There is a certain allure in the idea of building your own custom home. You get the house you have dreamed of in a place you want to be, and it is a cost-effective method of having a new home when done correctly. However, there are hurdles to overcome - planning, the financing, the design and finalisation - but all of these have been overcome by many people who choose to self-build every year. The following article looks at the essential factors you need to consider when heading down this route, so take a few moments and read on.

Get Professional Advice 

The first step to take is to get professional advice from a homebuilder who can tell you everything you need to know. They will be able to help you with everything from finding a plot to getting a designer to planning and the final build. If you already have a plot, they will be happy to survey and give an opinion as per suitability. Find a reputable company such as NIH Homes who are specialists in this field, and you have a great starting point. 

Before you meet with the builder put together a list of questions including:

  • Ask for examples of their previous work.

  • Who do they use for architectural processes?

  • Can they help with planning?

  • Will they provide a solid quotation?

These should put you on a firm footing to begin with and allow you to get to know the credentials of your chosen building firm. Assuming you have not yet got a plot, let's talk about finding the right one.

Find the Right Plot

Finding the right plot to build a home can be the difficult part, so if you already have one - perhaps a section of land you already own - then you're on to a head start. If you don't, then your local building company may be able to help. Also, talk to real estate agents about land as they will know where there is land available, or perhaps that which may become available should someone be interested but is not yet on the market.

Choosing and assessing a building plot is certainly among the most important of home building tips as there is a lot to be accounted for. For example, your chosen builder will need to survey the site to ensure it is possible to get all the mains amenities into the plot. Power, gas, water all need to be close by and able to be incorporated. This is a major problem with more remote plots that may need to turn to generators for power, for example. There are also costs involved in linking up with existing mains facilities to new plots.

The plot you choose will ideally be in a spot where you really want to live but bear in mind that such plots will be the most popular. Ensure you get in early with your survey and bid on your ideal plots so as not to be disappointed. You also need to think about planning which we will talk about next.

Make Sure Planning is Approved

The planning and building laws and regulations will differ between states and often towns and cities. It is absolutely vital that your build is approved in every way by the local authorities before you commence. There are many stories of people 'taking a chance' and building before approval has been given. Make no mistake, they will order you to remove any building that has not been approved, and at your expense. It's a very expensive mistake to assume your build will be permitted.

As building your own home is popular in the USA planning committees are generally receptive to new builds, but they do have state regulations they need to adhere to. Your builder will work with the planning board to ensure that all necessary regulations are complied with. This is one of the primary reasons you need to take on the services of a local professional building company. They know what is required in the local area to meet the various planning rules. You may have to make a compromise here and there to get your dream home to fruition, but it's a process you must undertake - and one you need to budget for.


The dream of building your ideal home is one that you can make happen, but you need to be careful with choosing you partner in the process and the plot you want to build on. Make sure your budget is set in advance and that you have access to finance where necessary. Once you're through the planning stage and your builder has approved the designs, you're on your way to a home designed for you, and by you, and exactly as you want!