Building the dream house: Where to begin

By : Nick Marr

No matter whether you’re renovating an existing property or constructing a new home from scratch, building your dream house is one of those once in a lifetime experiences. However, in order to leave you with several happy long lasting memories rather than pain and disdain, a lot of planning and preparation is required.

But where on earth do you begin? Well, here’s a quick step-by-step guide with everything you need to know about building your dream house, from saving money and coming up with a budget to the construction itself and moving in.

Get your finances in order

If you’re so much as contemplating the construction or renovation of a home, there’s a strong chance you have the money saved up already. Having said that, some people look into self-build mortgage products, which work on a stage payment basis whereby funds are released at key points throughout the project.

Your other major financial consideration will be your budget. It makes sense to consult professionals like an architect or civil engineer to give you an accurate idea of costings.

Find a lot and choose your plan

Constructing a home from scratch will require a plot of land, which always comes before selecting floor plans or other details. While location is extremely important, don’t overlook details like soil condition, drainage, zoning, and building codes.

Once you’ve acquired a plot of land or are undertaking a major reconstruction project on an existing property, you can pick a plan. Many new homes are build using stock plans, which builders and designers can tweak according to your requirements. The other option is a custom-designed home, which will be more expensive but truly unique.

Assemble your team

Building a home with your own hands is bound to provide you with an immense sense of self-satisfaction. However, assembling a team of tried and trusted professionals is almost always better than going it alone. Both stock and custom plans will require the services of an architect and builder to guide you through the process.

Over time, you’ll inevitably add other team members such as an interior design or landscape architect. But these areas of construction and renovation are much easier than the bricks and mortar thanks to things like flat pack furniture and prefabricated outbuildings.

Plan and prepare the essentials

Before you break ground, make sure you have all the appropriate consents to build, which could include planning permission, building control approval, and any other special permissions. You should also get the right contracts, warranties, and insurance in place.

With all your essential documentation sorted, you can start preparing the plot – clearing vegetation, levelling the land, setting out the trenches etc. This will typically be carried out by your main contractor or a dedicated ground working company.

Start building your dream home

Now is when the dream of building your ideal home becomes a reality. If a contractor is in charge of the project, be sure to check on their progress every now and then. You should also establish communication patterns and arrange team meetings to avoid misunderstandings and mistakes.

And, if everything goes to plan, you’ll be moving into your dream house in no time.