January 18, 2018

Awesome Architecture: The Trials and Tribulations of Building a Home From Scratch


Building your own house is an incredible experience, and if you ever get the chance to do so- go for it! While it’s a huge project, it actually works out far cheaper than buying a finished property and plus you get to design it to perfectly fit your life. If you’re considering having your house built from scratch, here are a few things you might not have considered.

Do The Preliminary Tests

If you’re building a house from scratch, on a plot of land which hasn’t been built on in many years (or at all) you will need to do some tests beforehand to make sure everything is suitable. You will need a soil report to determine how reactive it is, which means how much it will expand or contract based on moisture. It will also determine how much weight it can support per area and whether there are any chemicals in the soil which may pose a problem. The outcome of this will greatly affect the build and how the job can be tackled, so it’s a crucial preliminary test. You will also need to find a company offering water monitoring services. This will tell you if there are any heavy metals contaminating the area, electrical conductivity and will test for things like pesticides and fecal coliforms to determine whether or not the area is safe to build on.

Find The Right Professionals

When you’re undertaking such a large project like building a house from scratch, you absolutely need the right professionals on board. From builders to plumbers, electricians and everyone in between, these will be the people responsible for bringing your vision to life to make sure you choose well. You need a workers who are experienced and reliable, who you know aren’t cowboy builders and won’t try and rip you off. Ideally, you will have worked on a number of smaller projects before and have contacts you can use, but if not do your research carefully.

Have a Vision But Be Flexible

Chopping and changing your mind constantly throughout the build is going to set you back enormously and could lead to spending far more than you anticipated. Have a vision, but be prepared to make changes if things don’t go entirely to plan. Your architect will be able to tell you what will and won’t work, and if problems arise during the build what alternatives you have.

Have a Contingency Fund

Building a house from scratch can actually be less risky than renovating. When you start stripping back walls and pulling up floors, you never know quite what you’re going to find. You may have to repair structural damage, have a company remove pests or asbestos or have complete plumbing or wiring done which you hadn’t originally budgeted for. When you’re building from scratch, you avoid these issues, but it’s not foolproof. Things can change as the project goes on, meaning you need to have money ready. That way work doesn’t end up on hold, or worse end up half finished where you can’t afford to have it fixed.

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