So you’ve reached the point where you have earned and saved enough to buy a lot/property and you are in the process of having your first house done. You haven’t the slightest idea on how to go about it. Here’s a guide from a Contractor’s POV based on experiences and feedback of clients.
Finalize your design direction
You’ve probably got tons of saves in your pinterest board on how your dream home will look like. Sort it out, from details to layouts and finishes, so when you meet up with your Architect, he/she will have a good handle on what you really want.
Line up your dream team
Just like in any sport, there’s a lot of team effort that goes into building a house.
Tip: Get a team that can follow your design direction. Research and check their body of work, that way you are assured that they can understand your vision for your dream home.
The Licensed Architect
He/She is the main man (or woman), so find someone who is trustworthy and is backed with credentials. He/She designs the plans, prescribes the materials to be used in construction and oversees the construction process from day 1.
The key role of the Contractor is to execute the plans accordingly. The Contractor should understand the design of the Architect. Your house might look good on paper, but if you do not get a suitable Contractor, your dream house will just be that, a dream.
Tip: Usually, Architects would recommend Contractors they have worked with, which is advantageous for you as it lessens design misinterpretations along the way.
The Interior Designer
He/She brings life to your living spaces. Color, lighting and textures are his/her expertise.
Tip: Focus on having your common areas (living & dining area) done first. With this you can adapt the design direction to other parts of your house.
The Landscape Artist
While the Interior Designer livens the indoors, your Landscape Artist works on beautifying your outdoors. Trees and plants are carefully chosen to match the aesthetic of your house.
Now that you have short-listed your team, let’s move on to the most crucial item on the list.
This is where it all boils down to… How much will it cost? Well, this all depends on the following:
• How big your lot / property is?
• What type of house are you building? Is it a bungalow or two-storey house?
• Client requests (may it be in the use of certain materials, a nice big kitchen, an impressive walk-in closet, etc.)
Tip: Talk it over with your Architect, let him/her know that you have a budget and you’re willing to spend up to a certain limit. So he/she can be guided as to how to maximize space without sacrificing the overall design.
Once your budget is set, your next concern should be timelines.
Here’s the average duration for building a house:
Plans: 2-3 months
Processing of Documents: 1 month
Construction: 8-12months depending on property size
Interior Design: 2-3 weeks
Landscaping: 1 week
With these in mind, if you have a specific date, ask your Architect, when best to go about it since weather is a factor that affects the Construction process in terms of delays and deliveries.
Tip: Clients are usually excited to speed up the process, but remember that rushed works always end up in more repairs and costs along the way, so be patient.
Document every process
You are on your way to becoming a legit homeowner. Get involved in the planning stages, take selfies of your site visits and make this process as enjoyable as possible.