Here’s some advice that’s obvious, but not always followed. If you’re building a home to share with a spouse or partner, make sure both of you are OK with the final decisions.
You might think there’s nothing wrong with one person making all the decisions as long as both of you are comfortable with this arrangement. I agree. But the other person still needs to approve your final decisions to make sure you didn’t choose something they dislike.
When Building a Modular Home, It Is Especially Important that Both of You Approve the Final Decisions
This is particularly important with modular homes, since the factory will build your home to whatever design and specifications you sign for when you authorize its construction. This means you need to be sure your spouse or partner feels good about your final decisions. Otherwise . . . well, let me share a story about a happily married couple.
When Ed and Heidi first came to our model home center, Ed let us know that if they were to select us, his wife would pick the house plan and specifications and control the purse strings. He said he was too busy with work to be involved. Besides he would be happy with whatever his wife decided. That was fine with us, but we couldn’t help wonder how Heidi would handle this responsibility without help, since she already had three children under seven with a fourth on the way.
To Heidi’s credit, once she decided to build with us she quickly finalized the plan and just as quickly selected the materials and colors. She then signed off on her final decisions.
A month before the baby was due we delivered their home. Ed didn’t attend the modular set, but Heidi was there with her parents and a couple of friends, who helped with the children. Ed came that evening and was quite pleased with the house. At least he was until he realized Heidi had decided to have their general contractor install forced hot air heat and air conditioning. Ed had wanted the factory to install hot water baseboards. Moreover, he disliked air conditioning. The next day his opening line to my service manager was, “I am not sure who I should be mad at, you or my wife!”. It never occurred to him that he should be mad at himself!
It’s Always Less Expensive to Get the Final Decisions Right the First Time
We explained to Ed and Heidi that they could still add hot water baseboards to each room. But this would cost them quite a bit more than if the units had been installed at the factory. In the end, they decided to live with the forced hot air heat. However, the last we heard, they still hadn’t installed air conditioning.
It’s perfectly OK to allow your spouse or partner to make all the final decisions. But regardless of how busy you are, or how happy you are letting your spouse or partner do the heavy lifting, both of you should review the final decisions before authorizing your home to be built.
For more information about designing your home and selecting its specifications, see Designing a Modular Home and Modular Home Specifications and Features in my book The Modular Home.