Building Your Own Home: The Impossible Dream?

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Everyone has an idea of their own dream home – that space, which may not be a palace, but is fully yours and has everything just the way you want it.

The truth is, if you’re looking for that home on the market, then you may well find that you’re looking for a while. After all, the majority of homes out there are built to sell; that means that they’re entirely pleasant and very liveable but, for the most part, they’re also very safe. Dream homes tend to need that something extra that makes them more than just a house.

So if you’re not going to be able to find that perfect home by looking in estate agents’ windows and browsing the property sites, the question needs to be asked:

If my ideal home doesn’t exist, could I build it?

The answer to this question is, theoretically, yes. Of course you could, but how realistic is it? And the answer to that is… probably more realistic than you thought.

So what’s the first step?

The first step is quite simply to find out your budget: this means researching and lots of it. You’ll need to know how much it will take to buy the land where the house will go, as well as research self build architects to turn your ideas into a realistic plan, builders to make those plans a reality, and the materials that will go into the build. Don’t hurry this research; Rome wasn’t built in a day, and nor will your house be! Don’t be afraid to ask experts; they’ll give you plenty of guidance on what is possible.

Is this likely to cost a lot of money?

Compared to buying a new house, building one is actually likely to cost much less. You’ll have to do quite a bit more work to make it happen, but the benefit of that effort is that the finished home will be worth far more than you’ve spent to build it. Most mortgage lenders will have special self-build mortgages which offer you a certain amount towards the land purchase, and another amount for the work and materials. You may need to contribute some yourself, but the same is true of any mortgage.

What next?

You need to find the land, which can be done at auction or through estate agents, and get planning permission to build on it. Permission should be a formality as long as you’ve done your research, but make sure you have secured it before you buy any plot of land.

Now I have the land and the plan – how do I turn this into a house?

At this stage, you hire the architects to draw up plans according to your vision. Be very specific about what you need – this is your dream home, after all. It is from these plans that the builders will work to make your dream a reality.

Can I join in on the building process to save some money?

That’s up to you; if you have specific skills in project management or any aspect of building or decoration, then you can certainly negate some of the cost of hiring professionals to do it. The more you can do, the more you will save, so if you and your family can provide some of the work, why not?

Building a house is a huge undertaking, and your dream home is not going to become a reality overnight. However, with the right research and a bit of effort, you can do it all for less than you’d pay for the same house on the market.

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