Building Your Own House: Everything You Need to Know

Did you spend time searching for the perfect house only to be disappointed in your options? Was every house you looked at and toured lacking in one way or another? This doesn’t mean you’re picky; it simply means you know what you want, and you aren’t willing to compromise. For these reasons, you may have concluded that building your own house is the best plan.

Before jumping in with this huge decision, here’s everything you need to know about building your own house. 

Look for the Perfect Piece of Land

Before you can start drawing up plans and envisioning your perfect house, you need to find a piece of land that you can build on. Finding land for sale isn’t always as easy as you may think, so this can be a long process. The sooner you start looking, the better it will be for the entire project. 

Keep in mind that, not only does the location, size and price need to be right, but it needs to be available for residential development. It can be very helpful to work with an estate agent who is knowledgeable in the inventory available and the location.

Another tip to keep in mind as you search for land for sale is that, before you go ahead with any development on your newly acquired land, you will likely want to do a land survey. The purpose of this survey is to create a map of the land that shows all the legal boundaries. If you choose to do a topographical survey, you’ll get a more detailed report that identifies not just the natural but the man-made features on the plot of land.

Who you hire for the survey is just as important, as they need to be qualified, trained and have the proper accreditations. Arbtech is an arboriculture and ecological consultancy that can provide surveys to make planning your project as simple as possible. The company can come out to your plot of land and perform a thorough topographical survey that is reliable and fast. You can even get a free quote online.

Choosing your piece of land isn’t something you want to rush into, and you should have a long list of questions that need to be answered before you make your final decision.

What’s Your Budget?

For many people, this will end up being the first step in the process, or at least near the top of the to-do list. While it would be wonderful to not have to worry about a budget and just spend freely, that’s not the reality for the vast majority of people. Setting a budget will act as the anchor and will play into every decision moving forward. It affects the land you purchase, the size of the home, the materials and finishes, whether you do the work or you hire someone and so forth.

If this is the first time you’ve built a house, you may not feel confident in setting a realistic budget. How much does a house cost to build? This is when research can help. Look online, speak to a financial advisor, talk to friends who have built a house and speak to the professionals – builders and architects.

Building

Will You Be Hiring Professionals?

As alluded to above, this is also a good time to think about who is doing the work. It’s great to have big ambitions and dreams of building your home from scratch with your own two hands but are you capable of doing so? What experience and skills do you have in the building? Building a home requires specific training, tools, and an understanding of the process. You also need to know where to source materials, and how to deal with issues. Lastly, it’s a huge time commitment.

Even if you plan on doing a good portion of the work, at the very least you’ll want to hire an architect. An architect can take your ideas, dreams and suggestions and create a plan with them. They will create a structurally sound plan that meets planning permission and building regulations. They can also advise you on budgetary issues and if you choose, they can even manage the build.

There are other professional contractors you may also wish to hire that will make the job go faster and smoother. If you want to do some of the work but don’t have a lot of experience, stick to such jobs as interior design, picking finishes, decorating, light landscaping, plastering and painting. Any work you do yourself will help bring down the costs.

Expect to Be Met with Challenges

Even if you hire all the right professionals with lots of relevant experiences, the fact is that you will still likely be met with challenges. The hope is that they are minor setbacks with simple solutions, but it’s for this reason you need to be flexible and ready to make decisions at that moment. Experts also suggest you reserve some of your budget for unexpected expenses so that they don’t torpedo the entire project.

Recognising that the build process is going to be stressful is a good and practical mindset. Finding ways to deal with the stress healthily and productively will be important too.

There are Many Finishing Tasks as Well

As your project nears completion, it’s important to point out a few necessary final steps. You’ll need to get a completion certificate from building control, which your contractor may look after for you. This certificate is necessary for the VAT reclaim. A council tax valuation also needs to be done, as well as a final inspection for the issuing of warranty. Lastly, you’ll need to switch from your self-build site insurance coverage to a homeowner’s policy.

A General Overview to Help You Get Started

Building your own home can be a very long and complicated process, but it can also prove to be the best decision you make. This is the only way to ensure your new home has all the features you want and are dreaming of. Just be prepared to put in the work, expect challenges, set a realistic budget and be patient throughout the process.

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