Housing has always been a dream for many folks in different continents of the world. I mean, why else would one spend a lifetime paying for one. There is nothing as satisfying as having not to pay rent to someone else every month when you receive your paycheck. Most people are usually overwhelmed with the thought of having to get a mortgage and having to pay for their home over a long period of time. But what if there is an easy way out?
Well, you can always cut the cost of buying a house by actually building one yourself. Building a house you say—-yes. Isn’t that more tedious than actually just buying a house? True, there is no doubt that constructing a house from the ground-up can be a challenging task to accomplish, but it’s still an achievable one nonetheless. More so, putting a house together from scratch can be a transforming and educating experience. Plus it offers the benefits of installing and using very solid materials that can stand the test of time.
On the flip side though, it is understandable that due to work and other commitments, it may be hard to find time to actually oversee the whole process from start to finish. But if you do have the time and some cash at your disposal and are willing to put in the effort, then this article is for you.
Now we are going to try and highlight some pitfalls and things you should bear in mind when erecting a structure. It is understandable that you may not be a technical person, but it is beneficial that when preparing for such a project, you at least have a bird’s eye view of some of the processes that take place when building your home.
The first hurdle you might encounter when preparing to build your house is budget and secondly hiring of equipment/labor. As a new builder, you don’t necessarily have to go all out in buying all the tools that are needed for the building, after all, you are not a developer, and chances are that after building your dream home, there wouldn’t be a need for those construction tools that you used.
The best option for you then might be (after getting a recommended builder) to hire tools and equipment that you might need in constructing your own home. As stated by experts at Boonstra, there are loads of companies and individuals out there, whose business it is to rent out building materials with a minimal fee, ranging from daily use to months depending on the type of project you wish to execute. If for instance, you live in the UK, a very good example of a place to hire building equipment will be Lakeside-Hire.
Speaking of budget, it is very important for you as an aspiring builder to first sit down and think about what kind of house you want to build—taking into consideration the available resources at your disposal in terms of your financial capacity. If you are not able to make that estimate, then i will suggest you get help from an experienced builder. Though normally, the right person for giving you an estimate is the quantity surveyor, at this point you just want a general perception of the cost of the house.
Making a House Plan
Like I said earlier, you need to have a mental picture of what you want your house to look like, but if for some reason you are not able to do that, then don’t worry that is also the job of who we will be talking about in this paragraph, in the person of the Architect. Basically the architect takes your words or description of what you desire and translates it into drawing—giving you a three-dimensional view of what your house is going to look like when it is finished.
Remember, part of the reason you want to build your own house is to save cost, so instead of going first to an architect, after which you then meet a builder or a contractor. You can just save yourself the cost and headache of all that interaction and just look for a builder or contractor who can also draw. Funny thing is, there are a lot of architects out there that have become builders and contractors in other to be able to rake in more money and get more clientele.
A lot of people make the mistake of overlooking the path of a quantity surveyor. The builder will usually try to convince you that he/she can make a proper estimate for you, but don’t make that mistake. It is not to say that by virtue of their experience as builders that they can’t make an estimate, but then there is a tendency for a wider margin of error. A Q.S will take into account every tiny detail to provide you with a 95 to 100 percent accuracy. This helps you in knowing exactly where you stand in proportion to your financial capacity. If it is beyond your budget then you can always find ways to work around your budget.
This is a very crucial thing to note when choosing to build your own home. The weight a house places on the soil by engineering standards are usually light. Most building codes requires wide footings that spread the load of the house allowing those footings to work well in a not ideal soil.
Most times if you follow the building code within your area, the soil topography should be fine for your building, but that is not to say that problem soils don’t exist—and unfortunately dealing with such soils will require measures and tactics that exist outside the boundaries of a general building code. Soil is crucial in that, the foundations of your building will be sitting on it, and if those foundations settle unevenly, you will end up having out-of-level floors and doors.
For a novice who doesn’t have any experience with construction, it is still easy to see soil and tell if the help of an expert is needed. I can imagine you making a smirk on that face—but stay with me here. The thing you want to do when checking out soil as a novice is to see how the soil behaves under load, especially after a rainfall. If the soil becomes soft and pulpy underfoot and semi-trucks and tools constantly get mired in it, then that is a clear indication that you have a problem.
And if that is the case, the best person to get advice from is your building inspector. Building workers are usually familiar with the problem soils within their jurisdictions, and often know where they are most likely to occur.
The foundation of a house serves two fundamental functions. The first is that they act as a wedge between the rest of the house and the harmful effects of the soil. By holding the frames or pillars of the house off the ground, the foundation keeps the house safe from moisture, frost, rot-generating fungi, and other harmful organisms present in the soil. The second thing a foundation does is that, it serves as a filter or transition from the irregular surface of the land to the more level, plumb and square surfaces of the house.
In bringing it to a close, It is vital to build a foundation that is strong enough to carry the mass of the entire house, and tough enough to endure years of direct contact with the ground, and accurate enough to make it a reference point for building the rest of the house.