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What is "self build"?

Discussion in 'Your Projects' started by jonbey, 13 Mar 2017.

  1. jonbey

    jonbey

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    OK, still thinking, planning, a house renovation.
    I have had in another house a rear extension & moving of a kitchen, and a loft conversion. In both cases I hired a builder to do the lot.

    I am wondering, would it be cheaper to "self build", but obviously not do anything myself (other than make tea!). e.g. for a new rear extension and kitchen conversion:

    1. hire demolition company to remove garage
    2. get a ground works company to do foundations and drainage, settle after building inspector gives thumbs up.
    3. Use a local bricklayer to do the shell
    4. Use local roofing firm for the ... roof.
    5. Get my favourite window company in to do the windows and doors
    6. Hire a carpenter for all internal walls, plasterboarding, ceiling etc.
    7. Sparky and plumber to set up the rads and kitchen
    8. Kitchen fitter (or same carpenter) to install kitchen.
    Lots more work for me, but is it likely I'd save money?

    I guess the only way is to get a load of quotes ..... but, just wondering.

    In my first build I had some issues. Part of my thinking is that working direct with specialists would mean a better job all round, and hopefully a better guarantee for work etc.

    Is this "self build"?
     
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  3. Mottie

    Mottie

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    Don't know the exact definition but I thought the definition 'self build' applies to when you build a whole house yourself from obtaining the land, having plans drawn up and managing the build in the manner you describe. I've just put in plans to have two one-bedroom flats built on a small workshop I own and work from. If I get permission, I plan to give up work, manage the job myself and rent them out. Hopefully that will be a substantial part of my pension income plus an investment to leave the kids when I'm gone!

    Doesn't help that I have a pessimistic wife. "Self build? - You can't even self decorate!". Pah, Women!
     
  4. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    Then it is obviously not self build.

    If you are your own project manager then it would be a self managed project.
     
    Last edited: 13 Mar 2017
  5. Mottie

    Mottie

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    Aha! That makes more sense! Thanks
     
  6. jonbey

    jonbey

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    "self managed project.".

    Yep, that makes sense.

    So, would a self managed project, using a variety of trades direct, usually work out cheaper than hiring a builder to do the lot?
     
  7. JohnD

    JohnD

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    If you are a skilled project manager, you are worth a lot of money and can prevent things going wrong, fix them when they do, and coordinate the activities to minimise time and cost. You can also get the best out of the workers and can oil up the planners and building controllers to circumvent difficulties.

    If you are not, you will have the reverse effect.

    Most people are not very good.

    I am a PM by trade, but not for house build, so I do not have the indepth knowledge and experience of local firms, tradesmen and suppliers, nor have I seen all the things that can go wrong enough to forsee and forestall them, so unless I had ample time to waste, I would not take on a house build.

    If you are very lucky, you might find a local builder who can do a good job for you. If you do it yourself, you may eventually end up with a superlative job, learning as you go, but I think it will take time. I think you might do better finding local firms who are good in their particular field. They will all be busy and will fit you in when slack, unless you are overpaying them.

    Doing things twice takes longer and costs more than doing them properly the first time.

    With luck you will get it finished before you run out of money or energy.
     
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  8. jonbey

    jonbey

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    Maybe, but for a relatively uncomplicated build, and if each person/company was being paid for their part, then what would go wrong? It would be an extension, so not a problem if there were gaps of a week between each stage etc. Yes, more time for me, but if it means saving £20k on the project, then a few weeks when there are not people working in the house is not a huge chore is it?

    I guess the answer to "what can go wrong?" is anything and everything! But, why would it be better to have one builder who then sub-contracts out the electrics, plumbing, tiling, plastering etc.?
     
  9. cjard

    cjard

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    Phuq that, join the SKI club, and Spend the Kids Inheritance..

    But seriously, they'll appreciate it more, and turn out better human beings if you're there giving them a help along into providing for themselves than if you're there providing for their every need even after you're gone. You're allowed some joy on this mortal coil yourself, y'know!
     
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  11. cjard

    cjard

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    And so it starts..

