You may be fine with a spanner and screwdriver for odd jobs in the home, but when it comes to bricks and mortar, you’re clueless. Despite this lack of experience and skill, the dream of building your own home survives.
There are many advantages to building your own home. Although initial costs may be pricier than buying a home readymade, a brand-new home can save you money on maintenance costs and costly repairs in the future.
Building your own home is an attractive idea but a daunting task. A space made just by you that fits perfectly with you is a dream come true, but going about that is intimidating to say the least.
Before you build your home, you’re going to need to know exactly what you want, and prepare yourself properly. Here’s some advice for anyone who wants to one day be not just a home owner, but a home builder.
Pick a Plot of Land
If you own your own land, the costs of building your own home will be significantly cheaper. Each acre of your plot of land will cost you $3,020 on average (varying by location). That may seem like a lot of money, but the average home is built on a site of only 0.2 acres, so in a standard neighbourhood it shouldn’t set you back too much.
If you’ve found the perfect plot of land to build your home, make sure you check local zoning ordinances. A piece of land may seem like everything you want, but if the ordinances mean you’re forbidden to build on it, it’s functionally useless.
There are other important things to consider when picking a plot of land, like if it is accessible from a road. If not, you need to either prepare to park your car far away and walk or develop an easement. However, getting permission to build an easement through a neighbor’s land can be quite the tricky business.
Another thing to bear in mind is some local ordinances forbid you from building a second story on your house. This is fine if you’re happy with a bungalow, but if you have bigger plans for your dream home, pick your plot of land accordingly.
Be Aware of the Risks
It takes roughly 4-6 months to build a new home, so be prepared to wait a while. Construction projects often run over their allocated time frame, so you need to be prepared to stay in temporary accommodation for as long as it takes.
A big risk is that construction costs will fluctuate and increase during the building process, which can put you outside of your budget. For example, you may have decided to buy a certain kind of timbre for your home in January, but when it’s time to buy the materials to build your home in March, the price has increased significantly. This is a common occurrence so be prepared for this eventuality.
Decide Who Will Build Your Home
A big decision is whether you want to be an owner-builder or get a home builder to do it for you.
If you want to be an owner-builder, it is doubtful that you have all the skills necessary, or the strength, to build your home solo. For even if you’re a skilled carpenter, you’re still going to need to enlist the services of an architect, an electrician, a plumber, etc.
Most licensed contractors have better knowledge of the costs and timeframe of a project than novices, and find it difficult to work with inexperienced owner-builders. Many refuse outright.
However, the dream of building your own home should not die just because you lack experience. There are companies that offer to work with individuals who own a plot of land to build their dream home.
These companies guide you through the process of building your home from beginning to end. From the design with their architect, to interior designers and a construction team, they help and work with you every step of the way. For someone outside of the construction industry who wants to build their own home, this is often the easiest option to make your dream come true!
Guest Post By: Ellie Wiseman
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