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10 Key Terms You Need To Know When Building A House

Building roofWhen it comes to building a home, there are a mind-boggling number of fancy terms that get thrown about – making an already complex process just that little bit harder to get to grips with.

We’ve collated 10 of the most common terms that cause confusion and bafflement amongst first-time, and experienced builders alike.

Financial Terminology

1) Pre-Approval Of Finances

Often one of the first steps you’ll take when building a home, pre-approval of finance can sound incredibly daunting. Pre-approval is often supplied by a lender or broker, who will indicate that your credit is sufficient to make a purchase.

It’s a must in terms of showing that you have the financial power behind you, in order to make that purchase – even if it’s an empty plot of land.

2) Formal Approval Of Finances

Sometimes called ‘unconditional loan approval’, a formal approval is given to a buyer when they’ve met the conditions set out in pre-approval. Once this is granted, the sale of property can go ahead.

3) Drawdowns

These are invoices issued to lenders from contractors at various stages of a build’s progress. This will allow the builders to receive a chunk of funds during construction – keeping them sweet along the way.

Drawdowns protect the consumer, but also allow the builders to have enough funds to keep the project moving forwards.

4) Settlement Agents

A settlement agent has a wide range of duties, but the main one is to complete a transaction between buyer and seller. This will essentially involve transferring the property into the new owner’s name, and moving the money to the seller.

Land Terminology

5) Land Developer

Land developers are responsible for buying land and subdividing it for improvement and resale. This can include connecting up land to utilities and roads – as well as town planning.

6) Local Development Plans (LDPs)

LDPs are sometimes also known as Detailed Area Plans (DAPs). They are made by local authorities on behalf of the council, in order to allocate land for development. This can include commercial, residential, green space, utility and shopping centre land.

7) Design Guidelines

Developers tend to put design guidelines on local properties, to ensure that they match with a certain design or style. These are normally applied to new estates, so it’s key that you understand what the guidelines are for the property you’ve just purchased for developing.

Construction Terminology

8) Earthworks

Before you can lay down any plumbing and electric cabling, you’ll potentially need some earthworks. This involves using hand tools or machinery to dig out soil and rock – ensuring that the land will be suitable for construction of a new home. Once completed, plumbers will be able to lay pipes and cement for the foundation slabs.

9) Lock Up

Once you’ve reached lock up, all openings in the house will be enclosed. This basically means plugging the gaps with windows and doors. At this point the house is ready to be inspected.

10) Practical Completion

You will eventually reach the final stage – practical completion. This is also known as the ‘key handover’. It’s your responsibility to do a final inspection of the property – making sure that the building is up to scratch.

Hopefully this small list of terms will give you a little bit of confidence to get started in the often-daunting world of home construction.