Lack of Communication and Planning

Building-related blunders often start in the design process, before the framing is up or the foundation is poured. Many of residential construction’s biggest slip-ups can be prevented by early planning and by effective communication between all parties involved in designing and building the home, says well known building expert Carl Seville of SK Collaborative. “So many of the problems that I see are design related, where architects or builders make stupid decisions early on that make it more difficult to complete the house down the road,” he says.

For example, overly complicated designs that are difficult to insulate and air seal should be avoided. The layout of a home's ductwork should be designed in advance to check for any problems. Seville urges his clients to coordinate the home building process with their subs, HVAC consultants, design professionals, and engineers before ground is broken.

“Houses are pretty sophisticated machines that should be assembled with consideration to all the pieces and parts,” he says.

In this article, Home Innovation Research Labs offers some ideas on “futureproofing” home designs that include using energy simulation software, performance testing such as blower door tests, and cost-benefit analysis of products and planning tools.