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Amanda Harvey
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Amanda
Harvey

The challenges of a self-build project

Last modified: 2019/08/23 | Approximate reading time 4 mins

Self-building has not been a frequent topic of discussion, yet over the past few years, this type of very large-scale project is now becoming common knowledge and more frequently talked about.

Although it clearly allows for considerable savings and offers the instigator optimal control over the outcome of the project, there are still a lot of challenges. But which ones?

5 challenges to consider during self-build construction projects

1- Hiring labour

As you may already know, carrying out a self-build project requires the use of several trades. Of course, you won’t want to hire the first people who find their way to your front door.  Receiving multiple bids is essential to pay a reasonable price. Thus, although tedious, it’s impossible to ignore this step.

Moreover, although the majority of bidders will be more than willing to provide evidence of their skills, it’s still necessary to determine which of them is best able to meet your needs and specifications. That’s why choosing a bidder based on the rates they charge is not necessarily the best avenue to take.

Other factors you should consider are the reputation of the company, turnaround time, as well as whether or not they hold the necessary licenses and permits. This way, you can carefully select those who will handle your project. Of course, this project will require a considerable amount of time to complete. Also, it’s absolutely essential to work with professionals in areas such as gas, electricity, framing and foundation laying. Thus, it’s impossible to overlook the importance of this step.

Given the multitude of aspects that must be taken into account when selecting professionals for your project, we should admit that choosing labour is a major challenge. Further, let’s say that it’s possible to receive a number of quotes that don’t necessarily outline the exact details of a project. This can leave room for unpleasant surprises once the bill finally reaches you.

2- Coordinating trades

home auto-construction

Continuing with our previous point about the various trades needed on-site, it’s important to mention that having all of this work running smoothly side-by-side can be difficult. Indeed, it’s likely that some may step on other’s toes. As a result, the coordination of all parties presents a real challenge. 

In addition, not being able to play the role of conductor adequately will lead to delays, which can be an annoyance. Moreover, it’s not impossible to have conflicts arise between the different players in your project. This will create obvious additional challenges.

3- Respecting the budget of your self-build project

Before you launch your project, you should have established a budget that is realistic while taking into account each aspect of the overall renovation. This includes the evacuation and construction of a foundation, the construction of the frame and closure, as well as the construction of walls, floors, ceilings and the connection of utilities. 

So, you may believe you’ve thought of everything, but are there changes you’re tempted to do along the way? In some cases, you may want to opt for more luxurious materials, a temptation that could occur. Staying true to the plan will be hard at times, especially since there will be multiple decisions during each phase of your self-build project.

4-  Finding the right location

full home autoconstruction

Although you’re already on the path to building your own home, you still need to choose a location. There are several aspects that need to be taken into consideration so that you don’t regret your choice, and these aspects require a lot of thought. If your interest has been piqued by a particular place, start by asking yourself a few questions:

  • Does it offer the right orientation in relation to the sun?
  • Will you be close enough to your workplace or your children's' school?
  • What does the surrounding community have to offer? (hospitals, grocery stores, parks, shops)?
  • Do you like the neighborhood and its surrounding atmosphere?
  • Will your home by served by the sewer system, an aqueduct or by an electrical network?

Note that regarding the last point, it’s of paramount importance that your home has access to these services. If not, you will have to install an artesian well and /or a septic tank. Obviously, the additional costs of installing these will result in a bigger budget, and this is something you’ll likely want to avoid. 

5- Determining the right amount of time to invest

Anyone who’s considering a project of this magnitude should expect an incredibly long period of time to complete it. As we’ve mentioned in previous articles, it will be necessary for you to spend between 2000 and 5000 hours to completely implement this project. At the bare minimum, 20 hours a week will take up to 2 years. Therefore, it’s necessary to devote a fair amount of time to this project, but also have the ability to withstand burnout that could result from the workload. 

As your daily life continues, and you must fulfill personal and professional obligations, it should be obvious that exhaustion is a danger that lurks behind every corner. In addition, with such a busy schedule finding time to fit everything in can become a real headache. 

If you're not swayed by the challenges you may face when embarking on this project, then surely you’re ready for the adventure? Let’s begin!

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