Dec 18, 2012

The Biggest Mistakes People Make When Building a Home

As the adage goes, “Hindsight is always 20/20”.  In the construction industry, no more is this true than when it comes to building a home.  Some of the biggest reasons are because it’s something that someone may only do once (if at all) and because of all of the little decisions that go into making the home yours.  As a construction company in business since 1979, we’ve learned a thing or two about how to make the experience as positive and stress-free as possible.  Allow us to list our biggest list of no-no’s when it comes to building a home.

Shoddy House Plans:

 It’s vital that you have a set of plans that clearly detail the layout of your home.  Without this, you cannot get accurate estimates on labor or materials.  Additionally, unclear plans can cost you down the road when a plumber thinks a sink is going in one place and the electrician places lighting in a spot that makes no sense.  This can lead to scheduling conflicts, work that must be redone, etc.  Who pays for this?  You.  house plans

Acting as Your Own General Contractor:

Think of a general contractor as the coach of a team.  Their job is to gather bids, work with any subcontractors and make sure that the work is done correctly, within your budget and on schedule.  A general contractor has connections within the industry and has solid relationships with subcontractors (plumbers, electricians, etc.).  These subcontractors want to perform exceptional work for general contractors because they know that this is how they will stay in business.  Subcontractors are less likely to stay on time and within budget for someone they know they have little chance of ever working with again, such as the homeowner.  While on the front end, hiring a general contractor can seem like an added expense, working with a skilled professional will often keep you on schedule and within budget.

Cutting Corners on Budget:

 A builder who can build your dream home $30,000 cheaper and 2 months faster than the others you bid out likely has something to hide.  A builder may lowball an offer to get your business and then may tack on expenses as the project goes on.  Even if extra fees aren’t accessed later, it’s likely that a significant difference in pricing also means a significant difference in the quality of materials.  Do you really want to replace your home’s windows in the next five years because your builder grade ones didn’t last?

Taking a Laid Back of an Approach:

Your home is one of the biggest investments of your life.  Don’t be passive.  Be present when it comes to making decisions.  Read and understand the contract and have a lawyer review it if necessary.  Ask for copies of the company’s insurance policy because if someone gets hurt on the job site and the contractor is not insured, the homeowner can be responsible for the medical bills of the injured.  Once construction has commenced it can be very costly and difficult to make changes to your plans so take time to consider what you want before getting started.new house


Poor Location:

Is it convenient to live near a grocery store, strip mall or 24-hour gas station?  Absolutely!  Have you ever heard of a realtor specifically seeking these locations out for a home buyer?  No!  Why?  While we’re not suggesting your closest neighbor be a half hour away, the most appealing homes to future buyers are not those directly adjacent to areas like this.  Busy streets and stores are not quiet or family friendly.  Consider resale value before settling on a lot because it’s the cheapest around.  Things like slope, water table and terrain also affect how easy it is to construct a home on a piece of land, so be sure to do your homework before buying a lot.

Building a Home That Doesn’t Make Sense For Your Neighborhood:

Before ground breaks, take a hard look at homes in the neighborhood and make sure the size of your home is similar to those in the surrounding area.  The smallest and largest home in a neighborhood is often the hardest to sell.  The styling of your home should also be in line with the rest of the neighborhood.  A stucco home is going to stick out like a sore thumb in a neighborhood full of Victorian styled homes.new construction

Having a Budget Without a Buffer:

It’s important to establish a budget when building a home.  The budget should include a slush fund that takes into consideration unforeseen circumstances and overages because even with the best-intentioned bid, incidentals will likely still come up.

Not Planning Ahead:

Think down the road, ten or twenty years.  Is there a need to add additional rooms to accommodate an expanded family or aging parents?  It’s best to accommodate for incidentals when building.  If you plan to retire in your home, you may want to consider the number of stairs, the width of doorways, etc.  Your toddlers are going to turn into teenagers, are you okay with their bedroom being in a basement with its own entrance?

Working with the Wrong Builder:

Take some time to evaluate several builders so that you find someone who is right for you.  Be sure to talk to previous clients.  Find someone you connect with and who can transform your ideas into a reality.  It’s also a good idea to check with websites such as the Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List to see what others have to say about these businesses.  Ask potential builders to see examples of previous work both in photos and in person.  Don’t forget that you’ll be dealing with the builder for a span of several months.roof installation

Cutting Corners on Budget:

A builder who can build your dream home $30,000 cheaper and 2 months faster than the others you bid out likely has something to hide.  A builder may lowball an offer to get your business and then may tack on expenses as the project goes on.  Even if extra fees aren’t accessed later, it’s likely that a significant difference in pricing also means a significant difference in the quality of materials.  Do you really want to replace your home’s windows in the next five years because your builder grade ones didn’t last?

