Pleasures and Pitfalls of Building Your Own Home

Dreaming of building your own home?

You have found the perfect spot for a home with the perfect view. It’s situated in an area that your family would visit when you were a kid. It tugs at your heart.

Most people think building your own home is exciting—and it is. But along with the excitement comes many unexpected surprises, some good and some not as good.


One variable when embarking on the journey to building your own home is the cost. When a builder provides you with a quote, it usually includes all the material costs, the equipment and the trades. What isn’t included is what is called the “soft costs”.

Soft costs can include:

  • Application fees
  • Taxes
  • Municipal permits
  • Soil tests
  • Appraisals
  • Inspections
  • Architect’s fees

And then there is the cost of the land—will you own it or lease it? Does it have all the required services, like hydro or gas, water and sewer? What about the site itself? Is it rocky? Does it have road access?

The more prepared you are and the more research you do, the less pitfalls you will meet along the way. You will want to sit down and take a realistic look at what you can afford and how you plan to finance your new home build.


The approximate time it takes to build your own home on-site in Canada is 4-6 months. However, a modular or manufactured home can be built in as little as 1-2 months, since most of the construction can be done in a factory setting and is not dependent on weather or construction labour availability. A custom-designed home can take over a year to complete.

The time it takes to complete construction on a site-built home is dependent on the environment and the land itself. A home set on a foundation on a flat building site will differ from one set on a rocky lakeside location.

Unplanned Changes

A key factor that causes great variance in both costs and time is the changes that are made once construction has begun. What looks good on paper does not always translate in reality! Many will make necessary changes as they go along. Availability of materials and labour can delay the entire building process.

Finding a Canadian home builder that you trust is an important step in your new home construction process. You will want to choose a reputable builder that can answer all your questions and alleviate any overwhelm you may feel.  Knowing what to expect can help make the building process less stressful and the builder you choose should put you at ease. Then your dream home can become a reality!