For many families, building their own home is a dream come true, and they want to make the most of it. The challenge is, you’re only going to build your house once. The following tips should help to ensure that your building project doesn’t come under strain.
1. Never underestimate the importance of proper advance planning
Before the foundation stone of a house is laid, the house builder needs to be clear about where they want to build and how they are going to fund the building work. When selecting a plot, you should look at the structural requirements of the land and consider your future neighbours.
Another factor that you need to bear in mind is the impact of the weather. A house in an area exposed to the weather will cool down more quickly and may require better heating and insulation. This results in additional costs.
In terms of funding, you should also consider the additional purchase costs of a house, e.g. the land register entry and any notary fees. And no matter how much they plan in advance, those undertaking a building project should plan in some extra buffers.
2. Save time and energy for co-ordinating and supervising building work
It’s relatively rare for those building their own house to appoint a site manager for their project who will ensure that the work is carried out on schedule, to the correct standard of quality and on budget.
If you’re overseeing the process yourself, then record each phase of construction by taking photographs. Not only will this help to document the routing of cables for future use, but it will also prove valuable in case of disputes.
Try to be there on site to do some checking yourself, especially before the next stage of work covers up the previous one.
3. Get an expert opinion in order to gauge the time required for house building work accurately
Create a construction schedule that allows you to coordinate times with expert companies and plan in appropriate leeway. Ideally, you should have the plan checked over by an expert before you pin down the dates with the specialist firms in a contract.
However, if you want to change something, this can trigger a chain reaction: a delay affects not only the house builder, but also the service provider. This causes a breakdown not only in the schedule, but also in the budget plan.
4. Do a realistic cost calculation
For most people, building a house will be the biggest financial investment of their lives. It is usually not feasible without a bank loan, and all additional building costs need to be considered alongside the price of the plot and the pure construction costs.
A comprehensive list of additional building costs can help you to maintain an overview of your own building project.
5. Ask around for good contractors
Conducting research on internet forums before choosing a construction firm will help to protect you against unreliable tradesmen or insolvent property developers.
It is also advisable to find out about the company’s economic situation, for instance via a credit investigation company.
Pay particular attention to Housing Industry Association, Master Builders Association and other quality seals, as these can also give an indication of the security that a building contractor can offer.
Keep track of your mental health to stay on top of the build process
6. Make sure you have a proper building contract
To ensure that your building contract is drafted in such a way that it takes everything into consideration, including regulations for powers of representation and start of construction (to name but two), it’s best to use an exhaustive checklist.
This will ensure that you have taken account of all of the regulations that are relevant to your building project. The basic rule is that verbal agreements are not binding when it comes to building work.
7. Get expert assistance during building work
Factor in fees for specialist tradesmen and you should be on the safe side. In particular, be sure to include costs for advice on contracts and building regulations in your building budget.
8. Enquire about building work in your area with the building authorities
For one thing, any obstacles could cause you to fall behind your own targets. In addition, you should be aware of all environmental factors that might affect your planning.
9. Rely on social networks
To cut down on stress, it’s advisable to distribute small tasks among several people during the construction phase, or arrange for good friends or relatives to cover things such as childcare.
10. Take a little time out from building projects
Even the most motivated builder is bound to run out of steam at some point if he doesn’t have a scheduled break from house building. As such, give some thought in advance to when you can take some time off with your family, so that you don’t over-exert yourself.