Building a home

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The most important thing to consider when building a home is to plan your home according to the funds you have available. This will determine the size of the plot you will be able to buy and the size of the house you want to build, as well as the materials you will use. Working on an excess of roughly 10% is good practice as unforeseen expenses such as wastage and delays because of weather or public holidays, can all add to extra expenses not quoted for initially.

Building your own home can become chaotic. It is important to do as much planning as possible prior to commencing work. This will reduce unexpected problems which in turn will cost extra money. Deciding where to build your home and how it is orientated will yield rewards in the long run. Things such as orientating your home so that the living room window looks out on the best view, as well as being orientated towards morning sun, will warm up the home in winter mornings and not only save money on heating costs, but also create a pleasing atmosphere. Small details such as placing the driveway away from areas that are prone to flooding and not placed directly above underground facilities such as plumbing will save effort in the long run. Deciding what type of material you want to use is of utmost importance. Wood is cheaper to build with initially but entails more upkeep than standard brick or concrete. Brick houses tend to have the best longevity and eliminate sound and noise better than wooden counterparts. It is also less prone to damage from insects and rodents such as ants, termites and bees. It also depends in which country and area you live in. Your chances of surviving an earthquake may be drastically better in a wooden home than a brick or concrete slab. Wood is flexible and therefore can bend to absorb the shockwaves of the earthquake whereas brick and concrete cracks and breaks causing it to cave in on itself.

Submitting building plans to the municipality is the first step to building your own home. Input from contractors and architects are usually required before the plans may be submitted. This approval process can take 4 to 6 weeks in some cases even longer, depending on how busy the municipality is. This is essential as no building may commence before a permit is acquired. During this waiting period you can acquire quotes for building materials and organise portable water containers and an electrical source for the building process. It is also essential to acquire permits in this period for facilities such as septic tanks, air conditioning (HVAC), electrical, plumbing, mechanical, environmental etc. This may help reduce delays when actual building commences.

It can be beneficial to build your own home but without proper planning, advice and guidance it could be unnecessary stress. With proper planning you could have the home you always dreamed of, fulfilling all the requirements and needs.

Here is a list of typical trades involved in home-building: