Do you have the dream to built your own house? Or, can’t find any house on the market which has the wow-factor? This blog is for you.

There are several ways of building a brand-new house.

  1. Project build (see this blog)
  2. Building together with others (Coöperatieve Particulier Opdrachtgeversschap or CPO)
  3. Building a house on your own

The advantages of building your own house

– Completely suited for you

– Well insulated

– Latest regulations are applied

– Low maintenance for the next few years

The disadvantages

– Time consuming

– There are more risks than buying an existing house

– You need to make many decisions.

How to start of building your own house?

Some of the steps you can do at the same time.

1. Dreaming

It all starts with a dream. You want to built a house, suited to your wishes and dreams. You can draw or write down what it should look like. Which colours are used? In what kind of area? What view does it have? How is it to live in that house?

2. Wishes and demands

The difference between a wish and a demand is that demands are essential. And wishes you can adjust a bit. To distinguish between those, you put priority in the list.

3. Budget

Firstly, when you know what is possible financially, you also know if it’s the right time to start. For this, you can visit a mortgage advisor. I recommend you to see an independent advisor, who is not dependent on a bank. So, you have more choice in interest rates and terms and conditions.

4. Search a plot of land

Searching a plot of land, can be a challenge. You can do this step together with looking for an architect. Plots of land to build a house on are scarce. And, check the zoning plan of the plot, so you know what is possible. Also, you can contact your municipality or local broker if they know a plot will come on the market within a few months.

5. Search an architect, who is the guide in the process of building your own house

This is an important step. The role of the architect, in the Netherlands, is not only designing a house. Also, they are in charge of monitoring the building process, consultation with the municipality about permits and asking for quotations.

An architect is a protected profession in the Netherlands. So, not everyone can call themselves an architect.

When you are part of a cooperative building project, the group decides on the architect. And, the costs will be shared.

6. Designing the house

Now the fun part starts. Designing a house is a process and you can use all your creativity. You can, of course, decide to design the house yourself. Or, you can ask an architect to do it for you. Good to know, in the end, there are a lot of building regulations, which should be applied on the design as well. Regulations about energy efficiency and measurements are pretty strict in the Netherlands.

The interior of a house can just as be important as the exterior. You can start making your own mood board to decide on colours, atmosphere and materials.

7. Ask for quotations

When the drawings are ready, you can ask for permits (see next step). However, quotations are just as important in the process. For this, a scope is written. In this scope, the materials and building methods are described.

When you receive the quotation, you can check on completeness, price and estimated prices. Always calculate unexpected costs in your budget.

It’s pretty normal that there will be an updated quotation later on, when the details of your new house will be more clear. For example: a constructor needs to do calculations, to check if the house is stable enough under several weather conditions.

A local construction company can be a good choice, as you want personal attention. Also, an architect can have its preferences and experiences.

Additionally, think about what you want to do yourself. For example: painting. In many cases, the new owners will do that themselves to save the costs of labour.

Do you want advice on how to paint your house? Check out this service, by clicking here.

8. Permits

The municipality is in charge of giving out permits. For this, they need construction drawings and a lot of details. First, they look if the plans fit within the zoning plan. Also, they check if the regulations are applied in the right way. If that’s the case, your plans are published at the website of the municipality. That means, that everyone can view the plans and lodge an objection. This will take 6 weeks.

This process can take a few months and of course, there are costs involved. They differ a lot from municipality to municipality.

9. Building starts

Yes, finally, the building process starts. In some cases, the house is built in a factory (prefab). In other cases, it’s built on the place itself.

As, you all know, the Dutch climate can be wet and cold, so the building period may vary. The advantage of a prefab build house is that the building is shorter, and not dependent on the weather.

First, it seems to go slow, as the foundation will take some time. In the foundation, also the sewage system and electrical wiring will be included. Then the walls will be build and the roof. The next phase is making the building water tight.

There is a tradition that you treat the craftsmen when the highest point of the house is reached. Usually, it’s a beer and a snack. However, cake is also a good idea.

After that, the finishing will begin. Plastering, flooring, painting, electrical outlets are applied.

Take care of coffee, tea and cookies during the building period. It can be wise to take a look every few days and ask questions you have.

10. Key handover

The construction company will notice you a few weeks before you receive a key. Out of my experience with many internationals, I recommend you to book an inspector when receiving the key. The professional will help you to check everything is done as it should. Their expertise will help you to see things you may not have noticed. And, sometimes, even negotiate on issues.

11. Maintenance and guarantee period

It’s your house now, and you are the owner. However, on most parts of your new house will be a guarantee period. If you notice something unforeseen, write an e-mail to the construction company. In most cases, they will come to solve the problem.

During the first two years, maintenance is limited. After this, maintaining will help you to maintain the condition of your house. You can download “the maintenance calendar for a Dutch house” here.

Conclusion when you want to build your own house

When you want to build your own house in the Netherlands, know that you need an architect to guide you through the process. There are challenges on the way, but in the end it can be very rewarding to see your dreams come to reality.

You can also build a house together with others. Which will help you save time in the process, and together you are stronger. 


Take off to a successful house renovation by downloading the Renovation Guide for free.

- Start off successfully by turning your Dutch house into a dream home.

- Stop overthinking the renovation steps and make the best possible renovation start.

- Save your valuable time by using this renovation guide so that you can enjoy your renovated house soon. 

Thank you for downloading the renovation guide. Check your e-mail.