    Not wishing to offend, but even making a toss-away statement like this demonstrates considerable naivety

    Ahaha.. Hrmm.. Did I catch your first post implying you'd built a house before? You'll be 2 years in, hacked off from countless hours researching, learning, trying and acquiring skills as you fill in all the missing bits the pro trades have let you down on, sore all over from actually doing the lifting.. And you might even be having the time of your life, but you'll struggle to make that £10K year saving a worthy rate of pay.

    £20K is such an unbelievably inconsequential amount of money in the face of most modern house builds, that it's really not something to aspire to save, not when the option is getting it done in a quarter of the time and getting all those tosspots out of your life so you can enjoy the place with your family..

    Generally because he'll have a diary full of people he knows and trusts, with whom he has a 2 way relationship that involves turning out a good job, on time, in return for repeat business. And he knows what he is doing, has made all the mistakes necessary to ensure your job doesn't end up a washout

    And that's worth £20K

    Don't get me wrong, I fully understand the ethos of this site, and admire the DIY drive; I'm doing it myself, right now and I might well have had that same boundless youth, inexperience and optimism as you presently display, 4 years ago when I didn't know what I was doing.. Now, I'm pretty sure I could start with a field and finish with a house, having only touched pro trades for certificated stuff like Part P and G3 but I'm not entirely certain I'd *want* to :)

    I urge you to do as much of this yourself *if* you can afford the financial, emotional and time investment it will require. If there's even a slight chance that your family life will suffer a detriment, you'll miss out on playtime with a growing child, the wife already grumbles that she doesn't see you enough etc, then think twice because the reality is a lot more gritty than the rose tinted perspective you currently seem to have (sorry)
     
    Last edited: 13 Mar 2017
  12. chris1982

    chris1982

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    Just a tought: What are you going to do when things don't go to plan and everyone blames someone else?
    I have no experience with big projects, only with small stuff, but I can recall several occurances when I had someone working on plumbing and electrics while I was not watching their every step, only to find afterwards that a pipe, cable or switch was run where I didn't expect it and where it was in the way of something that I meant to install afterwards! Many things you can steer but there are probably a lot of things you will overlook when planning.
     
  13. eddieed

    eddieed

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    I have told my parents I want nothing, and I mean it, in fact I'll be upset if they leave anything and they haven't lived their lives to the full. They were recently uming and aahing about 10 days in the Caribean. I just told them to book it and get on with it.

    Back on topic - We are about to enter into what I would like to think is a self build, in reality it will be more likely a self managed build with me doing bits where I have the time and inclination - the big thing for me is knowing when and where it is cost effective to get people in.
     
  14. Devonish

    Devonish

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    Interesting read.

    I have 'Self Managed' our single storey extension. We were quoted £30,000 and in truth I just couldn't afford to pay it in one hit. So we decided to do it in stages, even if it took two years to complete. It is not huge and not complicated to a professional builder. The extension will provide two decent sized downstair bedrooms, no water needed.

    If I had the money I would have paid not to have the hassle in truth. Even this small project has been a bit stressful. People don't turn up as agreed. They have differing ideas on how things should be done. Others trades grumble about the idiot that did this, that or the other.

    So a builder who can just come in and sort everything is appealing.

    Once the walls were up and the roof was on, I decided that we would do the rest ourselves, so that we could keep things moving. Flooring is down, stud walls are up, Vaulted roof insulated. First fix electrics are in. (Found a really good guy who came out within a week. A local house renovator, recommended him) Next to fix the plasterboard. I have taken advice from this forum many times and have found that people here have been very willing to help.

    We have been at this for 7 months and as you can see, we really are getting there. Not two years as we thought, I think sorted by the summer. To date we have spent £8700.

    Good luck with your project.

    This is a link to ours,

    https://www.diynot.com/diy/threads/single-storey-extension.464976/
     
  15. charliegolf

    charliegolf

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    I self-managed the building of my 4 bed, 1650 sq ft detached house, with zero experience in PM-ing. I moved in 17 weeks after the first hole was dug. I made plenty of mistakes, but still managed £32/sq ft at a time (95) when that was a good average for a self builder. I researched it to death before starting . It's not rocket science. And a 20k saving is enormous- if it's on a 100k build.
     
  16. cjard

    cjard

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    Does that 32/sqft include the cost of the land?
     
  17. charliegolf

    charliegolf

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    No, just the build. The land was £26k
     
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