HOW TO BUILD YOUR OWN HOUSE

Not many things in life are as satisfying as building your own home from scratch, creating every detail exactly as you want it. But, many find it can be as stressful as it is rewarding, juggling all those tradespeople, materials and timings.

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Planning your self build

Once you’ve secured your building plot with planning permission, you have some important decisions to make. First, find a good architect you can really trust. In fact, trust is key to every relationship involved with building your dream home. Ask anyone who’s done it before and they’ll warn you to expect the unexpected. Trusting your advisors is key to overcoming any problems quickly and effectively should they occur.

Then decide if you’re going to self-manage or employ a project manager, and whether you’re hiring each trade individually or using a main contractor. It’s all about finding the right balance for you between cost and responsibility.

Know what you want. Keep a scrapbook of all the references you can find, so the vision in your head can be shared without risk of misunderstanding.

Visit trade shows and suppliers for inspiration and to increase your knowledge. The more you know, the more confident you’ll be with all your decisions and the less time you’ll waste when building your own home.

Building costs

Make sure you have a realistic budget, including all the peripherals like services and landscaping. And, if you only remember two words from this article: negotiate everything.

Beyond the building costs, your other biggest concern is likely to be timings. Set generous timescales allowing for bad weather and other delays. To minimise downtime, order your materials well in advance, and make sure you draw up a programme of works to help you maintain a correct flow of trades and materials for every stage of the build project.

With so much to think about, it’s easy to forget things that aren’t directly involved with bricks and mortar. Before getting started, plan your site layout - bearing in mind storage, access and welfare. Find out when your Warranty and Building Regulations inspections are required and pay particular attention to Health & Safety. It could even be worth employing an H&S consultant to keep you on the right side of the law.

Custom build

If you’re excited by the prospect of building your dream home but a little intimidated by everything that goes with a self build project, custom build could be a route to consider. With custom build you bring in a specialist developer to look after everything for you. You still do the fun stuff, making all the creative decisions, but pass the logistical headaches on to someone who is well used to them. To find out more, visit custom build solutions.

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