Are you cut out for self-build?

We’ve all been there, haven’t we?  Snuggled up on the sofa during an episode of Grand Designs, and we find ourselves fantasising about building our own home.

Have you imagined what it’ll look like?  The internal layout, finishes, features?

Many people make their dream a reality, but is it for you? 

It can be a cost-effective way to get your dream home, but then again… Did you know the average cost of a built home is £220,706? But it’s estimated that you can build your dream home for a more modest £150,000. You’ll need to factor in the cost of the land too and always you’ll also need access to a contingency budget. No matter how carefully planned and executed a build it, there will always be unforeseen costs along the way. So, are you cut out for self-build?


It will be disruptive

You’ll need to work out where you’ll live whilst the building takes place. This boils down to basic finances.  Do you have enough in reserve to rent another home in the interim or will you be holed up in an on-site caravan, overseeing the digging of the foundations?  Only you know how you feel about spending a year in a mobile home, rented accommodation or whether you can afford to run your existing house and the build.


Realise your vision

Once you’ve decided on, and purchased your plot, the creativity begins. Find an architect whose work you admire and you’re half way there. Maybe you already know how you’d like your home to look from the outside.  You’ll need to put a plan together of how you’d like the interior space to be utilised this include room sizes, where you’d like walls, utilities etc; so, that your designer or architect can begin work.


Compromise is king

You’ll need to consider the location of your plot, the type of homes in the surrounding areas and what the planning department is likely to allow.  Bear in mind with self-build there will be compromises along the way.


Choices, choices

The joy of a self-build is that you get to decide every last detail, from every room size and layout to fixtures and fittings and where the light switches are going to go.  This gives enormous freedom but can also be overwhelming.


Who will manage the project? 

There are several options available to you.  Do you have enough project and time management experience to co-ordinate the build yourself?  You’ll need to know the basics like who comes in first; the electrician, the plumber or the plasterer. However there’s a lot more to it than that – you’ll need all your powers of organisation and negotiation. Research is key to ordering materials and getting the best price on goods and services.  If this fills you with a sense of dread, we advise that you employ a project manager to oversee the construction.  Professional Project Managers have a wealth of contacts and can often secure you discounts in key areas.  They can often save far more than their fee in time and money.

Build It And They Will Come

There are lots of options available for how you can go about the self-build.  The chances are you will need to get the professionals in, unless you have a lot of experience yourself. Kit homes are becoming more and more popular and come in a variety of materials to suit all tastes.  You’ll need to ensure the foundations and services are in place first, then dependent on the type you choose, some kits can be up in a matter of days.  Leaving you to add the finishing touches before moving in.


If this has left you feeling tempted, have a look our Planning & Development pages and do a search to see what land we have for sale or auction.


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