Engineer and architect on a building site

A 5-Step Plan For Building Your First Home

Building your own home in the Philippines requires the right information and the right people to help you. While it can be a complicated process with lots of moving parts, it’s most certainly doable. In this article, we’ll discuss some important steps to take before you embark on this all-important task.

Set your Priorities and your Budget

Before finding out how much money you’ll need and how to finance the build, decide first on what takes priority. Do you want a house that’s set in the best location you can afford, or do you want the nicest house you can build?

The location and the cost of the build are the basis for your budget. Set a hard limit, and be disciplined about your expenditure. A set budget doesn’t have to be a limitation– think of it as a parameter for creativity. Calculate how much you need to borrow from the bank if your savings aren’t enough, and stick to your budget.

Allow for Contingencies

Remember Murphy’s law. No matter how small or simple your build is, if something can go wrong, it probably will. Most projects go over budget by 15-20%. Tack on an extra 20% onto your building budget for any unexpected expenses.

Find a Good Location

While working within your budget, pick a suitable location. Your ideas about living there may be worlds apart from reality.

Take note of every detail about a location before you make your final decision. Ask yourself questions like, “if my house was here, what would the commute to work be like?”

Other important questions that will help you evaluate a location would be:

Is it safe? Will my family and I be able to walk here safely at night?

Does the area get flooded during the rainy season? With the country’s erratic and often extreme weather conditions, this is a real deal-breaker.

Are my neighbors noisy? Is there a nearby karaoke joint that will blast loud music?

What stores, commercial areas, schools, places of worship and other establishments are accessible to me if I lived here?

Will I be able to make quick, relaxing out-of-town trips?

Ask yourself if you can have the life you want if you lived at that location. If you feel you can’t, choose another.

Involve the Right People

For this important build, you’ll need the help of professionals. Hire an architect and/or designer, and a competent contractor. Having these three key pros will make your task easier and help you maximize your budget. The architect and designer will realize your vision– the design and layout, floor plans and features of your dream home. Meanwhile, the contractor knows which supplier of heavy equipment to contact in the Philippines to prime the site.

If your budget allows, you may want to hire a professional interior decorator to help you furnish and design your spaces, and a landscape designer to help you with the design and layout of any greenery outside your home.

Remember to Get All the Permits

Securing the permit

Your suppliers and contractor should know which Barangay Permits to apply for. Do not skip this step. If you do, city officials can shut down your construction site, levy fines, and you’ll still be paying the construction crew for their time.

Be ready with all the pertinent documents before you get the building permit. The local government unit usually requires 5 copies of the blueprints. You’ll also need important documents like the Transfer Certificate of Title for the land and the house, and other documents.  After preparing all the necessary funds, getting the land, the permits and with your team at the ready, you can finally begin construction.

In Conclusion

The trick to managing the construction of your home is to be prepared with sufficient funds, the right location, and a competent team of professionals who all have the knowledge and experience to build your home within budget. Do this, and you’ll move into your own home in no time, without breaking the bank.

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