So You Bought a Plot of Land… Now What?

Introduction

Building a new home is like a journey from where you are to where you want to be. It’s important to get clear on what it is that you want and how you want to live in your new home, before you begin building.

Whether you choose to have a very customized house for you, or get a ready template for your home, there are fundamental steps to take that we’re about to go over now. It’s more than just shopping for a new car; it’s an investment that will affect your whole life.

Before you embark on any journey, you make sure you are prepared. You do your research, think about the things to bring, places you want to see, and your allowance on expenses. You might even hire a guide for a more smooth and enjoyable trip.

Creating your home is very similar to that, there are a lot of things you to consider before you actually embark on the journey. In this article, I’ll discuss with you the steps to take when planning to build a home.

Step 1. Establish a Budget
Establish a Budget
Some would start with having a plan first by discussing it with your architect.

As for me, budget is more important especially if you have a limit. If you have a budget in mind, you can discuss it with your architect and he can work around it for you.

As you start to break it down further, it usually includes design fees, permit fees and taxes, construction of the house, equipment, furniture and accessories. Don’t forget to set aside a certain amount for contingencies. A lot of unexpected expenses may pop up during construction and it’s best to have a back-up plan.

Budgeting can work in two ways. You can make the house design fit the budget or you can phase the construction work. It means you can have a portion of the house built and then expand it later once you have the budget.

Step 2. Gather Your Team.
Gather Your Team
For most people, it’s not a good idea to go build a house on your own.  Seek out the help of professionals who have experienced the ins and outs of house-building. You’ll want an architect to do the design and a builder to then execute it. These two are the most important members of the team.

When choosing an architect and a builder, it’s important to have a relationship based on trust. Ask your friends if they can refer you someone whom they’ve worked with in the past and achieved good results. Having a common friend will also help you feel more comfortable with the architect, especially when sharing details about your habits, hobbies, and relationships.

Step 3. Set Goals on Blueprint.
Goals on Blueprint
Before your architect can draw up a plan, it’s important to express what your goals are. How do you visualize yourself inside the living space? What is your most favorite room and where do you spend most time in? What feeling would you like to have when you enter your home? What activities do you do? These are some very important questions your architect would ask so it’s great if you’ve already considered them and have concise answers.

Drawings for your home will also include very minute details. Like how big would you like your closet to be and how many shelves and drawers would be in it. All of these will be discussed with you so you will have the desired outcome.
It’s also important at this stage to research in to how long this process may take.  You want to make sure you’re setting realistic goals for not only your monetary budget, but also your timeline.  If you’ve not done a construction project before you might not realize what goes in to it.  Check out this article from Vision One Homes that talks about the reality of how long these things can take.  Once you know the kind of home you’d like to construct, get a more specific and realistic timeline for how long it will take.

Kinds of Homes You Could Consider

There are many emerging trends in home designs and technologies. If you are more cutting-edge you may want to consider having one yourself.

Tiny Home

Tiny Home
The average size of an Australian home is around 240 square meters. A tiny home, however, only ranges from 10 to 40 square meters.

It’s becoming a rising trend for a lot of reasons. One is it’s much cheaper to construct and easier to maintain in terms of power and water requirements. Because it consumes less energy, it is also environmentally friendly. Having a tiny home is more efficient. Since you spend less time cleaning and maintaining it, you can have more freedom and quality life.

Rammed Earth Home
Rammed earth homes have walls that are constructed by compacting gravel, sand and other aggregates within a form work. This compaction is achieved by using a mechanical ram.

Invented by the French in the 1500s, the walls then are at least 500mm thick. These days, cement is used to strengthen the walls. The resulting thickness is around 300mm for exterior walls and 200mm for internal walls. Some though still construct walls at 500mm thickness.

The rammed earth method possesses a very high comprehensive strength. Therefore it can still be used in multi-storey construction. Research shows that monolithic walls like rammed earth withstand earthquake better than cement hollow block walls.

Other positive qualities include high thermal mass and good sound insulation. The system is fire and vermin resistant, very durable and provides protection during heavy rains. It can also entail low energy use when the aggregates used are the ones available on site.

Off Grid Home
The off grid home is based on the concept that it should be able to function outside grid-based electricity, water and gas. The house has its own solar or wind power source, geothermal water heating and water collection system.

Though not yet widely practiced, this type of sustainable home has a reduced carbon footprint and is very eco-friendly. The initial building expense may be high, but monetary savings can be seen in the long run. After all, you are not under the mercy of cold utility companies.

This independent home can come small or big; from 48 square meters up to a family home size of 100 square meters. Off grid home builders usually offer customized options to meet your needs and budget.

Other House Types
If you’d rather have a more conventional home, you can always opt for a typical Single-Family Home. These are detached homes in one-storey, two-storey or more.

A Federation Bungalow house is a single-storey house, occupying a decent portion of the whole lot. It usually has a front and back porch with gabled roofs.

Other types of homes that you might want to look into include: log homes, cape cods, ranch homes, and cottage or country style homes.
country style homes
Step 4. Proceed with Construction
Now that you have your drawings in place, you can talk to your builder on how to go about constructing your dream home. For example, you will be require to process the necessary documents and apply for a construction permit. The builder will give you the cost, the timeline and draft a contract. Once the agreement is in place, he will start constructing the house according to plan.
Conclusion

The journey of creating a home on that plot of land can seem daunting at first – with proper preparation and expert advice and assistance though, it can be an enjoyable one.

I hope this article has given you some inspiration and helped you get started.

References:
http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/17295883/list/so-you-want-to-build-7-steps-to-creating-a-new-home
https://www.thoughtco.com/before-you-build-steps-new-home-175909
http://www.yourhome.gov.au/materials/rammed-earth
http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/rooms-and-spaces/exterior/26-popular-architectural-home-styles-pictures