from the ground up; the more you discuss in the beginning, the easier it will be to get to the end. Things such as siding, windows, doors, and shingles will all need to be decided in the early stages of the build, so be prepared with the answers.

  • House Plan – Deciding on a layout that works for now, and later, is crucial. Decide on what the future holds and what may be needed. Remember that adding on to a house can be more expensive than building it initially. Also, take into account that, in most cases, children that are in the house now will not always be there.

  • Decide on a builder – This is an important decision for not only you, but for the builder as well. Meet with several contractors, discuss their process, visit some of their previous work. You need to realize that the next several months to a year of your life will be spent in a relationship with the builder you choose.

  • Be patient – The world we live in has become increasingly frustrating and building a house can be frustrating if you don’t know what to expect. Be patient and do not let the two of these things overwhelm what should be a remarkable experience. Remember, supply chain issues have affected nearly everything in our world, and building materials are no different.

  • Be Proactive – This is your house, no one else’s. Be proactive in the process. Do not let anyone make a decision for you on a house that will be your own. However, when the time comes, be ready to make that decision. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, especially if you are a first-time home builder. Your contractor should be able to give you advice and knowledge to help make your decisions easier.

  • Be Flexible – Not everything during the home building process will go as you want it to. Not everything will be able to be built as you want it. Understand that and be flexible enough to adapt and move forward. Be flexible with your spouse. If an time ever this is true…. give and take is essential.

  • Small Steps – Don’t get overwhelmed, although it can be easy to do so. Take things in stages. Break the process down into individual phases. Stages such as: foundation, framing, roofing, siding, trim and punch list. Breaking these items into stages will help to eliminate stress.

There is certainly more to building a house than these 8 tips, but hopefully these can help the process of building. It cannot be stated enough that there is value in communication between each other and your builder.

Never hesitate to reach out to the building material supplier as well. Fortunately, we have gained a wealth of knowledge from being able to supply houses for 48 years. We, at Willingham and Sons, will gladly offer any advice to help your new construction run as smoothly as possible.


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