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Our Priceless Treasures

A Home and Parenting Blog.

How To Plan Your Self-Build Project

In 2010 13,000 Britons decided to build their own home. One of the main reasons for this is thought to be that it can give you more control over your property’s design, so you can get absolutely everything just right.

This is certainly one of the main benefits of planning a self-build project, but house-building isn’t something you can just jump into.

It you intend to embark on a house-build project you’ll need to make sure you’re one hundred per cent prepared.

Where to start?

The first step of any self-build project is in figuring out your budget.

Home Building has an excellent build cost calculator that you can use to figure out exactly how much money you’ll need.

No matter what you do though, make sure you have enough money for things to go wrong. While this might sound pessimistic, imagine this scenario:

You’ve had your heart set on a certain building material for some time now, but when you go to order it you find that it’s out of stock. With a quick search online you manage to find it at a different stockist, but it costs almost twice as much.

Not ordering it could set your build back by a month at least, which will hold up other aspects of the project, but ordering it could blow your budget.

With a budget that allows a little bit of leeway, you could bite the bullet and choose to spend the extra money on the materials you’ve always wanted.

Choosing your self-build location

Finding the right plot of land for your self-build can be one of the biggest hurdles you’ll need to get over. The last thing you want to do is build your home in the wrong location!

You can use websites such as PlotFinder or PlotBrowser to find plots of land that suit your requirements and local auctions can also yield excellent results.

Buying a dilapidated building and demolishing it in order to rebuild your dream home could also be an option. However, you’ll need to contact your Local Planning Authority to run your plans by them first.

Calling in the architects

Your architect will be able to give you the technical know-how you’re lacking, but you’ll need to have a rough idea of what you want to begin with. You might want to collect some images of buildings with architectural styles you’d like to include in your build, as this will help your architect to visualize exactly what you’re after.

You should inform your architect of your budget right from the get-go, and be completely open and honest with them. You’ll need to meet with them many times throughout the project to ensure everything is running smoothly.

To project manage or not to project manage?

The role of project manager is the most important one in the entire self-build process, as the project manager will order all materials, manage the budget, assigning tasks and generally keeping everything flowing well. If you’ve no experience in project management, that doesn’t mean you can’t handle the task.

However, if you’re the main breadwinner in the family, it might make more sense to hire someone for the job so that you can ensure the cash keeps coming in. A skilled project manager will be able to make sure everything gets done by the promised date, so you can sit back, relax and watch your house get built.

Hiring the tradesmen

Unless you’re planning on DIYing the majority of your self-build, you’ll need to employ a number of tradesmen. These can include:

  • Groundworkers
  • Builders
  • Carpenters
  • Roofers
  • Electricians
  • Plumbers
  • Joiners
  • Tilers
  • Decorators

Hire these tradesmen through reputable sources, such as such as MyBuilder and Rated People.

Building your family home from scratch can ensure your children grow up in the best environment, but there’s certainly a lot of planning involved in this task. If you think you’re up to the job though, start making plans today.

This article was provided by Flat Pack Houses, a company specialising in Scandinavian-style flat pack houses.

8 comments found

  1. Excellent tips for the DIYer. My father build several houses using these same methods that you have described, although he did not have a project manager…. well, he did, it was my mother. She kept everything running smoothly for him. One tip that I could point out for you is to also allow for inflation. By the time that you save enough money to start your project, the cost of materials and supplies might jump quite a bit, so as you say, make some allowances for unexpected events and expenses.

  2. Really helpful! My family is actually planning on renovating our house 🙂 Thanks for the great tips!

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