Guidelines & tips
before you start house construction
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Once you have decided to construct
your dream house, note the following points before you proceed
Think about Your Budget: Begin now to think about how
much you can afford to spend and how much building your new home is likely to
cost. Chances are you will need a construction loan and a mortgage. It's not too
early to find out what size loan you qualify for. Also, knowing the approximate
costs will help you modify your building plans to meet your budget.
Your plot & Location: Whether you are building your home in a suburban
development or a site with sweeping ocean views, you will almost always need to
choose the land before you select floor plans or other details. You will
need to investigate factors such as soil condition, drainage, zoning and
building codes in the region.
You should have a designer & contractor: You'll need a team of experts to design and
construct your house. Key players will include a builder and a home
designer or an architect. Many homeowners begin by selecting the builder or
contractor. It is better to select an architect or designer first. Architects
and builders have to be carefully selected. Try to get some reference from your
friends and relatives. Make designer agreement with the architect about his fees
Prepare a Plan: Based on your requirements and looking at the building
rules of the local administration, prepare a preliminary plan and estimate with
the help of the Architect. Discuss the house layout plan with your family
and some close friends & relatives if required. Once the plan is finalized,
submit it for approval to local administration. You can also try to get approval
for Biogas plant, Solar energy panels, Wind energy etc if you are going to
install it. Many administration gives you subsidy for these items provided you
submit the details sufficiently early. Note the following:
1. Plot Plan: Should include size and location
of structures on property, including distances to lot lines, streets, roads, and
2. Floor Plan: Include all room uses and sizes, door and window sizes and
3. Specification Sheet, Footing/Foundation Plan and Cross Section Drawing: (may
be self-prepared, although blueprints are preferred) Include size, type, and
quality (grade) of materials, size of footings, depth, size and span of joists
and rafters, ceiling heights, stair details, etc.
4. Structural drawings must be submitted with plans.
5. Plumbing and Electrical Drawings
Make Contract agreement: Once you get approval of your plan, be sure to
get a written contract which has been signed and dated by both the builder or
contractor and the architect or designer. A contract for new home construction
will describe the project in detail and include a listing of all the parts to be
included in the house. Remember to amend the contract if you or your team make
any changes to the project later on.
Note the following:.
1) A permit fee shall be paid before a building permit can be issued.
2) Do not start construction until the building permit has been issued.
Most people use the expertise of those in the building industry to advise them
on the legal requirements of the building laws and many delegate the task of
obtaining a building consent to their architect/designer, builder or project
When you employ a registered architect or other type of designer, they must
prepare plans and specifications that meet the Building Code performance
standards . The builder then has to build the house to the specifications and
plans so that the end result matches what was approved in the building consent.
Ultimately you will be responsible under the Building Act if your house does not
meet the required standards, so make sure you employ skilled people who know all
the building controls and keep up-to-date with new standards and rules.
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