IT'S the ultimate DIY project, building your own home.
Certainly, constructing your own house in Ireland can seem a very attractive proposition — you get to buy your own land, choose your own view, come up with your own design.
But of course, like any major project, there are pluses and minuses.
Subject to budget (and a few other things) you'll get exactly the house you want.
Employ the services of a good architect and together you’ll probably be able to come up with a much more impressive design than you imagined possible.
If you, your architect, and builder all get along together (and there are tough odds against that) the job will go like a breeze.
Buy a completed house and you’re buying a concrete object; build your own and you’re pulling together your vision, an architect's dream and a builder's estimate.
You may come up with a designed house that will cause people to pause and take photographs, maybe even selfies of your self-build. But remember the architect's adage: if the building doesn't leak, you haven't pushed the architecture far enough.
In 100 years nobody will ask what your house cost, or if it was finished on time; they'll say: "Who designed it?"
You'll definitely get things right in your next house.
The project will take about three times as long as you had allowed, and consequently go well over budget.
Builders live in a time warp related to an elastic Mayan calendar rather than accepted European time zones.
You will finish the job with a lot more grey hair – or possibly no hair, having torn it out in tufts during seemingly endless and countless site meetings.
From halfway through the contract period, until completion, your marriage/partnership will come under a strain that it has never before encountered.
When eternity ends and the job is completed, your friends will come to the house-warming party (which you now cannot afford) and, quaffing your wine, tell you what you should have done differently.
From the outset, you and your architect will have to deal with the local planning authorities; this is never fun and is the main reason that architects look prematurely aged, and why a lot of would-be house builders fail at the first or second hurdle.
If the building leaks, you might just have to live with it.