From building your own house on time to sticking to your budget, we reveal our top tips to ensure self build success.

Falmouth self build grand designs house photo by Chris Tubbs

Image: Kathryn Tyler's stylish home, Photographer: Chris Tubbs

Purchasing plots of land and planning permissions                                                                                                   

Purchase a plot with either an outline or detailed planning permission in place to avoid being to be left with something that you can’t develop.

Opportunities for urban projects are now easier to find; regulation changes mean it’s easier to turn ex-shop premises into houses, and permitted development rights allow you to expand smaller properties and infill plots.

Hiring contractors for your self build project

Ask the specialist you’ve chosen to provide you with references from the last few projects they have worked on.

Contact the homeowners and ask for their honest opinion – and if the option is available to you, visit their home to see their completed work.

Creating a project brief

Start with a list of things you like, such as interior layouts, exterior finishes, glazing configurations and overall style. Use them to form part of your project brief, this is essential for creating a design plan.

Find a like-minded architect to add creativity to your plan and come up with something that suits your dreams as well as your budget.

Think logically about purchase agreements

Approach purchase agreements for your project with caution, especially if it needs a full structural survey or a geographical report.

Bring an analytical eye when shopping around, and put your emotions on the back seat while you assess the possibilities.

You don’t want to spend a significant sum of money on a property that may top out the worth of similar homes in the area – research average sale prices for homes of a similar size to the one you’re proposing.

Set a realistic budget for building your own house

Consider how much you can afford to spend on building your own house. Your available funds will have a bearing on your entire scheme, determining the scale of your new house as well as the quality of the finishes.

Be realistic from the outset. One of the main pitfalls self builders face is running out of cash part way through a scheme. To avoid this, set your budget, be strict and monitor cash flow throughout.

Allocate a contingency fund

You should set aside an additional 10% of your overall construction budget as a buffer.

Having this in place could be the difference between a completed home and one that has to be abandoned.

Stick to your self build plan

Making changes mid-construction will invariably cause delays to your schedule, as well as add to costs.

Make sure you are totally satisfied with the design before signing it off and research the materials carefully so you feel confident you are purchasing the best items for your build.

 

Words: Anna-Marie Desouza

 

For more practical advice on building your own house, visit Grand Designs Live, where a range of experts will be on hand to give your guidance.

grand designs live show London 2018 banner ad

RELATED ARTICLES

How to build a healthy home

Reasons to consider custom build when building your own home

More self build advice

Kevins Column

Top self build highlights at Grand Designs Live 2019 hosted by Kevin McCloud

Find top experts, specialist exhibitors and a wealth of inspiration for your self-build or renovation project all under one roof.
visit-award-winning-grand-designs-live-hosted-by-kevin-mccloud
 
 
urban-marque-self-build-kit-homes
Self Build Homes

Why these affordable house kits are a self-build winner

rom bare bones kits to bespoke, DIY self-build house kits can be both high-spec and affordable. We take a closer look.
circular-self-build-homes
Self Build Homes

7 creative, circular self-build homes

Explore these exceptional self builds with rounded structures and curved walls.
swiss-alps-timber-clad-self-build
Self Build Homes

Inside a timber-clad self build at the foot of the Alps

This single storey build in Switzerland makes for an interesting addition to a neighbourhood at the base of the alps.  
what-to-do-if-your-architect-provides-you-with-flawed-designs
Self Build Homes

What to do if your architect provides you with flawed designs

Architects are not immune to making mistakes in the design of your home. If you find yourself at the mercy of a mistake and out...
guide-to-property-bonds
Self Build Homes

Your guide to property bonds

Property bonds provide an attractive investment opportunity. We provide a quick guide to all that you need to know.
self-build-mortgage-completions-grow-144
Self Build Homes

Self-build mortgage completions grow 144% this year

New data shows a huge increase in the number of self-build completions using specialist mortgages year-on-year.