What are the benefits of a Self Build?
If you want to make massive savings creating the home of your dreams then self build is the way to go. If you are wondering what’s involved then here’s our useful guide to what its all about.
Apparently, according to the National Self Build Association there are a approximately 6 million of us out there that would like to build our own home. In the perfect location, with the layout just as we want it, with the garden just so. This is what we call a “self build” and its estimated that in the UK around 11,000 self build homes get built every year.
We are immensely proud of our reputation as one of the best high-end builders in the south west, having constructed many houses ranging in price from £300,000 to several million pounds, including two developments of 15 houses each, and our current country house project in Somerset. We also specialise in extensions, from single-storey to those significantly increasing the footprint of the existing house.
When we say self build we don’t mean that you learn to lay foundations or get your old clothes out the wardrobe! We mean that you become the one in control. Its interesting that of the people that embark on the self build journey less than 10% of them get significantly involved in the project.
Instead the majority of self builders are involved in the creative element of the project – such as the design and the choosing of fixtures and fittings – but not the brick and mortar part of the process.
One of the most important elements that self builders do is to get involved with the deign brief, selecting a decent builder and architect and choosing their fixtures or fittings (they might even instruct the help of an interior designer for this part).
The thing to remember about being a self builder is to remind yourself that its doesn’t always go to plan – but you get there in the end. In the majority of jobs we undertake as builders we come across the occasional hiccup and this usually gets resolved with a few phone calls and a little compromise. The key is to remain flexible and remember that if you have a good project manger then you can relax and have as much or as little involvement as you like.
Finding a plot of land
As well as any savings you make building your own self build it’s a great way to indulge your creative side and build a home that suits your personal requirements. This first thing you need to do is find the perfect plot of land where you want to live. This process is tricky, especially in some regions, and it can be time consuming but we have some really useful information about this in our post “Finding a plot of land”
In summary we talk about the suitability of certain land and whether to not you’ll be able get planning permission. We show you where you can start looking; Auctions, The self-build portal, local authorities, utility companies and doing your own private enquiries. There are also various sources online; Plot Browser, Plotfinder.net, PlotSearch, Prime Location, Rightmove, Zoopla – just to name a few.
Once you have found your dream plot for building your self build you’ll then need to make sure you have planning permission. You need planning permission if you want to build something new, make a major change to your existing building, i.e. an extension, or if you want to change the use of your building. To find out if your project will need planning permission (which it most likely will) you should contact your local authority and they will be able to help you. Or you are welcome to call us to talk about your project – we have worked with the local authority in Mendip on many projects and we have some local planning specialists that can offer some help.
The Government have passed a legislation in a bid to make more plots available for people who want to get involved in self build projects. They launched a scheme called Right to Build. This means that your local council has a duty to grant planning permission for sufficient serviced plots to meet demand, measured on so-called Right to Build registers, within a three-year period (and on-going basis). A served plot is a plot of land that already has access to utilities and is basically ready to develop. If you would like sign up to Right to Build then you can contact your local authority as they have a duty to publish the Right to Build register and they will give you instruction on how to be included on the list. Here is the link to Mendip – the local authority in Somerset
How much is it going to cost to build your dream home?
Well, of course this varies quite dramatically depending not only on the quality and size but on the location. Land prices vary depending on location as do labour rates. When calculating self build costs you need to add the land price, materials, labour and any professional fees, legal fees and fees for local authorise – such as planning and building control. You are going to need a spreadsheet and a large glass of wine!
There are ways to finance self build projects – if you have savings then this is a perfect scenario and you can get cracking. Or you may have funds from a previous house sale – it maybe that you can secure a large personal loan (depending on the size of the self build project).
There are also self build mortgages available from a number of high street banks. A self build montages differs from a regular mortgages because the bank will release money in different stages as your building progresses. The self build mortgages vary in product so its best to tall to a self build mortgage expert so you can discuss your project and get some advice on whats right for you. BuildStore Mortgage Services claim to be the UK’s leading expert in self build finance.
When I have the plot and the funding what do I do?
You can start creating your design brief – off all the self build homes built over the last few years all of them are different. If you have a clear vision of your dream home then that is great – you can start creating mood boards and writing down the things you’ll require from your home. If you don’t have any idea then you can start the process with a clean slate and start looking at other self build projects to see what your tastes are.
When you have some idea of what you are after then you can enlist the help of an architect to help create your vision into a reality. We have a great guide on choosing the right architect. This step is not to be underestimated – its is one of the most important relationships in your self build project..as well as choosing the right builder.
Offering a full planning and design service, from new builds to luxury extensions, we are much more than just a builder. We can appoint an architect for you or work with one of your choosing; and after many years of collaboration with some of the best interior designers in the world, we have an eclectic toolbox of visual references available for you to draw on. Whatever your requirements, we’ll always go the extra mile to realise your vision and deliver the property of your dreams.
How long does it take to build a self build project?
We love this question! The average self build project can take approximately a year in the pre-planning stage. If you think of the time it will take to find the right plot, sort your finances, confirm the design and then get planning permission – these things invariably involve red tape and hoops to jump through.
As a guide you can expect it to take approximately 3 months to get planning permission – whilst you are waiting for permission you should look for a good local builder. We cover Bath, Frome, Bristol – mainly all of Somerset and the south west so if we fit the bill then please call us a call. You can talk to either Dom or Geoff on 01373 752700. We are always happy to discuss self build project and we can offer advice where you need it.
We have completed self build projects in record time before, it helps to manage peoples expectations, if you are under a tight timeline then say so from the get go and your builder will be able to apply more man power where necessary in order to achieve your goals. On average it takes about 3 to 4 months to complete the shell of of the self build and then double this for the internal work.
The whole process should take about a year to 18 months. There are various things to consider – this is just a guide.
Hopefully this guide covers everything you need to know about self build projects. If you need any further advice please feel to call us or email us at email@example.com.