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Building your dream home is a momentous milestone in your life. It is then quite important to ensure that you’re equipped with the right tools and information before embarking on this venture. To ensure the success of your building project, you have to dedicate significant time and effort to the planning stage of your build.
The planning phase acts as the foundation of your project. It will determine the flow of the construction and prevent costly issues from arising. This is the phase of construction wherein you identify all the requirements, tasks, resources, manpower and activities needed to build your home to completion. Without a strong plan, the chances of going over your budget and exceeding your timeline will increase.
Depending on the size and complexity of what you envision your home to be, there will be numerous elements involved. If you’re thinking of designing your own home, here are some factors you should consider during the planning phase.
1. Design Style
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Planning how your house will look like is probably the most enjoyable part of designing your own home. If you’re like most potential homeowners, this is the first thing that you probably did when you started this process. You’ve almost certainly pored over many Pinterest boards, architectural magazines, and websites to find your dream design.
When choosing a design style, keep in mind that the style of architecture you choose for your home will greatly affect how much the project will cost and how long the construction will take. For example, if you choose to have a Victorian style house with elaborate trimmings and embellishments, this will significantly take more time to build compared to a modern box-like minimalist structure.
Do you already own the piece of land where you’re planning to build your home? If yes, you have to check whether the land is suitable to the house design you’re thinking of building. Are there zoning restrictions and permissions in the area that may limit your house design? If you are planning to make your home sustainable and utilize renewable energy sources like wind or solar energy, will the site allow for these features?
You also have to assess the exact size of the area where you’re allowed to build and the orientation of the lot, as well as the natural aspects you have to deal with. The type of soil, plants, or trees present on the site may affect the foundation of the house and the design style you want.
If you’re still looking for a site for building a house, you have to make sure that the location will be suitable not only to your preferred design but also to your lifestyle. Is the location near your workplace, schools, and shopping venues? Is it a family-friendly neighborhood? Will there be potential disturbances like being near the airport, highways, or nightclubs? These are examples of questions you should be asking yourself when choosing a location.
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A building project can only be considered truly successful if it is completed within budget. However, according to statistics, at least 85% of building projects go over budget. There are different reasons why this happens such as inefficient project management, poor allocation of resources, lack of foresight, and many more.
However, one common issue for homebuilders who design their own home is when they change their minds in the middle of construction. When requirements or materials change from what was planned, this affects the resources required to complete this change.
One way to avoid this is to make sure that during the planning stage, determine how much you’re willing to spend on your build and stick to it. Be honest with yourself and to your contractors. Set aside a contingency amount to make sure that you can cover unexpected issues that may come up.
4. Functional Features
In designing your home, it is not enough that it will look aesthetically pleasing. You also have to consider the functionality of the house design. This means that the space should favour your lifestyle and make it easier for you and your housemates to carry out your daily tasks. A lot of times, homeowners who design their own homes want to exactly copy a house design lifted from a magazine without considering that it may not be suitable for the way they live.
For example, if you have a family member who uses a wheelchair, have you planned for a bedroom on the ground floor to avoid carrying the wheelchair up and down the stairs? Are the doors designed wide enough to accommodate this?
Another popular example of a functional home feature is having an energy efficient home. Many homeowners nowadays incorporate energy efficient features to increase a home’s value and of course, to lower the operating costs of the household. Other functional features include ample parking spaces, storage, smart home controls, home office, and pet areas to name a few.
5. Identifying Project Tasks
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During the planning stage of building a house, you have to determine and write down every single requirement to execute your plan. As you identify the different tasks, you can also start recognizing the manpower and resources you need for the home construction.
Start interviewing construction companies and ask for initial quotes to see who can help you bring your vision into reality. When choosing a contractor, be diligent and ask for references. Don’t automatically choose the company who offers you flowery words and guarantees, instead, choose the one who will be honest with you and tell you straight about the status of the project. This transparency is very important to ensure that you will not encounter any shady issues in the future.
If you’re not an expert, this is the perfect time to consult with a professional builder or architect to ensure that you’re not missing anything out. An expert will be able to advise you on your initial design plan, location, construction budget, and other requirements.
6. Bringing Your Dream Home Into Reality
Designing your own home is both exciting and challenging. Through careful planning, you can make the entire building process much more manageable so that you can keep within your budget and your schedule. Building a house will definitely have its highs and lows, but in the end, seeing the result of your hard work will be worth it.