Last Updated, March 2017
Imagine a house completely adapted to you and your needs. There are many who want to turn the dream of a custom-built house into a reality. But with construction of the building, there will be many questions, decisions and challenges to overcome. We asked Patric Jones, an architect and construction engineer with a leading London house extensions company to guide us through the building construction phase. In the end, he pointed out ten important issues you should ask yourself before you begin building a house.
What kind of house do you need?
The first thing you need to figure out is the kind of house you and your family need and how big it should be.
– I always tell my clients that they should imagine themselves where they want to be in ten years, and start from there. For example, you may not afford to build a car garage now yet know that you will need it and and a place to store children’s stuff in a few years, says Patric. Also keep in mind that trends come and go. Today, perhaps may be interested in having Moroccan tiles in your bathroom, but will you really like to have them in ten years?
Such questions are worth asking, says Patric.
How will the house be?
When you buy land, be sure to check if you can get water and electricity to your house. If it is far from a municipal sewage, you may need you own energy source, which is a far more complicated and expensive process. The house should be comfy for you and the children. Even if you have the best white noise machine, you will not get good sleep if the house does not provide comfort on its own.
Where is the house standing on the property?
Do you want the house to be facing with sun all day, or do you prefer the evening sun? Everyone has different needs. However, make sure you know the building rules of the area you are looking to buy.
What will it cost?
Find out what you can afford. House developers, of course, want you to buy their houses. Compare prices to get an affordable home.
How have others done it?
Ask for advice from friends who have bought houses in the past on what they did. You can also get advice from experienced craftsmen. The more knowledge you have, the easier it will be for you to make the right decision from the start.
What insulation will you have?
Can you afford to spend a little extra on a house with good insulation? This will help you save heating costs and serve as a future protection against moisture damage.
– The most common problem you are bound to encounter is moisture damage. This usually occurs due to insulation defects. My advice is to choose a good material with long life from the beginning. Otherwise, things can easily become expensive in the end, says Lars Johansson.
How will it warm up?
Air heat pump and solar panels are cheaper but they may not provide energy when you need heat most. Geothermal heat is more expensive but much safer.
Does the municipality have plans for the area?
Are there plans to build a major road near the area you want to live? In such cases it may be worth thinking about the location of the home.
Loose timber or finished?
Are you betting on the loose timber, you are your own client, if you buy a prefabricated assembled on site building manufacturer takes care of the job.
What materials will you use?
Wood is cheaper initially but more expensive to maintain in the long run. On the other hand, stone and stucco costs more initially but are almost maintenance-free.