Could Self Build Be The Key To Your New Home?

by admin on May 29, 2012

The economic crisis has affected all areas of the economy, but one of the most hard-hit has been the property market, with builders and homeowners in general reporting very sluggish market conditions.

However, one area of the housing market which has been largely unaffected is the self-build market. The reason is that by building your own property you can expect to save a substantial amount on the sums you would otherwise expect to pay to a builder. But it is not for everyone. Building you own home can be extremely stressfu, but if it is something you are considering, here are some of our top tips to help make things go as smoothly as possible:

Good workers and tradesmen are key. The best way to get hold of them is through word of mouth recommendation. Before you commit, make sure you see some examples of  work done by the tradesmen you are considering. Better still, ask to speak to some of their previous customers for a first hand account.

Before the project gets underway it is a good idea to hold a meeting with all the tradesmen at which you can discuss the propoosed timeline for the job. This is a good way to identify in advance any problem areas so that you can take the appropriate action to avoid them.

Be extremely careful when budgetting for your project. Make sure everything is committed to writing.  This is not an undertaking to commence if you’re stretched to your limit financially. Ideally, you will want to have a “buffer” of up to 30 per cent of the total project cost. Also, be generous when estimating the total time required for completion. Adding an additional 10-20% extra time is a wise move.

Become acquainted with your local planning and building control inspectors. They will be a source of valuable expert advice if you encounter any difficulties with your project.

Be prepared to complete the project in stages. Make sure you deal with the most important areas of the home first. That means you will have somewwhere to stay while the job is being completed and save you money on renting accomodation.

Work out a payment schedule for tradesmen and subcontractors and stick to this. Do not be tempted to pay workers every week or month as this may be an indication that they are not on a very financial sound footing and could end up leaving you high and dry.  Pay in  pre-arranged instalments and also make sure you hold back a proportion of the total build cost to cover “snagging”. Ten to twenty percent of the total is appropriate.



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