Tips for Self-Build Success

Successful Self Build Projects

Planning to self-build your own home, if yes here are some useful tips for self-build success. The UK self-build market is booming with more and more people are custom-building as they seek to create a more personal styled home. But Self-Building takes an enormous amount of effort and time and certainly costs you an amount of money. First time self–builders are most likely to spend more with lack of experience and professional advice. Here are some tips for self-build success that may help you plan your own project:

1. Preparation is Key

Proper preparation beforehand will cut down necessary expenses. Do not even consider starting your own self-built project until you have done all the necessary homework as doing otherwise could lead to problems further during the process. Seek advice from experienced self builders and professionals is the best way to prepare yourself with the self-build route you would like to take. Look also into Self Build events and exhibitions and do readings on the entire process. Compile all the information that you have and compare all the details to narrow down your list of needs.

  1. Self Build Manual

The book explains the entire process in plain English, supported by hundreds of color photos showing real self-build projects taking shape. It has chapters for each key step of the build ranging from the foundations up to snagging and completion.

SelfBuildEvents: There is a lot of information on the website about upcoming events you can attend, where you can learn how to be self-sufficient and take advice from experienced people in this field.

Creation Exhibitions: Explore and see how the building construction is done in the exhibition 

 2. Visit Self Build Projects

Visiting self build projects help you get inspired. Also, this is one good form of research where you can learn from the self builder’s experience and to see the actual output of their hard work. 

3. Know Your Budget 

Make a wish list. List out everything you would like to have in your new home if money was no object. Then, from this wish list, use calculators available online and research on current market costs to create a price list. This will give you an idea on how much budget you need if all items in your wish list will be built. Also, It will help you narrow down your list based on what you really need and how far your budget can go. Do not also forget to add in costs for survey, fees for professionals, warranties and insurance, rents and storage costs. Another important item to add in your budget is the contingency. Around 10-15% of the overall build cost as a contingency fund will help you along to ensure self-build success. 

  1. Budget Planner
budget planner

Clever Fox Budget Planner for just £15.99 on Amazon

A budget planner is the most useful tool you will need when planning any type of project, especially big ones. This elegant budget planner comes with a set of stickers that will help you manage your finances, spend wisely, start saving, and achieve your financial goals.

  4. Keep Things Simple

If the designs are simple in the early stage of the process, they can often function much better. Remember that complex designs entail expense. To also save costs, use standard and widely available materials. While there is a difference in price between different construction systems, using standard materials will help you speed up the building process and It can save you money. 

  1. Graph Paper

Graph Planner for just £4.36 on Amazon 

Graph planner is a tool that will help you map out your building. It has gray lines that are soft so that they do not dominate the drawing. Small dots have been added to the main grid to make it easier to draw.

5. Plan a Schedule

Schedule is a crucial constraint in the building process. Ensure that every process is planned ahead. By doing so, It can give you a realistic schedule that will help you succeed in self building. A good schedule can help you save costs, effort and time.

Here’s a typical build schedule according to SelfBuild website :

  • Arrange a mortgage in principle
  • Find potential plots
  • Assess development potential
  • Plan budget
  • Arrange valuation of the plot
  • Arrange a site survey
  • Purchase site
  • Arrange site insurance
  • Choose designer and builders
  • Create your design
  • Get planning permission
  • Apply for water and electricity
  • Prepare detailed drawings
  • Obtain Building Regulations approval
  • Put contract out to tender
  • Select builder/tradesmen
  • Arrange warranty and insurances
  1. Weekly Planner


    A weekly schedule planner is an excellent and versatile planning tool that allows you to organise up to six weeks ahead, or plan one week at a time. Excellent product for planning, using dry wipe markers and/or magnetic accessories, and much more. Includes a board marker and helps you keep track of your progress on your self-build project.

    6. Check on Planning Permissions

    Before you self-build, you must know the planning permissions required. The best way to check whether your project needs planning permission is to go to your local council. If you are building an entire home from scratch, you will need to submit requirements and plan to the officials before starting. Full planning permission must be secured on your plans before proceeding; this process can be time consuming and this must be planned ahead of time.

    7. Hire Professionals

    Professionals for Self-Build Success

    The process of building a house may take years, so when it comes to putting together your team it’s important you hire professionals that are trustworthy and willing to complete the project. You can hire your own architect to construct designs according to your specifications, style, and given budget.  You will no longer have to deal for cut-and-paste house plans from the internet. With your own architect, you can work together to visualize your personal style and what you want in your home. They will also prepare your plans for submission to the officials.

    8. Be Prepared

    Every project is unique. It is a product of all the hard work and efforts from the people behind it including you. But along the way, inevitable problems may arise. You may encounter problems like mistakes in construction, failed deliveries or even weather constraints. Rather than getting stressed out, you must be prepared for all  of these. A good self builder is well prepared. Every problem has a solution and with the process, you will gain a lot of experience in tackling these problems. You will grow as a person and you’ll also learn a lot. And the next time you face these challenges, you are confident that you have any solutions possible and ensure success of your self build project. We hope that these tips for self-build success may help you in the future.

    5. Self-Build and Renovation

    Creating your dream home is an exciting idea, but it’s also a major project and one where you need to be an expert on everything from planning laws to landscape design, and all that’s in between.

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