How to avoid the pitfalls of self-build:

Ten ways to make your self-build the best

» Download your complimentary Ten Ways leaflet

  1. Decide your Main priority; Is it Cost, Design or Location?
  2. Know your budget; Ensure you can get the funding you need.
  3. Decide your preferred construction method; Is it Main Contractor, Project Management, or full DIY?
  4. Find and instruct your professionals; Architect, Engineer, Builder. Tell them your budget at the start, you will have to at some stage. They can’t advise you properly if they don’t know how much you have to spend.
  5. Involve your Builder from the start. His practical experience can save you money from the design stage. He is likely to have encountered most of the problems before.
  6. Don't cut corners; It usually costs more in the long run. Don’t use the cheapest architect. Don’t assume a main contractor will be more expensive. Make sure you compare like with like. Don’t think you will save money with ‘day rates’ - you won’t.
  7. Be a good customer; Build a good working relationship your design team and builder. Be certain what you want. Don’t continually make changes as the work proceeds. Pay on time or even early, you may be amazed at the extra input you will receive from people who are often used to having to chase for payment.
  8. Make sure all your family are behind you. If they are involve them. Give children mini projects to do which can vary with their ages. If they aren’t it could be a marriage breaker.
  9. Try not to let planners compromise your design; they will have their own external design requirements. Your internal layout will be important to you.
  10. Understand how much of your own time will be needed; even with a main contractor you will need to attend regular site meetings during working hours. Don’t underestimate the time needed to choose kitchens, windows, bathrooms etc and have them designed.

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