To build your own house is a dream of many. To actually design and build your own home is in fact a most rewarding experience. It can however be a total nightmare if it is not properly planned out, fully considered from the “cash to the crop”. Never for one moment think that it is going to be easy, if it were so then everyone would be doing it would they not?
A self builder has to have the ability to plan ahead, to see possible problems before they arrive at their door, and also to have an imagination! Some things are obvious like the funding of the project. Others may not be quite so obvious, like where will the drains run to and is there electricity and water near by? Here is a short list of things to consider before the first batch of cement is mixed.
Planning: Make sure that all your warrants are in place before you start anything. Local authorities can be seriously overloaded with work and permits usually take a lot longer than expected. Once you have your plans drawn up and approved it is the turn of the building warrant department to have their say (In the United Kingdom at any rate), this can be an even slower process as they must agree that your proposed dwelling complies with a myriad of regulations such as Standard Assessment procedure (SAP), Energy performance certificate (EPC) and a host of other regulations depending on the regional authority. Before you start to build your own house then all these permits must be in place.
Funding: This is another of these things that usually require a lot of time and lengthy phone calls. Lenders such as build-store (you’ll find them on Google) are one of the few left that specialise in self build homes. Be sure you are aware of the procedures for collecting the stage payments from them, these are usually in the form of a series of down payments at or before each stage of the job is complete. This takes time and can easily lead to needless delays if the builder is left waiting at a crucial part of the job for the next payment.
Finding a builder: Although termed as a self build, most “self builders” will in fact employ the services of a local builder. In fact this is recommended, as they will hopefully be NHBC registered. If they are not then you must be sure of their reputation, even if it means doing a bit of investigative work and checking out their previous jobs with a few knocks on doors. If you are happy to proceed then have your engineer sign off the various stages of the job as this will be needed to purchase a 10 year guarantee from an insurance specialist in self builds like Build Zone. Photographs of the various stages also helps in this respect. Failing that, you can of course ask your engineer to provide a 10 year guarantee for a fee. No guarantee means problems selling it in the future and can lead to mortgage problems or even final payment from your lenders depending on their criteria for lending.
Summary: There you have it, not a batch of cement mixed yet but a few things to think about. Fail to plan and you are planning to fail. Before you consider moving to the building stage you must get your preparation right mentally and physically then you can move on to the point where you can consider starting to build your own house.