When building a house, planning and budgeting are crucial but so too is the actual design of your new home, as well as how and with what you will build it. Then there is the matter of who is going to oversee the whole project – a professional project manager being essential if you plan on working full-time and so won’t be around while the house is being constructed.
1. Design Of Your Self-Build Home
Prior to securing a plot of land for which you have planning permission, it’s important you have a brief outline of the design of your house. This helps you decide what size of plot you’ll need, and where (you’ll want better views out the back if you plan on having your sitting room there, for instance).
Next you will have to choose who you will engage to help you plan your dream home and draw up the necessary detailed plans required by the local authority, and for the build to go ahead smoothly.
At this point you will be looking for either an architect or architectural designer. Before meeting them though draw up a simple design brief outlining what you’d like the house to look like, what it should contain and the general style. Also tell them the maximum you would like to spend. This gives the professional an idea of what you’re looking for and then he or she will work with you to achieve a result as close as possible to your ideal home. Expect to spend around 10 per cent of your total budget on the design stage.
Once the design has been drawn up, approved by Planning and meets all the required Building Regulations, it’s time to move on to the build stage:
2. Building Your New Home
When it comes to constructing your dream home, the more ‘expert’ the builders you can afford the better. That’s not to say you can’t do some of the build yourself but be realistic about the time you can devote to it. What you don’t want is for the whole project to fall weeks or even months behind schedule.
When hiring a building firm independently it’s best to ask at least three companies to tender. That way you’ll be able to tell if one is ridiculously expensive. Ask for references from neighbours, friends, colleagues even your local council’s Building Control department.
Or you can take a combined approach by choosing a company that offers both architectural design and building services. This will save you a lot of money and hassle and make it easier for you to get a beneficial deal on both aspects of the project. We offer this at BDS, so please get in touch to find out more.
It’s also a good idea to ask companies to show you examples of previous projects and find out if you can go and take a look at them for yourself, e.g. if there’s a house locally. That way you can ask the householders how they found the whole process too.
3. Project Managing Your New-Build
You can hire individual tradesmen yourself to complete certain stages of the work or, better still, get in a project manager to supervise and oversee, to make sure everything goes to plan.
Some companies will have their own project manager, and do all the hiring for you, as well as make sure everything goes to plan, the work is up to a high standard and it all remains on-budget. They will also be able to chase up materials if there is a delay and sort out any disagreements between different tradesmen and time schedules. Again, this is something we offer at BDS.
Having a project manager will put from 10 per cent to 20 per cent onto the cost of the build but for the sake of no hassle and a smooth house build, in our opinion it is definitely well worth the additional funds.
Find more information about what’s involved in a self-build here at our main website BDS Architecture, or you can also ring us for advice on 01332 830313.