Common Self-Builder Mistakes

Don't fall for the classic pitfalls for self-builders. We have compiled the top 10 pitfalls we encounter day to day to help you get your project going without a hitch! When it comes to custom builds, looking for the perfect plot is one of the biggest and most important tasks. While it can be easy to get excited if you find somewhere that seems idyllic at face value, ensure you always do your research. Never part with your hard earned cash until you’re completely sure you can build and there are no other problems or plot restraints.

Here are 10 plot pitfalls for self-builders:

1. Planning permission

Without consent, you cannot build. So, if your plot doesn’t have planning permission, find out why. The council can offer pre-application advice on this, but it’s not set in stone. So, as a rule you should never invest in land that’s not ‘shovel ready.’

2. Planning conditions

The reason many people go down the self-build homes route is to embrace customisation. If planning conditions are incredibly strict, you may end up only being able to build a single-story property with restraints on the materials you use. So, always read the fine print.

3. Low prices

If the asking price for a plot of land you’re interested in seems ridiculously cheap – do your research. Often, cheap plots of land stand no chance of getting planning permission and could be a colossal waste of money.

4. Legal matters

The last thing you need when building the home of your dreams is to land knee-deep in legal matters such as boundary disputes with a neighbour. Any legal matters should be assessed carefully by a solicitor.

5. Conservation area

If the plot you’re interested in is in a conservation area or close to a listed building, you might not have complete freedom over your home build. You may need to restrict the size of your build, for instance, or use certain materials to fit in with the surrounding environment.

6. Flooding

Whatever you do, don’t buy land on a flood plain, especially if it hasn’t been granted planning permission. Land with permission to build will have been assessed for its flood risk, but always double check the findings in case anything has changed.

7. Building Regulations

Building Regulations could prevent you from building on a long, narrow plot with restricted access. This is because emergency services vehicles such as a fire engine may not be able to reach your property should something happen.

8. Trees

Did you know that many trees across the UK are protected, especially in conservation areas? So, if you buy a plot with lots of greenery, don’t simply presume you can chop all the trees down to make way for your construction.

9. Protected species

If your plot has planning permission, great. But that doesn’t mean you’ve got the green light to build if there are conditions in place. If protected species are believed to be living near your plot, a follow-up survey might be necessary.

10. Ground conditions

Before you buy a plot of land, make sure you know what you’re building on. Laying foundations can be expensive, so evaluate costs depending on whether your plot is on stable rock, heavy clay and so on. If instability is suspected, a follow up survey may again be needed – at a cost.

If you’re looking for professional Croydon architects offering a wide range of services across Bromley, Bexley, Erith and Dartford, contact Bluelime Home Design today for more information and free consultation.

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