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Self build

Different people have different reasons for going the self build route rather than buying an already built home; it can be purely an economic reason (getting a better home for your money) or just a wish to get a home which is uniquely their own.

Self build does not mean that you have to get your hands dirty; the options range from:

  • Buying a plot, have an architect design your home and getting a builder to build your home.

to

  • Buying a plot, doing the drawings (or giving an architect drawings of what you want), getting planning permissions etc, ordering equipment and materials, doing what you can, arranging the other trades, and arranging for the services to be connected.

with variations in-between.

No matter which route you take, you will, if all goes well, end up with a better home for your money and have a home which is largely unique to your family. But it must be remembered that you are bound to have some problems during the planning and build stages and it can be stressful over an extended period - just moving house is recognised as one of life's stressful times, building your own house will be far more stressful but the final result should be very satisfying.

The steps to self build

Assessment

Before you start searching for the plot or employing an architect, you should sit down and carry out a simple assessment of what you want, roughly how much it will cost etc. This has a number of advantages:

  • You'll be able to assess whether you will be able to afford it.
  • You'll get some idea of the size of plot you will need.
  • You'll probably be able to define the area (or areas) where your self build home will be located.

The actual self build

In simplistic terms, the steps involved with an actual self build are:

  • Find a plot.
  • Draw up the plans and obtain planning permission.
  • Obtain building regulation approval.
  • Build the property.