Building a house

Building a house

Building a house can seem like a very big undertaking and it would be incorrect to assume otherwise. However, this does not mean that it is an overwhelming job – you just have to start somewhere and keep your goal in mind. For everything to go smoothly and according to plan, we have put together a helpful list that breaks down all the stages of building a house. If you would like more information about the following steps or anything else then don’t hesitate to get in contact with us.

CLT Elementmaja Piret, võtmed kätte pakett

1. Set a budget

Who of us doesn’t want our dream home to become a reality. However, before anything else, a pivotal first step is creating an overview of your financial possibilities. For example, by consulting with your home bank about loan terms. At this stage, it is important to think big. Read on to find out why.

2. Find a suitable location

As you cannot build a house without a location, the next important step is to find a suitable plot of land. This too presents a number of aspects that should be taken into account as they might significantly change the final cost and overall speed of the project. Read on to find out what to keep in mind when choosing a property.

Leia sobiv krunt
Teeme sinu unistuse teoks

3. Pick your ideal house

One of the coolest aspects of building a new home is definitely choosing a house that fits all of your requirements. This is a stage where you are encouraged to dream big and let your imagination fly. When choosing a house, it is important to not only consider its appearance but also its functionality. Thus, we recommend carefully reading through our recommendations so that nothing vital gets overlooked. 

4. Designing your house

This stage should consist of you writing down all of your wishes and thoughts regarding the house in a free form. Using your list as the basis, a designer, whose task is to create a complete constructive and technical solution that meets all the construction requirements, will then start working. There are several stages to designing a house, of which the end stage will produce a more precise price offer. Once the design is approved, construction can begin.

Maja ehitamine
CLT Elementmaja Piret, väljast valmis pakett

5. Pricing the house

If in the course of the design process a so-called ideal solution was laid for the new house, now is the time to fit all of these wishes into the budget. For this, you will have to sit down with the designer and prioritise your wish list. This will help the designer fit all of it into your given budget.

6. Signing the construction contract

Once the planning is done, it is time to find the right construction company. Pay extra attention to the company’s ability to carry out the project in full. Otherwise, you will end up having to hire a lot of different people for a number of construction jobs. Before the start of construction, agree in writing on the construction conditions, such as the final condition of the house (whether you want the get the keys or ready from the outside solution), as well as the cost and duration of the project.

Sõlmi ehitusleping, CLT Buildings
Ehitusloa taotlemine

7. Apply for a construction permit

To apply for a construction permit, you have to submit the house construction project to the local government in two copies. The application must outline various descriptive parts of the project, such as the building structure; architecture; heating, water and electricity systems; fire safety; etc. We take care of this stage ourselves when you order a house from CLT Buildings. 

8. Construction

Two-way communication between the builder and the customer is a very important aspect during the construction as additional questions that need an answer may arise during this phase. A good construction partner will help you find solutions to all of your questions. As the client, you must also appoint an owner supervisor for the construction at this stage. This means involving an impartial person with a background in construction who can provide an overview of what is happening on the site.

Ristkihtliimpuit maja Eelin, väljast valmis pakett
Maja ehitamine - taotle kasutusluba, CLT Buildings

9. License and documentation

A license is a very useful document that you will need for yourself, the municipality, and the bank. In this stage you must submit documents, such as the construction inspection report, construction project, and logbook, works reports, minutes of construction meetings, audits, setup and test reports, technical network construction blueprints, post-construction geodetic surveys, and fire safety documents, in the required forms.

10. Warranty period

Your home is finally ready and it is time to start celebrating – and there is so much to celebrate as a lot of work has been done. However, it is important to know that from the moment the house is ‘handed over’, a warranty period sets into motion that will be valid for a total of 2 years. During this period the builder is obligated to fix any construction defects that might arise at their own expense. If you have found yourself a reliable builder, you won’t have to worry about them going bankrupt during those two years. 

CLT Elementmaja Piret, võtmed kätte pakett

When building a house you have to make a lot of different decisions, all of which have a direct affect on the final price of the project. Be it related to the plot, construction of the house or any of the follow-up work. Thus, the first thing to do is finding out how much the whole project could cost. This makes it easier for us to offer the best solutions later on that are in correspondence with your budget, and in turn easier for you to make said decisions.


Jaago: “In the beginning stages of planning your home, be sure to think big. Although modesty is considered virtuous, it does not pay off in this stage. My long-term experience has shown that people who are afraid to think big in the planning phase of a house, are more likely to be unhappy with the end result.”


“What we mean by thinking big in this phase is that you give us a detailed description of your dream house, along with all the bells and whistles. Next, it is our job to fit your wishes into the given budget. This way, no dream goes unnoticed and after the construction is completed, you will most certainly not find yourself thinking: “I actually should’ve included the additional wardrobe in the original plan.” 

