Building your very own property is a big deal! And it comes with a long list of important considerations that you will want to spend sufficient time working through, so that each decision you make for your home is a wise one. From obvious needs like your budget to overlooked aspects like your future plans, each element is extremely important for you to be confident in if you want to feel confident in your end result!
Laying out a detailed timeline of your goals and plans of achieving them will ensure their actualization. Incorporate any family decisions, work plans, travel, other spending needs, etc. It can become incredibly overwhelming if these things are overlooked as you are attempting such a huge undertaking. This is a process that may take months and months to complete: excavating the foundation, constructing the frame, utility outfitting, putting together the many layers of the walls, ceilings and floors all have to happen before you can even consider making the move in. You may want to consult a contractor in order to best determine how your building plans can fit around your current life plans.
A house is one of the biggest financial investments or purchases you may make in your lifetime. Setting a solid, sound budget is the first step to creating the parameters for a quality home that won’t ruin your financial health. Do your research! Being caught off-guard with expensive fixes is one of the most stressful things that can happen in a home building process, so make sure you completely understand the expenses necessary for labor, materials and property. It may be helpful to even overestimate the total cost of all these aspects, so that you are prepared with a kind of buffer or safety net to keep any surprise costs manageable.
What You Really Value
In regards to your budget, you will need to determine what you value most so that you can prioritize and subsequently designate percentages of that budget to those priorities. Do you want a large yard or a larger house? Are you especially concerned about environmental impact? Are the materials you use part of your aesthetic vision for the interior or exterior of your home? Are you a gourmet chef who will be spending a lot of time in your kitchen, or a carpenter who enjoys your time in the garage? Essentially, what parts of your home vision are most important to you. Prioritize those elements and designate your budget accordingly!
Building Standards and Restrictions
The way you build your home has definite rules and guidelines that are essential to understand before you make decisions about the design and construction of your property. The International Residential Code (IRC) governs how you can build a home. Make sure that before you make any decisions, that those options are legal! Repairing or changing those aspects becomes significantly more costly post-production, so save time, money and stress by planning according to your local housing codes.
One of the biggest elements to creating a home you love is putting it in a place you love. The location of your home should be a core factor in your decisions on architectural design, budget, and future expectations of the property’s value or accessibility to wanted (and needed) resources. Whether you’re raising a family and need to consider educational and recreational qualities, starting a business or pursuing a new career and need a simple place near your job, a retiree designing your dream relaxation home, or in any other human circumstance, there are locations that may tailor best to the vision you have for your home. Make note of the most important characteristics of the community that you want to be in, and then search for places that fit best!
As you make this major investment into a living space, you will want to consider how long you intend to be there and anticipate any potential changes you could see coming. Will you or your family be growing? Do you have business plans that may require specific work areas? Are there additions that you would like to make to your property in the future that you just can’t afford to do now, but need to allow for in your design? Do you want to create enough space to eventually rent out to tenants? Don’t trap yourself in a corner with your own home— leave it open to the changes you can see yourself needing in the future!
Whether out of necessity or out of desire, there may be special features that you want implemented into your house plan. Laying out what these are will play into your budgeting and architectural designing, so you need to determine what they are, early! Some physical disabilities may require ramps, accessible bathrooms and kitchens, lifts, and more. You may want to make a special emphasis on natural lighting to help your mental health, or install the library of your dreams. Regardless of its function, you need to plan fully for it if you want it to really happen!
There are relatively cheap options you can use for your home’s structure, like manufactured panels that are simply set up onsite. However, these aren’t especially durable against the wear and tear of natural elements and time itself! Using durable materials will prolong the life of your home, decreasing the frequency of necessary repairs or updates. Explore the many options available for the foundational material of your home. Steel and brick are among the sturdiest of options, but make any renovations or expansions more difficult and are more expensive than wood or concrete. Your floors, windows, ceiling, roofing and more should all be considered as you research the pros and cons of each available material.
Have a solid timeline, budget, design and plan for the various aspects of your house. Preparing yourself sufficiently and thoroughly for the investment of a custom home will provide you the confidence you need for this exciting move in your life!