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Self Build - Hopefully!!!

Discussion in 'Your Projects' started by ace2109, 6 Feb 2021.

  1. ace2109

    ace2109

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    Hey Guys,
    I have always wanted to build my own home and recently, even with what going on, both my wife and I have been thinking about it more and more. I wanted to get an idea on all your thoughts, what you may have done, what you would do differently and also from the trades, what your experiences are.

    I want to manage the whole project myself, however, I would be open to having a builder come in and get the house to the point where the roof is on or possibly watertight.

    I have a few initial questions, but it would be great to hear your thoughts as well.

    - Is there any budget examples online anywhere that show a full breakdown of all costs involved? I appreciate this is very early but I would like to start having a look at what I can.
    - I have seen estimated percentages for each area, like grounds works, foundations, fees, electrical, plumbing etc, has anyone used these before and if so, how accurate are they?
    - Is it best to spend savings and get an architect to draw up plans before we find a plot of land to build on? How far do you go with architects plans, would you go into the finest of details or just the basic house layout with planning permission and building control?

    This is a big ones for the trades and im sure you guys have heard it before, but is it possible to do part of the work myself and get trades in to finish things off and check everything. For example I would be pretty savvy around electrics and have wired a few offices and a new extension before but never a whole house. There are things I would like to do myself that might seem over the top but if I was to run all the cables etc and get an electrician in to check everything and wire the fuse boards etc would that be ok?

    I am even considering the same for plumbing and other areas, I would like to do underfloor heating and I could run the pipe work etc myself.

    Thank you for helping out
     
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  3. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    Finding a plot of land could be the hardest part of the project.

    In 1980 my wife and I did a full DIY self build of a timber framed house. ( roof slates were fitted by a roofer ) using the Segal self build method.

    We spent 3 years searching for the ideal plot as we set the target high.

    The build took a year of evenings, holidays and long weekends but it came in at a very low cost per square metre The finances will be very different today and regulations are stricter today but true self build is still economically viable.

    Just needs a lot of self confidence and patience.
     
  4. Mottie

    Mottie

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    I had that idea once. Fortunately I was slapped back to reality by Mrs Mottie who said "Pfttt. Self build? You can’t even self decorate".
     
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  5. jj4091

    jj4091

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    I think Bernard was very lucky or clever. After we spent 8 years (including 2 years demolishing a chapel) doing ours every evening & weekends I decided that financially & all the stress involved meant if I ever was stupid enough to do it again I would hand it all over to the professionals.
    As far as the land & architect are concerned you really need to have the plot ready for him to be able to consider all problems & possibilities. He should also be able to give you estimates of costs involved ( but add 50% when you get them )
    The only real positive was that I knew it had been solidly built to a high standard.
    Also be sure it will be your forever home & don't skimp on the price of a plot, if it's cheap it will be because nobody else wants it.
     
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  6. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    We were extremely lucky to find our ideal plot. It was advertised in Exchange and Mart and not via "normal" advertising channels
    The vendor preferred to sell to someone building their own home and not to a developer building to sell and profit.

    That was our plan but circumstances changed after 25 years.

    There are many plots where, because of the ground conditions, the foundations for a normal build would be very expensive and as such a developer would not be interested. There are several web sites such as https://selfbuildportal.org.uk/finding-a-plot/

    Friends found their plot by asking in the pubs in their chosen area if anyone wanted to sell some land.
     
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  7. JohnD

    JohnD

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    I live in a self-build street. When I moved in, nine of the twelve houses had already been sold by self-builders who had been unable to keep their houses when mortgage rates increased.

    Two more left shortly afterwards.

    The site was a former small school, and they built on part of the playing field.
     
  8. ace2109

    ace2109

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    Any land we are looking around where we currently live, which is where we want to build, mostly comes with OPP.

    My only worry at this stage is in order to finance the purchase of the land, I would need to sell our current house and move into rented accommodation. I was thinking if I could get an architect to draw up the plans initially, just so we can see how things will look. Then once we find a plot, during the purchase stage, he architect can be drawing up more detailed plans etc so that when the purchase goes through and the sale of our house goes through we can move a little quicker.

    it might not work like this though, which I understand, I’m just trying to get a better gauge on how things will work.
     
  9. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    Plans for a new build invariable have to be compatible with the plot and nearby buildings and where OPP is granted with the conditions in the OPP. You could have to draw up a lot of plans and architects are not cheap even for very basic sketches of elevations.

    If family circumstances allow it then living in a caravan on site while possibly uncomfortable has many advantages over rented accommodation.

    You can get land mortgages for self build but they can be very constrictive as the money is released in stages as the building progresses.

    If you have a friendly bank manager ( sadly a very rare thing these days ) you might find a better way to finance purchase and build.
     
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  11. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    There have been a few housing co-operative schemes where one or two of the families involved had built the house with the intention to sell for profit.
     
  12. ace2109

    ace2109

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    We have a good mortgage advisor who I am going to call this week to get advice etc. I would like to start roughing out a budget to give me an idea on costs etc before going any further. My thoughts are we can release about £70k equity in our house, possibly £75k, we have a bit of savings as well that we can use. I would like to use this to purchase the land and have roughly a 10% contingency, then get a self build mortgage of around £200k to build a house around 240 Sqm which gives me roughly a sqm cost of around £850.

    of course I’m getting all these figures and ideas online, I haven’t actually spoken to anyone at this stage about this. I think the first step would be to speak to my mortgage advisor and see what he says. Then maybe start chatting to architects, but I’m not sure about the initial process.
     
  13. JohnD

    JohnD

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    down my street, they had to leave when mortgage rates went up.
     
  14. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    Look at the un-conventional as well as conventional means of financing.

    We financed the purchase of the majority of building materials using a low interest rate Home Improvement Loan because the bank manager considered moving from the on site caravan where we were living to a new build would be a improvement in our home.
     
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  15. Notch7

    Notch7

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    Does the CIL apply in Ireland?
    Around here the community infrastructure levy can cost £30k for a new build.

    Do you know builders or tradesmen?

    I used to run a joinery company and I've visited dozens of self build sites.....most self build clients go vastly over time and over budget. The main reason is inexperience: doing stuff in the wrong order, not planning stuff and getting in tradesmen who don't know each other and don't work together well.

    I would recommend researching tradesmen in your area - visit independent builders merchants and ask them for names. Keep your eye open for extensions being built....pop in and have a chat with the builder, ask for some contacts.

    Most tradesmen don't advertise at all, especially long established ones.
     
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  16. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    That is NOT self build. That is self MANAGED....... there is a difference

    and chat with the house owner as well.
     
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  17. ace2109

    ace2109

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    CIL isn’t in Northern Ireland, at the minute.

    I have a fair understanding of building and some trades, I would love to build it completely myself, but I have to be realistic. I would consider getting in a builder to do the ground works and get the building watertight possibly but with me playing a part in this stage then I would take over for the fit out.

    I never thought of stopping and having a chat with builders on a site, I might just start doing that as there are a few going up around us at the minute.
     
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