So, you’ve decided to build your own house? Firstly, we commend you on your bravery! Exciting (and stressful) times most certainly lie ahead, but we hope the finished article makes the current anxiety and apprehension worthwhile in the end. Talking of finished articles, don’t embark on your project until you get to the end of this one. Here’s 5 beginner’s tips for planning your ideal home build.


No, honestly.

Hear us out. If you want to know what obstacles await and the mistakes to avoid when building your dream home, then may we suggest binge-watching all 204 episodes of ‘Grand Designs’? Standing at 21 series and with each episode stretching 60 minutes, you certainly wouldn’t find any time to actually plan your build for a while, but you would learn loads about the potential pitfalls lurking in home-build projects.

There’s even some spin offs such as Grand designs indoors, Grand Designs Abroad and Grand Designs Trade Secrets, if you’re keen to learn more (and veg out on the sofa for a while, too).

Indeed, we’ve all seen those Grand Designs episodes when an ambitious amateur attempts to build their dream home. And time and time again, these budding architects come across the same problem – escalating costs. Avoiding such budget issues should be your main takeaway from the program. According to the host, Kevin McCloud, “the common mistakes made by most people is a lack of planning.” Wise words, indeed, Kevin. Can we call you Kevin?


Speaking of escalating costs, building your own home is likely to be the biggest expenditure in your lifetime. The silver lining – if you budget correctly, building your own home can be considerably cheaper than buying a property from a developer.

That said, many individuals make the catastrophic mistake of waiting until the building project has begun before deciding on their budget. Doing so is, quite frankly, a recipe for failure, as you may have a building plan that is too elaborate for your budget, or you may vastly overextend yourself (and your finances) without the proper care taken in the planning stage. Therefore, it’s highly recommended that you have an upfront budget prior to laying the first brick, with some room left for flexibility.

In addition, you should begin learning about the available mortgage options for bringing your idea to reality. If you have to first sell a house to finance your ideal home, the experts at ZoomPropertyBuyer recommend that you should use a company who are part of the Property Ombudsman, who ‘’provides a fair, free and independent service that provides a benchmark for agency staff to work to ensure a consistent service for consumers. Furthermore, The Property Ombudsman’s Codes of Practice for Residential Estate Agents and Residential Letting Agents have been approved by the Trading Standards Institute (TSI)’’. Essential stuff.

By understanding your budget and the projected cost of your ideal home, you can more comprehensively visualise the ideal steps to take next.


Speaking of professionals, before planning anything, you should take the time to consult real estate agents and home-building professionals for second, third and fourth opinions. 

A real estate agent, for instance, will shed valuable light on the potential value of building a home in your preferred location. What’s more, an architect can recommend the best ways to implement improvements and maximise space in your home and help you plan to suit your budget. Similarly, a building contractor can assist you with your build’s schedule and the timeline for its progress. Yep, this is an occasion where you should put pride aside and defer to the experts.

Considering the expertise of these professionals, it’s imperative you seek advice from them before you start planning your ideal home. 


Building your own house shouldn’t necessarily mean getting your hard hat on and your hands dirty. Consider, instead, opting for a custom build. Generally, a custom build comprises ready-made designs that anyone can customise a little to suit their specific needs. 

A custom build will ease the process involved in planning your ideal home from scratch as you have a pre-thought-out design to work with. Notably, you will likely need to pay a little over the odds for the custom build, but the benefits of doing so outweigh the potential cost of material mix-ups, extra labour and that inevitable going over budget (and schedule) that we mentioned earlier.


When planning your ideal home, you’re going to have to use a fair amount of foresight to envisage your changing needs in the years ahead and how they might effect the look and functionality of your dream home.

Would you like to have children in the future? Are there ageing parents you may need to accommodate? Do you plan to accommodate some close friends or family members? Will you be using a part of the house for a home office? Think deeply about the various possible changes in your future as you plan your ideal home. With these possibilities in mind, you should consider adding features that will smoothly accommodate such shifts in your circumstances.


If, like us, you’re not blessed with having a home renovation expert on speed dial, then fear not; the layperson can still make serious savings without having to sacrifice style and finesse during their next domestic project. Check out our article on 5 insider tips on simple ways to save money on your next home renovation for more tips on the topic!