Building your own home is one of the most exciting journeys you can embark on. It’s an opportunity to create a unique, perfect space for you and your family; to define who you are to the world and perhaps yourself. There is so much more to the process than building “4 bedrooms and open plan living” and the ride can be absolutely exhilarating!
As with any project, success is in the detail. The process doesn’t have to be complicated but it does require a lot of research and planning to ensure you get it right. And asking for a bit of help along the way will help you make your dream home a reality while keeping the journey exciting and even enjoyable!
Ready to ride? Then follow my six steps to building you new dream home…
1. Determine your goals
Get the notebook out, grab a cup of tea or perhaps a glass of wine and starting jotting down what you want your new home to be. Write down your practical needs as well those out-of-this-world ideas that would make your home completely individual. Ask yourself what you want to achieve, whether it is achievable and if it makes sense? Throw ideas around, trawl home build magazines, think big, get creative…this wish list will seed the plans and help grow your home.
2. Establish a budget
Before anything can start, you need to establish how much money you can realistically put into the project. Talk to your lender to get an idea of what type of mortgage is possible. Get any current properties appraised so you know where you are at financially. Obviously budgeting for the nitty gritty is difficult until you know exactly what type of house you’re going to build, but its good to have an upper limit at this stage to enable you to make some basic design and build decisions.
3. Find your land
If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to go shopping for that perfect parcel of land! Perhaps you’re after an ocean view or maybe several hundred acres so you can be self-sufficient? Even if it’s a small suburb plot, it’s your own piece of dirt ripe for development…the ride has begun! Before you buy however, consider your building goals and perhaps have a chat to an architect or builder to make sure the block is right for your project.
4. Gather your troops
Building a house isn’t war but you do need the right people in place to ensure the project goes to plan. An architect and builder, if not one and the same, are really the minimum number of professionals to have on your side. These people are more than their design and building skills…they will become your guides, advocates, therapists and even counsellors while on your journey. They know the lay of land, the ins and outs of planning approvals and how to get things done with as minimum fuss as possible. And they know people…kitchen and bathroom suppliers, landscape architects, lighting specialists just to name a few. The right team is crucial to getting the home you want so do your homework, don’t be afraid to ask questions and be choosy!
5. Plan, plan, plan
Before you even consider turning he first sod of earth, plan, plan and plan some more! The planning phase should be in-depth and robust and should never, ever be rushed. Take the time to sit with your architect and plan everything in detail. Questions should come from both sides, possible problems should be considered and solutions developed…moving walls on paper is a whole lot easier than once the frame is up! You will be asked to make many decisions so don’t rush the thought process. Go back to your goals, consult your notebook of ideas and make sure everything you want has been considered. Remember, this is your dream home and it’s your architect’s expertise that will assist in obtaining it!
6. Build it
The day is here. Everything is in place – plans, permits, money. The only thing to do now is to build it! It would be nice to think that the build will go perfectly to plan but stuff happens. Don’t stress…contingencies will have been accounted for and built into the works program. This is the time to count on your team and work with them to get problems sorted and get the job back on track. If you have a concern, always be open and honest with your architect and builder…they’re pretty good at figuring out what clients want but they’re not mind-readers after all! Hang in there, your new home is not far away.
No matter how you eventually get there, the journey will be well worth it. As always it is important to have a team of professionals in your corner. Don’t know where to start? That’s easy…get in touch and we can help provide you with a roadmap and point you in the right direction.