Things to do before you start building

General construction topics - basically anything to do with building not covered in other topics.

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Things to do before you start building

Postby john squire » Sat Jul 29, 2006 6:26 pm

Does anyone want to start this one off
john squire
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Postby t.s » Fri Aug 11, 2006 12:20 pm

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Postby loom » Sat Aug 12, 2006 6:06 pm

I ordered the following books so I will know a little more than nothing about the process. Got advice from a friend to work with an architect and possibly a civil engineer on a master plan before doing anything.

The Well­Built House
By: James Locke

Build Your Dream Home for Less
By: R. Dodge Woodson

Independent Builder: Designing & Building a House Your Own Way
By: Sam Clark
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Postby dozer » Tue Aug 15, 2006 8:37 am

OK, I'll bite. Things I think I'll do before the next project myself.

Give yourself plenty of time for planning the project.

Decide what style house you want. Easier if you can find an existing house that you can like, copy and modify as you like.

Learn a design program and put your design in there. Work with an architect as appropriate, especially to help you 'flush out and finalize' the design.

Decide before choosing a builder what materials you want where and incorporate in the design.

Source the materials.

Get a lot of recommendations for builders, and go look at their work.
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to do

Postby cruzing » Tue Aug 15, 2006 8:59 am

If you don't know anything about building, or don't know someone who does, (or maybe even if you do) I suggest these two books from Especially if you plan on incorporating western design.

"Building codes illustrated" A guide to understanding the INTERNATIONAL building code.

"Building Construction Illustrated"

They have a special on now if you order both books.

Last edited by cruzing on Sun Sep 17, 2006 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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During the design

Postby singa-traz » Sun Sep 17, 2006 8:05 am

Dozer got a good list already.

I will add that you have to think/imagine how you would live in this house, for each room. Think about what you do inside your house from morning to evening.

Visiting others houses is also good, so you can spot what you like and don't like.

Review what role you will play during the construction and where you are strong at.

Personally, I'm not a details person, but should have spend a bit mroe time on this :-)
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Postby jazzman » Mon Mar 19, 2007 10:41 pm

Ideas always look good on paper, but remember the poster who had a 70cm wide hallway? Jazzman would be too fat to move along it, let alone pass anyone coming the other way. A kitchen is no good if there is no room to swing a cat - which means if your base unit cupboard doors are open, you still need to be able to squat down and see the goodies you stashed there.

The design of a kitchen
can be a nightmare for anyone who doesn't have much idea about work flow.

A 3 x 3 metre bedroom
is going to be a shock when you try to install that king size bed - how will you walk round it? - and where were you going to put the wardrobe?

Showers are great places
to cool down in the tropics, but a devil if there is nowhere to hang your knickers out of the way of the shower head. Not everyone like shower cubicles. (What are they good for anyway?).

Then there was a guy who for some reason incorporated wall in his design which were 2 metres thick!

The problem with designing our own houses is that we try to do something out of the ordinary - with too little knowledge of interior layout. it's no coincidence that architects the world over stick to a few basic, boring plans. The Brits like their hallways (reduces drafts, keeps individual, smaller rooms more easily warm). Americans like their large open plan kitchen lounges with a curving staircase in the corner (at least that's what all the sets for the soaps look like). Mediterraneans and Hispanics like rectangular houses with an inner courtyard where all the doors and windows are (keeps the sun out of the rooms, keeps the dust out too, and it is a cooler area to be). and the traditional Thai house is built on high stilts, reminiscent of the days when not so long ago they were still living in the trees.

All the designs have their reason, and function and have been arrived at either empirically or through professional study of living space planning. designing your own house is also designing your own home in the true sense of the word. A house is a dwelling, a home is the bricks and mortar and everything inside it. One can jump at the rare opportunity of designing not only the house but the interior and its furnishings all at the same time.

Whenever Jazzman has designed a room,
or a building, he finds a large flat space like a yard or an empty schoolroom, warehouse or factory, and marks everything thing out full size with cartons and things to simulate toilets, bath tubs, washbasins, kitchen tops, refrigerators, tables, chairs, sofas - you name it. Then he walks around it all and decides if it is going to be really liveable.

There is little chance for change
once the house is built and it in't :cry:
How to build a $20,000 / £14,000 house and a $???? MOTEL Updated 21 March 09 - with BOQ and costs
Don't let this happen in YOUR house.
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