(Taken from my series; What To Consider Before Building Your House)
One of the very distinguishing factors between construction and other industries is that construction deals with unique, one-time only products. In most cases, it also involves first and last relationships. Once you build your house, that's almost certainly the last time you build (Unless you are venturing into real estate in a commercial scale). One other important point to note here is that a house is a part of a family. It is a part of you and as such, you want it to represent all that you are. You want to be part of it from the start. You want to fulfill the quest to have you build your house instead of buying one, that is, if you like the thrill of trying something new and more so if you like an extra pocket in the interior of your suit lining!
A house needs to be where we have always wanted to live in. It needs to keep us closer to those that we can identify with and also in the kind of environment that we want to live in. While you might find a bigger percentage of these in a house on sale, there is still that small personal touch that will be lacking. You need a house with a pent room for your son, a small backyard vegetable garden for your wife and a small picket fence for your daughter. These specifics are hard to find in the ready-made market.
Another reason to build and not buy a house is to seek economic benefit of your own construction. It goes without saying that when you go out to buy a house, you are paying for overheads like those for the sales agents, the advertisements, the lawyers et cetera. Other costs include those of high flying contracting companies and management firms that are known to take percentages of the actual costs that can sometimes go as high as 40%. Although is hard to strictly build at cost, but it is still possible lower these overheads to very low percentages.
A house is a long term investment and needs to stand the test of time. The quality of the building plays a very big role towards this goal. It is common knowledge that when things are done in a commercial scale and especially when they are done en masse and by people who are not the end users, it is easy for standards to be lowered. It gets worse nowadays owing to the upsurge of fake and counterfeit materials in the market. It is not very alien to mistake plastic for hardwood these days! You get into a house and by the time you are doing the second year, things start peeling off and others loosening out. A two year house might easily be mistaken for one twenty years old. Another important thing to consider here is safety standards. While statutory bodies are there with the mandate of ensuring optimal performance, there is still the danger of little compromises here and there. And what is little today may prove giant tomorrow.
We cannot also downplay the fulfillment of being part of the process. Once you have decided to build, it is important to note when you will need a hands-on approach into the project if you are to be successful in this endeavor. This does not mean that you all of a sudden become a technical person in construction, but rather you will need enough background information on what to do, when and who to involve long before you shout about your aspiration to build. It is important to seek information from others who have built before you. This will acquaint you with the little foxes in first time construction.
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