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6 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE BEGINNING CONSTRUCTION ON YOUR OWN HOUSE
There is nothing quite like the feeling of planning and building your own house project. It can be exciting and stressful at the same time. Getting it right the first time is closely linked to a few vital factors:
- A reliable construction company
- Completed permits and planning
- Adequate funding
When you have these three things working in harmony together, then there will be no need for stress. You will have your purpose-built owner-occupier home or investment property ready for occupation and long term secure growth upon completion. We have identified some of the main steps you will need to takes before you venture into the complicated world of owner-built homes.
Be Realistic About Building Costs
One of the most important factors to accept and understand before starting an owner-built house project is that it is highly unlikely that this will be the cheapest option. The relatively high construction costs and custom fittings tend to make building a house significantly more expensive than it would to buy one outright.
These costs can be offset, however, by utilizing new construction techniques. There are some excellent building techniques on the market, such as steel and timber framed homes, and these can narrow the cost gap by a good margin.
As a general rule, it is advisable not to build from scratch if your motive is purely a financial one. It makes more sense to renovate and then sell or rent. If having the perfect custom home is your goal, then obviously building it is the right choice.
Find the Right Land
Again with the location, but it’s for a very good reason. A location next to schools, shops, and compatible neighbors is essential for any home. You will also need to consider construction vehicle accessibility, as well as access to a power point and water. You must ensure you have a professional survey done to identify slopes, soil type, drainage issues, and underlying rocks as they can cause foundation difficulties.
Zoning and permits are also critical, as some might have restrictions that can limit your building options. We recommend you double-check the zoning status and get a copy of the site plans before you make an offer on the land.
Understanding Building Loans
A building loan is different compared to an ordinary mortgage. It is necessary you understand what these differences are before you sign off on the building process. To begin with, building loans are not lump sums of cash paid over to the recipient; you will not get paid the total loan amount to administer as you please. The bank will give you the loan amount as installments. The increments of money are based on the progress the bank’s assessor observes on the building site.
This means that if the progress is delayed in any way, or you hit any unforeseen problems, you may be denied access to the immediate capital you need. It is for this reason that we recommend you put aside the investment equivalent of a 10% to 20% deposit so that you can use it as a fund to tide you over in case of an emergency or other unexpected expense.
Get Professional Plans Drawn
Before you can qualify for bank financing, you will need to have a professional construction quote ready, one that is based on attainable finishes schedules and accurate specifications. These are easy to get with the assistance of a qualified architect. There are software programs that they use to work out how to turn your dream house into a reality, but also one that sticks to your chosen budget.
The more accurate the initial drawings are that you present, the better chance you have of securing appropriate financial backing. When it comes to project management, having the right architect by your side can save you money, time, and stress; more than enough to make up for the fees they charge.
Choose a Quality Contractor: Why it is so Important to Check Who is Building Your New Home
Of all the steps toward successfully building your own house, choosing a quality contractor is the most important. Nothing makes the construction process more stressful than a building contractor who fails to deliver on what they promised. It is sadly not always easy to tell a good builder from a bad one. That is why we strongly recommend you choose a builder with many contactable references and call every one of them.
You can also choose a building contractor who has done professional and successful projects for you or a family member before. Good word of mouth can’t be bought and is very reliable. You can also turn to your architect to see if they have a particular builder with whom they like to work. Before you choose a contractor, be sure to visit as many of their completed projects near you as possible, and try to get a close-up look at both the building’s interior and exterior.
Don’t forget that a constructor’s duties don’t just finish when the building is completed. They must ensure the property is clear of all debris, and the ground is ready for the landscaper as well. You should also get a good vibe from the contractor before you sign an agreement with them. Remember that you will be working closely with the person until your project is completed, so make sure that you can have a reasonable conversation with them from the get-go. Alternately, also be cautious that an affable manner isn’t just an attempt to shine you on.
Lastly, Expect the Unexpected
Remember, there is no such thing as the perfect construction project. Every building comes with its own gremlins and glitches. Keep your eye on the goal of why you want this building completed to get yourself through the tough times.
Estero recommends you prepare yourself for any unexpected surprises, and always have a cash fund to deal with unforeseen expenses. Very few construction projects come in on time, no matter how accomplished your contractor claims to be. Remain flexible with your accommodation plans if you plan on becoming an owner-occupier, and think about the long term benefits of owning your ideal home.