Building Your Grand Design

Finding the perfect home for you and your family can be a struggle. Looking for a house in the right location, of a size and layout that suits and of course at a price you can afford, might narrow down your choice. If you can’t find anything on the market then you could consider building your own home. The self-build market is a growing one and plots of land in key locations are sought after. The prospect of building your own home, a bespoke design that fulfils the needs of you and your family is an attractive proposition. It can also be one of the most stressful times of your life. Undertaking such an immense project should never be underestimated and careful planning is essential to ensure the project runs as smoothly as possible. Before embarking on building your very own grand design home here is some basic advice to get you started:

Plot for Success!

Location, location, location, that’s what they say is key to buying the perfect property, the same could be said about buying a plot of land. Premium plots are scarce and can be hard to find so you may have to be flexible but you will certainly have to be quick off the mark. Start with local agents and use online resources to get to know what’s currently on the market and keep your ear to the ground so you know what might be coming to market soon. You need to make the decision regarding the type of plot you want to buy, whether you would consider the riskier strategy of buying a plot with no planning permission or one with outline planning or with full planning permission (bearing in mind this will restrict the type of property you can build).

Building Your Grand Design

Money Makes the World Go Round

No project will get off the ground without it so arranging funding at the beginning of your journey is vital to buying your plot of land and building your dream home. Instead of going down the usual route, there are a number of bespoke self-build products available on the market so this is the best place to start as these organisations will understand what you are trying to do and be able to look for the best deals for you. You could also go down the route of using a mortgage broker whose personal service as well as expertise offer great appeal to the novice self-builder.

Build Your Budget Before Your Home

Establish your budget before you spend a penny! This is the single most important part of your self-build journey. Do thorough research and carefully progress your way through each stage of the project. Understand each section of the build and what needs to be achieved and always set a contingency of at least 10% for any unexpected costs that may arise. Should you still have it at the end of your project then you will have additional funds to spend on interiors, décor or practical money saving extras like cavity wall spray foam insulation which could knock 50% off your annual energy bill. Either way with any building project, you never know what might happen and therefore forging ahead with your project without a contingency should not be an option.

Hire, Design and Plan

Hiring the right architect is essential to achieving your desired end result. You need to like their style and be confident that they can translate your vision into the perfect home for you and your family, built within your budget. You also need to know that they will offer guidance and challenge any aspects of your design that are not viable. You could hire an architect on their own or it might be more cost effective for you to hire a provider who can design and build your home. Once your design is complete you will need to apply for planning permission, building consent and purchase specific insurances to protect your investment. If you decide to go with separate builders and designers then the next job is to find a professional construction team and decide whether you need to hire a project manager or whether you have the time to do the job yourself. Word of mouth is always the best way to find an honest and reliable team. Ask your architect to make recommendations and be sure to check references and inspect past work before making your decision.

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