Summary: Self build help: mortagages, land, development, cheap materials, vat, costs, design

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Self build, if managed correctly can save you up to 30% of the cost of your dream home, to put it another way, you can spend the same but get a much more luxurious home and build it to your own specification.  But where do you start ?

Using these pages will give you a good insight into what is required.  But remember, it is not as easy as it looks or as implied by the number of television programmes on the subject.  But, then again, do not be put off by the fact that it isn’t easy. 

The First Steps

A good way to start is by looking for a plot – there are many plots on the market and many companies that provide a plot search  service.  This will give you an idea of whether the perfect plot in your perfect location may be available.  A second good starting point is by thinking of what kind of design you want, how many rooms, what facilities etc.  This will now get you enthusiastic.

You may even find a building plot that has services already provided – and a flat plot at that. A doddle! Building Plot

The next stage is to try and get a grasp on the likely build costs.  You can use rule of thumb estimating for this by asking an architect for  the current average cost per square foot.   During 2008 the average build was in the region of £90 - £95 per square foot, for a reasonable standard specification.  Building material prices seem still to be rising despite the 2008/2009 credit crunch.  What the credit crunch does mean is that the building supplier account managers are doing their best to give the best deals and now and again there are offers on certain materials.  As at the beginning of 2009, a figure of £100 per square foot may be a good starting point.   (The square foot measure is for internal dimensions of total floor area and do not include a detached garage. If a garage is built in and includes cavity work then  include it.)

Managing your Build

At some early stage you will be wondering how you will manage the build, and will it really be a self build.  There are a number of options, from managing it yourself, to hiring a project manager or prime building contractor. Managing it yourself will take up a lot of time, and if you haven’t got the time then you will be wasting a lot of the money you are spending on tradesmen.  Hiring a project manager will take a lot of the hassle away from you, but be more expensive – but it will still be your build.

Who Will Build It?

You will need good contractors for the specialist jobs involved.  Getting tradesmen based on recommendation is one of the best ways.   Many tradesmen will be glad to show you previous work, if access can be gained. 

You will also have to deal with different ways of charging – price for the job or hourly rate (and sometimes per brick/block).

In our projects section you will find information on finding and buying land for self building, arranging for materials at huge, trade discounts, arranging a great deal on a self build mortgage and reclaiming the vat from your build. Click on any of this paragraph to get to our projects page and go straight to "Self build".

You can also use the scroll down menu box on this page.

To find out everything you need to know about self build, use our projects below

SELF-BUILD: Central Heating

SELF-BUILD: Cost evaluation

SELF-BUILD: Design your home

SELF-BUILD: Discounted materials

SELF-BUILD: Find a mortgage

SELF-BUILD: Find land to develop

SELF-BUILD: Finding land for home

SELF-BUILD: Reclaiming vat

SELF-BUILD: Combination boilers

Find National suppliers

Buy your tools at huge discounts

You can click through to the projects pages of Diy doctor for information on any one of the operations required to construct your home. 

Don't fancy doing this project yourself? We work with Checkatrade to ensure that we recommend only reliable and trustworthy tradesmen.

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