We all dream of being able to put the keys in the door of a house that has it all, but how many of us actually know how to make it happen?
While you could save and do well in your career so you can buy a more expensive house, you’re still settling for choosing out of a limited pool of housing that’s currently on the market.
If you want complete freedom, there’s no substitute for building your own house from scratch. The only problem is knowing how to do it, which is why this simple explainer aims to guide you through the basics in 5 minutes or less.
Build a house on the right land
Location, location, location as the old adage goes, which means there’s nothing you can really do until you find the right piece of land.
You want to make sure you check all of the basics with the Land Registry to make sure you can actually build on it, what you’re allowed to build, and if there are any environmental considerations you need to take into account before breaking ground.
You will also want to make sure you do everything via a trained solicitor so you guarantee you own the land with the right to build and remain indefinitely. If in doubt, the best approach is always to get in touch with an expert who will be able to point you in the right direction from day one.
What are the other key features to consider?
This is a list that really could be as long as a piece of string, but we also need to keep this brief so you’re not inundated with information you can’t work through.
With this in mind, let’s stick to 3 key things that you need to think about as you find your land and start to think about what shape your dream house will take:
- Natural Light is something you’ll want to think about in detail because it will set the tone for the vibe and atmosphere you can create in your new house. If you miss parts of the surrounding geography that are going to reduce your natural light, there’s virtually nothing you can do about it once the house is built
- Drainage is not the most exciting thing to be thinking about and discussing at length when all you want to do is pick out the interiors and furnishings, but it matters more than most people think. Speaking with a surveyor about runoff and the risk of flooding is the way to go here if you want to get things right without stressful delays and changes to your plans
- Utility Options are another of the not so exciting topics to consider, but again they really do matter. Don’t take it for granted that you can get broadband or mains gas if you’re picking a remote rural location to build in. Contact the local authorities to discuss before breaking ground, as well as named suppliers to surrounding properties, and you’ll have plenty of information to go on
Build a House: Common Mistakes
Take a look at the following wise words and you’ll make sure that things run smoothly from the moment you start your project:
- Not Leaving Enough Room to work on the site is common, especially if you have no idea how much plant equipment you’re going to need. Working with a house builder will allow you to get these creases ironed out long before the workmen set foot on your plot
- Missing Invoices is easy if this is the first time you’ve tackled a project of this scale. Set up a simple system where they always get paid and you’ll never be left red faced as materials fail to arrive when a merchant hasn’t been paid on time
- Being Too Slow when it comes to picking out your finishings and trim is one of the cardinal sins many first-time house builders commit without even realising it. The people you hire want to crack on without delay, so make sure you take care of all these subjective decisions as early as possible to avoid having to call them back when another job looms
Regulations when building a house
Working with a professional house builder, rather than a general purpose builder, is the way to go here.
They will be able to connect you with draughtsmen and architects who can figure out the fine details that turn your ideas and vision into a buildable plan that can then come to fruition.
It might sound like overkill if you have a romantic notion of turning your hand-drawn sketches into your forever house, but it will be invaluable when you put your keys in the door for the first time, safe in the knowledge that you’re never going to fall foul of any of the complex web of regulations surrounding house building.
How to start budgeting for your new house?
Budgeting is never fun, and it’s easy to run over budget when you’re not careful.
The best way to approach this is to budget for slippage so that you have some reserve funds you can dip into. 10-20% of the cost of the total project would be ideal as it will account for most eventualities if you do things the right way with experts by your side.
Ideally you will never have to touch it, but house building can be costly and unpredictable in a whole host of ways. By having money set aside in case things cost more than you were originally quoted for, you won’t be tempted to claw back expenses by cutting corners on quality and expertise further down the line.
Build a house with the right builder
Finding the right builder is a tricky business and something that’s often down via word of mouth and personal recommendations.
That all being said, you still need to feel like you’re in charge and comfortable when it comes to the choice you make because you want to know that your project is going to be done the right way. With this in mind, take a look at some of the key things you can ask prospective builders and the responses you’ll be looking to hear from the right person for the job:
- What can you realistically change once the building process starts? Interior finishing details can easily be changed, outer surfaces and floor plans are virtually fixed as soon as land is broken and the foundations are poured. Look for simple explanations why and a willingness to break things down so they’re not in building jargon if you’re not familiar. This will tell you you’ve found someone helpful and accommodating
- What are the key milestones? You want someone who can simplify the process and give you estimates early. This shows they’re already well versed in what needs to be done with a typical home build
- How long have they been doing it? The longer the better, but don’t be put off if someone has only just started their own business. The chances are they’ve been building houses for someone else for a long time, so make sure you ask them if you’re unsure
Take yourself back through this list with a pen and paper, noting down the key steps you need to take to get things started. From there you can get to work on pricing up how much your build is likely to cost and take.
If you need a removal service to move your belongings into your new house, you can contact us!