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10 things you must know before building your home

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by Grupo Puente Arquitectos.com
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If you've always fancied building your own home, we applaud your bravery and want to help you with the process. So we compiled this fantastically useful article to make sure you don't fall into any of the common pitfalls associated with home builds.

Your chosen architect will be able to advise you as well, but we think you need to have a good amount of knowledge before you even start looking for a design team, so you truly understand what you're getting into. 

If you're feeling ready to take on the challenge of creating a dream home for you and your family, read on and get acquainted with all the facts.

1. Land purchase and building permits

First you're going to need a plot of land, but this can be more tricky than it sounds. 

Usually the most expensive part of a self-build project, you need to be sure the plot of land you're planning to buy can actually be built on, so you'd need to check for building permits already in place. If there aren't any, think about applying for some. 

You also need to know how much of the surrounding land is likely to be built on, especially if you're buying a plot for the view it offers. 

2. Choosing a style of house

Of course, your architect will be the person you discuss potential house styles with, but it certainly won't slow down the process if you already have some ideas in your mind.

How many floors do you want? How many bedrooms do you need? What aesthetics really appeal to you? 

It might be worth creating a mood board to show your srchitect.

3. A real drain

A key part of any house build, you need to know that your new home is going to be able to connect to mains water and sewerage systems. 

If not, you're going to need to think about whether the plot you like is worth all the extra costs and hassle to get connected.

4. Safety at work

When the building actually starts, a huge factor to consider will be safety on site. 

If you've hired a reputable building firm, this shouldn't be too much of a problem, but make sure everything is compliant with current legislation and that all the relevant insurance is in place.

5. Getting the right teams

Talking of reputable contractors, we can't stress enough just how vital it is that you choose the right teams to complete your build. You might be tempted to save money and choose the cheapest quote, but that isn't always the way to go. 

It's one thing if a quote is reasonable because the builders have a lot of experience building similar properties and can give you references. However, if it's a new company, you might be guinea pigs for their methods and could incur more costs and serious problems.

6. Which materials can be sourced locally?

Modern living room by CubiK Modern Stone

Sourcing local materials is incredibly important when taking on a self-build project because, not only will it save you money, it will also bed your home into the landscape more naturally. 

You might be tempted to fly in exotic materials, but try to keep them for your interior and use local stone for your structure.

7. Which construction system is being used?

There are as many construction methods as there are house styles, so make sure your architect and building contractor engage in a lot of frank and open discussion to find out which methods will work best and be the most cost-effective for you. 

Don't just accept the first suggestion!

8. Make a plan for the garden

Even if you're not going to be landscaping your garden for a long time, it's worth thinking about the plan you have for it nice and early, so you can keep certain areas untouched and ready to play with once the house is finished.

9. Get to grips with guttering

Guttering is a necessary but not always exciting or beautiful addition to a home, so start looking around to see if you can find any styles you like. 

Your contractors will need notice nice and early as the style you choose could impact on clearances and drainage systems.

10. Where should you buy your materials?

Your building team should be able to advise you regarding the best and most cost-effective material suppliers, but it never hurts to have a look around yourself. 

It might be cheaper to buy the materials yourself and have a build-only contract in place, so don't be afraid to get on the internet and shop around!

For more house-building inspiration, take a look at this Ideabook: 10 tricks to save you money when building a house.

What concerns you about building your own home?
Whitton Drive by GK Architects Ltd Modern

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