Having a roof over your head is a necessity that everyone deserves, but knowing that that roof is wholly yours is a truly liberating feeling.

When it comes to building your own, there’s a lot you need to do before you even think about laying down foundations. That’s why we’ve compiled this checklist of the key things you need to know to build your own home.

If you’re considering building your own home, why not get in touch with us and speak to a structural engineer in Devon today.

Why Build Your Own Home

There are some great aspects to building your own home that just can’t be ignored.

Not only do you get to decide the design and materials of your home, but you also get complete control over your focal areas and individual living spaces – something you may not have with even the most reasonable landlords.

A home under construction

How Much Does It Cost To Build Your Own Home?

Needless to say, building your own home isn’t going to be cheap. You need to account for so many different things – the land, the materials you use, and contractors’ costs are just the start!

You also need to consider certain factors about your home that could have a massive impact on the cost. These include:

  • Location – The price of both land and labour vary across the country.
  • Size – The bigger the house, the bigger the budget.
  • Number of storeys – Multiple storeys can make the most of a smaller patch of land.
  • Specifications – What kind of products you want to use can affect the cost.
  • Involvement – How much of the work are you planning to do yourself?

Is Building A Home Cheaper Than Buying?

This is a tricky one because it depends on what kind of home you’d want to buy and what kind you’d want to build.

Buying an existing property is a more convenient option helped by real estate agents who do all they can to help you find a good match. That being said, it’s unlikely you’re going to find a home that is tit-for-tat what you’ve been looking for.

Also, when buying an existing home, it’s unlikely you’re going to find one that’s in absolutely perfect condition – homes have secrets that sometimes even the current owners don’t know about. The costs of renovations and repairs to create your dream home out of an existing property could set you back more than anticipated.

However, when building your own home, you’re more likely to get precisely what you’ve envisioned.

You’ll also be able to make a much more efficient home that meets new energy codes as well as current standards for:

  • Heating
  • Ventilation
  • Insulation
  • Air filtration

All of these could end up saving you money each month on your utility bills.

Planning your Budget

Another advantage of a self-build project is that you don’t need to have the funding wholly in place from the get-go since the project is ongoing. That’s not to say you can get started without any groundwork.

Making a budget for your build is essential before starting your project. You need to consider how much it’s going to cost you in terms of:

  • Land
  • Building materials
  • Professional help

By having a budget in place from the start, you can have an idea of what you’ll be spending along the way and make allowances accordingly. Just make sure you have a little extra budget set aside for any unwelcome surprises.

An architect designing a building

How to Plan Building Your Own Home

Once you’ve got your budget sorted, some more things need to be in place before you can begin building your home.

Where To Build A Home

The first thing you need before you can build your home is a patch of land.

This is not a step to be rushed! 20-25 per cent of your budget will likely be spent on the plot of land you build on.

Things to investigate when considering a plot include:

  • Soil condition
  • Drainage
  • Zoning
  • Building codes in the region

The lot should ideally also be located close to a road and have access to water and electricity. Otherwise, you may find yourself spending more than is necessary on making the lot suitable for a home.

Do You Need Planning Permission for A Self-Build?

Planning permission is almost always needed when it comes to building something new or changing an existing building. This means chances are you’re going to need planning permission before you start building your home.

Sometimes, planning permission comes as part of the lot, but if it doesn’t you’ll need to apply for it after the purchase and before you build anything. If you build anything without planning permission, you could be served with an enforcement notice which will order you to undo all the changes you have made.

Designing A Self-Build Home

The designs for a newbuild home tend to fall into one of two categories:

Stock Designs – Often available online or in a catalogue and offer various designs for different tastes.
Custom Designs – These designs often come from working with an architect, architectural technologist, an architectural designer or an in-house designer who will design the home based on the location and your interests/ lifestyle.

The process of designing your home can take you a good couple of months – maybe even more.

Choosing a Contractor

Once you’ve got everything planned and you have the go-ahead to start building, it’s time to find a contractor.

You need to be careful when choosing someone as in most cases, the contractor is the person who’s going to be in charge of buying your materials and managing subcontractors who are brought in.

Make sure you do your research – check their reviews, ask for references and make sure you interview them before making any payments. You should also make sure both you and your contractor sign a written agreement before any building takes place.

The most important thing when it comes to finding a contractor is finding a balance between someone who is affordable and some who is going to do good quality work.

Building a home isn’t easy, but if you plan ahead and make sure you’re prepared should anything go awry, then there’s no reason it can’t be a wonderful experience.

Here at Martin Perry Associates, we take great pride in offering high-quality service from start to finish. If you’re considering working with us, why not take a look at some of our previous projects?

View our previous projects here