For many of us, building our own home, to our own personal specifications, is a pipe dream. For those of us who actually get to put this dream into reality, it’s an incredibly exciting and nerve-wracking opportunity, fraught with big decisions and worries, but with the most rewarding payoff at the end – a home that we can really call our own. The opportunity to plan out the entire home, from floor plan to light fittings, and everything in between, to reflect who you are as a person and a family, to reflect your needs and your interests, is truly life-changing, and it can be quite overwhelming too. When you want to get it just right, every little detail counts.
Where is right for you?
Firstly, you need to choose your location, which isn’t quite as easy as it sounds. Initially, you need to choose your place within the world. Take into consideration your ideal climate, including any extreme weather conditions, flood and hurricane risk, and even elevation above sea level. The type of climate you choose will have a bearing on the type of home you can build and live in, including the types of building materials you can source easily, without too much of an impact on the environment, so choose carefully.
Secondly, you need to choose your lot – this is slightly more complex, and might take a few months or even years of searching to find the perfect piece of land for you. Take into consideration its access routes, not just for incoming building materials, but for your ease of access to work, school, and local amenities once you move your life there. Ensure you have that land surveyed for any flood or drainage risks, to guarantee property lines with neighbors, and to fully understand the topography of the land when it comes to starting the build. Choosing the right location for building your new home is almost as important as the design of the house itself, so take your time and do your research.
What is in your future?
You might only be a two-person show currently, but do you envisage the pitter-patter of tiny feet at any point in the future, even in the distant future? It would be devastating to build your dream home, only to have to leave it a few years down the line when it no longer suits your needs. A long, hard think about how you envisage your future panning out is crucial for making a home which can last, and will work for you for years to come. Speak to a designer from a well-respected custom home building company such as Vision One Homes to discuss how you see your life changing in the future, and how your home will need to reflect that. Designers and architects are pros at asking the questions you might not have thought of.
It’s also worth considering how your location might affect you further down the line. If you plan on having children, is it easy to access a good school from the plot of land you have chosen? As your extended family age, can you reach them easily by road or air in the case of emergency? It can be easy to get caught up in the exciting fantasies that come along with designing your own home, and missing some of the crucial questions about your future.
How will your hobbies and interests be involved?
If you’re going to all the lengths to build your own home, you need to make sure your hobbies are properly represented. A keen kayaker? Make sure there is a kayak storage unit. Do you work from home? Build a state of the art office, with a great view of the local scenery for all those times you need to ponder while gazing out of the window. A fabulous kitchen for the budding chef, a studio for the artist and a workroom for the DIY lover. When your hobby is such a big part of you, make it a big part of your home.
What is your idea of comfort?
Our homes are meant to be our perfect idea of comfort. When you move into a ready-built house, you have to do what you can to make it comfortable for you without knocking down walls or making huge and expensive changes. When you build your own home, you can build this comfort in. People have differing ideas of what is comfortable – some prefer smaller, cozy rooms with large windows and a fireplace. Others much rather large, minimalist, bright and open spaces. This is the perfect opportunity to create your idea of comfort with absolutely no compromises.
Building your own home is the perfect opportunity to make a home ideally suited to the needs and interests of you and your family. Good luck, and happy building.