Is Building Your Own Home A Good Idea?

The idea of building your home can be exciting. It’s a chance to completely customise every aspect of your home to your needs. However, building a home can be a much longer and more complicated process. For this reason, it may not always be the best option. Below are just a few different things to consider to help you decide whether self-build is the right option for you. 

Know your motivations

First, you need to consider why you want to build your own home. Has building your home long been a dream of yours? Are there specific features that you need in your home that you cannot find in existing properties? And if so what are these features? Making sure that you’re truly passionate about building your own home is important – once you’ve started, you won’t be able to turn back. 

Understand the costs

Building your home could actually work out less costly overall than buying an existing home of the same quality. That said, it’s still not a cheap undertaking and you need to make sure that you can afford it. On top of designing and building your home, you may need to consider the cost of acquiring land and making this land buildable. There will also be plenty of extra costs like planning permission and land surveys to consider. Just like buying a house, you don’t have to pay in cash – there are land loans and self-build mortgages that you can take out. However, these may have larger down payments than a regular mortgage, so bear this in mind. You can read tips on how to save money on your construction project here. 

Consider the risks

There are many risks involved when opting for a self-build. There may be delays as a result of bad weather or supply chain issues which could result in extra costs and a change in deadline. There could also be a risk of hiring the wrong contractors, resulting in issues with the construction that could be costly to put right. To protect yourself from these risks, it could be worth having some money set aside. You should also make sure you are protected by a payment and performance bond. Self-build insurance could also be worth potentially taking out.

Make sure you have permission

It’s important that you have permission to carry out every aspect of your project. Fail to get a permit and you may find that construction is halted. You may even be issued a large fine in some cases. You can apply for planning permission online. On top of checking with your local planning committee, it could also be worth getting the support of neighbours – you don’t want neighbours to protest, as this may result in construction having to be stopped. 

Work out what is feasible

Certain dream features may simply not be feasible – not because your budget doesn’t allow them or because you haven’t got planning permission, but because they simply aren’t practical or even possible. An architect will be able to tell you exactly what is achievable on your plot of land, as well as which materials are best suited.

Isa Lillo


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