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  Tips On Building Your Own House

Rome wasn’t built in a day: Prepare a working schedule or programme from the word go.  Be honest and realistic when planning time for various trades.  Factor in the time delays for you to liaise, sign in and organize the main contractor, suppliers, local authority Inspectors, and all the subcontractors.  In the construction world you’ll have to expect delays. 

Strike the balance between quality and quantity:  Quality doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive.  Know how much you need and be realistic without cutting on quality.  Shop around and bargain for discounts based on bulk orders.  Understand that not all material supplies that you’ll find in stores will be good enough quality for building your home. Look out for SABS approved (or other industry registered quality signs) marks on item packages and check with seasoned builders for advise on the best materials to use.  If the budget at your disposal seems too little to complete the work, remember that you can always split the construction in phases.  Sometimes you can just prioritise the completion of the superstructure (the shell) and all other essential services such as plumbing and electrical wiring then when funds become available later you can then install all the finishes.  This will allow you to realize the quality of both the structure and finishing touches.

Get the right builder for your budget: Get a reputable builder that is registered with organizations such as the NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council).  Please note that when building a new house, no South African bank will make any payments to a builder that is not registered with the NHBRC.  Let your builder show you houses not only those he had completed but the ones he had build from scratch.  Speak to their previous clients, if possible.  Remember that a budget is always the most valuable tool for anyone intending to build their own house.  However, this should not mean you have to go looking for the cheapest builder because this can bring the most disastrous outcomes you ever bargained for.   If you are not well versed in construction get a project/construction manager to help you in checking both material quality and workmanship.

Remember that a good builder is careful and meticulous in describing his/her work. He will explain exactly what he will, and won't do for a given price.  Your builder should be able to give you a clean quotation plus a start and finish date, otherwise the work is going to drag on and empty your pockets.  Look out for a builder who’s always in a rush this is a good sign that not for long you’ll be paying for a lot of extras and hidden costs.

Don't overcapitalize for the neighbourhood:  No matter how valuable to you the house you intend to build, at some point it will have to be sold.  It doesn’t matter how long you planning to stay in that house, at some point you will have to sell it.  Now, just imagine having to sell your modest house for as little profit as dictated by the average house prices in your area.  So, remember that building the most expensive or biggest house might be good for bragging to your friends and neighbours but may not justify the cost you spent building it.  All this because of the average value of houses in you neighbourhood.  So always remember to do a thorough research of property prices in your area and do the sums to determine the size and costs of your dream house.  Ask yourself whether it’s necessary to have 3 or 5 bedrooms, 2 or 3 bathrooms, a tennis court or swimming pool

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