How to Build a House Step by Step
Our building experts want to help you get things right, the first time. In this article, they combine their extensive experience and knowledge to delve into the stages of self-build and new home construction – listing every step you’ll face, and even things to think about before any dirt is turned!
Things to consider before building a house (Pre Self Build requirements)
Before you start the actual construction process of your new home, there are many things you need to consider. Finding and buying your plot of land is your first step, and is of course a very personal choice to make. Climate, ground stability, and community infrastructure are important factors to take into account when choosing your perfect location – but aren’t the only things that matter. Whether you need a south-facing garden to feed your landscaping hobby or are looking for seaside views, it’s important to take your time, and do your research.
Buying land could cause you a few headaches if it’s not something you’ve done before. Speaking to an architect, experienced contractor or housebuilder with the right knowledge and relationships will help you secure the best plot for your unique requirements.
Arranging your finances may be one of the biggest hurdles you can come across when building your own home, and could potentially stop you altogether. Luckily, a range of dedicated self build mortgage brokers such as Buildstore Mortgage Services are available in the UK – with plans specifically developed for those building their own home. A self build mortgage advisor will generally be happy to discuss the different methods of funding available to you during a consultation appointment.
Building a house can be a daunting task however, not all self build house projects turn into money pits. To add to the above, setting realistic budgets before designing and including a contingency of at least 10% will keep the cost from going awry.
Insurance is another key factor to take into consideration and to budget for when building a house. It’ll cover you, your new home builders and your building site during your construction process, no matter the phase it’s at. A good self build policy should at least include: Contractors All Risk, Employers’ Liability, Public Liability, Legal Expenses and Contract Works.
Unless you’re a keen ‘DIYer’ or in the building trade, you may want to secure an architect for the design and management of your build. Your home is very specific to you and having the right architect involved in your new build project is crucial to you loving the end result. Our clients have previously worked alongside Tim Moll, Architecture ONE, LHA Architecture and Design and Box Valley Architectural Design to create their construction masterpieces.
The pre-planning aspect of creating your dream home will, on average, take a year. Adding to that, the actual construction will take at least a year to be completed if all runs smoothly. From then on, any extra internal or external works such as landscaping can take weeks or months to be finished. Timeframes are individual to each self build house project but on average two to three years is a good ballpark to start with.
How to start house construction
With initial preparations complete, it’s time to go over the main steps you’ll follow throughout your home’s construction. This guide, prepared by our most accomplished experts, will give you a general idea of the housebuilding process from start to finish. Remember that project timelines can vary from house to house – and that our steps should only be used as a general example.
You’ll need a clean slate to start with. Preparing your plot will include the general clearing of any vegetation and debris before the surveyor can mark out the building. Non-groundworks preparation includes providing tradespeople with necessary facilities e.g. toilet facilities and a site hut, equipped with drawings, safety equipment and utilities.
After the groundworks of your site are done, foundations and pipework will begin. Working out the best foundation type for your house as early as possible will allow you to keep to your budget and schedule. After this is established, foundation trenches will be excavated and reinforcements laid before concrete footings are poured and tamped to level. At this stage, the architect or builder’s engineer will inspect and grant works to carry on. Bricklayers will then build up foundation blockwork to ground level and a damp proof course will be installed.
Building the superstructure
This is where your house will start to gain height and you’ll see the outline of the building take shape. There are many different techniques to decide between for the construction of a new house; the traditional brick and block method is a popular choice but researching a preferred method to suit your self build house project is crucial.
Once your walls are formed in your superstructure, adding the roof to your house will really make it come together. Roof trusses will be spaced and secured then felt and undercloaking will be added to the wooden beams. Following this, tiling can take place.
Get your house ‘weathertight’
Although all stages of building a house are important, this one is essential to ensure the structural integrity of your home stays intact. Getting your house ‘weathertight’ means that anything that could possibly let water in is tightly secured. All windows and doors will be fitted and your chosen architect will carry out an air-tightness test to confirm all air leakage points are sealed.
This phase will include any foundational and structural work that won’t be seen after plastering and other internal walls are worked on. Carpentry, plumbing and electrical works, such as floor construction, adding door frames, pipework for water supply, and positioning powerpoints for TVs etc, will all be completed in this stage.
External works to your home
Despite the fact most self build projects focus on the insides of the house, the external factors are still vital to getting a quality finished product. Drive/pathways, drainage and basic landscaping will be completed at this stage – allowing your appliances and waterworks to perform correctly. Drain inspection will also be carried out.
Plastering and internal works
After external works are handled, your attention will generally turn to the interior of your new home. Work on the floor will be continued and screeds will be laid. Plasterboard will be fixed to the ceilings and studded partitions and a skim coat added. No longer is your house wooden beams and plain blocks but a beautiful blank canvas waiting to be decorated!
