5 Ways to Get Started on Building Your Dream Home


If you’ve been looking for a new property for a long time, but can’t find anything that suits your needs, then it may be time to consider building your own home. You can design your own layout to be an energy efficient building; in fact you can create almost any structure you wish. Here are five ideas to get you started:

  1. Home or Overseas

Whether you want to construct your dream in the UK or overseas, you’ll have to buy a plot of land. If you want help with the planning documentation and translation if your dream is to build a house abroad, then Vanner Perez Notaries will be able to help you. Should your dream home be located in the UK, get in touch with your local authority. It’s no use pursuing a dream only to discover that planning restrictions are in place.

  1. Build a Budget First

After you’ve gained your planning permission you must draw up a realistic budget. Back-of-envelope calculations won’t wash. Your planning application and the architect you’ve used to help you will have already taken a chunk out of your allocated finances. Now the costs will start to mount. How much of your ‘self build’ will you actually construct? Will you need help from electricians, designers, plumbers etc? When drawing up your budget go through every stage of the construction and then add on extra money as a contingency fund.

  1. Finance is important

Any house purchase, construction or design project needs capital. The Self Build website has some ideas about how you can arrange finance and even arrange a mortgage. If you shop around, you may be able to find 70 – 80% mortgages. The website Build Store has a specific section dedicated to raising a mortgage for your self-build. Be prepared to show plans of your dream home as well as detailed project costs as well as planning permission proofs.

  1. Never pay the given price

Approach three different firms for estimates for materials. Remember that if you are building your own home you can claim back VAT for materials. Capitalise on this. Learn the art of haggling; you’ve nothing to lose and everything to gain. Also, if you are going to need outside help, write a contract that includes penalties. Too many building jobs are delayed because a tradesman is trying to juggle commitments. Draw up a realistic timescale for the jobs that you will sub-contract and insist that penalties will be introduced if the timescale isn’t followed.

  1. Don’t be afraid to change the plans

Architects and draughtsmen are used to making design changes. Once you’ve costed your proposals, and realise that you need to make some savings, then ask the experts to help you modify your drawings. After all, this is your dream home that you’ll be building and you want it to be perfect. You can always earn some additional funds by getting your self-build featured in a glossy magazine or on a TV programme. Be assertive!