Building your own home is one of the most exciting – yet stressful – things to do in life. That’s because in most cases, the experience is filled with complications, red tape and roadblocks. But it’s possible to sail more smoothly through the process if you do the groundwork early, and equip yourself with a few essential tips and tricks.
Buying an existing property is known to rattle the nerves of even the most experienced buyers. But when you’re planning on building your own home from scratch, the stress and difficulty becomes a whole different ball game. Add to that the complication of construction, and the need to solve a multitude of issues which will crop up along the way, and you can be left with not only a hole in your pocket but a headache too!
Therefore, when building your own home from the ground up it requires careful consideration before you launch in boots and all. This will ensure the build is a success, and guarantee you will end up with the home of your dreams. Furthermore, getting the house built right will be crucial to your emotional, mental and financial well-being.
Fortunately, there are resources available to help, such as the ultimate guide for new home builders in Perth. This handy article explains everything you need to think about before and during the process of building your own home. If you’re launching into a project of this magnitude, you want to make sure you do as much in-depth research and planning as you possibly can.
Before you start, have a think about your ‘must-haves’, your ‘nice-to-haves’ and your ‘definitely nots’ so that when it comes to that critical point, you know what can be cut out and what must stay. After all, you’re building your own home to meet your needs, so making sure it has most of your must-haves ticked off is crucial.
Take a look below at the key areas you need to think about before and during the process of building your own home.
Building your own home Tip #1 – Finance and budget
Let’s be honest, without this sorted, you will not be building your own home at all! You will absolutely need to work out how much you can afford to spend and how you are going to get your hands on that money (Lotto tickets won’t be a guarantee, sadly!).
Firstly, you’re going to need to start with a home loan comparison tool or mortgage broker to understand the types of mortgage loans and interest rates available, and to see how much you will be able to borrow. Depending on the type of lending, the money might be released in different stages so you’ll need to factor this into your building schedule.
Once you know what funds you have to play with, you can start designing the house and learning what it will cost. Again, get a professional, and get in writing everything that will be included. From paths to fences, to turf, to air-con, to power outlets. Don’t forget anything!
#2 – Source A Suitable Piece of Land
Before you go any further, the most important step to take in building your own home involves sourcing a suitable piece of land. There are thousands of different options to explore, from remote pieces of land for sale to neighbourhood plots that offer more of a community feel.
Think about the kind of surroundings you want your new home to have – do you want to look out of your kitchen window to see a vast expanse of greenery? Or would you like to be amongst the hustle and bustle of inner city life? Spend some time exploring different plots in your preferred areas, jotting down the positives and negatives of each.
Consider the value for money, as well as other important features like potential risks. Potential risk factors could be extreme weather conditions (such as being in a flood prone location) as well as burglary or vandalism in an area with a high crime rate. The money that you decide to spend on your plot will obviously have a big impact on the rest of your budget, so be sure to take your time to shop around and find the best piece of land to meet your needs.
#3 – Choose Your Home Design & Layout
The design and layout of your home is the next most important feature, as this can make or break your new home build. There are so many variations and set ups you can experiment with in order to work out your ideal plans. There’s also a range of helpful online platforms available that allow you to properly visualise your ideas in 3D to get a better feel for what you can expect to achieve.
While a palatial Hamptons-style home might be on your wishlist, if your budget is more sparkling water than sparkling wine, you’ll have to revise your expectations accordingly.
When thinking about building your own home you also need to think about the type of lifestyle you want to live. ie, are you planning to have kids? Do you need space for hobbies or to work in? Do you need a garage or any outdoor storage space?
Don’t forget that the house might need to be in-keeping with neighbouring properties too, so you may have to be a little sympathetic to the area. Your builder will help you add your own flair and individuality, and ensure the materials work together. Importantly, future proof your ideas too – what is super modern and appealing today might be less so in a few years, making it difficult to sell later.
#3 – Choose your builder
Fortunately, builders in major cities are easy to find, and since by now you’ll have a good idea of what you want, you can start talking to those in the know. Have a look at comparison websites or better yet, social media. If someone is happy with the service they received they will no doubt be recommending them.
Ask anyone you know who has also had their own home built and see what they say about their builder. Building directories and trade association websites can also help.
Before you sign on the dotted line with the builder begin building your own home together, it’s worthwhile spending some time to get to know them. Sometimes, certain personality types will clash, and you will find you cannot work successfully with everyone and certainly not for an extended period. As this is such a huge strain emotionally and financially, you want to know the team around you is all on the same page.
#4 – Choose your land
You might have your heart set on the perfect location, but it might not be feasible once you start looking into it. If you need help, your builder or a real estate agent might suggest some areas for you to look at instead.
Again, you’ll really need to consider the practicalities of where you choose to build – if the site of your new home will be too far from family or workplaces or schools, your quality of life will be compromised. And this goes against your reason for building your own home in the first place!
#5 – Signing the contracts
Admin might not be high on your list of fun things to do, but it is very wise, and much safer, to confirm you have the right paperwork in place, FIRST. There are professional associations available to assist with this type of work, so get in touch with them if you need it.
#6 – The construction process
It might seem like you started this whole building process a long time ago, but eventually it’ll be time to get the build started! There are now some major steps to go through, and you will be forgiven for finding each one as exciting as the next!
In a nutshell, you’ll need to get the foundations nice and strong before the skeleton is constructed above it. Then the walls, windows and roof will be added before the interior work is started. The final touches will be the icing on the cake.
#7 – After Building Your Own Home – Move in!
And just like that, you’re ready to move in! Jokes aside, the reality is that this will be a lengthy process, but no doubt one of the most gratifying ones too. Challenging and expensive, yes, but when everything is approved, and you have the keys, the feeling will be great!
It is a fact that there are a lot of steps to building your own home and this article only scratches the surface. But ultimately, if you plan correctly, engage with the right tradespeople and suppliers and don’t have expectations that are completely unrealistic, then chances are that you will be able to complete your project in a timely and financially acceptable way.
Moving house is exciting, but building your very own home from the ground up is next-level rewarding. And thanks to the amazing support available, these days, the process is less confusing than ever before. If in doubt, ask questions and don’t pursue anything until you are totally comfortable.