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Steps to building your own home

Maybe you've always dreamed of building your own home? Designing everything from scratch. Choosing exactly what you want. Planning everything, right down to the finest details. But where do you start?
Steps to building your own home
Sometimes it's just not possible to find the perfect home.
 
You may have precise requirements for your property.
 
Or perhaps you have interior design dreams that a 'normal' property can't fulfil.
 
Average is just not going to cut it.
 
So, if you're looking for something a little out of the ordinary, it may be best to build it yourself.
 
Maybe you've always dreamed of building your own home.
 
Designing everything from scratch.
 
Choosing exactly what you want.
 
Planning everything, right down to the finest details.
 
But where do you start?
 
Plot - You'll need a plot to build on. Your primary considerations here will be location and permission to build.
 
A plot with planning permission will be priced much higher than one without. You may be restricted to building the property that has already been granted permission, as any alterations will require another planning application.
 
However, at least you know that you CAN build on it.
 
If you buy a plot without planning permission already granted, it will be much cheaper, but you do run the risk of not being able to build on it - which would mean that you've essentially bought a field!
 
Design - Once you have a plot, you need to get the design just right.
 
If you bought a plot with planning permissions already in place, there might be a property design already passed by the local authority. Unless you go ahead and build this exact design, you will need to resubmit for planning permission with your own design.
 
One of the main advantages of building your own property is that you can build it exactly as you want, and this is the time to get that plan right - it's much more problematic and expensive to make changes further down the line.
 
The property's design usually involves an architect to ensure that your ideas can be brought to fruition within your budget and building regulations.
 
Employ an architect to look at the plot and the current planning permission and discuss your ideas with you. They should be able to come up with 3 design options that fit your criteria, your plot and your budget.
 
Planning - Once your designs are finalised, it's time to apply for permission from the local authority to build it. Your architect will submit this for you, along with the final design drawings and any supporting documentation to help your application.
 
This can take time, and there may need to be alterations to your design if there are objections from any neighbours.
 
But, once that planning permission is granted, its' time to get started.
 
Building - You will need to select a contractor.
 
They will build your property to the design specifications and planning permission and should be able to price reasonably accurately based on the architect's drawings.
 
And then you can watch your planned creation come to life!
 
Finishing touches - Once the building is built, you're only halfway there. The interior, fixtures, and fittings will need to be decided on before you can actually move in.
 
Kitchens, bathrooms, finishes, designs, and furnishings must be purchased.
 
Your architect will not choose these, so you may decide to employ an interior designer to help you bring the final stages to life.
 
It can be challenging to look at an entirely blank canvas and try to design everything yourself from scratch.
 
An interior designer will help you put those finishing touches together so that the final design is coherent and looks fantastic!
 
Finally, funding. It is going to cost money. Sometimes lots of it. So, it makes sense to know your budget or where the funds are coming from in advance.
 
These things have a tendency to spiral and can quickly get out of control, so set a budget and have the funds readily available.
 
Also, ensure a contingency of at least 10% for when you hit unexpected road bumps, as this always happens.
 
I don't think I've ever watched an episode of Grand Designs without there being some financial worries along the way - they always seem to run out of cash and have to sell their businesses or live in a caravan.
 
Plan ahead and be as generous with your contingency fund as possible.
 
Most of us don't get the opportunity to build our dream home and those who do probably only do it once. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience - enjoy it!

(Photo by Daniel McCullough on Unsplash)