Artisanal Aspirations – Taking the DIY Approach to Home Building

Taking the ‘Do it yourself’ approach to building your own home can, at first, look like a challenging task and will most definitely prove to be one if you don’t tackle the entire process properly. The multitude of inevitable complications that catch you at every corner can be frustrating and discouraging. It is important to ensure you follow some key home building principles. These key principles will make the whole approach easier and naturally influence a more swift and enjoyable building process.

Do Your Research

Most DIY home builders will dive headfirst into the project without actually doing any practical research. This is the first and one of the most vital mistakes home builders can make; creating a domino effect of problems further down the timeline. Instead, do your research and source as much free information as you can. This way, you will feel more comfortable and adjusted to the homebuilder approach. The internet is a great tool and should definitely be utilised, however, don’t conduct 100% of your information exploration here. Asking your machinery movers, tradespeople, the council and reading books is useful too.

In fact, the Home Design Directory has a series of articles titled, The Building Process which covers the entire DIY approach to home building. Furthermore, there are a number of great books available, such as, Building Your Own Home by George Wilkie which is a book aimed at individuals who know nothing about home building. Utilising these different sources and references will make the entire process easier and help avoid you making poor decisions as you begin building.

Know Your Construction Budget

Once you have done your research, the next step is to devise a construction budget. This also requires extensive research, however, there are online tools like construction cost calculators that help you decide on an ideal figure. You will find that there are many different factors like house size, quality of finishes, building complexity and site conditions that will determine the construction budget of your home. Once you have devised a construction budget, it is time to do some further research into different methods of reducing this cost. There are various tips and tricks you can undertake to lessen this cost which I have listed below:

● Attend building supply auctions

● Shop around for different quotes on materials

● Visit Cash & Carry outlets (Costco, Campbells)

● Be well informed about different brands and their cost for value.

Setting a realistic budget you can afford is something you should ensure when taking the DIY approach to home building and making the effort to lessen this cost further with the tips outlined above can make the entire process even easier.


After doing your research and devising a satisfying budget, another crucial step is to develop your plan of action. A good idea is to purchase a notepad or workbook where you can collect all your relevant information, scheduling, and planning in one place. Furthermore, creating a checklist in this workbook and checking things off as you can is an effective method of getting things done and will ensure nothing is forgotten.

Taking this organised approach will help minimise the numerous inevitable issues that will take you by surprise and help you stay on top of everything. Ultimately, building your own home can be a stressful but satisfying journey and keeping a firm handle on the project will ensure effective management and minimal surprises.

As you can see, there are a number of things to consider when taking the DIY approach to home building. With that said, taking the time to do your research, devising a great budget and utilise the power of checklists will ensure a smooth and swift home building process.