I am sure I am not alone in fantasising about my dream home. I mean, I love the house I live in, especially since we added a wooden conservatory which acts as a dining room for the big family get-togethers I love so much. But who wouldn't like to design a house from scratch, incorporating all the features they desire in a location they have selected. You can probably even decide which way the house faces!
I even have vivid dreams sometimes that I am walking through my house which has far more rooms than the one I actually live in. I love those programmes on TV where people either build homes or have them built, or who re-purpose unusual buildings or items like shipping containers to use as the basis for an imaginative and unusual home.
They are usually located in amazing locations like on the end of lakes, overlooking mountains or within stone throwing distance of the ocean. I would love to live by the sea - I love the ocean equally when it's calm on a sunny day or raging in a storm.
My (slightly eccentric) friend is currently having a house built from the ground up and given a free rein. (within planning rules obviously) she has built in all sorts of features she has always wanted in a home including a grand entrance and crenellation. I cannot wait to see the final result.
The downside of the project for her, is that she, her husband and three young children have to live for over a year in a trailer on site.
So where do you start on the journey to turn the home of your dreams into your dream home? Well firstly you have to find contractors who are experienced in helping you turn a list of must haves and might haves into a comprehensive plan that will be safe, legal and practical as well as beautiful.
Start with a general search for professionals - type something into your search engine along the lines of: "Quality custom home builder in Oakville" and if you don't live in Oakville or even in Canada, obviously slot in your own town or city.
First and foremost make sure anyone you are considering is licensed and has a significant level of insurance including structural liability insurance. Ideally find a company which manages the project from planning to painting and is knowledgeable about zoning and building regulations in your area. With this, ensure that you have a helping hand to look after other factors including plumbing, electricity, welding needs, and much more. For more details, you can click homecarecontractors.com/snohomish-county/ and seek better insights.
Meet with them face to face for an extended meeting - you will be working with these people for a long time so it's quite important to have a good relationship from the start. A big personality clash on day one should ring warning bells.
Ask about subcontractors. Ideally they will have a regular crew who understand and work to their standards and are professionally qualified and when necessary licenced in the trade they are carrying out. I recall my mum having a nightmare when her letting agent sent a gas repair man in to fix an electrical problem. The repercussions from that rumbled on for a very long time.
Be prepared to listen to advice about your plan but if you feel the builder is not really understanding your dream, consider exploring other options before admitting defeat on an aspect of your home you had set your heart on. Equally if experts have valid reasons why something might be dangerous or impractical be prepared to listen to alternative suggestions.
Look for a company that offers guarantees on timescales (with some leeway either side) and build in an emergency fund for unexpected expenses.
Finally, be earth friendly and ask your builder to suggest ways to make your new property as sustainable and future proof as possible. Knowing you have kept your carbon footprint as small as possible will give you a warm fuzzy feeling as you settle into your dream home.