Preparing to build your home

Preparing to build a home takes a lot of careful planning. You want to ensure things are done right from the beginning, to avoid unnecessary costs down the road. These tips will help you get started.

Preparing to build your home

1. Site preparation

Thorough site preparation­ is the essential, though unspectacular, first step in building a home. For a large house, the work of clearing the land, levelling the site, developing an access road, excavating and laying the foundations­ may take almost as much labour, time and money as erecting the house itself.

2. Be patient

Before building work can start there are a number of unavoidable procedures to go through and preparatory jobs to be done, so it is wise to lay in a store of old-fashioned patience before you start. If building preparations are carried out carefully and properly in the first place, you will avoid problems later.

3. Designing your home

Municipal councils are required to approve building plans. Clear, detailed submissions will improve your chances of getting that approval. If you have drawing skills and some knowledge of building and engineering principles, you might try preparing your own, but for all your enthusiasm, it is unlikely that you will be able to conceive and construct your own home without at some stage having to seek some professional advice.

4. Ask for help

You may benefit from an architect's involvement, especially when tackling space planning or ways to improve energy efficiency. A draftsperson (skilled in technical drawing) could also draw up your plans — this is a good choice when you have already worked out your ideal house design, but need someone to put it on paper.

A range of other professionals may be drawn into your project. Once planned, the design may present construction puzzles best solved by a structural en­gi­neer. The site may need to be checked by a geo­technical engineer to ensure that the house can be built as proposed. A general building consultant may be required to deal with certain detailing problems that arise as the work progresses.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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