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House Not Built According to Plan (Prevent Nightmares!)

Indulging your imagination and creativity to build a unique house from scratch is a rewarding experience.

With a clever architect, a competent designer and good builders, you will be able to make this dream a reality.

But do you need a plan before you construct a house? A well thought-out blueprint approved by the construction authority in your location is a must for every homebuilder. It helps you envision how your home will look upon completion, and serves as a guide for future modifications and improvements.

It is important to be aware of the fact that there are many things that could go wrong in the course of constructing a house.

The local authority has the power to stop the construction if they deem it unsuitable or unsafe for occupation.

Therefore, to prevent any costly delays and extra expenses, getting a permit for your house is the best way to go.

Can you build a house without a plan?

Although you can build a home without plans and from experience, it is not recommended.

With a detailed plan, you can get a building permit for your house, ensuring that the structure meets building codes.

A house plan gives you a goal to reach which in turn gives you a sense of accomplishment.

Most importantly, before beginning construction of your home, it is wise to evaluate and select architects and contractors.

Consulting these professional developers and designers can help you avoid costly mistakes.

As they turn your concept into technical drawings and structural designs, they will help you make informed decisions.

A plan not only keeps you on schedule and within budget, it provides a reference tool during construction.

Since the project manager is liable for construction-related damages, errors or deficiencies, a plan will help incorporate necessary details and features.

Electrical, mechanical, plumbing, and grading requirements will also be included to maintain structural integrity.

In addition, the owner and the builder will be protected from liens or lawsuits.

What would happen if my house was not built according to plan?

In the construction phase, changes will occur to accommodate modifications or additions.

Even if you don’t keep a detailed written plan of your new home throughout its construction process, you will nevertheless want it to serve as a reference when making decisions about what works and what doesn’t during that process.

Permits and legalities aside, it’s very hard to build a house without some sort of plan.

Sure you can use blueprints or memorize the design by heart but this is risky, costly and time-consuming.

In brief, you risk your building getting delayed, your budget running out, or even worse, it collapses if you don’t find the right talent and skills recognized by authorities to pull it off.

For this reason, the home inspector or governing body evaluating an unapproved existing house may tag such a structure as shoddy and unfit for habitation.

Read More: Home Inspector as a Side Job: Pay, Pros, Cons, Qualification

The same authorities will have the mandate to issue enforcement notice that the construction stops, impose fines or even completely demolish without any compensation to non-complying clients.

Can you build a house with just a floor plan?

Realistic dimensions, sizes and scales of living spaces designated in floor plans help you visualize what your home may look like, but are they enough to construct a house?

Defining cross-sectional details, electrical, plumbing, and elevation components is crucial, making sure that you achieve a fully functional, energy-efficient and aesthetically pleasing home.

While floor plans are essential for developing a design and getting buy-in from the homeowner, and is an initial step in the design process, a house needs more.

3D design renderings from a home designer software will help draw attention to the interior space and architectural details such as finishes, cabinet sizes and configurations, countertops, window treatments, and more.

Even the orientation and expansive views can influence a client’s decision making.

And if captured properly, they provide a more honed vision of the final product.

What to do if the builder does not follow the plan?

Whether you’re buying a new home from a developer, or building one of your own, there are all kinds of unexpected things that can happen when the contractor is more concerned with getting in and out fast than following the blueprint—and you’re stuck with a potential disaster.

Ultimately, if you’re buying a new home from someone and they don’t follow through on what they agreed to, you’ll be left at their mercy.

But even if you’re building your own dream home and everything goes according to plan, there’s still some work involved to make sure it will stand up and last.

Provided that the contracts and warranties are in effect, the builder and the developers are responsible for making sure your house is built right.

Below are some of the things you should consider, if you’re dealing with a builder or developer who missed the mark.

  • pay attention to external forces such as vandals or weather
  • document all issues:
    • breach of contract
    • faulty fixtures and appliances
    • overspending that exceeds budget
    • unreasonable delays
    • shoddy workmanship
  • take pictures of any broken items or exposed wires
  • record expenses if you have to move out during repairs
  • call a home inspector to report any latent issues or defects
  • lodge a complaint with the relevant licensing boards or authorities
  • hire a lawyer to pursue your case
  • sue the developer and builder if you are cheated out of your deposit, or get ripped off with a substandard house
  • make sure the house is insured, which will pay you a percentage of what your home is worth should something go wrong with your new abode
  • buy or make contingency plans in case the house has to be demolished, sold due to non-payment, or repossessed by a bank


Zebedee Nambaleo
Zebedee Nambaleo

Zebedee is the founder of RealEstate Ke. He creates content by carefully examining and analyzing the real estate market, home improvement resources, and government data. His analysis is based on the principle of supplying high-quality, relevant, and in-depth information to his audience. By evaluating the current conditions and predicting future trends, he provides his audience with invaluable insights that allow them to make better decisions.