Build Your Own House: 10 Steps + Costs to Consider
By: Rita Cunha |January 7, 2021build ho
There are always long-time homeowners and first-time homebuyer families looking to move somewhere new. Dream homes are always in high demand. But with the housing market as unpredictable as ever, it’s no wonder many ask themselves what is the best way to save money? Should you buy a home in turnkey condition or build your own house from scratch? This article goes into the total cost breakdown of both options and even gives you a few tips for building a brand new home. Stick around and find out.
Building vs Buying: What Is Cheaper?
Building or buying, that is the question. The simple (but unsatisfactory) answer is: it depends. Home prices vary drastically from town to town or from one neighborhood to the next. At the same time, different states have different requirements for home building. On top of that, the type of build you want will also affect the cost of your new house.
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Home?
But let’s talk rough numbers. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost of building a custom home in 2021 is between $160,000 and $480,000. There is a lot of leeway in the construction costs because it all comes down to your building process. Of course, you can get a lender to help you pay for your project.
Buying Land and Permits
You will need land and permits before starting to build your own house. A local real estate agent can help you find the perfect plot for you.
Getting Connected to the Grid
Additionally, your custom home will need to be connected to the grid. How else would you get water, electricity, a septic tank, and so on? This is where subcontractors come in, which leads us to the next point.
DIYing or Hiring Professionals?
If you are a first-time home builder, you probably want to hire professionals for the job. A general contractor will cost you money, but they can get a team of plumbers, electricians, and the likes to speed up the build. Not to mention they get bulk discounts when buying materials that you, a DIY home builder, wouldn’t have access to.
Picking a Type of Construction
This is the fun part: deciding what your new home would look like. You could get a tiny house, a rancher, a colonial-style build, and so much more. Floor plans are important, so purchase ones you truly like!
Paying for Materials
A bulk of the cost of building comes from this. Once you have settled on a budget, look for affordable materials for your new home. Talk to your general contractor, they’ll probably be able to advise you on where to source materials.
How Much Does It Cost to Buy a House?
Being a home buyer isn’t necessarily cheaper. But if you’re more interested in, say, an apartment (rather than a tiny home), it might be for you. Look into how much a new home costs per square foot in your ideal neighborhood. Then, decide what’s more advantageous for you.
Plus, don’t forget a new home may come with hidden expenses, such as fixing plumbing and humidity issues. Make sure to add some room for home improvement to your budget!
How to Build Your Own Home in 10 (Very) Broad Steps
Building a home is not an easy or simple task. Yet, we can sum up the home construction process in these ten steps.
- Buy a land plot. Where do you want your home to be?
- Choose the building plan and get permits. Will you choose a tiny home? A modular build? Something bigger? Let your creativity fly, but always stay inside your local building codes.
- Find a team of pros you trust. Subcontractors are there to make your life easier. Paying for their services is money well spent if you find the right ones.
- Prepare the building site. Clear trees and bushes, level the ground, dig holes for the foundation.
- Work on the foundation. Obviously an expensive but crucial step, so don’t cut any corners here.
- Insulation, heating, plumbing, electricity, sewage, and so on. Grid hookups are the most expensive steps of building a home, but when done well, they pay off in the end. Get an energy-efficient HVAC system, solar panels, and the likes for long-term savings.
- Siding, roofing, flooring. Install the drywall and personalize your roofing with your favorite shingles. Watch your build so the pricing doesn’t eat too much into your construction loan.
- Finish surfaces. Now you can worry about the more aesthetic elements of the home. Built-in countertops, wooden floors, wall trimmings—you name it.
- Add finishing touches. Then come the exterior finishes (such as a pretty porch) and the interior finishes (what types of cabinets you want, and so on). Home improvement is all about changing your mind later about these touches.
- Design landscaping. The last tidbit of your new construction is landscaping. What do you want your outdoor space to look like? You have full creative license here!
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