Many of us have dreamt of building our own perfect home. What you may not know is that this is becoming more and more common, with more support becoming available for self-builders. This means that building your own home may not be as far away as you might think! Here are some of our top tips to help you get informed and hopefully get started!
Land: Finding the right plot
Finding land for self-building is increasingly becoming easier – there are some great online resources to help you find the perfect plot. www.plotbrowser.com and www.plotfinder.net are some great examples, and signing up to the self-build register will show local government that self-build is more in demand, thus making it more likely that more self-build plots become available. The key element to securing a plot is flexibility; go into it with an open mind and keep your options open in terms of location, size and landscape, the quicker your search will be and the less you will end up paying. This is where a good imagination and being able to see the potential of a plot can help.
Funding and finances
For many self-builders, a mortgage will be required to fund some, if not all, of the project. Much like finding a plot, there is an increasing number of online resources that can help: www.buildstore.co.uk and www.maryrileysolutions.co.uk are just two of the lenders that previous Beattie Passive clients have worked with, and there are many more. Payments from self-build mortgages will often be made in stages and released upon reaching key milestones in the project. It is very important when arranging your build programme that it works with your mortgage and you don’t find yourself running short of funds in the middle of the project. It is also important to keep your finances on track during the build, and you can find some of our top tips to keeping your budget on track in a previous article.
Get your team in order
Building your own home will doubtless involve a lot of other people, and it’s important to get your team right to make the process go as smoothly as possible. Seeking help from consultants as early as possible can help you avoid bigger costs down the line by helping you identify potential issues early and fix them before they escalate, or before planning permission is submitted. Various suppliers and tradespeople will also be required to provide the materials, build the structure, fit your bathroom, hook up the plumbing and electricity, decorate your home, and so on. Over the course of building your home there may be lots of tradespeople on site at various times, so ensuring that there are processes in place for trades to hand over to one another will help build progress smoothly. Regular site meetings to discuss the build programme and trade cross overs can prove invaluable.
Fabric First – and future proofing your home
As a self-builder, you need to stick to a budget, which unfortunately might mean that you may not be able to incorporate everything you would like on your first pass. However, it is important to remember that you can continue to work towards your dream home for years to come. Some aspects like your building fabric are far trickier to upgrade later. Get this right first, and the rest will follow. See our top tips to keeping your budget on track.
Testing and guarantees
Has the product or service you are buying been properly tested and guaranteed, so that you know you’re getting what you pay for? The performance gap in the construction industry is notoriously large so always be careful to use suppliers or products you trust. Beattie Passive inspect and independently performance test every house that we build – we carry out stringent airtightness and thermal imaging tests on completion to ensure that our superior build standard is met and only certify once they are. These tests mean that, if you decide on a Beattie Passive build, you can be sure that you will always get the high quality that you expect.
How you can get started
At Beattie Passive, we offer a few flexible options for delivery, to help you make your dream home a reality:
- Passivhaus Design and Technical
We take your architects plans and use our innovative 3D modelling software to provide you with complete design and technical information to deliver your new home. We will fully test the structure once complete to ensure that it meets the high standards of Passivhaus and that your home performs as it was designed. If you want to get stuck in yourself, our Training Academy offers a five-day course that will provide you with the skills and knowledge to complete the structure yourself.
- Structural Thermal Envelope
We provide the design and technical information as above, but in addition we will manufacture the structural thermal envelope in our factory in Norfolk, and deliver to site and erect a fully tested structural thermal envelope, which is both weathertight and airtight, ready for you to complete.
- Turnkey solution with project management
We can project manage the entire build process from start to finish. We liaise with architects and building inspectors as well as the full range of suppliers to deliver your stunning new Passivhaus home, ready for occupation.