If you are thinking of building your own dream house then Ballymena based Building and Civil engineering contractors Wilson and Mawhinney have been sharing some invaluable advice here on Ballymena Today. Here are the final pieces of advice.

Photo Credit: JD Hancock; Creative Commons

Photo Credit: JD Hancock; Creative Commons

Know the locals

Construction techniques are completely different all over the world. In Northern Ireland we are still very much focused on bricks and mortar construction with plaster render on the outside of our homes rather than the more flexible timber frame construction techniques which are popular in America. That means that the Miami style house, or exotic villa or straw bale construction that you spotted abroad or online may not be feasible in Northern Ireland.

Be especially cautious about ‘buying’  plans online as their design may be completely unsuitable for our climate, weather and landscape. Look out for cheap drawings which are actually copies of someone else’s house- this is more common than you may think. If you are paying for a ‘one off’ house then make sure that it is just that.

Also be aware of restrictions which are enforced by the Planning Service – they have the authority to pass or fail any planning application if they feel it is unsuitable or out of keeping with the location. An experienced construction team will be able to direct you to the correct style, look and construction technique for you. Be aware that ‘new’ or unusual building technique will set your house apart from you neighbour but they will also cost you more money and possible more time that well practiced traditional construction techniques.

Don’t let that put you off though, a good design and construction team will work hard to give you your dream home while being realistic about your budget, needs and wants.


Don’t cut corners

Ultimately with the biggest investment of your life cutting corners is not an option. There are fundamental things that you should not compromise on – bricks, roof tiles, windows – get the best that you can afford. Get a reputable building firm which has a proven track record. Do your research and make sure that you get the best for your money but if a quote or price comes in which is much cheaper than the rest proceed with caution. When something looks too good to be true it is normally because it is.

Wilson and Mawhinney have been building houses, offices and other buildings since 1977 and have the professionalism, experience and knowhow to do a great job for you. If you are planning to build your own house then employ a team around you who you can trust. Wilson & Mawhinney is here for the duration, working hard and working quietly, leading our construction teams in transforming designs into reality and our mission still remains the same “Run a successful business by satisfying our clients.” Call Sam Wilson at Wilson and Mawhinney to discuss your dream home on 02825649537.