If you’ve been thinking about designing a home that fits your unique lifestyle, we’ve come up with a list of five simple steps to build your dream home on a budget.

There’s nothing quite like that specific joy of coming home to a space that you’ve put time and energy into decorating. So, imagine how much more fulfilment homeowners get walking into a house that they’ve put time into not just decorating, but designing as well!

Designing and building your own home may seem unattainable, but with a little planning and some financial savvy, anyone can do it.

Instead of pouring money into a home builder’s company that works off of cookie-cutter house plans with expensive add-ons, we’ve come up with a list of the five steps you’ll need to take in order to fashion, build, and move into a home designed by you!


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How to Build Your Dream Home in 5 Steps

1. Plan out your ideal home

Before you can have the inspiration to save up for your dream home, you’ll need to plan out exactly what you want your house to look like.

One of the first things you should do is decide what features are non-negotiable, and what you can live without.

For instance, do you want a home gym in your basement, or do you want to leave room for that home theatre for movie nights with the family? Do you envision your backyard with an in-ground swimming pool? Or do you want to save room for an outdoor bar and patio?

Another thing to consider is the area you want to live in. Ensuring you do your research on the neighbourhood of your lot can save you a lot of hassle if you find out it may not be as safe or friendly as you thought.

For those with or planning to have children, make sure you check out if there are schools in the area, and see how well they are rated.

2. Budget and start saving

Now that you can picture the perfect home that’s suited to your specific wants and needs, you should have all the inspiration you need to start squirrelling away.

Budget out how much it will cost for an empty lot in a good area to build a house on. Then add the cost of building your home so you know exactly how much you’ll need to save.

Remember that building a home is a lengthy process. It’s good to expect a few setbacks, both financially and time wise.

3. Work with a trusted builder

After deciding how you want your house to look, what you want in it, and you’ve saved up enough money, it’s time to find a trusted builder to help you construct your new pad.

Make sure to ask your friends for recommendations, check reviews and do your research — choosing the correct builder is one of the most important steps in this process.

While every project is different, using an all-in-one company that provides you with a dedicated blueprint designer and builder can help you save money, rather than hiring an architect and contractor separately to build your project.

Be sure to ask as many questions as you can to ensure that they’re a good fit. Asking for examples of previous work they’ve done can help decide as well.

Remember that your home is an heirloom you’ll be passing down to future generations, so getting a builder that will do things right the first time is vital.

4. Make sure you have insurance

While most builders’ contracts will include an insurance policy as part of their responsibility, it’s important to make sure this is the case. It can cover the cost of damages should something unexpected happen.

Related: Who pays for builders risk insurance

APOLLO offers builder’s risk insurance to cover any costs associated with damages or lost materials due to criminal intent or harmful weather.

You’ll also want to purchase your own home insurance to ensure that you have liability cover should an accident occur during the construction process.

5. Build your new home

Now that you’ve mapped out the floor plan of your new home, saved the appropriate funds, and found a trusty builder, you’re ready to break ground!

The construction stage should take about eight or nine months, depending on all the various factors and add-ons you want to include.

Once completed, if everything goes smoothly, all your hard work and planning will have paid off and you’ll be ready to move in and enjoy your new house.

Related: Builders risk insurance cost


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