By Jim Patrick It is imperative to understand the importance of thorough planning to help avoid these seven common reasons that might send your home building projects over budget. Emotional decisions Emotions can easily put the kibosh on rational thinking. Even if you are a focused financial planner your judgment can be affected by the emotional aspect of designing and building a dream home and you could lose sight of the financial aspect. It is common for homeowners to feel that this is the only chance to obtain certain items in their home. These emotions can lead to decisions that are not in their budget. Upgrading architectural specifications When building a home, the mentality of most people is to “go grand.” They have the feeling that this is the home they will live in for the rest of their lives and think if they don’t say yes to certain things, they will never be able to have them in their home. As a result homeowners will often ignore their architect’s specifications, which were based on the original budget supplied by the homeowner, and request upgrades. Unfortunately, these upgrades do not always fit the budget. Inaccurate preliminary budget The homeowner should be involved in setting the budgets for appliances, plumbing and lighting fixtures, hardware, roofing and so on. The architect or builder, without truly knowing the homeowner’s taste level and quality expectations, may create a budget that reflects moderately priced items–while the homeowner wants upscale items. It is not until the time comes to select these items that a homeowner truly understands the level of quality the budget represents. Ignoring the budget It’s also not uncommon for a homeowner to begin selecting appliances, plumbing and lighting fixtures, hardware, roofing, and so on without knowing their cost. The products you feel that you can’t live without could cost send you over your budget. Hurry-up mentality Construction is underway and the clock is ticking. You may be paying to live in one place and at the same time paying for the construction loan. This causes a hurry-up mentality, which can translate into decisions based on product availability instead of cost. To get products delivered quickly, the homeowner ends up paying charges for expedited shipping that were not part of the budget. Changing Orders The homeowner makes changes throughout the construction process, which are not only costly, but can also delay the project. The homeowner hears about a new product and must have it immediately. Both the budget and timetable have just been blown. You will have to weigh the cost of last minute changes. Too many decision makers The homeowner allows the architect, interior designer and their consultants to change orders with the builder without the homeowner’s approval. This is a sure way to blow your budget.