Building Your Own Home: A Step-by-Step Guide

Building your own home can be a worthwhile alternative to buying a property, creating a home that is unique and bespoke to your needs.

There’s a number of benefits to building your own home, with one of the biggest being that unlike with a standardised design, you can really bring yourself into a home that you build yourself.

However, for those that have never done this before, building your own home can be a challenge in that you may not know just where to begin. Our step-by-step guide breaks down how you can make this an easy process.


Building Your Own Home

This requires a lot of careful planning and research on your part, but is also a wholly rewarding experience that unlocks a custom-made living space, tailored to your needs and preferences.

The following steps will make your self-build project that little bit easier:


1. Assess Your Finances

Building Your Own Home / Self-Build

There are several factors that need to be considered for your financial situation before beginning – namely, the cost of the land, the building materials, architect fees, labour and other expenses that may arise during construction.

Naturally, for any loans that may need to be taken out to finance the build, the interest should also be considered, as well as ownership-related costs such as property tax and utilities.


2. Choose the Right Location

Building Your Own Home / Self-Build

One of the most important decisions for your self-build project is the location and finding a suitable plot of land which will have a significant impact on your quality of life.

Consider both regulatory aspects like zoning laws and building codes in the area, as well as sociocultural aspects including proximity to amenities that are important to you.


3. Hire Your Design Team

Building Your Own Home / Self-Build

After ensuring that your finances are in place and securing a plot, the next stage is hiring your design team to create your home to your specifications – including your architect, structural engineer and general building contractor.

Each of your design team will play a different role in your self-build project. Your architects will have responsibility for the house design and floor plans, while the structural engineer will ensure safety and structural soundness. Your contractor will oversee the construction process from start to finish.


4. Secure Your Financing

Building Your Own Home / Self-Build

With a design and budget in place, you will now need to go about securing your funding, with options including construction loans, home equity loans and mortgages.

At this point, it is prudent to thoroughly research your options, comparing available rates and lending terms to get the right financing for you. You can learn more about self-build mortgages here.


5. Obtain Planning Permission

Building Your Own Home / Self-Build

Before any construction activity can begin, you must obtain planning permission from your local authority, required by law in most instances. Usually, your architects or contractor will assist with this process.


6. Obtain Insurance

Building Your Own Home / Self-Build

Securing your insurance is the last step before construction can begin. Many comprehensive self-build policies are on the market which include public liability, building works, employers’ liability and personal accident cover.


7. Start Construction

Building Your Own Home / Self-Build

By now, most of the paperwork and administration have been accounted for – permission has been granted, insurance is in place and construction can go underway.

At this point, you will work closely and regularly liaise with your design team and construction company to ensure that your home is being built to your specifications.


8. House Completion

Building Your Own Home / Self-Build

With construction complete, you can now move into your new, custom-designed and built home.


There are several steps involved with getting your self-build home off the ground, but the end result is a bespoke home, custom-designed to reflect your exact requirements.

If you enjoyed our self-build guide, take a look at our News section to see more.

Fewer Harrington & Partners is an Irish Architects Practice with offices in WaterfordDublin and across the world. 

Keep up with the latest updates by following us on LinkedIn. See our project portfolio here, or get in touch below:

Please let us know what's on your mind. Have a question for us? Ask away.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.