Could your dreams of creating a self-build soon become a viable reality? Here are a few tips on how to effectively start planning.

self build home - how to plan for your dream self-build - self-build homes - granddesignsmagazine.com

Image: Jefferson Smith

With the recent coronavirus outbreak and most people spending more time at home, it's easy for thoughts to turn to that self-build project you've been daydreaming about. 

If you've got your heart set on progressing with your own self-build in the near future, now's the time to carefully plan and consider how  to move forward with your project.

Work out finances

If you're at the stage where you are ready to embark on the self-build process, then you're likely to already have your finances worked out.

However, if you're just at the beginning of the planning stages then you need to work out how much you can borrow or afford in order to fund your self-build, as well as how much you should spend.

Look into how you're going to split up your finances and start to consider separate budgets for the different aspects of your build.

Finding your perfect plot

fiona walker arnott grand designs tv house 2019 lincolnshire channel 4 - how to plan for your dream self-build - self build homes - granddesignsmagazine.com

Image: Fiona Walker Arnott

Check out the local authority’s land-use development plan maps online, which will indicate the classification of potential plots. Planning Portal and your local council’s website will offer unitary development plans (UDP), which provide guidance on development, conservation, regeneration and improvement activity in your area.

When you think you’ve found the right plot, you need to check if there is any planning in place. Be wary of plots that have planning permission close to expiry (6 months can be too short, for example), as planning departments can take up to 12 weeks in considering applications. If preparatory work or investigations are needed this could substantially delay the process. 

Start visualising your design 

Before you begin conversations with your architect and builders, it's important for you to have some visions for your self-build in order to make sure they have a brief to work to. Whether you begin by getting inspiration from other self-builders and projects or from visiting self-build exhibitions like Grand Designs Live – immersing yourself in the self-build world is a great way to be fully informed in the options available to you.

Consider materials you'd like to use, what features of a layout are important to make your self-build home work for you and your family, as well as any other must-haves for your design.

Scope out designers

architect drawing plans - how to plan for your dream self-build - self build homes - granddesignsmagazine.com 

Image: Daniel Mccullough

As with every time you hire a tradesperson, it's always a good idea to look out for recommendations - whether from reviews, testimonials or just word of mouth. Scout out local architects and research their previous work for ideas that appeal and are on your wavelength. Social media is also a great way of getting in touch with your potential designer to ask them questions and to get their most recent updates.

Seek pre-application advice

Pre-application advice is available from planning officers employed by the council and is a really good idea if you're serious about progressing with your self-build in the near future. The officers can give you sound advice and notify you of any changes that need to be made in order for your final planning application to be accepted – eliminating any unnecessary stress or worry.

 

Are you planning your dream self-build? Let us know by tweeting us @granddesigns or posting a comment on our Facebook page

 

RELATED ARTICLES

How to manage your self-build during the coronavirus

How to keep your neighbours on side during a self-build

Over half of local authorities now support self-build home plans

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.