5 Expert Tips for your Self-Build Back to Blog

GUEST POST - 5 Expert Tips for your Self-Build

Are you thinking about building your own home? A self-build can be an exciting and rewarding endeavor if you are well prepared and organised but there are always unknowns and unforeseen problems so it can be an equally challenging process. Here are 5 expert tips to help take some of the stress out of your self-build project.


Engage With An Architect Early On

Many self-builders wont think about using the services of an architect until they have at least bought their plot of land and after they have financed their prospective build. Engaging with an architect right at the very beginning of your self-build journey however can have huge benefits. 

For an hourly rate an architect can help you find the right plot of land for your build. They are trained to look at the potential behind any piece of land and will be able to advise you whether it is suitable for your needs. Knowing the potential of your land at this early stage can be invaluable and save you a lot of disappointment and compromises further down the line. Finding the perfect land for your build is probably the most important aspect of the entire self build so it makes sense that you would employ professional help to ensure that you don’t make the wrong choice.


Work In Stages

It’s important that your self-build is broken down into manageable stages, this way you can reduce the chance of running over budget and making costly mistakes. You should break your building into phases such as preparation of the site, substructures, building envelope, assuring it is water tight, first fixing phase, wet trades, second fixing phase and finishing. Always remember to thoroughly check the quality and safety standards of each phase as it is completed and before you move on to the next one.


Create A Good Relationship With Your Neighbours

It’s always a good idea to make contact with your future neighbours early on in the process to let them know your plans and generally get off on the right foot with them. A lengthy self build project with lots of different builders and contractors coming and going every day can be stressful and testing for any neighbour. Getting them on side early will be a big help when it comes to getting their approval for access to the property or planning permission that you may need. 

Budget Is Everything

Having a clear and accurate budget is essential for any self-build. You will need to take every aspect of the build into consideration to give yourself as accurate a budget as possible. It’s almost impossible to be completely accurate as unexpected costs usually arise in most builds so it makes sense to set a little more aside to cover any foreseen expenses. You can however get as close as possible to an accurate budget by consulting with your architect, contractors and suppliers at an early stage and ensuring that you get plenty of regular updates from them.

Shop Around For Materials

Sourcing the materials for your build can be a tricky process and if you’re not careful you can end up spending a lot more than you have to. The best approach to take when sourcing your materials is to phone around different builder’s merchants and gather as many quotes as you can. Talking over the phone is preferable to email as you can negotiate a better deal when speaking with someone. Remember to ask for any quotes you receive to include VAT and delivery charges. Go directly to the merchants rather than independent retailers as they are often more competitive especially when you are buying in bulk.

Author Bio: Darren Lester is the founder of SpecifiedBy, a product specification platform for self-builders, architects and contractors.




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