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A beginners guide to building a home from scratch

Keen on building your dream home from scratch but no clue where to start? While it seems like quite a daunting task now, there’s nothing more satisfying. Like all major investments in our lives, the undertaking requires careful thought, and a thorough understanding of the process before you embark on the journey.

The magnitude of the project is undeniable, but we’ve got a few tips that will break it down into manageable chunks for anyone new to the practice. So, in this blog post, we’re going to lay out everything you need to know before getting stuck in.

Step Zero: Choose the lifestyle you want, find the land to suit

Building your dream home from scratch starts well before the build contract is signed. It actually all starts with you. When you close your eyes and picture your dream life, where do you see yourself coming home to? A rural lifestyle with no neighbours for miles and sweeping country views? A comfortable bach a stones throw away from the beach? A suburbia within walking distance of preschool, college or doggy daycare? Choose a section to suit the lifestyle you want.

The section you choose will have a massive impact on the final result of your build, as certain design choices will be limited according to your property. For example, if you have a sloped section then you will have to construct a stepped home that can deal with that slope, or alternatively, you will have to put money into leveling out the section. As another example, if your selected section is bordered by trees that restrict light, you may have to build a double-story home to counteract them.

The main principle in hunting for sections is choose carefully. Once you’ve got it, you’ve got it, and it’s going to have an impact on what your finished home can be.

Step One: Create Your Dream Home

Once you have the perfect section, you can move onto the planning! Every amazing home begins with a well-considered, professional set of house plans. If you are not a professional architect or builder, then you will need to approach one with your ideas, in order to have plans drawn up – their industry expertise will ensure that you won’t encounter any major structural problems halfway through your build.

Before approaching a professional, however, you will need to know your priorities, as well as your budget. We will check that your land is good to go through a site assessment and produce a scaled siteplan. Your sales consultant and designer will help turn your ideas into a design blueprint for your new home.

Priorities for Your Home

When you picture your finished home, what does it look like? Consider how your life might change over the course of living in the house, and what you want to prioritise for the finished build.

If you’re planning on having a big family, or if you have one already, then you might prioritise bedrooms, as well as a large communal space for everyone to spend time in. If you dedicate a lot of time to your work, then perhaps you want a large office space for yourself, separate from the rest of the house. How many cars do you have, and how do you wish to store them? How much backyard space do you want?

List down your top priorities, the things you absolutely cannot live without, and bring them to the professional you have chosen to engage. If you like, create a separate list of things you want to have, and bring that too. Unless you’re planning to one day soon sell and build again, the more tailored the house is to your lifestyle, the better.

Step Two: Colour Your Dream Home

There are two parts to this step, each of equal importance in realising your complete vision. This is the time for you to add texture, character and life to your building plans, as well as to gain the building consents for your property.

Design and Colour

Now is when you decide on the colour of the walls, the building materials you wish to use, what kind of kitchen island you’re going to install, where the lights are going to be, etc. Take a look at some of the show homes around your area for inspiration!

All of the design choices are integrated into your already-created structural plans, and you get your first glimpse of what the completed project is going to look like. This step is absolutely crucial, because it tells you how closely you’re going to be grazing your budget, and it will help you to visualise if there are any changes you would like to make. In addition, it is used by your hired professionals to plan and understand the build from start to finish.

Gaining Building Consents

Once you have a completed plan, it’s time to apply for building consents. These are permits to build in the area you have purchased, and their approval is dependent on the local council deeming the property safe. The builder you have hired should help you with this step, as they play a massive role in making sure that all of the designs and drawings reflect a building that is compliant with the Building Code.

Step Three: Build Your Dream Home

Once your permits and plans are all squared away, it’s time to build. There are a few basic steps to this – all of which your builder should walk you through.

  • Preparing the site and pouring the foundation.
  • Completing the rough framing of the house, as well as the plumbing and electrical.
  • Installing insulation, drywall and interior textures.
  • Finishing both interior and exterior aspects.
  • Installing hard-surface flooring, countertops and mechanical trimming.
  • All of the finishing touches like mirrors and exterior landscaping.

Once all of these are completed, the only thing left is for the builders to put the keys in your hand, and for you to walk through the front door.

Step Four: Live Your Dream

“Tea, coffee or a hot Milo?” is one of the first questions you will probably ask once you’ve moved into your brand new home and are proudly showing visitors through your home. One of those visitors will be your Classic Builders team members who helped you through the construction of your new home. We will be there to hand over the keys and walk you through your new home. We believe in keeping in touch, so at the three, twelve and twenty four month marks, we’ll give you a call to check in on how your dream home is going.

Trust the industry professionals

Here at Classic Builders, we’re masters of the Kiwi build. Our team of professional architects and home builders will work with you and guide you through the process of creating your dream home, so when you’re ready to start, give us a call!