Kevin McCloud's top tips for a stress free build

Kevin McCloud’s top tips for a stress free build

Kevin shares his tips to make sure your self build is a success from pre-build to completion

By Jenny Mcfarlane |

Ahead of Grand Designs Live at Birmingham’s NEC, our editor-at-large Kevin McCloud shares his self build wisdom with us to ensure your self build goes up without a hitch.

Kevin McCloud in a kitchen

Photo: Theo Cohen

Consider your contacts wisely

Hire a good architect and the fees will pay for themselves. They will be able to let you know what works in a home and, more importantly, what doesn’t.

Leave the details to the experts

Appoint an experienced project manager. They will know about important issues, such as negotiating with utility companies regarding pipes and cabling, and will keep the build on schedule.

Leave room in the budget

Add around 20 per cent to your budget to cover any unforeseen costs that almost always crop up.

exterior of an urban infill house in one of London's terraced streets

Photo: Jefferson Smith

Hire a professional

Get the build costed by a professional quantity surveyor. Never rely on figures produced by your builder or architect.

Check references

Professional trades are key – they do this for a living, so use recommendations and always check for references.

eco grand designs house with garden in greenwich by facit homes kevin mccloud top tips

Photo: Facit Homes 

Be eco-friendly

Go green – the build stage is the best time to cut long-term costs, add insulation and solar panels.

Make your new house a home

Don’t just go for the latest trends – incorporate elements that you know will make you happy and add value to your life in your new home; it’s not just about boosting the asking price.