Making your self-build a success

If you’re looking to complete a self-build project, you may have a loads of ideas floating through your head. Taking the reins means that you can lead from the front and orchestrate a construction that satisfies your wildest dreams. But, of course, it’s not that easy – especially if you have little to no experience in the construction sector. That said; with plenty of hard work and dedication, you can achieve something great, so here are 5 steps to a successful self-build.

  1. Find a plot

Around 13,000 people successfully self-build in the UK every year. The plots are out there, but it’s crucial to find something suitable and that means choosing and exploring specific regions, talking to locals and eyeing up planning applications in the area you wish to live. The internet is a great place to find a plot via sites like Plotsearch, or you may want to register your interest with estate agents. How about visiting a property auction? Or taking a more personal approach and asking locals to keep an eye out for great plots before they go on the market and are snapped up unexpectedly.

  1. Recruit a team

A self-build project doesn’t mean you have to spend hours alone doing all jobs by yourself – far from it. Yes, you’re building to meet personal needs, but you need a team behind you that can support, educate and drive progress. Recruiting an experienced project manager is a great place to start. As is seeking professional advice from a self-build architect. Getting the low-down from a structural engineer is also necessary to ensure you get everything right from the beginning.

  1. Set a budget

One of the most important things you must do is set a budget for your self-build. Once you know how much you have to spend, you can start researching materials, plots and expertise, that are within your price range. If you don’t think about costs from the start, you’ll end up designing a build that’s way out of reach and this will only lead to disappointment. Thorough planning is absolutely necessary, so don’t be afraid to use spreadsheets and home-build budgeting apps to help take control of your spending.

  1. Set realistic timescales

There’s absolutely no point in rushing your self-build as this might lead to problems down the line. Careful thought and planning will help you to map out a realistic timescale. Of course, larger-scale projects are likely to take much longer than smaller builds, but again it all depends on budget and the workforce in operation. Whatever you do, don’t try to finish your project in order to host a wedding or significant birthday celebration, as this will just put you and your family under unnecessary pressure.

  1. Decide how involved you want to be

Being very hands-on can save a lot of money. But, if you’re going to attempt any element of design or construction, you must do your homework and maybe even get the right qualifications in advance. There are many seminars, workshops and exhibitions throughout the year that can help with the education process. The Homebuilding and Renovating Show, for instance, is one example where you can pick up useful tips and talk to likeminded people.

Remember, many people in a self-build may not be able to give up their day job and therefore are limited to evening and weekend work. Some of that time will be eaten up by family commitments and downtime too, so everything is likely to take more time than expected.

For expert home design and architectural services in Kent, contact Bluelime Home Design today. With offices in Dartford, Bromley, Erith, Bexley and Croydon, our experienced team can provide you with the help you need. Find out more about Bluelime projects today.

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