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Written in collaboration with Rosana Beechum.

If you’re currently deciding whether or not to build your own home, then take a look at our post. We’ll be covering some of the things you need to consider if you’re thinking of taking on a self-build project for your next home, as well as how you can best prepare. Keep reading to find out more.

Consider whether a self-build would work for you

The first thing you need to take the time to consider is whether a self-build project would be the right choice for you. There are many benefits to designing your own home, such as the ability to create something that’s tailored to your own individual tastes and vision for a home. However, taking on a self-build project is a big undertaking and can become stressful at times. Make sure you take plenty of time to carefully think over whether or not it would be the right decision for you. Factor into your decision considerations such as the amount of free time you have to focus on the project, the cost of building your own home versus buying an existing house, and whether you could cope with taking on a building project as well as your existing commitments. There are other things to consider such as where you would live during the building work, and whether it would interfere with your day job.

Creating a budget plan

You will also need to put together a detailed and realistic budget plan. Your budget plan should include all the elements of your plans such as building material costs, contractor fees, architect fees, planning permission fees, as well as a separate contingency budget if you run over. Try not to miss anything out of your budget plan and make sure you have preparations in place for sourcing a contingency budget if you should run over budget.

While there may be certain elements of the build you might not be qualified or experienced to help out with, getting stuck into the project and helping out as much as you can is a great way to save some money. Even those who don’t have much experience of working on a building site can help out. For example, when you are getting to the end of your build and making final touches, you can save some money by painting and decorating yourself. You could also have a go at landscaping the garden yourself to save a few thousand pounds.

Choosing where to build

Just the same as with choosing any new home, the location of your self-build is important. As well as the usual considerations that need to be thought of when choosing a new home location, there are additional considerations when choosing a self-build plot. For example, you will need to find out whether the land you’re interested in has access to the utilities you’ll need and whether there is any planning permission already in place for future building projects. If there isn’t then you will need to have plans drawn up by an architect and have these submitted for planning permission yourself. There is usually a fee involved with submitting planning permission so be sure to factor this into the costs for your budget plan.

When choosing the location of your build, consider whether the local area is right for your as well as the site location. Are there the local amenities surrounding the site that you would need such as shops, schools, and commuting routes? Are there any plans in place for building projects nearby your site that could affect whether it would make a good long-term location for you? What you are seeking from a site will of course vary depending on whether you’re looking for a country or city location. However, consider things such as the view from where your new home will be built and the vicinity to your neighbours.

Designing your home

Designing and project managing your home build

Perhaps the most exciting part of the project, aside from seeing your new home take shape, is designing how it will look. For this, you will need to find an architect that’s right for you. Choosing an architect is an important decision as you will need to work closely with them to design a house that meets the criteria you have in mind. The right architect should have the experience of working on designing projects similar to your own, so ask to see their portfolio of previous work first. You should also try and find out more about them through word of mouth, if possible, from people that can vouch for their work. Your architect should also be good at communication in order to help ensure your project runs smoothly and the plans you have in mind come to fruition. To learn more about current design trends to take information from, take a look at the articles on which will steer you in the right direction.

Project managing

When you’re building your own home, you will need to consider whether you’re going to be managing the project yourself, or whether you would prefer someone else to take the responsibility of everyday management off your shoulders. Keep in mind that if you choose to project manage, you will ideally need to be onsite every day to oversee building works and changes. This could, of course, become time-consuming so take time to consider whether it’s the right choice for you. There are, however, many benefits to project managing the site yourself. You will be able to be directly involved in the process of the building and see the daily changes that take place as your new home takes form, which is a fantastic experience. You will also be able to have more control over the decision that is made and be aware of any issues as soon as they arise. There is also the added benefit that as you’ll be taking on the role of project manager yourself, you can save a large portion of your budget as you won’t need to pay the main contractor to manage the site instead.

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