Pre-building homework

Pre-building homework

Before you can start to build your house, you have a lot of homework to do. It includes budgeting, permitting, talking to banks and contractors.

Any mistake or omission in this homework will bite painfully during the construction process.
So, how to avoid those fails?

The answer is simple: do your homework properly.

You should ask the right questions and get answers to those.
The best question to start with is: what EXACTLY do I want to achieve?

You can not build a house “around 100 sqm (1000 sqf)”
You can build EXACTLY 100 sqm or 105sqm. You get the point.

The first step is always building a clear vision of your future home, summer cabin, rental house, or whatever it is going to be.

Here, we have made a video for you explaining this step:

Once you are sure about what you really need to build and how big your house is going to be, it is time to get more in detail and ask more specific questions.

Two of the most important questions are:

  • “Can I afford it?” 
  • “What will be the final cost of my build?”

Unfortunately, these are “high-level” questions and to answer them, you need to ask many more specific questions.

Budgeting a complex building is a process which includes services like:

  • architectural design;
  • permitting;
  • engineering;
  • groundworks;
  • connecting to utility grids;
  • foundations;
  • kit assembly;
  • roofing;
  • insulating;
  • interior works and decorations;
  • technical installations (electricity, ventilation, heating, etc..)

To get a price you need to ask yourself how are you going to deal with each of those components and/or activities.
It can be tricky if you haven’t done it before. 

In our 100 Questions Guide, we go through over one hundred aspects that you should keep in mind during this process.

Some people solve it by hiring a general contractor and it might be a good idea if you find one who you can really trust. 

We recommend asking your family and friends (it should be really easy in this social media era) if any of them has a positive experience with a general contractor. The trust issue is important as some general contractors tend to include big risk margins in the budget. 

For example, if the groundworks will likely cost between 4000-5000, they will put 6000 in the budget (just to be safe) and then they don’t have to work too hard to get the best offer.

This is just being safe and lazy at the homeowner’s expense. 

Also, general contractors obviously don’t work for free. Hiring one means that your homework will be done by them for a cost which includes their mark-ups + company overheads.

If you are on a tight budget – or simply don’t want to spend your hard earned cash on a general contractor – it might be better to do the homework by yourself. 

We have e-guides available to help you with this. Check it out HERE

What next?

You can go and browse our energy and cost-efficient A-frame models or get useful knowledge about building your own home (hassle free) by getting our e-guide.