Building a home from scratch: where to start
For many people, the fulfilment of a dream is when the day arrives that they can finally afford a home of their own. Most people opt for an existing home, but building a home from scratch holds many benefits and should be given serious consideration.
Firstly, it could work out significantly cheaper to build a home instead of buying an existing
property. This would depend on the extent to which the owner wants to be involved in the building process. An owner-builder can realise large cost savings compared to someone who employs a building contractor to oversee the whole process.
Secondly, building a home from scratch means that the home can be designed precisely according to the personal taste of the owners. No longer will there be problems such as the house having too few bedrooms or a lounge that is too small. All aspects are under the owner’s control when opting to build instead of buy.
Another important benefit is that building a home obviously results in a brand new property. There is a very real risk when buying a 25-year-old home that very soon major bills could be faced for upgrading the electricity or plumbing system, or the roof might start leaking or the carpets might have to be replaced at a significant cost. None of these will be a concern when moving into a newly built home.
Where should somebody who wishes to embark on the self-build road start? The obvious starting point is finding and buying the right plot. For example, if you were looking to build in the States. A quick Google search for ‘land for sale USA’ will come up with a variety of options.
In this regard, the old adage ‘location, location, location’ immediately comes to mind. Buying the right plot is probably the most important decision that a prospective home owner will ever make. Do not try to save money by buying a cheap plot in a down-market part of town, as this will undoubtedly prove to be false economy.
For people with young children, make sure that the plot is close to schools. Consider the distance from work – it is no use the plot having lovely views if it involves travelling three hours to and from work every day, and arriving home after dark.
The next step is drawing up the plans for the home. It is possible to save money by downloading ready-made building plans from the internet, but the downside to this approach is that the end result will not be a custom-designed property. The only way to get a home that has been designed 100% in accordance with the owner’s personal taste is to employ an architect; however, this is a more expensive option.
Hiring a building contractor to oversee the whole process will no doubt push up the cost, but knowing that an expert is in charge will provide very real peace of mind. This may be especially appealing for someone who does not feel comfortable about overseeing the entire building process. The best way to find a building contractor is by personal recommendation, and it is always a good idea to ask to see examples of their past work.