Purchasing a home is an easy choice for most as there are plenty of options to choose from and one or two are bound to fit their needs quite well. However, if you have a unique style of home in mind and you cannot find anything on the local market that comes even close, the best option is to build your own dream home.
As any custom home builder will tell you, building a new home is an extensive process with many potential pitfalls that could ruin the experience, especially for first-time homeowners who do not have the knowledge or experience to avoid common problems. So, before embarking on your custom home journey you should do proper research. Here are a few tips to start with:
1. List Your Goals
Make a building list with details of the most important factors to consider such as where you would like to live, how much you have to spend, which design features are must-haves, and any other important aspects of your new home. A building list will help you prioritise the most important features of your new home and whether you can afford it. By separating your wants from your needs, you will gain the clarity needed to explain your needs to an architect.
2. Find the Land
Building a new home includes finding the right land in an area of your choice. You will have to budget carefully to ensure a good balance between the cost of the land and the funds needed to complete the building. Your local real estate agencies will have lists of lots where you may find the desired land to suit your needs. Available land is harder to find and more expensive in urban areas.
3. Planning Your Custom Home
You can start the design of your unique home by using simple drafting paper or a 3D drawing program to help you visualise the end result before handing it over to an architect to create a building plan.
4. Find an Architect and Builder
During the building process your architect and builder will be the most important members of your team so make sure that they are professional and reputable. While an architect will help you transform your vision into an actionable blueprint, a building contractor will supervise the construction of your home, handle the cost breakdown, and deal with any subcontractors that are needed to complete the project. Hire the best building contractor with a reputable track record. It may cost more but you will avoid the risk of dealing with unscrupulous contractors and shoddy work that will need to be redone.
5. Create Your Building Budget
Once you have a clear idea of the house you would like to build, you will need to know how much cash you will need to spend and how much you will need to borrow. When creating a budget there are many costs to factor into the construction costs including utility charges, landscape designer fees, permits, and construction materials.
After you have approved the architectural drawings, the building contractor will separate the project into specific construction phases and obtain estimates from sub-contractors to perform the work. At this point, you will have a fairly accurate idea of what the total cost of your new home will be.
Remember to include a contingency of at least 10% to cover unexpected costs that arise with any construction project. If you don’t have it, you may be forced to delay construction until you can obtain more funds.
Making changes after the project is already on the way can be very costly and stressful for all involved. Resist the temptation to change your mind about key details unless you simply can’t bear to live with it and are willing to pay the price.
In any building construction, things are bound to go wrong, but if you have assembled a quality team you will have peace of mind that everything will be dealt with professionally. If everything goes well your new home should be ready to move into anything between 9 to 18 months, depending on the size and complexity, and you can finally kick back and enjoy the results.