Hear more about the disastrous consequences of installing builder grade windows here:


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"Great company. Careful work. Good products. Fun installers They have done several projects for me and I have never been disappointed."

Donise W.
Minnetonka, MN
March 28, 2024

"I was very impressed that Lindus sent a safety inspector on day one and a quality inspector at the end. I did not expect this but sincerely appreciate this attention to detail. All of this demonstrates how Lindus stands by its work and differentiates Lindus from other firms. I would definitely consider Lindus for any future exterior needs."

Debbie E.
Plymouth, MN
February 27, 2024

"Over the past 18 years and 4 separate major home improvement projects, Lindus Construction has exceeded every one of our family’s expectations on each of these projects. Whenever anyone invests in home improvement, the homeowner’s concerns ultimately center on several critical factors: the ultimate quality of the final product, ease of working with the firm, honest communication and relationships, craftsmanship of the employees, timeliness, service after the sale, and of course, a manageable investment cost. We are proud to say that the Lindus team has been an outstanding partner in improving our house’s function, appearance, and market value."

Jim G.
Chanhassen, MN
February 8, 2024

"I did two big projects in 2023 with Lindus. First was removing and replacing attic insulation plus creating proper ventilation. Second was replacing roof and adding LeafGuard®. Did everything go perfectly? No but that is where a company shows its merits. All issues were resolved! I even received a check for unused supplies. I highly recommend Lindus. They are not the cheapest. You get what you pay for."

Jill D.
St. Paul, MN
December 14, 2023

"Lindus Construction is a company that provides the best possible workmanship, professionalism and customer service for each and every project. Lindus Construction is a great choice for roofing, siding, windows, doors, decking and LeafGuard® Gutter projects or any combination of those projects. Small jobs such as garden sheds to large homeowner associations with multiple buildings they are able to handle it."

Kelly P.
River Falls, WI
December 4, 2023

"We are quite pleased with the way our project went. The Lindus folks have successfully managed to instill a culture of quality and customer service in throughout the entire business, which is rare these days.  Everyone we worked with carried that same attitude of wanting to do it right and make us happy. The installation went well and we are very satisfied."

Tim M.
Minneapolis, MN
June 20, 2023

"Thorough, timely, efficient, good communicators. Excellent work, cleaned up well and took care of a few extra details without any hassle."

Carla U.
Minneapolis, MN
May 17, 2023

"Your services and products are wonderful!  (And we have used Lindus three times now). The crews were gracious and hard-working."

Alan W.
St. Paul, MN
May 11, 2023

"I would just like to compliment Randahl for excellent work and customer service skills.  Every time he was at our home, he was professional, thorough, extremely pleasant, and explained things well.  You are very lucky to have such an outstanding employee!"

Vicki F.
Blaine, MN
March 25, 2023

"Great job. Workers were friendly and cleaned up everything when they were done. They stopped to tell me they were ready to work and checked in when they were done."

Carolyn I.
Andover, MN
March 16, 2023

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Michael N.
Rosemount, MN
March 13, 2023

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Chuck V.
Chaska, MN
February 18, 2023

"Service and work were excellent; thank you!"

Ron B.
Burnsville, MN
January 19, 2023

"The technician worked very efficiently and put in long hours to get the job done. Excellent work and we were very grateful."

Pam L.
Oakdale, MN
January 12, 2023

"I have used Lindus in the past and they once again, gave me excellent service. They stand behind their products and service. I have referred them to many friends."

Susan B.
St. Paul, MN
January 6, 2023

"We have had them do work at our home before and at my parents' house. They did great work!"

Sue R.
St. Croix Falls, WI
January 3, 2023

"The two young men that did the install were great.  They were personal and appeared very conscientious."

Jim H.
St. Anthony, MN
December 30, 2022

"Always polite and considerate. Last inspection was a quality control and I was impressed with him and his thorough inspection. Great job!"

Irene S.
Bloomington, MN
December 20, 2022

"We had a great experience with Lindus. The communication has been great. When I had a question I received a return email or phone call quickly. When Lindus employees were at our home, they explained what they were doing in great detail, my questions were always satisfactory answered. I will gladly continue to refer Lindus to friends and neighbors."

Roger D.
Shoreview, MN
November 29, 2022

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Darrell M.
Lino Lakes, MN
June 9, 2022
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