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Guidelines and tips on building your dream home

As soon as you have made a decision to build your dream house, note the following points before you continue

Budget: Start to think about how much you can manage to spend and how much building your new home is probably going  to cost. Odds are you will need a construction loan and a mortgage. It’s never too early to find out what size loan you are eligible for. Also, knowing the estimated costs will help you adjust your building plans to meet your financial plans.

Plot & Location:
 Whether you are building your home in a residential development or a site with extensive ocean views, you will almost always need to pick out the land before you choose the floor plans or other particulars. You will need to examine factors such as soil condition, drainage, zoning and building codes in the area.

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Have a designer & contractor: You’ll need a team of professionals to design and construct your house. Chief players will consist of a builder and a home designer or an architect. Many proprietors start by choosing the builder or contractor. It is better to hand-pick an architect or designer first. Architects and builders have to be carefully chosen. Try to get some reference from your friends and relatives. Make designer contract with the architect about his fees and services.

Prepare a Plan: Based on your wants and looking at the building rules of the local administration, make an initial plan and approximation with the help of the Architect. Talk about the house design plan with your family and some close friends & relatives if necessary. Once the plan is settled, submit it for consent to local administration.

Make Contract agreement: As soon as you get consent on your plan, be certain 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 take account of a listing of all the parts to be incorporated in the house. Remember to alter the contract if you or your team makes 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 begin construction until the building permit has been issued.

Most people use the know-how of those in the building industry to counsel them on the legal requirements of the building laws and many delegate the task of finding a building consent to their architect/designer, builder or project manager.

When you hire a registered architect or other type of designer, they must organize plans and provisions that meet the Building Code performance standards. The builder then has to construct the house to the stipulations and plans so that the end result matches what was approved in the building consent.

Finally you will be accountable under the Building Act if your house does not meet the prerequisite standards, so make certain you employ experts who know all the building controls and keep up-to-date with new standards and rules.


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Dennis Ayemba
Dennis Ayemba
Country/ Features Editor, Kenya


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