Living in your dream house is one of the biggest life goals and designing it yourself is just a cherry on the top. Designing your house can be a fruitful and enjoyable experience if you know the basics of house building. But if this is your first time to build a house, this process needs a lot of planning. Luckily, the experts and experienced builders have some golden rules that they follow by instinct which the first-timers can use as a guide to plan to build a house. Check out these 7 steps you should know when planning to build a house and save yourself from a lot of trouble.
Knowing Your Numbers
Your numbers determine all the other steps of building a house. You need to have a number fixed to know what amount of money you have for the project. Your entire plan will then be according to the budget. It is recommended that you go from the big things to minor details. Estimate how much you can allocate for the land, the architect, the contractor, building cost, fixtures, appliances, taxes, local fees, etc. and then move on to details like the number of rooms, baths, pool, backyard, storage places, garage and other detailing that goes into the basic planning of your ideal house. Once you have a number, revise your plan for the most accurate number possible.
People strongly recommend having some contingency amount set aside since building a house is a complex task full of unpredictable needs for change of plans. You should keep track of your expenses and you should update the budget throughout your project.
Hire a good Architect
Hiring an architect saves you from the overwhelming pressure of planning the perfect dream house; having hired someone to take care of design matters is a mental relief. An architect is a person who fills your plan full of unknowns and starts conceptualizing, planning and designing your house. Hiring a professional architect ensures that you avoid design errors, make maximum and efficient use of available space and choose the right materials. A good architect will suggest innovative design solutions to your house building. Each architect has a signature style. Look at some of the houses designed and built by your architect. See if his designs match your ideas for a home that you want to live in. A good architect will make this complex process of building a house much easier to take forward and let you be at mental peace.
Pay Attention to Space Planning
While planning for a house you should have a clear idea of what you want. Discuss the layout and space requirements with your architect. Conceptualize the size, layout of rooms, den, and kitchen and play areas. If you have small children pay particular attention to their specific needs. Make a few spaces as multi-functional such as office space or library that can also serve as a spare guest room. Think of planning some outdoor areas such as a porch for outdoor activities such as a barbecue party. If you do not have enough space for a pool, ensuring some space for a small hot tub may be a good idea. Look at some plans and layouts from many of the online resources available such as Truoba House Plans. Â Your house will last of years and even generations so think long-term and plan for the time ahead.
Take Care of Lighting
Lighting is one of the crucial aspects of any house building. You want a house with excellent natural light and ventilation. Changing or re-adjusting windows is an expensive and tedious task after they are built. This is the time to take special note of all the windows, their size, orientation, the direction they are facing and material, while you are still in the initial planning phase. Having windows according to the weather conditions of your area can help you save heating, air-conditioning and lighting bills. Large windows in a beautiful location also add scenic value to your house.
This is where you can do your duty of as a responsible community member by making sure you have designed a house that takes less from the environment. It is for your benefit too, building an energy-efficient house saves you a lot of money that would go to bills otherwise; it is a win-win situation. Your architect can help you design your house to reduce operating costs, improve indoor air quality, optimize life-cycle economic performance and improve all-over quality of life. Doing your share to build an environment-friendly house can have a big impact on your community, environment, and bills of course. Installing energy-friendly appliances is a useful strategy you can use to have benefits in the long run. Look at zero-energy house designs for making really energy-efficient house designs ideas.
Choose Reliable Building Contractor
Search for a contractor who has built some projects near your area. Go over and see the under-construction houses. Look at the material, the quality of foundation and the final finished work. Ask your contractor to use good quality material, as there are always options to use cheaper lower quality material. In the long run, you will save money by using high-quality material. Talk to the owners who will be ready to share their experiences and listen to their recommendations. Don’t hire a building contractor who might give you a low quote but that might be expensive in the long run. Go through the contract carefully, reading out the fine print. Keep everything in writing. Be prepared for the some overruns as sometimes unexpected things happen.
Regularly Inspect the Process
We can’t put enough stress on this point; this single step will save you from disappointments and regrets. Nobody can be more dedicated and excited about your house than you. Hiring a good team is an important thing and managing good relations with them, trusting them enough will lead a smooth building process. Even then even the best builders can make mistakes. Do not let them make blunders in your dream house. You have to trust your builders of course but you should visit regularly after each step of construction to make sure that things are going as planned. You should thoroughly inspect the work done and talk to them if you feel any inconvenience. If you stay far away or you think you can’t be completely sure if the work is fine, you can hire third-party inspectors who can professionally review the construction work and identify any deficiency.
These recommended steps are to make you mentally and physically ready to begin your house building process. Building a house is a long and difficult process but good planning, a reasonable budget, and good imagination will make this process easy. If you plan it right, hire the best people, and use the best material, it can be a very fulfilling experience. Seeing your finished house is certainly a very joyous occasion and moving in for the first time gives an incredible feeling of accomplishment of turning a new house into a comfortable home.
Article By: Peter Rossi, Bespoke Hot Tub Designer, ex-Jacuzzi Head of Product Design