Everyone dreams about owning a home, but the process can be intimidating and complicated for most. You may have heard about your friend spending years and double their savings on building the home, others who have just settled for an apartment that does not fit their needs just to avoid the hassle and costs of building.
So what does it take to build a home? As architects and engineers in the market for more than 17 years, we have designed and built tens of homes.
The location and characteristics of the land dictate many of the aspects of the design of the house and affect the quality of your living. The perfect land for you combines geography, accessibility, budget, buildability, and most importantly the future outlook of the area as it is an investment. You will need a string advisor and agent who can find the solution that fits your need, and manage the process of assessing and evaluating the land. This process can take months.
Once you have the land you will need to hire a certified surveyor to perform a topographic survey and provide you with the technical data for the plot. These will show the land boundaries, main features, and levels. This forms the base of the design and engineering work. Finding a good surveyor that can ensure the accuracy of the data is not easy and any error might lead to serious and costly changes in the construction afterwards. The survey takes about a week or two to be completed.
Now you need to hire an architect to do the designs and plans. You will need to do a lot of research to find the right architect for you. It’s a combination of their experience, style, efficiency, and price, and you need to feel that they understand your needs. Finding the right architect can take weeks, and the design process from concept to construction drawings can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months. Although it can be an interesting experience, but it requires a lot of time and money investment and you will need to take many decisions that will affect the final outcome.
Some architects can provide you with both the design of the building structure as well as interior finishes and decorations, and sometimes you may need to hire a separate interior designer, or you may even want to take care of this yourself. In all cases, this process also requires a few months and you will need to select materials and manufacturers from the market to achieve the final interior look you want.
In order for the architect to do the structural design of the house, you will need to hire a certified firm to conduct soil tests and provide the reports.
In order to acquire the needed building permits, the architect will prepare the drawings and documents needed and will submit to the local authorities. You will need to assist in the process and may have to follow up. This includes the local engineering association, the municipality, civil defense and others according to your location.
now that you have your permit and your design, you will need to select 3-5 contractors to price the project for you. They will price per building material according to the bill of quantities. This serves as an estimate as the final cost of the house will only be known once it is completed as quantities may change and variations may happen. This bidding process will take at least one month.
More often than not, you will find that the price given by the contractors is higher than what you had in mind, and you may need to make some adjustments and replacements to the design and material selection to control the cost. This revision process may take a week or two. And you will need to reprice, negotiate, and select your contractor afterwards.
if you are one of the lucky ones that have the cash ready then you are good to go once you have selected the contractor. Otherwise, you will need to get some financing to pay for the project. For that you have to get a few offers from different banks, and they will evaluate your project and assess the amount of the loan, which may be different than the actual price depending on their own valuation methods. This can take a month to secure.
so now you have the design, contractor, and financing, it’s time to start construction! First the excavation and substructure will be built, then the skeleton works (walls and slabs), and then the finishes works (interiors and assemblies). Some variations may happen due to site conditions or updates during the process, and the cost will accumulate based on the amount of work performed. This process takes at least 6-8 months but can go on for years depending on the efficiency of the contractor. Weather conditions have a lot of impact on the process and quality of the work as well.
In order to make sure things are being built according to the design and standards, you will need to hire a supervision engineer. This can be the same as the architect that designed the house or it can be a different hire. This is an added cost that you need to account for. You also need to hire someone for security to ensure the site is safe and secured throughout the process.
Once construction is completed, you will need to apply for an occupation permit that will allow you to use the house. This requires some paperwork and coordination with the authorities. It may take a few weeks after construction completion to be issued.
90% of projects show defects within the first year of construction. You will need to ensure you have the right guarantees from all the contractors and suppliers and you may need to pay for some of these defects if they are not covered. And of course, after the first year, you will continuously need support in maintenance and upgrades for the house, which you will have to source by yourself.
If you are lucky and extremely vigilant and have no other priorities in your life, the above can go smoothly but would take at least 2 years to complete. However, most of us do not have the time, patience or expertise to go through this. And here is why we have created Konn.
All you have to do is get on our configurator, choose your home, choose your options and add-ons, and get your price on the spot. Once you submit your information, our team will coordinate everything from land, to financing, construction, and all necessary paperwork for a turn key solutions, and all of that at 25% less cost and 75% less time compared to the traditional methods.
Konn’s mission is to make home ownership a seamless journey. And it does that through two main strategies: productization and digitization.
Konn transforms homes from projects to products. The difference is that each project is envisioned, designed, engineered, and built only once. This is what makes every building in the world unique, but also what makes it full of uncertainties and defects.
Products, on the other hand, are envisioned, designed, prototyped, tested, optimized, designed again, prototyped and tested again and again until a satisfactory result is achieved, that delivers the promised value to the customer, at a certain and fixed price and time. The customer gets to choose from a variety of pre-designed pre-produced options, and can be certain to get what they paid for, with guarantees.
While this may limit the uniqueness and customization options (cite Ford, customers can get any color as long as it is black) it achieves quality, cost, and economies of scale that push products forward.
Digitization in construction is extremely laggard, and the uncertainties and unpredictability of the building sites and designs make data collection and analysis challenging. But data is the core of development and customer centricity, and without it progress cannot be achieved.
By productizing and industrializing home construction, Konn is able to use technology in the design, manufacturing, delivery, and assembly to its home. And through the digital platform, it captures user needs, aspirations, and works continuously to improve its customer experience online and offline.
Konn believes that better homes make better lives, and that technology can enable each and every person to own a home within a few weeks, with minimal effort, with more value added for the future.