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Self Build Success: What You Need To Know When Building Your Dream Home

Purchasing an existing home is a perfectly acceptable option for most people who are looking for a home. And because there are so many possibilities available in most markets, you are almost certain to find one or two that meet your requirements perfectly.

But what if you have something in mind that is quite unique? Alternatively, what if you simply cannot locate anything in your local market that meets your requirements? Depending on your circumstances, you may find yourself in the position of having – or wanting – to construct your own home.

Of course, building your own home is a time-consuming process with a lot of opportunities for mistakes to happen. So, before you begin your own self-build journey, have a look at these pointers to help you avoid some of the more common pitfalls.

What do you want from your house?

To begin, you will want to develop a list of your goals and objectives. Do you have a certain location in mind for your home? Which design features are essential and which are optional, and which should be included in your budget if it is possible? Your architect will appreciate your ability to distinguish between needs and wants and prioritize the most critical features of your new home if you are clear about what you want and what you do not want in your new home.

Purchase a piece of land

You will need a site to put your home before you can start building it. Look through the real estate listings in your area for desirable lots that meet your requirements. If you reside in an urban region where usable land is difficult to come by, you may be able to purchase a decaying home that also happens to be on a decent lot for a reasonable price.

Pic Credit: Pexels

If you want to go this path, you will have to include in demolition and cleanup charges in your construction budget, but in the long run, it may be less expensive than purchasing a building site in an undesirable location.

You also need to make sure that you have got or can get, the relevant planning permissions for the plot of land.

Make a plan for the layout of your home

For the time being, let your hair down. Go wild. Take out some drafting paper or a 3D drawing application and start drawing. Create the floor layout of your dreams, as well as the exterior finish of your dream home. You may well find yourself having to make some concessions on some of the items on your wish list later on, but this exercise will assist you in defining your vision for the perfect home. It is also a whole lot of fun!

Make certain that all of the features of your home are thoroughly planned. Which way will it be facing? In what manner will the rooms be laid out and how will they flow? What kind of lighting will you use, and how many power outlets will you install (as a general rule, you will need more power outlets than you think), are important considerations.

If doing this yourself is daunting, enlisting the services of a professional firm to undertake architectural drafting is a good idea. Utilising experts in this area will help you achieve the best possible outcome within your constraints such a budget or land conditions. In addition they can help you get as many of your wish list items in as is possible.

Find a builder and an architect for your project

Considering that your architect and builder will be two of the most crucial members of your team, you will want to ensure that they are both respected and professional.

Your architect will work with you to improve your concept and turn it into a workable blueprint. Your builder will monitor the construction of your home, as well as handle the cost breakdown and deal with any subcontracting difficulties that may emerge during the construction process.

While hiring a builder will cost you money, it will make the process of creating your own home much easier to cope with in the long run. If you are feeling extremely ambitious, you can consider taking up the role of your own builder. In order to avoid dealing with dishonest contractors, you will need to control your costs wisely. There is always the possibility that you will have to deal with them.

Make sure you understand the terms of the contract you signed with your builder by carefully reading it through. Ascertain what the building costs cover and what they do not cover so that you are not taken by surprise when the time comes.

Make certain that it contains a cooling-off period and that it defines a construction timeline that is suitable for your requirements. See if the package has full plans, warranty, and insurance information before you buy it. Pay particular attention to the payment plan, as well as the due date.

Finally, it is a good idea to have a lawyer review the deal before you sign it. Fill in any blanks with a black marker, and make sure that any contract modifications are thoroughly documented and mutually agreed upon.

Make a budget for the construction of your home

You are aware of how much money you have available to spend or borrow. Now is the moment to determine whether or not the house you desire can be built with the funds you have available.  Once you and your architect have reached an agreement on a design, your builder will break down the plan into specific building phases and solicit bids from the contractors who will carry out the actual construction. Remember that you have to pay for materials and specialist equipment as well, such as crane hire.

The amount of money that your home will cost should now be able to be determined with reasonable certainty. It is important to account in all of the essential construction supplies and labor, as well as utility bills and permits, and the costs for designers, landscapers, and other specialists when building a budget.

Do not forget to account for a contingency of at least 10% in your budget. The contingency fund is designed to cover the unforeseen costs that can occur during the construction of a home. If you do not need to use it, that is great.  Construction of your dream home should proceed as planned, but the last thing you want to happen is to have to stop because of unexpected costs.

Make sure that you communicate carefully with the people involved

Communicate frequently with your builder and craftsmen during the construction process. Receive regular updates on the status of the construction, and make sure you check in with the team. You should take images of the development on a regular basis so that you can capture any issue areas that may arise in the future.

Do not be scared to stick to your guns when it comes to your beliefs. Do not be afraid to challenge your builder, contractor, or tradespeople if they tell you something cannot be done. It may be more expensive, but the chances are good that you will be able to achieve your goals with the appropriate amount of effort. Putting up a battle for details that are essential to you is well worth the effort. After all, you will be the one who has to live in the house after it is finished.

You should, however, be able to prevent disagreements during the construction phase if you maintain effective communication. Construction will go much more smoothly if you have a clear vision of what you want and the details that are non-negotiable for you before starting.

Plan for things to go wrong

Something is bound to go wrong during the course of a project as complex as home construction – it is inevitable. The most important thing is to maintain your composure and stay calm and in control. As long as you have put together an excellent team, everything should turn out perfectly in the end.

Decisiveness is required

Once the construction process has begun, you may find yourself inclined to change your mind on a few important aspects of the project. If you can, resist the impulse to make changes unless you absolutely cannot live without making a few adjustments. Making adjustments in the middle of a project may be extremely expensive, time-consuming, and frustrating.

Pick out the finishing touches as early on in the process as possible

Choosing the finishing touches, such as home exterior materials or flooring early in the construction process will help to keep your project on schedule and running smoothly. You may discover that some finishes are out of stock or will take a long time to arrive. Alternatively, you may find that some finishes are no longer available, allowing you time to go back to the drawing board and make an alternative choice.

Early selection of products ensures that the products are in your builder’s possession as soon as the subcontractors are ready to begin working on the project. Believe us when we say that you want everything ready to go when your subcontractors arrive to work on your property. Aside from that, you could have to wait a long time while they finish another project.


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