How To Build Your Own Home

Building a new home is an exciting, challenging, and sometimes frustrating process!  By staying involved with every step of the process, you can help ensure that your new house is exactly the way you imagined it.  But first, you'll need to know what those steps are.

  1. Determine a budget.  This is a very important step in building a new home.  It's necessary to determine what your budget is, and then stick to it.  Without a budget, it's easy to add on just a little more space, or upgrade just one more thing.   Before long, the costs of your new construction can spiral out of control.  When determining your budget, calculate how much of a mortgage you can handle, and for how long you want to be making mortgage payments.  A website such as can help with this.  Once you have decided what your target figure is, decide how you want to allot that amount.  You may need to buy land on which to place the house, and once the house is finished, you may want new furnishings to put in it, as well as new landscaping outside.
  2. Make a rough design of your house.  This doesn't have to be a professionally-drawn blueprint, but decide how you want your house to be laid out.  Determine how many bedrooms you want, how many bathrooms and how much space you'd like to devote to common rooms, such as a great room, kitchen, foyer, etc.  You'll also need to think about what style you envision for your home.  Do you want a multi-story home, a single-level dwelling, a split-foyer, split-level -- the possibilities are many!  It's helpful to write down everything that you may want in your home.  If your architect determines that it will be too large or too expensive, you can go back to your sketch later and decide what's expendable.
  3. Research the permit requirements in your city.  Although your builder will probably be very helpful in obtaining the necessary permits before construction begins, it's a good idea for you to become familiar with them, also.  Most municipalities publish a home builder's guide, which details when a construction permit is required, and what steps you'll need to take to get one.  You can ask for a copy of the home builder's guide at your city clerk's office.
  4. Hire an architect.  Once you've sketched your dream home, decide on an architect to design your home.  This can be a long process, but once you've selected your architect, he'll help you turn your sketch into a blueprint for your home.  Be very open with your architect about what you like or don't like.  Don't feel obligated to do something his way just because he's a professional.  You are the one who will be living in your house and you know what you're comfortable with.
  5. Hire a builder.  When you are satisfied that your blueprints reflect exactly the house that you want, hire a builder, also known as a general contractor, to build your home.  Your builder will take care of most of the details of building your house, but he will most likely have many questions along the way.  If something is not turning out just like you had hoped, communicate this to him as soon as possible.  Many times, changes can be made to the design of your home, as long as you don't wait too long.
  6. Choose subcontractors.  In many cases, your general contractor will hire any needed subcontractors, such as plumbers, electricians, carpet layers, etc.  However, you can take as active a role as you like when these decisions are made.  Without your input, your general contractor may choose the subcontractor who has submitted the lowest bid.  If this isn't what you want, speak up and let him know.
  7. Work on the details.  Although your new home is on the way to becoming a reality, there are still lots of decisions to be made, such as bathroom fixtures, kitchen countertops, appliances, windows, window coverings and furnishings.  If you feel overwhelmed or can't decide on a look for your home, you may want to consider hiring an interior decorator to help you through the process.
  8. Move in and enjoy the fruits of your labor.  Participating in the building of your new home has probably been a long process, so when it's finished, take some time to just enjoy what you've created!


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