You’re a one-off, a unique person with a unique view on what you want your home to be. The chances are that the home you design will reflect this individuality and you do not want the materials you choose to dictate the design.
The key is to keep it simple. Opting for materials that allow you to design every detail will give you the most flexibility. If you choose a pre-fabricated system that is designed and constructed off-site this may reduce your choices, especially later on when you want to extend.
During the build phase, when money (and particularly cash flow) will be tight, it makes sense to stagger the purchase of materials and time the expense for the moment when an individual product is needed on site. Using readily-available standard materials such as aircrete blocks that can be bought and delivered at short notice from your local builders’ merchant, will help you accommodate unforeseen delays and adapt your build plan to cope with the unexpected.
You may also want to consider the long-term use of the house that you build. Even if your house is perfect for the way you live today, you may be wise to consider it an unfinished project; life changes can create unexpected demands that require your home to change too.
Any house that has been occupied for fifty years or more is likely to have been altered. Loft conversions provide sound-proof living space for teenagers; extensions give the dining room you always really wanted but couldn’t afford initially; internal walls removed to create designer open-plan kitchens or larger rooms divided to add bathrooms or living accommodation for older relatives.
A solid masonry house structure can accommodate these changes because of the inherent strength of the material and a building that allows for this degree of flexibility is often easier to sell when the time comes.