So You Want To Build A House


So You Want To Build A House

Whether building new or renovating an existing structure, creating a new home is a journey of discovering who you are, what you want, how you want to live and where you want to be. It’s a chance for you to define your relationship to the world, to your family and to yourself. Creating a home is more than building “3 bedrooms, 2½ bathrooms.” It is so much more than the sum of a few parts.

As with any journey, you’ll want to do some research and plan your trip. You’ll want to have a sense of what the end result should be and how much it’ll cost. And while you’ll no doubt be able to go it alone, having a seasoned and experienced guide show you the way will likely mean a more enjoyable, more enriching and overall better journey.

Let’s look at the steps, in chronological order, involved in creating a home.

1. Set goals. Asking yourself the right questions is key to establishing goals that are achievable.

Questions to ask:

  • What do you want to achieve?
  • Where area do you want to build in?
  • What will this cost? See our calculator for how much house you can afford.
  • Can it really be achieved?
  • Does plan A make sense?
  • What’s my plan B?

2. Establish a budget. The budget is such an important piece of your overall goal that it deserves its own separate task list. First, begin with what you can afford and how the cost of the house fits in with your overall plans for the future. Get down to the details by including everything that will go into the project; cost of the land, planning fees and VAT, design and engineering fees, construction of not just the home but landscaping, cost of furniture and décor items.

And since construction rarely goes as planned, don’t forget a healthy contingency. Making a realistic budget will help ensure that any detours don’t derail your project.

We recommend using a spreadsheet program such as A spreadsheet Excel or Google Sheets. Both are good tools to use for developing a budget, as you can continuously update and modify it as you work your way through the building process.

3. Importance of a team. You simply cannot go it alone. Entrust your single largest investment to an experienced team of professionals that won’t be learning on your dime?

An architect and a builder are going to be your most important team members. These people will act as your advocates and guide throughout the journey that creating your home is. Picking the right ones makes the journey more enjoyable.

4. Plan, plan again and plan some more. Don’t skimp on the planning phase. Making decisions now is a lot cheaper than after your foundation is poured and walls are built. Ask yourself what if over and over again. You don’t want to have any regrets when you are done. You will be asked to make many many decisions. Make sure you understand what you want so that in the end your home is uniquely you own.

5. Accept the inevitable. Stuff happens, We know you have made the plans, gotten the planning permits and secured the money from the bank. All you need to do now is build and you hope it all goes as planned. Reality: It rarely ever does.

How you and your team handles the hiccups is very important to the overall success of your project. This is where having the right team is crucial to protecting your investment and helping you keep your sanity.

How to stay sane during construction

  • Don’t change your mind. Make your decisions early and stick to them. Don’t be enticed by all the beautiful photos you see online and in magazines. Just remember that once construction starts major changes will derail your budget.
  • Be an active homeowner. Every construction site is filled with workers who is just their to do a job. Visiting your site daily or weekly is essential to catching any major mishaps before its too late to recover.

6. Enjoy your new home. You’ve worked hard and spent more than a few dollars to create your dream home, so enjoy it fully. After all, it’s now the place you call home.