Back To Basics: Building Your Dream Home From Scratch

Americans have been building their own homes since the days of the early pioneers. In 2013, an estimated 64.5% of Americans owned their own homes. You will need guts, determination, and advice from self-build experts but your dream can become a reality.

 

Planning your home

One of the first stages when building your own property is to draw up plans and inquire locally about flooding and any other regional climate problems. Many houses can be fitted with an electric submersible pump, which can be installed in the basement in case of flooding. These pumps are equipped with water sensors, which will turn on the power when needed to prevent water from collecting. The website newhomesource lists many ideas for a Build On Your Lot (BOYL) home.

 

photo credit: jdn via photopin cc

photo credit: jdn via photopin cc

Where will you build your new home?

There are many ways of obtaining a lot to build on. Some people may be lucky enough to inherit a property, but most others will decide to choose somewhere idyllic that will suit the style of home they want to build. The CNN website has some of the more obscure ideas available, from a $5,000 “Hobbit House” to a $35,000 self build using materials collected from skips and general sales. If you can carry out all of the work yourself, this will make a huge saving in labor costs and also give you the satisfaction of knowing that all the work is down to you.

 

Gain inspiration from other people

Take a tour of your region and have a look at other people’s new builds. Some companies have model homes ready for inspection so you can actually see for yourself how your ideas might look in practice. You should also talk to house builders about zoning applications, and construction permits. Unless you want to spend hours at the local council offices, it’s usually easier to select a builder who is experienced and able to sort out all of these problems on your behalf.

 

photo credit: emdot via photopin cc

photo credit: emdot via photopin cc

Getting the right help

Once you have your lot secured and your wish list is complete it is now time to tie it all together. Whether you have a minimal budget or there is no limit you will need an architect to put your ideas onto blueprint, these can cost from $1,000 and upwards but are necessary for your builder to understand exactly what you desire. A good local architect can be essential, and they should usually have links with local builders, if you want to contract out the digging of the foundations and the sub structure of the house itself.

Getting the utilities in place

Installing the utilities is not for the faint hearted. George Fritz, the COO of house builders Horizon advises, ‘You’ll need to know how you’re going to get power to your house, whether you need a well and how you’ll handle sewage.’ Your builder will also be aware of all of the complexities involved with pipe laying, trench digging and other essentials. Building your own home can be hard work, but the outcome is worth it.

Comments

  1. Charlie Sommers says:

    I am too old, and too poor, for dream house building now but if I were going to do so I would make the kitchen and dining area the focal point of my home. Let’d face it, when you entertain guests quite often everyone ends up in the kitchen. Make that kitchen big and equip it well.

    A stove with an electric oven and a top with gas burners would be a definite must. Gas ovens are hard to regulate and electric stove top burners are usually somewhat sluggish compared to gas.

    Build plenty of working space with possibly an island to do most of your prep work on and by all means have plenty of refrigerator and freezer space. You need lots of space for the ingredients with which you will be preparing those meals that will knock your dinner guest’s socks off. A wine cellar or closet would also be nice. :-)

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