Buying a house is something that has always been associated with stress – viewing properties with the hope of finding one you’ll love, making an offer and hoping it isn’t gazumped, then the run of surveys and renovations before it feels like home. And with house prices on the rise and the possibility of another recession on the horizon, a stressful situation could get all the worse in the next few years.
It certainly shines a light on why there is increasing consensus behind building your own house if at all possible. While it is a big task to take on, it has its advantages: you don’t have to compromise on what you want, there’s no endless chain to wait through, and everything is brand new. However, that’s not to say building a house is stress-free. There will be questions to answer, problems to solve, and a list of issues that people who have gone before you didn’t see coming. Below are some examples of things you’ll need to be aware of.
Consider hiring a designer
You know what you want in a house. The builders know how to build a house. Those two facts may seem to be everything you need to ensure that the finished product will be to your tastes, and yet…
The importance of a designer in a building process is something many people don’t appreciate until they’ve tried to communicate their wants and needs to a builder. A designer will know how you get from wanting a certain thing done a certain way, to a finished product that matches your wishes. Think of them as an interpreter between ideas and reality.
Think about the future
When, early in the process, we imagine a finished house, we often picture a just finished product. Moving into a brand new home that’s just how you pictured it is exciting. But there’s a difference between moving in and living in, and it helps to imagine it five, ten or twenty years down the line. Whether you’re still living there or selling up for a profit, that house needs to stand the test of time. This means that choosing honed concrete over pretty tiles, and modular units over cumbersome one-piece options, can save you a lot of heartaches. Favouring ease of maintenance over very “now” decisions is a wise step.
Don’t just listen to the professionals, talk to them
We can all picture a prospective homeowner conversing with a builder (or joiner, or roofer, etc.) and nodding vacantly as the expert explains something complicated in the best way they know-how. It’s easy to characterise the builder-owner relationship as two people from separate worlds, but the reality is that communication needs to be two-sided. It’s likely you won’t initially understand everything about what the builders are doing, but by asking questions you can learn more. Better yet, you can create a relationship that serves you well in years to come should you need patch-up work or to add to your home. And if you can understand the process better, you can hone questions and requests as the project goes on.