Framing nearing completion of a new home – Photo Courtesy: Oregon Husky
Congratulations, your hard work and efforts to save and build your own have finally paid off and you are ready to build your own home, with your bare hands. You found the ideal acreage and can already see your dream home sitting in that perfect little spot. You may have it designed in your head down to the last minute detail, or you may be open to ideas. One thing is for sure, it will be yours. However, if you are going to build everything from the ground up, there are a few things to keep in mind while building your dream abode.
Choosing an Architect
While you are getting all the permits, and before you break ground, find a really good architect. Unless you went to design school, or are really good at drafting designs yourself, you will need one. They will be there at the start to make sure your home is up to code. Want to place cabinets over your gas stove? They won’t let you. With all the rendering software available, some can even show you a 3D image of the home you have designed. These plans will tell you exactly what supplies you will be needing and how much.
While cheap does not always equal quality, quality doesn’t have to be expensive. Please shop around for the best when looking for your home. This is the time to find deals. While things like lumber and plumbing have to be new, sometimes you can find great deals if you wait or do a little online shopping. You can also get your appliances for cheap if you do a little looking around. There are great ways to find your appliances for much cheaper, like auctions. Or, you can take the appliances from your old home. If you are really attached to your gas range and have maintained it well you can take it with you. There are dozens of online appliance parts suppliers to make the move and installation very easy for you.
Know Your Limits
There are things in the world you may not want to do on your own. When building your own home you are acting as your own contractor. This means, more than anything, you need to know your limits. I would not suggest laying your own foundation, unless you have had a lot of experience doing so. A lot of people who build there own homes hire out for things like wiring and plumbing. A good electrician is invaluable. While building and self contracting is a great way to save, sometimes you have to splurge, and where electricity and plumbing are involved, I suggest you check your online resources to find a professional.
Look for Licenses
If you still want to build everything yourself, you can take classes that will make you a licensed electrician and/or plumber. These take time and I would not recommend relying on yourself and a manual you picked up from your local hardware store on the weekend. If you go the DIY route and the inspector, which you have to bring in, sees a problem, you will have to pay for the repair and get a professional in. Whereas, if you hired an electrician, he will have to repair the problem free of charge.
Building your own home can be challenging and rewarding. Through the tears and sweat of your own brow you can build a home for your family to enjoy. But most of all your have the joy of knowing you made a home.
Lilly Nelson is a Jill of all Trades who understands her limits when it comes to a home project.