A home building plan that covers all the aspects of the building process is a critical piece of do-it-yourself building. Many people think that learning how to build your own house requires knowledge of all the construction details, while others think it is as simple as choosing an online house plan and finding a lot. I like to encourage getting a basic understanding of construction details in order to maintain quality control, but it is understanding the planning process and construction management that is foundational for your DIY home building project. Just as the foundation of your home will support the final structure, planning and management will support your home building process.
Once your dream begins to take shape in your mind, it’s easy to get ahead of yourself – ending up with one of the nightmares I’m sure you have heard of. At best, without thorough planning, you can easily end up not getting what would best meet your needs – and most likely spending more money than is necessary. It’s easy for an owner builder to get excited and want to start digging that hole, and pounding those nails, and painting those walls, and moving into your new home. But wait – the foundation of your dream needs to be built first. Learning how to build your own house requires that every aspect of the home building plan gets down on paper in a manageable form.
The Home Building Plan Is The Foundation Of DIY Home Building
I hope you are starting to get my point that building your own house, although requiring an understanding of building methods and construction procedures, first and foremost requires an understanding of planning and management. It is actually a skill that most of you can bring to the table of do-it-yourself building from another area of your life. It is also a skill that, once learned and practiced more thoroughly during the course of building your house, will transfer back into those other areas of life.
Moving forward then, becoming an owner builder requires a home building plan with four primary areas of focus.
- Exploring and obtaining the most appropriate home building loans
- Choosing a construction lot for building your home
- Establishing home design plans and specifications
- Determining home building costs, budgets, and estimates
In the dreaming phase of do-it-yourself building, I encouraged you to thoroughly consider the extent of your needs, the values you would like to consider and express, the style you like, the material choices and appropriate building method, what you can afford, and the resources you need. Now it’s time to work out the details of the home building plan on paper.
There are many questions about building your own house that need answering at this point. The questions you started raising in the dreaming stage, now in the planning stage must be answered. This is where your real foundation is laid – where the details needed to build your house are established. It is where your decisions are narrowed down, including whether you have the necessary time and energy to do it yourself or if you should hire a contractor. Either way, the following questions need definitive answers to establish the foundation of your home building plan in order to achieve the desired results for your project.
Questions to Consider
- Where do you want to build your house and what are the considerations involved in choosing your construction lot? Do you have a real estate agent?
- What home style, method of construction, and material options will be most suitable for you? Do you have a designer or will you design your own house?
- Is a home building kit or other form of prefabrication appropriate for your project?
- What green home building principles can you incorporate in your home?
- What are your specific needs and the necessary budget to accomplish your goals?
- Do you have adequate income, job history, credit rating and construction loan information to pursue a home building loan? Do you have a lender?
- Who will make up the rest of your team to help build your house – subcontractors, suppliers, owner builder consultant, etc.?
- What are the local and uniform building codes that will affect your project? Have you considered the process for obtaining the necessary building permits?
- What management tools will you use for scheduling, accounting, and other aspects to facilitate the actual building process for efficiency and quality control?
Once these questions are answered you are well on your way to understanding the basic formula to be your own contractor. With thorough forethought and adequate answers you can rest assured that you have made the best decisions for choosing your lot, house plans, lender, and building team. You will also know exactly what it will take to manage your project and will be ready for the next step.
You will be ready for the hands-on construction of your home building plans. You will be ready as an owner builder to jump into the construction management. You will be ready to Build.