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family building her own home

16 Feb 2017

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Building your own home is like running a small business. You need to be a master of organising and keeping on top of the budget.

Naturally building a house can be a bit stressful if it’s your first time doing it. But it’s worth it in the end as EBS customers Martin Phillips and Noreen McCarthy (pictured here) found out when they built their own home in Co Limerick.



We’ve already published a handy guide to building your home complete with 10 things you need to know before building, interviews with EBS self build customers and a budgeting check list.

Read on for 7 more things to consider before your build is complete.

1.     Know your Numbers

It’s so easy to get carried away when building a house, so it’s so important to stick to your budget. This seems like the most obvious, boring and fun-limiting piece of advice ever, we know. During the building process, treble-check every single price before giving a builder the green light. Keep your build as environmentally friendly as possible to qualify for sustainable energy grants.

2.     Build with resale in mind

The last thing you want to think about when building your dream house is selling your dream house. But you have to take it into consideration. This doesn’t just mean toning down the floral wallpaper. Think realistically about what a potential buyer will appreciate and value when making a decision to splurge.

The koi fish pond and outdoor hot tub may make your dream home complete, but will Peter Potential Buyer want to pay extra for them? Investing in a functional kitchen or quality flooring will serve you better in the long-run. Building a ground-floor ensuite bedroom is also a clever way to appeal to elderly potential buyers

3.     Check the reputation of the builder

Only pick a builder that has been recommended, not one that claims he can keep costs down. Remember if the price seems too good to be true it probably is.

Your best bet is to choose a builder who is registered with the Construction Industry Federation. Most building disasters happen as a result of incompetent builders, trying to keep costs down to an unrealistic level. Your fear is that they won’t just cut corners, they’ll sever them.

4.     Making the most of your space

Think about how best to use your space; floor space, wall space and what makes your home feel spacious- windows. Widening your hallway by a couple of yards will make your home feel much larger the minute you walk in the door. Consider keeping certain rooms like your kitchen, dining and living space open plan to create a better sense of flow. Ceiling height is as effective as square footage then it comes to creating the illusion of space.


5.     Convenient Laundry Facilities

When it comes to building the house of your dreams you’ve probably spent more time envisioning yourself relaxing by the amazing fireplace you’re hoping to build, on the even more amazing couch you’re hoping to buy. Unfortunately reality will follow you even to the most beautiful of houses and you’ll still find yourself doing laundry every couple of days.

Most people keep washing machines in their kitchens, but this means bringing your clothes to and from your bedrooms and leads to unsightly build-ups of lost socks on your dinner table. Consider building a small laundry room beside your bedrooms or bathroom, where laundry builds up. Allow enough room for a clothes horse to be erected to cut down on expensive tumble-drying cycles. Check out some laundry room inspiration here.

6.     User Friendly Storage

We all know that we can never have too much storage. The problem is, for many people it’s an afterthought that turns into a quick trip to IKEA for some plastic containers that will end up in the corner or the attic. Make your storage as convenient and user-friendly as possible, otherwise it will get neglected. Understairs pull-out cupboards, a wall of built-in book-shelves or an American style walk-in pantry are just some of the storage solutions you can plan in as part of your build.

7.     Pop in a Powder Room

A toilet, sink and mirror are always good to have beside the front or back entrance to your new home. If you or your family work outdoors or in a dirty environment you’ll understand this one! Save yourself from dragging dirt through the rest of the house and incorporate a boot room with shower or bathroom near the entrance to your home.

Thinking of building your home in Ireland?

If you’re hoping to build, why not see how much you can afford to borrow with our mortgage calculator or book a mortgage meeting to suit you with one of our mortgage experts.

You can also check out EBS’s self build mortgage product and watch this video of EBS customers Martin Phillips and Noreen McCarthy who have built their home in Limerick.

Martin and Noreen were paid a gratuity for their time.

The content of this blog is expressed in broad terms and is limited to general information purposes only. Readers should always seek professional advice to address issues arising in specific contexts and not seek to rely on the information in this blog which does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by EBS d.a.c.

EBS d.a.c neither accepts nor assumes any responsibility in relation to the contents of this blog and excludes all warranties, undertakings and representations (either express or implied) to the fullest extent permitted under applicable law.

EBS d.a.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.


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