Anyone that takes the leap toward self-building their dream home knows how long it can take. Some can take several years just to lay the foundations. These delays can be caused by a failure to perform the right checks before calling in the contractors. It can be expensive if you make mistakes too. Make sure you’ve tackled the following challenges to avoid wasting any more time or money:
The lay of the land
It’s important when you’re selecting your plot that you understand the land you’re acquiring. Sloped areas or ground susceptible to movement is a poor choice. You also want to ensure you’re getting the best view, so you need to consider the orientation of your home.
Trees and services can prove challenging to move with a self-build. Use ordnance survey mapping to double check your elevation. Make sure you are not resting upon any underground works by performing a full survey of the area.
The reach of your services
If you’re willing to live off-grid, then this might not be too big a problem. For the vast majority of builders, hooking into sewerage and fresh water services is just one of the essentials you need to consider. What about broadband internet connections and landline telephone?
Few people connect to mains gas these days, but if you want it, you should make sure it can be connected easily. What about local road and street lighting connections? Will you be responsible for building a private track?
The materials used to build
Long before you order anything or seek the advice of your architect, check what materials you want to build with. Many self-builds are constructed with modern materials and contemporary building techniques. Some will be easy to source. Others may need to be developed and custom designed. Once you’ve decided what you would like, discuss the plans with an architect. You don’t want to have to keep going back to the drawing board.
Earthworks and footings
There are several stages of property building. But if you haven’t clearly determined the level of earthworks required, you may encounter serious delays. The more ground that needs to be shifted, the longer it will take. The depth of footings should also be determined. Don’t forget that access can cause problems, or even make a project unviable.
When land is sold, there are often stipulations or permissions regarding its use. If you want to build on the land, you will need to engage your local authority to discuss the project in detail. They will need to know your timescale, the purpose of the build and the style of building you propose. If you think you might want to work from home or run a business from home, you must let your authority know. This can change what might be permitted.
These are just some of the many checks that you will need to make before you can even get started. Some of them should be performed before you engage your architect to design your property for you! If in doubt, speak to your project manager.