6 Necessary Steps When Building Your Own Home
Building a home from the ground up is something many of us dream of – a space entirely designed and equipped for our family, with everything in its right place. Away from the fantasy, building your own home involves a lot of hard work and planning, and there is much more to consider than meets the eye – from finances to materials, legal factors to contractors. Here are some of the essential steps that will lead down the path to your dream home.
Such a large project means that as little as possible should be left to chance. The planning stage is vitally important and should be an exhaustive process. A plan should include researching the kind of home you want, sourcing and costing materials, contractors, designers, and more. Once you’ve made a plan, go over it again and factor in everything that could possibly go wrong – something probably will!
Building a house is an expensive undertaking, and making a watertight budget is essential for success – the last thing you need is for money to run out halfway through your build. As well as materials and contractors, most home builders need a construction loan or a mortgage – more on this below. And don’t forget decorating, plumbing, electricity, gas, insulation – the list goes on. Budgeting is about balancing costs with realistic expectations. But every budget needs a bit of overflow for those (almost inevitable) bumps in the road.
Loans and legal factors
Some home builders just require a regular home loan, while others may need to apply for a construction loan for the project. The latter allows you to take increasing sums as you reach each stage of development. Make sure you factor in stamp duty and any taxes or other fees you need to pay. You’ll need to sign contracts for these loans, so it’s best to have a solicitor to help. Legal advice specifically for building homes is available, simplifying the complex process and covering insurance, regulations, disputes, and compliance.
Purchase a lot
You’ll need somewhere to build your house, so now’s the time to choose and buy. Land costs vary immensely from place to place, so enlist the assistance of a realtor or someone from the local planning authority to assist you. Your lot, and the house you build, will be subject to local regulations – this can even affect the style of the building. Other factors such as drainage, zoning, soil quality, etc, will need to be considered. If your house has to be custom designed to fit the lot, this could end up being much more costly.
Make a plan
There are many different ways that people choose to plan their homes. Some will build to a stock blueprint that comes with their lot, whereas others will have a project house or a fully custom-designed building. Plans are dependent on where you are and what your budget is. You may be working with an architect or a designer who will help you choose the best plan for your wants and needs. If you are building a custom-designed house there will be more to factor in – for example, which direction the house should face in relation to the sun, or how to save on heating and energy costs via careful house placement. If you are using a separate garden designer for your landscaping you’ll need to coordinate with them, too.
Build your team
Now it’s time to choose contractors and other workers to build your house. You should always obtain at least three quotes from contractors before you decide. We mentioned architects and home designers, but you’ll need a surveyor, an excavator, and builders. Everyone should be fully briefed on the plan of the house, and it may be wise to employ an overall manager to handle the project. If you haven’t managed a big building project before it may be best to trust the professionals. Contracts should be drawn up with everyone employed on the build, and you should get your solicitor to check over these.
Building a dream home sounds great, but it is a lot of hard work to get there. Follow the right steps, and with careful planning, the dream can become reality.