How Easy is it to Build Your Own Home?

Some people like the idea of building their own home rather than buying one. There are many reasons for this. For starters, when you build your own home, you can design it from the ground up. You can choose how many bedrooms to have as well as the number of bathrooms and other rooms. If you like the idea of having a uniquely designed home, then building yourself is the way to go. But how easy is it, and what do you need?

Finding Land

The first thing to do when considering a self-build is to find land for sale. According to the realtors at EXIT Real Estate Consultants, this is not always as easy as it sounds, especially if you have your heart set on a specific area. While you may be able to find land, it might not be suitable to build on, so you need to have it assessed by a builder first. For example, buying land with limited or no utility access can be both costly and problematic.

You also need to check if there are any zoning restrictions in place before you make a purchase for land. If the land you are buying is zoned for commercial or agricultural purposes, you may not get permission to build a home. Speaking to the local authority will give you more information on any restrictions that are in place.

Financing Your Build

Most people who buy or build a home will not have the cash reserves to do so and will therefore need to apply for finance. With a self-build project, the process of accessing finance is slightly different to getting finance for a purchase. Instead of a conventional mortgage, a construction loan must be applied for. This construction loan needs to be repaid once the home is built; at this point the homeowner can switch to a mortgage.

You should seek pre-approval for finance before you start drawing up any plans for your house. You need to know how much you can afford to spend on the build so that you can get it completed. You can buy plans online or get an architect to design your home with your input. Once you have your drawings, they will need to be submitted to your local residential planning department for approval.

Hire a Contractor

When you have approval to build and your finance in place, you can look for a contractor to build the home. You might want to get involved yourself to keep costs down, but there are likely to be some jobs that need to be carried out by the professionals, such as the plumbing and electrics. If you are hiring a contractor, make sure they have the necessary state licenses.

Get a contract drawn up between you and the contractor. Some builders will offer a fixed rate, but because of the nature of self-builds and the potential for unforeseen issues, most contracts will include a proviso for contingencies.

The Building Process

When all the paperwork is in place, the building work can get started. House builds always begin with the laying of the foundations, and this is typically followed by the building of the frame. After this, the walls, floors, windows, and roof are added, making the home watertight.

When the roof and walls are on, the subcontractors can come in to take care of the electrical wiring and the ductwork for air conditioning and heating. At this point, the insulation and drywalls can be added before the remainder of the finishings can be completed. In an ideal world, building a home would take a few months but delays can happen so expect it to take longer.

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