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The Self-Build Checklist: 8 Steps to Build Your Dream Home

By Jamie Richardson | August 8, 2018

If you're looking to build your own home, get ready for a busy few months or years. Self-building can be stressful, but it can also be rewarding. Many people are finding it's the only way to get the home of their dreams at a price they can afford — that's why it's becoming a much more popular option. If you're looking to build your own home, make sure you know what each step entails. This article is here to help.

1. Find some land

First things first with building your own property — you need some land. While you could get an architect and come up with some designs before you find the land, this isn't always a great idea. The land you end up with may put restrictions or have implications on the sort of design you can go with, so you might want to do this step first.

Land that already has planning permission will be more expensive, but if you aren't going to pay for that, you need to make sure it's the sort of land that's normally able to be built on. In your specific location, there might be types of land that rarely ever get building permission, so these are the sorts of plots you want to avoid.

2. Get a quality architect and come up with the right design

If you're trying to build an affordable dream home, the design is very important. Make sure you get a quality architect and work with them to come up with something you're both happy with. Make sure you check their previous work and experience in designing the sort of house you want.

3. Get planning permission

You'll need your architect to work within the planning regulations and help you submit your application. Getting building permissions can sometimes be difficult, and changes might be needed to your designs. You might want to consider hiring a planning consultant to help if you're finding it particularly difficult.

4. Sort out your finances

Make sure you can afford the build before you start. One thing to remember: builds often go over the initial cost estimate, so make sure you've got enough to cover contingency. Mortgages can sometimes be difficult to obtain for self-builds, so this is something you also need to consider.

5. Find a quality construction firm

Have a look at different quotes and options before you decide on a builder. Make sure you get one that's reliable with a good back-catalogue of high-quality work.

6. Find somewhere to live in the meantime

You probably won't be able to live on-site for a while, and this step is one people often forget until the last minute. If you don't want to live in a caravan or tent on the property, you might want to rent elsewhere for a while. Again, make sure you can afford to do this.

7. Manage the project effectively

If you have a full-time job or don't have the right skills and experience to manage the build yourself, you might want to consider a project manager.

8. Get the right trades lined up to finish the property

Don't simply get a finished building and then wait to find electricians and plumbers. You should be working alongside these as the home goes up. Make sure you've looked around and found the right trades well in advance, like high quality electricians in your area.

Jamie is a 5-year freelance writer who enjoys real estate. He is currently a Realty Biz News Contributor.
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