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Thread: Self build home - anyone tried it?

  1. #1
    Apprentice
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    Self build home - anyone tried it?

    Hi all,

    Looking to see if anyone here has tried a self build? I have a plot of land - outline planning granted for a 5 bedroom house but I'm thinking of messing with the plans to try a 4 bedroom with larger rooms to see how it might look. I'm looking for some advice on do's and don't's. I have a few design features that I want - things like UFH throughout, bi folds at rear, washing machine and tumble dryer upstairs, ethernet runs everywhere but other than that I haven't thought too much about it.

    Anyone here tried anything similar and if so how did you find it? Anything you wish you had done differently?

  2. #2
    Craftsman
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    I did, finished it 11 years ago, five beds three baths, cctv, flood wired with cat 5, instant tap, heated mirrors,list goes on. I am a contractor and did a lot myself, house took every penny i had in my life savings and then 40k from visa on interest free cards, the real cost was the 3 years of weekends and evenings that evaporated from my life and a relationship.

    Get the plans absolutely sorted
    Get the spec absolutely sorted
    Get the finances absolutely sorted
    Get the management absolutely sorted, this can be you if you have whats needed.

    Then get ready for it not to goto plan

  3. #3
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCFastybloke View Post
    I did, finished it 11 years ago, five beds three baths, cctv, flood wired with cat 5, instant tap, heated mirrors,list goes on. I am a contractor and did a lot myself, house took every penny i had in my life savings and then 40k from visa on interest free cards, the real cost was the 3 years of weekends and evenings that evaporated from my life and a relationship.

    Get the plans absolutely sorted
    Get the spec absolutely sorted
    Get the finances absolutely sorted
    Get the management absolutely sorted, this can be you if you have whats needed.

    Then get ready for it not to goto plan
    I've done one & its almost finished.
    This is exactly the advice I'd give aswell.
    Overall I think its definitely been worth it but you need to go in with your eyes open.

  4. #4
    Grand Master TheFlyingBanana's Avatar
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    I come from a family of quite large-scale property developers, but didn't follow in the family business.

    We considered building a Huf House about ten years ago, but after looking into everything I just decided it wasn't me. I don't have the knowledge, skills or time.

    I applaud anyone who does, and is prepared to make the effort. I do know several who have built their own and are now in fabulous homes. Anecdotally, I think the key thing is going for it 100% and making sure you have the time and financial resources fully ready to go. Time in particular.
    So clever my foot fell off.

  5. #5
    I had a house built, where I had a say in room layout and interior fixtures etc. Not quite the same, but it was a fixed price and hassle free. I would do that again. Not sure about a complete self build though.
    It's just a matter of time...

  6. #6
    Master
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    My brother who was a self employed builder ran a consortium of 8 other self employed builders who built 14 four large bedroomed detached houses in a self contained cul de sac. The surplus 5 were sold and the profits meant that the nine of them ended up owing their house outright.

    They had to commit to working two days per week on the site and if they didn,t, for whatever reason, they were debited a chunky penalty.

    It took two years to complete the project and it was a tough two years for all concerned. Most vowed never to do it again but the upside was that most of them were in their late twenties and could now forget what a mortgage was.

  7. #7
    Sounds like a good pay back for the extra work though.

    Most people could dream of being mortgage free in a large family home in their 20's!
    It's just a matter of time...

  8. #8
    Apprentice
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    Thanks for the replies.

    Timing is not really an issue for us - we are comfortable where we are so the plan would be to get the plans/spec finalised, get the kit up and then take our sweet sweet time getting it finished (spread the cost / not have to take out any borrowing being the plan).

    Would anyone be interested in seeing the plans? I really need to try something like RoomSketcher to see what I can do with the space.

  9. #9
    Craftsman
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    Always interested in plans, as a full time house builder now it gives me ideas to pinch

  10. #10
    Apprentice
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCFastybloke View Post
    Always interested in plans, as a full time house builder now it gives me ideas to pinch
    Perfect - I'll attach them this evening after I get back from work.

  11. #11
    This is what I do and I built my own. Took a year full time but is really worth it.
    Bottom line is make sure you can afford it. Architects rarely consider real world bugets. You don't want to run out of money in a half built house.
    Get proper tradesmen in. They won't be the cheapest. I've lost count of the people who I've gone to help out after they've employed Eastern Europeans because they were 'cheaper and worked hard'. I'm sure there are great ones but I haven't been called in after them.
    Happy to answer questions via PM and even chat on the phone if you have any questions.
    It's a great thing to do if you prepare yourself for it properly.

    Ray

  12. #12
    Master
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    I have always been fascinated by this and love a challenge. Do people do it so they can design their own house or is it the cost savings (I am assuming there are some?!)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  13. #13
    A bit of both thought not necessarily cheap. If you have a decent plot and budget you can comfortably lose no money if you come to sell and usually profit if the location is right.
    Unfortunately where I am in Sussex, the land is worth more than most houses cost.

  14. #14
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by zanderpants View Post
    I have always been fascinated by this and love a challenge. Do people do it so they can design their own house or is it the cost savings (I am assuming there are some?!)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    For me it was a bit of both, my house is relatively modest but in simplified terms I've built the following for the just over the cost of a 3 Bed Semi.
    - 4 Bed Detached
    - 30ft Family room/kitchen & separate lounge
    - Offroad parking for 4 cars
    - 1.5x garage
    The lower 3 would just not be available in the area from new house.

    The design isn't perfect & there's lots I'd do differently if I did it again.
    I'm hoping I will do it again in a few years.
    Last edited by paulpsz008; 11th February 2019 at 15:57.

  15. #15
    Master Pitch3110's Avatar
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    My business is housing development (100+ homes a year) so know a bit. Did mine 15 years ago and it was the toughest thing I have done.

    Year before last I knocked a lump off to rebuild to make the kitchen bigger, add another bedroom and a oak frame garden room. It was equally as hard now being 50 something instead of 30 something.

    Financially itís a no brainier

    Pitch

  16. #16
    Journeyman
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    We completed ours in 2014, had a single builder get the shell completed using his own trades. Iíd do it again in a similar way. (Once I find a nice plot again) Takes time and I agree with the comments earlier - planning and preparation is key. Changes will increase cost and delay progress.

    Even with the above route, a lot of time was required - evening / weekend. Took 12 months - new service connections delayed us 1-2 months.

    Value, we got a house 4 bed, 3 bath double garage, with and open plan living / kitchen. approx 75m2 larger than if buying from a new development

    calculate the costs and potential value by speaking to estate agents to make sure itís worthwhile.

    I fully enjoyed it! 😀

  17. #17
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    I am trying to attach the plans but both PDF & JPEGS it says they are too big although the file sies are relatively small - do I need to host them myself and then share the link?

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