Cookie-cutter homes are great for large scale production but they do lack a lot when it comes to personality and opportunities for self-expression. Building your own house is the best possible way to create a space that truly works for you and your family but, unlike the cookie-cutter house, you could end up racking up a huge bill of unexpected costs.
Of course, if you are determined to become a self-builder, you absolutely should do what you can to bring your dreams into reality. But, just before you start getting excited, here are a few hidden costs you might not have thought about.
Connecting any building to the network can be costly. This doesn’t mean that it’s impossible but bringing utilities to your site will take quite a lot of organization on your part. When we talk about connectivity, this means anything that links your home to a network so plumbing, gas, electrics and internet should all be on your mind.
The right contractors can make this a lot easier, though. An industrial plumbing company may have more experience with connecting new builds to the local plumbing network and are well experienced in working with complex systems.
Some people think that they can manage a new build on their own with a few drawings. This might be true for some projects but the reality is that if you want a building that passes regulations and planning, you should find a talented architect.
The role of the architect isn’t just to do the physics, though. Architects are perfectly placed to turn your vague ideas into something more tangible. A great architect will challenge your preconceptions and give you new ideas to consider. They may even provide you with things you would never have dreamed of but now can’t imagine life without. Above all, an architect should build a trusting relationship with their client to help them imagine the perfect home.
People often assume that a luxurious look requires expensive materials. This is a big mistake and can end up costing self-builders a lot of money. The materials you use are, obviously, central to the design but that doesn’t mean that they need to be the most expensive that you can afford.
When you look at materials, think carefully about balancing 2 things: aesthetic and function. A material like concrete, for example, might not be very pretty in its raw form but it is pretty cheap and you can polish it or use boards to create texture if you want. Natural materials like wood can vary massively in cost but, again, how you use the material can have a big aesthetic impact on your design.
You should also consider that many of the materials you use will be covered over. There’s no reason that you can’t hide basic structural blockwork with render or cover bare floors with rugs. This is why it is so important that even before you lay the foundations, you need to have a good idea of what the interior and exterior design will be like. But that is a blog for another day…