What to Know About Building a House

There are different phases to building a house: planning, design, the actual build itself, as well as décor — all of which need to work within your budget. Our checklist helps move you in the right direction.

Man Standing In Field Admiring Imaginary HouseThomas Jackson / Stone via Getty Images

It’s been a lifelong dream: building your own house from the ground up. But don’t let your dream become a nightmare! As exciting as it is to start such a massive project, building a house is no easy feat. Thorough preparation and having realistic goals are keys to a successful experience. From planning to building, read our guide which will help inform you of what lies ahead as you’re breaking ground.


Couple Making Plans Fly View Productions / E+ via Getty Images

The most crucial step to building the home of your dreams is the planning phase. The first and most important factor that determines the scope of your project is naturally, your budget. Once you’ve crunched the numbers, you’re ready to tackle estimated costs for every phase of your build — from skilled labor to interior design — and finding clever ways to saving money where you can. Not only that, but you’ll also need to consider whether you’re required to obtain proper building permits.


Some of the first questions you’ll most likely have when considering building your dream home is how much it’ll cost and how you’ll be able to finance it. Whether you’re looking to apply for a specific type of home construction loan or if you have cash on hand, it’s important for you to have the budgeting know-how in order to stay on budget and save money.

  • How to Buy Land: Consider what real estate and financial resources you’d like to use when buying land as well as how easy it’ll be to access utilities and local roads before you submit an offer.

Contractors and Permits

Once you have your finances and a solid plan in place, it’s time to hire a contractor and learn how to work with one smoothly during a home build. There’s also the business of applying for building permits and the consequences of not getting one.


When you’re shopping around for the right piece of land to build your new home on, it’s vital that you factor in utility access, which includes the closest electrical grid, sewage and water supply in the area. Once you determine this, then you need to educate yourself on the legalities of land ownership, which involves knowing about utility easements.


Architects Sharing Ideas About A Project And Looking At Blueprints of Home On A Blackboardandresr / E+ via Getty Images

And now we get to the most personalized part! What do you want your home to look like? Are you more traditional, eclectic or modern in style? Whatever your design plans are, there are a variety of things to consider, such as whether or not you want to hire an architect and what kind of building material you’d like to use for your home’s exterior

  • Repurposing Natural Materials for Style: If you’re looking to design your home in a sustainable and creative way, we have décor ideas on how you can repurpose old wood, stone and even tree branches.

Building Materials

Architects Surveying Plans As They Build A HouseRichard Clark / The Image Bank via Getty Images

It’s important to have your project manager, contractor and team of builders on board when it comes to the building phase of your home. Do your research so you’ll be up to date on the latest home building products and materials and consider repurposing natural materials. There are many logistics to account for, one being if your future home will be located in a remote area, which will affect how you transport your materials there.