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How to Save Your Sanity During the Home Building Process

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Model houseBuilding your new home is a unique experience filled with stories you will never forget. Especially when it is in a different country with a different climate, culture and language! It will be a challenge and it will be an adventure, and almost everyone who has built their home here in Costa Rica feels they could write a book about it, some even do.

Always keep in mind that you may one day want to sell your house, so Resale should always be considered when making decisions along the way. Stay away from current fads or trendy finishes; keep those for the furniture and décor, and remember to leave money in the budget for the pool, outdoor kitchen and other landscaping needs.

Hopefully these tips will help you keep your sanity and actually enjoy the creation of your new home in paradise!

Open plan kitchen and living roomDocument the home building process

There will be important information you need to remember when you build, even after you settle in. Whether it’s for your family or for future renovations, documenting your build is an important part of the process. Keeping track of your documents and making sure your family stay in the loop can help you stay organized and ensure you remember everything about your build.

Keep friends and family in the loop with social media

The home building process is exciting, and your friends and family will want to be included. In fact, you’ll probably find that your new home becomes a popular conversation topic. You don’t need to personally keep everyone in the loop. Instead, you can find ways to keep everyone connected online. Whether you start a blog for pictures, advice and stories, or document all of your progress on Instagram, your friends will appreciate the simple way to stay involved in the process.

Outdoor bathOrganize important documents

The home building process comes with a lot of paperwork. You can keep all of your documents and permits in a file folder, but those aren’t always easy to store or search through. Luckily, there are plenty of digital ways to document and track things like expenses and materials. Try using these apps and approaches to keep up with all your important documents.

  • Use an app like ScannerPro to scan documents – like receipts and contracts – with your phone. You can then create a filing system on your phone or computer to put every paper in its place.
  • Snap a picture to document your materials and finish choices. That way, when it comes time to touch up your paint, you can easily find a match. This also helps you find replacement parts like light bulbs and hardware. Take pictures of fixture SKUs in case you require repairs or replacements in the future.
  • Download an app like HomeZada to help you track material inventory, keep a building budget and plan out your next moves. This lets you know which materials you need and how they figure into your big-picture budget. A home management app is an invaluable tool to help you stay organized and save your sanity.
  • Keep paper copies of any signed contracts, especially those between you and lender and you and your contractor. Scan them for easy access or if you have a quick question, but always retain the hard copies in a file for future reference.
  • Keep a set of house plans on your phone. They won’t be to scale and they aren’t for use in building, but you can reference them when you’re walking through your unfinished home.
  • Take pictures of your home at the grey building stage before they finish the walls. You can reduce pricey demolition in the future if you already know the location of major electrical and plumbing hookups.

Living roomPreserve memories

Documenting the home building process isn’t just about business. While tracking receipts and recording SKUs can help you stay organized, documenting the process will help you connect to your new home. The home building process can be stressful for sure, but also meaningful. Take progress pictures and journal about the experience so you can share your story with family and friends for years to come. Create an album of pictures and stories you can refer back to any time. 
Furnishing your new home

Furnishing your home is the next chapter. You may decide to go with a pre-designed Home Furniture Package that takes the stress out of finding all the pieces yourself. These run from basic to luxury and you can also find Appliances Packages and Outdoor Furniture Packages too. This helps with the finances as you will already know the total cost and can budget for that.
However if you want to find all the pieces yourself it will be a similar process. You will have made a budget for furniture, as you did the house, so do your research during the build and source out where you can find suitable furniture. Remember to document your finds. Take photos of the items together with the store information and make notes about the important features like the comfort level, colour options or delivery time. Many furniture buying decision will need to be made so this is a reference for you and for the store if you have questions or want to refer back to different products later when you are back home. If you use the store’s designer they will keep all the notes of your visits and will work with you to make sure everything is pulled together well, and with style.

It is not usually a good idea to bring furniture from back home. It will always be more costly then you expect and there may be breakages or other ‘losses’, plus the fabrics and finishes will probably not work as well with the climate and our more casual lifestyle. Probably best to start fresh and look on it as an opportunity to de-clutter and live more simply.

Whether you’re just starting your build or are currently in the thick of it, know that your build will become part of your family’s story. Your adventures along the way will make fun reads in later years and as you meet new people and learn new things you can preserve your memories as your own New Home story.

Until next time…

Royal Palm Interiors – Uvita  – 2743-8323
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