Second fix and internal finishes
This stage involves finishing off the first fix and is typically where your personal choices will come to life; doors will be hung, flooring will be fitted and kitchen and bathrooms will be installed. After this is all complete, a thorough clean of your home will be needed prior to any final touches.
On the home straight! This is where you can put down the tools and pick up the paintbrush – arguably the most exciting part (whether or not you complete it yourself). Once everything is dry and finished, soft furnishings can be used to transform your house into your dream home.
Finishing touches and snagging
As you go through your decorating process, you’ll want to make a list of any details to be touched up or fixed. This is a vital step to include in your building process before parting ways with your contractors, and will result in the creation of a ‘Snagging List’. This list may include a variety of things – from crooked light switches to loose wiring to skirting boards not fixed accurately. Be sure to bring them to the attention of your builders for correction. Beyond this, various certifications such as Energy Performance Certificates and building post-contractual documentation will need to be obtained and submitted before you can sit back and relax in your brand new home.
Enjoy your home!
The moment you’ve been waiting for since the first phase of your self build – after completing the finishing touches, your home will be ready for you to move into! Whether it’s been over a span of many months or many years, this is the part (we hope) people love the most. We hope you will enjoy looking back on your journey and appreciate that you’re not only in a lovely new home but in a unique space that you helped create and construct. Satisfying or what?
The benefits of hiring a construction company to build your house
Taking on the construction of a new house is a big task; some people feel confident to do most things themselves and others may be nervous. A comprehensive contractor or construction company will take the weight off your shoulders and allow you to focus on the bigger picture rather than the trade-specific details – taking care of complex details and assisting in decision making whilst bringing your vision to life the right way, first time. Bringing a professional team on board with your project will also limit the amount of people you communicate with, freeing your mind of contact clutter.
Martin and Ben were exactly what you dream of from a builder. They arrived when they said they would and finished when they said they would. The standard of their work and their employees was exemplary. Their quote was very accurate and any adjustments were completely fair and of no surprise.
I would recommend them wholeheartedly, and I look forward to their work on another project next Spring.
Martin and his amazing team have spent the last few months refurbishing my house. They installed a new kitchen, replastered most of the walls, and converted a large bathroom into a bedroom and bathroom. Every single tradesperson sent to the house has been professional, courteous, and always left the house in a clean, tidy state. Nothing was too much trouble and I cannot recommend these guys enough.
We highly recommend Ben and his team for the quality of their work, their professionalism, and their attention to our requirements. They completed a single story extension at our house in Colchester as per the schedule and to cost quoted. The finish is great and everyone who has seen our extension now wants one! Thanks to all of you for a wonderful job!
Wouldn’t hesitate to recommend M Jarrald Construction. They have recently completed an open plan extension for us and everyone just says ‘wow’! We are very pleased with all aspects of the build from start to finish, all tradesmen involved with our project have been fabulous and extremely trustworthy. Thank you to Martin and all the guys.
Martin and Ben are great to work with. They have given us a fabulous new space in our house which makes a difference to our lives every day. They have been reliable throughout the build and have responded swiftly to any problems.
We have been very impressed with M Jarrald. They recently finished fitting our single-storey kitchen/diner extension and we are so pleased with it. Every team they sent was very polite, knowledgeable and so happy to help. The site was kept tidy, deadlines were pretty much kept to, as well as the budget! The place feels quite deserted without someone on site now it is finished. We would hesitate to recommend M Jarrald and will definitely use them again when the need arises!
We’ve had extensive works carried out by M Jarrald Construction. Ben G has been brilliant to work with throughout the project. His team on site have been amazing. They’ve all been great fun to have around. They’ve all been polite, friendly, professional, and worked incredibly hard. Ben and Kyle did an amazing job on our new driveway and patio renovation. Tony did an absolutely incredible job with all the carpentry. The 3 of them, as well as the electricians, plasterers and plumbers, went above and beyond and worked incredibly hard. Any issues have been resolved quickly by Ben or the guys on site.
Martin and his team are absolutely fantastic! We just had our house refurbished, a large extension added on the back, bathroom remodelled and a new kitchen installed. They have been amazing from the beginning to the end! The site was always extremely tidy and the tradesmen were very professional and helpful. The final result is stunning and the quality of work is excellent! We will definitely be using them in the future! Thank you so much for all your hard work!
M Jarrald believes that great ideas are made in conversation. Whether you’re looking to discuss a new construction project, get some general guidance on building your own home, or don’t know where to start, we’ll be happy to help.
Contact us today to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation – throughout which we’ll work alongside you to establish your goals, discover how our process will work for your project, and, where possible, discuss approximate timescales and costs.