Top Tips When Undertaking a Self-Build Home

The landscape of the UK housing market has evolved much over the last few decades. From growing social housing, giving those with a lower income the opportunity to comfortably rent a property, to the introduction of the Help to Buy ISA which helps first-time buyers to save for a home more easily with the help of governmental contributions, it’s clear that the housing market has evolved to meet the economic climate.

Indeed, UK Prime Minister, Teresa May, has pledged £2 billion over the next few years to building affordable properties to let. Not only that, close to £600 million has already been spent on creating 15,000 homes for people across the UK.

Self-build housing steadfastly remains at the forefront of the government’s plan to provide citizens of the UK with a housing solution. But what is self-build housing?

Seen as an alternative to the traditional model of house building in the UK, self-building gives homeowners the opportunity to instigate the construction of their own home. Whether purchasing a kit house or employing self-build architects or contractors, the self-build revolution is well underway.

So, if you’re considering undertaking a self-build home, what do you need to know? Continue reading to discover top tips that will prove invaluable.

Do Your Research

Before undertaking your self-build, make sure you do your homework. Preparation and process awareness are paramount. Try to speak to anyone who has undertaken a successful self-build as their experience will prove invaluable.

Why not seek out the advice of new build homes architects in Sheffield or Chesterfield, such as Brightman Clarke Architects? We have comprehensive knowledge and experience of self-build properties and can astutely advise you, answering all pertinent questions you have.

Also, take advantage of the wealth of self-build exhibitions each year. Visit Homebuilding & Renovating, Eco Build or BuildIt and gain a thorough understanding of just what’s involved in a self-build. Attending seminars can also be extremely beneficial. Here you can absorb a mountain of information on everything from costs to energy efficient designs and even how to work with contractors.

Recruit Your Self-Build Team

Contrary to what you may think, a self-build project isn’t building a new home yourself. Unless you are a learned architect or highly-skilled and experienced construction professional, you’ll need the experts to help you build your new home.

Recruiting an experienced project manager, architect and multi-disciplined construction professionals is paramount to securing the success of your new build. Depending on the location and nature of your build, you may need to recruit a geotechnical engineer, planning consultant and topographical surveyor. Make sure that you recruit a recognised team of self-building professionals. As convenient as a local construction company may be, they may not have the required experience to confidently complete your self-build.

Map Out Your Self-Build Plot

The prospect of building a new home is exciting, however when envisaging your home, it’s paramount that you complete the project in stages. Once you have all the required professionals on board, you’ll need to map out the self-build.

It’s crucial that you get the right plot before considering any design planning. Always make sure that you have appropriate planning permission prior to beginning the construction. Don’t make the mistake of having an elaborate self-build property of land without a pocket of land to build on!

Your budget should include the cost of any land purchase. This will vary depending on where you’re located in the country. Identify suitable areas and then visit each to get a feel for the environment. This is a great way to decide if the location is right for you.

Many new builds home architects are registered with Plotfinder. This online resource allows them access to the largest selection of for sale land in the UK. Remember, finding a suitable plot can be challenging in certain areas of the UK – moreover, larger plots can also be cheaper than smaller pockets of land.

Set Realistic Timescales

Depending on planning permission being granted and the complexity of your self-build, the whole process can take longer to complete than you may first think. It’s important that you and the self-build architects set realistic project completion timescales.

Many self-build architects make the mistake of promising project completion too soon. This can cause undue stress – and could even prolong the new build process quite significantly. Like everything else, there can be ups and downs with a self-build project so it’s important that you mentally prepare yourself for whatever the project may throw at you.

Set a Self-Build Budget

Knowing how much you want to, or can afford, to spend is integral to the process. You may have elaborate plans for a ‘grand design’, but does your budget really cover this?  It’s also essential to convey your budget to your self-build architects. This allows them to work within the parameters of what you can afford, designing solutions that convey this.

It’s also wise to remember that your money may not initially be spent in the manner you expect. Any unforeseen issues could cost you more money, so you’ll need to allocate a percentage of your budget to cover this.

Make a Detailed Shopping List

Finding suppliers who offer the best value for money can be a challenge. However, in employing the services of the foremost new build homes architects you’ll retain a wealth of expert knowledge and experience that can be invaluable to your self-build project.

Make a detailed shopping list of all the supplies you’ll need and make sure that you get the best deal possible. Don’t buy products from the first supplier you contact. You could get a much better deal elsewhere. After all, the smallest savings can help shave precious pounds from your overall budget.

Review the blueprints drawn by your self-build architects. This will allow you to gain a solid understanding of overall materials cost and will save you money in the long-term.

Be Involved

Good new builds architects in Sheffield and Chesterfield will encourage you to be involved in the whole process. This doesn’t mean that you’ll be laying brickwork or fitting panes of glass but taking an interest in the project will keep the lines of communication open between yourself and the self-build company – and give you invaluable peace of mind.

Remember, it’s your self-build. If there’s something that you’re unsure about or don’t like, ask your new builds architects. They’ll be happy to clarify anything, allaying any fears you may have and instilling confidence at every stage of the build.

A word to the wise though, try not to change your mind on previously agreed on decisions once the project is underway. This can have a knock-on effect, delaying the self-build – and could end up costing you more money!

So, there you have it, our top tips when undertaking a self-build home. Interested in learning more? Contact Brightman Clarke Architects today!