Home & Garden
The Ultimate Guide to Building Your Own Home

The Ultimate Guide to Building Your Own Home

The Ultimate Guide to Building Your Own Home

Building your own home is one of life’s great adventures — but for too many people it will only ever be a pipe dream. This book helps you make it a reality...

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
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in this issue

1 min.
starting your self-build journey

Ever watched one of the many popular television shows about self-build and thought: ‘one day, I’d love to do that’? Is there one beautiful, individual home in your village or town that stands out from the rest that makes you want to create something just as good (if not better)? Well, you’re not alone — surveys suggest that around 1 in 3 of the UK population would love to build their own home one day. The problem is that only around 10,000 families go on to create their dream home each year. So what happens to the millions of people who never get to make their dream a reality? There are four key hurdles that have been identified — finding land (the right land, at an affordable price); raising the finance; cutting…

2 min.
is self-build for me?

Let’s be clear: building your own home is not for everyone. If you’re the type of person who doesn’t like change, who can’t handle occasional ups and downs – someone who, shall we say, prefers the merry-go-round to the rollercoaster – then you might find self-build not to your taste. It throws your life up in the air. It will affect your finances; it will probably test your marriage a few times; you might, halfway through the build, wonder quite why you started it at all. But, as we all know, the best rewards only come to those who take risks and the truth is, despite what you might see on the television, for the vast majority of self-builders, the chances of calamity really are very small. So how do you…

10 min.
a guide to building plots

Perhaps the biggest barrier to self-build success is also, as it happens, the first. Finding a suitable building plot rarely comes easy, unless you’re lucky enough to already own your own plot (you might be able to build in your own large garden). It’s also worth making clear that you need a building plot — not just any old bit of land. You can’t simply build a house on land you might have bought from a farmer, for instance — a parcel of land is not a building plot unless it has full planning permission to build a house on it. The first thing you need to do is to define an area in which to look. Now conventional wisdom would have it that the bigger the area you are looking…

6 min.
what to consider when you’re looking at plots

PRICE The number-one question that plotfinders always ask about plots is, “is it the right price?” The local estate agent will be able to give you the approximate value of the finished house on that land in that specific location. You need to subtract the estimated building costs of the finished house (estimate at least £1,000/m2) and another 10-20% as a contingency fund. What you’re left with is the true value of the plot, which will hopefully be the same or preferably more than you’re intending to pay. THE IMMEDIATE VICINITY Your assessment will begin before you get to the plot and even before you get in the car. Check out the site using Google Maps and Street View and get a feel for the area — both in terms of its scenery…

6 min.
financing your self-build project

In the same way that homeowners can spend anything from, say, £100,000 to £5million on their ‘bought’ home, self-builders can spend the same creating their own home. The principle here is that you don’t have to be rich to build your own home – people from all backgrounds and with very different income levels do it – but, as with anything in life, if you want the best and the biggest, you’ll end up spending more. So while it’s not realistic for those on a tight budget to expect to build a modern mansion, it is absolutely realistic for anyone who can get a mortgage to consider building a modest family home with a few individual touches that’s better designed, and better quality, than they otherwise might be able to…

2 min.
the cost of construction

YOUR INVOLVEMENT The more you get involved, the lower the cost will be. So if you’re going to be building your own home through DIY and designing it yourself too, then the cost is likely to be half that of a regular self-build. Project managing your own build could also help you save money. At the other end, using a turnkey supplier with minimal personal involvement is likely to be 10-30% more than a regular architect/builder route project. (Read more about the different build routes available to selfbuilders later in this guide.) SPECIFICATION This means the actual design and elements you decide to put into the house. It’s difficult to give a general price for a house when houses vary so much — a kitchen alone can cost anything between £2,000 and £50,000.…