Before you start building your own house, you should ask yourself these questions – how can I build a house by myself (to begin with), how much budget and time do I need, and how can I make the right decision in terms of finishes, materials, and more.   

These are all essential questions to help you prepare yourself when building your house. Despite all the preparations, however, you might still be surprised to know the following things homeowners wish they knew before building a house:

You will need to make split-second decisions

Things may go wrong, no matter how prepared or organized you are. There are things beyond your control. Always make sure to be prepared to make quick decisions that affect your house for the next 10 years or so. For example, what will you do when you find an out-of-place electrical switch? Where should you place the outlets? The drywall worker is arriving anytime soon, so you need an answer right away! No matter how taxing it can be, prepare to make flexible decisions regarding your house. 

Just because your house is finished doesn’t mean it’s ready for moving in

Building your own house may take months or even years before it is completed. By the time you plan on moving in, what you will most likely find is a bare and dull four-walled house.  You will still have to attend to the windows, doors, a countertop, and other basic technical specifications. Despite this, there are still things that could leave you oddly unsatisfied. 

Cleaning up the mess the contractors have left, hooking up the appliances, moving in the furniture, treating the windows, painting the walls, putting on some decorations, and everything else that will make your place feel more like ‘home’. These are often overlooked but necessary steps in the timeline of building a house.

Not everything will always finish on time

When your contractor tells you that the house will be completed in 6 weeks, add another two to three weeks allowance. While these things are often negotiable, unforeseen delays may extend the process beyond deadlines. You need to understand that construction, especially in this scale, isn’t always a straightforward process.

You also need to take into consideration of the weather at the time of construction, especially if you build during the typhoon season. Though there is nothing you can do about this, you can always just adjust your timeline accordingly to give yourself and your contractors some leeway. 

There are always more cost-effective alternatives when building a house

Instead of pushing for your dream design, ask for creative ways to save on costs upfront. This is one of the important financial steps to building a house. Imagine how much you could save if you opt for a floor plan of the same square footage but with a smaller footprint. Roofing, cement, and site preparation would cost far less.

This applies to materials as well. Try considering using more inexpensive materials like using stucco instead of stonework. Study if the topography will allow for a shorter driveway leading to the garage instead of a long and winding driveway. Buy remnants of quartz and granite instead of using full slabs of stone. Plant much of the landscaping yourself. Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for a discount on appliance packages!

Prepare to go over-budget

There are a lot of expenses that are often overlooked from the price of the house such as the cost of land, property taxes, and association fees. Make sure to prepare extra money to give yourself some financial wiggle room. Depending on where you intend to build your house, there may be some preliminary steps that the local government may require before the construction could begin. That includes securing building, electrical, and sanitary permits. 

It’s almost everyone’s dream to be able to build their own house. The idea of being able to create and customize your own place is hard to resist. While the idea of building your own home is certainly appealing, you should remember that a lot of hard work is involved and that sudden surprises are hidden here and there. Hopefully, the list above will help you build a house yourself with realistic expectations so that the finished project will be everything you ever hoped for.


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