If you are thinking of building your own home, it is important before progressing too far with your plans to ensure that you’ve considered a few important issues and are aware of what lies ahead.
In this section we’ll cover some of the basics, but make sure to have a look through the rest of the site for a broader view of what to expect.
It’s estimated that around 12,000 self build homes are completed each year accounting for about 10% of new housing in the UK.
For the majority of self builders, it is a fantastic experience but building your own home is not easy. To give your project the best chance of success, good planning and a clear strategy is essential. Let’s have a look at some of the factors that provide the basis for your initial plans.
How much does it cost?
For most of us the first consideration is a financial one. At this stage, a rough estimate of your build costs is enough for your initial planning. As you progress, more accurate costings will be required.
How long does it take?
How long is a piece of string? Each project is very different and build time is influenced by many factors including your chosen build route and the finances available.
Time Cost Quality
Which are the most important? Have a look at the time cost quality triangle to help you decide.
There are a variety of build routes available. Do you intend to sit back and employ a package company to provide a full design and project management service or do you want to get a lot more involved in building your own home?
Impact on your life
Aside from time, money and personal input there are other aspects to consider.
- Will you be moving to a new area?
- Where will you live while you build? With relatives, in a caravan on site, or a rental property.
- Do you have kids and how will they be affected? You may need a second caravan!
These issues may seem obvious but it is important to brainstorm now and think about how it will affect your lives before jumping in at the deep end.
Building your own home as a group or community
You might consider collaborating with friends or other individuals to build your new homes. If you can find the partners and the land, group self build can be a cost effective path to building your own home.
If you are part of a group of people in need of housing you may want to consider a community self build scheme. New skills and confidence can be gained as well as a new home.
There are many different models for carrying out a community scheme and there have been some fantastic projects which are a good source of inspiration:
- Ashley Vale Action Group, Bristol.
- St Minver Community Land Trust, Cornwall.
- Low Impact Living Affordable Community (LILAC), Leeds.
It is important to be aware that although self building can be a fantastic experience, it is hard work! Regardless of the build route you choose, there are lots of decisions to make from the outset and you need to be prepared, determined and decisive to keep the ball rolling.
We’ve looked at a few initial issues but there will be others specific to your situation. Use this section as the start for your own planning brainstorming.
If you decide to bite the bullet and embark on building your own home, just remember that nothing worthwhile ever comes without hard work and if the going gets tough.
Remember our motto:
“Adapt, Improvise and Overcome!”
Return to Home Page from Introduction to Building Your Own Home.