Opening just about any real estate portal, you will be quickly flooded with various offers on plots of land. In addition to just looking nice, there are a lot of other aspects to consider when choosing the right location for you.

Purpose of the land
Every plot of land has its purpose of use that is determined by the local government, of which there are a whole 13 of them. When choosing a plot, make sure that it is marked as a residential piece of land in the e-land register. Otherwise, you will have to make an appeal to the local government to change the purpose of the land which may take up to a few years.

Can the land be built on
Next, find out from the local government whether and what kind of houses can be built on the plot to begin with. For example, the construction ordinance may have restrictions on the height, appearance, material, etc. of the house.


The existence of a geodetic base plan

When buying a property, make sure to ask the seller about the existence of a geodetic base plan, or geo-base. You will need it later to start the construction project. This plan includes measurements of both above-ground and underground objects, such as trees, roads, water and canal routes, that has to be entered into the base plan along with the height numbers. If the geo-base is older than 2 years at the time you are applying for a construction permit, you will have to order a new one. The latter usually takes around 1-3 weeks.


Connecting to the electricity network and water supply

When choosing a plot, one of the higher additional costs will probably be connecting to the electricity network and water supply. To avoid later surprises, look into the possibilities of joining before you make a purchase. When connecting to the electricity network, the connection fee is calculated according to the distance between the connection point and desired amperes. In the absence of water supply and sewerage, their construction should be considered.

Jaago: “Depending on the size of the house, I recommend considering a minimum of 20 amps when it comes to the electricity network. Residential houses generally use 25 amps, which is more than enough.’’


Access to the property

Recently, disputes between neighbours over the use of private roads has received a lot of media coverage. To avoid this, before buying a property we advise finding out if there is access to it and who owns the roads. Public roads should not present an issue in the future. However, if on your way home you will have to drive through a neighbour’s property, it is definitely worth examining whether there is an easement on the road.

Jaago: “Access to the property also plays an important role in the construction phase of the house. If the property cannot be accessed with heavy equipment, the whole project may get somewhat more expensive as we will have to create access ourselves. Luckily, CLT is a rigid yet lightweight material, thanks to which we can use lighter machines and forklifts than usual.” 

As functionality also plays an important role in addition to design when it comes to choosing a house, we have highlighted some ideas that could be useful to you in this stage.

Choose for the future
When choosing a house, instead of solely focusing on the present, try imagining your life in 10 years. Things like whether you plan on expanding your family in the future or whether you want all of your grandchildren to fit around the dining table should be thought about before making a final decision.


Consider the location
If you already own a plot of land or at least have an idea of what it looks like then with the help of your imagination, try placing your ideal house there. For example, if the plot is located on the seafront it is highly worth considering a living room with large windows that overlook the gorgeous view. Something to take in account when choosing the position of your house and layout of windows is the morning, midday and evening sun. Also pay attention to locations that tend to get windy as the exits will need coverage from cutting winds.

Consider your daily habits

When planning the layout of rooms, try to take into account your daily habits. For example, if you spend a lot of time in the sauna and have a terrace then it would be a good idea to create a direct connection between those two. It is also a good idea to not place the bedrooms next to the busiest area of the house as if you do, you won’t be able to enjoy peace and quiet during your hours of rest. Try imagining yourself living your day-to-day life in your future home.

Consider the natural lighting
Light is one of the main things you will notice in your new home. By acquiring yourself a spacious and light-filled home you will be able to feel energetic even during rainy days. Therefore, pay attention to the size and number of windows when choosing a house.


Project house VS special solution
One of the first things you will have to decide when looking for a new house is whether you want a ready-made project house or you want an architect to design one from scratch. Both options have their pros and cons.


In the design phase, you will have to work with both a designer and an architect who will create a house that fits all your wishes. A simple rule is applied here – the better you know what you want, the easier it will be to create a project based on it. Remember, this is a big job that takes on average around 6 months so it is important to have patience. The design process is further divided into following subsections.



Your wishes get a more defined outline in the sketching stage as a primary model of the exterior and interior of the house will be created. This stage also includes a discussion surrounding the construction materials and the location of the house on the plot.


Preliminary design

The main purpose of the preliminary design is to apply for a construction permit. This requires a discussion with various parties such as the local government, rescue services, etc. This stage is also a good time to rethink whether you want to add or remove anything, such as an electric plug, water tap or a barbecue area.


Main design

This stage presents an accurate and detailed design that will be used as the basis for building the house. A proper design should include the following project plans by this stage:

– constructive design

– heating and ventilation systems

– water and sewerage systems

– gas system

– electrical system

– low voltage systems (wireless connectivity, security system, etc)

– landscaping
– interior design