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While the opportunity to design and build your own home can be exciting, it requires a lot of careful planning and preparation. Many people undertaking self-builds end up making mistakes along the way. While some blunders can be easily fixed, others can be much more disastrous. Below are a few of the mistakes that you definitely don’t want to make when building your own home.
Neglecting a soil survey
A soil survey can help to tell you what type of soil you’re building on so that you know what kind of foundations to lay. If you lay foundations without undertaking a soil survey, you could end up building a home with inadequate foundations, which could lead to all kinds of structural problems in the future. Make sure to skip this task.
Ignoring planning restrictions
When choosing a plot of land to build on, it’s worth also looking into planning restrictions. There may be limits as to how high you can build, where you can put windows or trees that you’re not allowed to remove from the area. It’s important to always get planning permission beforehand and to not construct anything if your plans are rejected - you could be heavily fined and your home could be ordered to be demolished if it goes against local restrictions.
Not insuring your self-build
Self-build insurance can offer compensation if your home is damaged or a worker is accidentally injured during construction. While you’ll hopefully never need to apply for this compensation, it’s useful to have this cover just in case the worst happens. You can compare insurers that provide this cover online.
Choosing the wrong contractors
It’s important that you choose reliable and well-priced contractors. When choosing contractors, consider looking up reviews online and checking that they have an online presence. It could also be worth checking if they are insured and whether they provide a performance bond for construction. Make sure that they also have all the right certification. All of this can prevent you from potentially hiring poor quality contractors.
Taking on too much yourself
If you’ve got some basic handyman skills, you may be considering taking on some of the construction work yourself. This could save you money, plus you can say afterwards that you literally helped build your own home. However, you should be careful of taking on too much work. You will need some helping hands - especially when it comes to handling tasks that may require a licensed professional like electrics or operating a crane. Having some help will also help you to complete construction in good time.
Underestimating the cost
You should have a clear idea of how much your self-build project is going to cost. This should include the cost of acquiring land, seeking planning permission, designing your home, ordering supplies and hiring contractors. On top of all these costs, it’s worth setting aside some extra cash to plan for the unexpected. If there are delays and you need to pay contractors for longer than anticipated, you’ll have the money to pay for them.
Making mid-build changes
It’s important to establish a design and stick with it. If you start trying to change things mid-build, it will throw off your budget, plus contractors may start to get annoyed. This is why it’s important to take time pouring over the design so that you’re happy with every aspect. Get an architect to provide a 3D model and take the time to inspect every detail of it so that you’re 100% happy with it.
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