The decision to embark on any self-building project is a major one. You need to make sure that you have done your homework thoroughly. It takes a huge amount of design, planning, construction and legal knowledge to tackle a self-build. If you think that you are getting to the stage where you are ready to try a self-build, here are a few top tips which are worth reading and following.

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Recruit Good Partners

There are likely to be areas of the self-build which you need assistance with, so make sure that you have good advice or you work with trusted companies like For example, if you don’t know how the planning process works in detail, try to find someone out there who does. Don’t try to tackle everything all by yourself as you are likely to get overwhelmed and could end up encountering difficulties.

Work to a Realistic Budget

Many self-builders add in a contingency budget as they know that they are likely to overspend on their first project. However, you need to keep a close eye on costings. Otherwise, things are likely to spiral out of control. There is no point in overestimating or deluding yourself as this is never going to lead to anything good.

Search for a Location Thoroughly

Location is everything, so make sure that you take the time to identify where you want to build. Savvy builders will acquire their plots before they go on the open market as this is the way to get them at the best price. Take the time to explore on Google Earth or search through land registry sites in an attempt to find that plot of land which has been overlooked by others.

Plot First, Then Design

There is no point in designing your home until you have definitely acquired a site. Every house design is supposed to respond to the views and orientation of the plot, rather than just being a ready-made shell which you can dump anywhere. Also, don’t decide on the method of construction until you are certain that you have the plot.

Engage with Neighbours

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Rather than risking upsetting them, it is a good idea to engage with your neighbours to share your plans and seek their support. The last thing that you want to find is that they have some major objections and your project gets derailed before it has really gotten started.

Shop Around to Secure Deals and Discounts

Like anything in life, it is a good idea to shop around so that you get the best deals and discounts for everything including materials suppliers, builders’ merchants and tradesmen. Never accept the first quote for anything and always be willing to negotiate to save money.

Invest in Home Fabric

The basics of your home are what you should be focusing on first. So, you should be paying more attention to the walls and roof, ensuring that everything is very well insulated rather than trying to add expensive extras such as fancy gadgets.


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