Building An Addition: A Homeowner's Guide

Roll Up Your Sleeves On These Projects After Your Custom Home Is Built

by Toni Richards

When you work with a builder to have a custom home designed and built, it's an exciting feeling to walk through the doors of the residence for the first time and see everything has been completed exactly how you want it. However, if you're looking to save a little money on this project — and you're adept with household projects — you might wish to inquire about how much you'd save by having the builder leave a few things for you to do. Sometimes, it can make a notable difference in the total price of the project. Here are some particular areas to inquire about.

Hooking Up Light Fixtures

Your custom home builder may be able to complete the wiring throughout your home but then cap the wires and leave them sticking out of the walls where you've decided to have light fixtures hooked up. Then, if you're someone who is highly adept with this type of work, you can visit the home with all of the necessary light fixtures and carefully connect them one by one. Although those that are overhead will be a bit labor intensive, especially if your custom home has tall ceilings, you'll be able to save yourself a bit of money by doing this work yourself.

Deck Construction

If you enjoy working with wood and you have some family members or friends who could help you, ask your custom home builder to abstain from building a deck at the rear of your home. This will mean that the sliding door off the living room or kitchen won't be usable for a while, as there will likely be a drop-off to the ground below immediately outside this door. Once you move in, you can gather some helpers and construct a deck in this area. You'll need to spend a bit of money to do it, but it may be cheaper for you in the long run.


Many custom home builders will also do a considerable amount of landscaping for you so that when you're ready to move in, the home's curb appeal is high. However, you can also do this work yourself. In such a scenario, the lot around your house may simply be left as bare dirt. This means that you'll need to either lay the sod yourself, or, if you perhaps know someone who works as a landscaper, you could pay a landscaper to do the work for you in the weeks after you move in.