A Guide to Building a House From Scratch
Buying a house is a risky endeavor, and there is a high chance that it will not fulfill all of your requirements. Since this is an expensive and long-life investment, many people just choose to build their own houses from scratch. However, this can prove to be an even more tremendous undertaking.
If you are not careful and precise when getting your house built, you might end up with a place you did not envision or one that has functional faults. Below, we have curated a list of things you will need to build your house from scratch:
1. Get an Architect
No matter whether you want to build a large farmhouse or a small cozy place for yourself, the first step should be hiring the right architect. You should research and ask for an architect who will understand your vision and needs. Go through several portfolios to find one that matches your personal style the most.
Once you find someone, you need to keep an open mind because they bring a certain level of expertise to the table. Make sure both of you are communicating clearly, as any misunderstandings can show up in the design of your house. If the project is on a bigger scale, you may have to reach out to a firm rather than an individual, as it might take more than one mind to accomplish the goal. A good architect will provide you with sound and sensible advice that will benefit you in the long term, so be flexible in your ideas and open to changes.
2. Get a Construction Crew
Once you have finalized a design with your architect, hire a construction crew to turn that design into reality. To find the most suitable team for your requirements, you need to consider the size and timeframe of your project. Customer reviews and references will help you navigate numerous companies in the market.
Check if your shortlisted crews are licensed and insured to ensure their reliability. Additionally, you should look into any guarantees, warranties, and worker insurances, so that you are not liable in case of any injuries or faults on the construction site.
Once you have narrowed down the list of potential contractors, check their availability, as a company that is high in demand and under multiple contracts will be more expensive. However, this can also speak for the quality of their work. On the other hand, this can also result in delays with your project. Aim for a reasonably sized construction company that has sufficient human resources and capital to finish all its projects on time.
3. Arrange for Funds
Building a house from scratch is an expensive undertaking. If you don't have the required funds available on hand, you can either sell some assets or take a construction loan. If you decide to sell your assets, then you should work on increasing their value. For example, if you’re selling a car, you’ll consider taking it to the mechanic and having it thoroughly repaired and cleaned. Similarly, if it is a house, make necessary repairs and improvements to enhance its value and appeal and attract more buyers. Aim to maximize your profits.
You can apply to a construction loan company if you opt for a loan. To secure the loan, you need to improve your credit score and get your financial statements in order. You should know what kind of loan you are opting for. You can choose from three types of construction loans for building a house: a construction to permanent loan, a construction only loan, and an owner builder loan.
A construction to permanent loan funds the construction of a house, and once it is completed, the loan is converted into a fixed mortgage. Construction only loan is a short-term loan that must be paid in full once the project is completed. If you decide to act as your own contractor, you should apply for an owner-builder loan. This requires prior construction experience. Once a loan is approved, you’ll be put on a draw and draft schedule, and the lender will pay you before or after every milestone, like laying the foundation. To ensure that the money is being used as promised, the lenders send out unbiased, professional inspectors, like Northwest Construction Control, during construction to mitigate their risks and keep a close eye on the project.
4. Apply for Utilities
For your house to be liveable and functional, you must apply for utilities, such as electricity, water, gas, internet, garbage pick up, and cable. Climate change is a very relevant issue, and you can make conscious decisions to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Instead of signing up for traditional municipal utilities, you can invest in geothermal and solar energy. This will reduce emissions and cost less in the long run. Having a house that runs on alternative energy sources is becoming increasingly popular and is highly beneficial for the environment and the pocket, both.
5. Interior Design
Once your house is constructed, you need to bring it all together with the help of interior design. You can either hire a professional or do it yourself. Similar to the process of searching for the right architect and construction crew, you will have to look into references and go through their portfolio to see if their aesthetic aligns with yours. A good quality to look for is an interior designer with access to top-of-the-line products. Once you find one that is a good fit make sure to communicate your ideas effectively and be open to their ideas as well.
Hiring an interior designer is not a necessity. If you have a clear idea of what you want, you can take on this project yourself. First, determine the general theme of the house. Do you want it to have a luxurious feel or something, or perhaps you want a minimalistic look? Once you have narrowed down a general theme, you’ll have to decide on the color scheme. For a trendy and eye-catching look, use a contrasting color. For something more minimalistic, a monochromatic neutral palette might be the right approach. Finish with high-quality furniture and decorations that complement the color scheme.
Living in a place that is tailored to your requirements is the dream of any house owner and can be accomplished with the right team and required funds. Building your house from scratch is a complex but rewarding task. Keep in mind the considerations we discussed above for each step, and you’ll find yourself in an advantageous spot.