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All You Wanted to Know About Self Build Homes

Aug 17, 2007
Self-build refers to the procedure of creating an individual home of your own starting from scratch, i.e., right from buying a vacant plot of land up to the fully finished house. Self-building does not, however, imply that you mix concrete and lay bricks, etc., yourself. It means that you hire various professionals (e.g. architect, civil/structural engineer, building contractor, labor, electrical contractor, plumbing contractor, etc.) to get your home built under your supervision and in accordance with your requirements.

Self-building your home is the best way to have a home that is custom-built to suit the unique requirements of your family and a home that reflects your vision of a dream house.

Self-building your home offers many benefits over buying a ready-made home. These include:

- A self-build home suits your space and lifestyle requirements perfectly.
- A self-build home allows you home ownership at the basic cost price, saving you about 30% of the cost compared to buying a finished home due to (i) the VAT savings made on materials and (ii) saving on profit margin a builder/developer would have taken for building your house.
- Self-building your home leaves you with a very satisfying feeling of achievement.

Getting Started
It is not a very easy task to execute a self-build home project. Its successful completion requires careful and accurate financial planning and good management skills all throughout the project (which may take several months) in order to ensure constant and timely progress and restrict the expenses to within your budget. Here are a few things you would need to consider before embarking on a self-build home project:

- Locating a suitable plot of land.
- Planning your financial budget.
- Organizing the finances.
- Making your home design plan.
- Obtaining permission for your home plan.
- Obtaining building regulations approval.
- Finding a building contractor, subcontractors (electrical, plumbing, etc.) and material suppliers.
- Selecting the flooring.
- Selecting electrical/hardware fittings and fixtures, etc.

Finding Land
Locating and buying a plot of land is the first step to realizing your dream of having a self-build home. It can eat up some 35% of your total budget. Buying a plot with planning permission can be quite expensive, but is required if you want to start your self-build home project immediately. The Internet can provide a wealth of information on plots for sale. Otherwise, a land agent can also be of great help, but obviously you have to be prepared to part with a hefty commission.

Designing Your House
Carefully prepare a draft of your space requirements before you meet the architect and brief him/her. Go through the home plans available on the Internet to get new ideas in order to reach a perfect plan. If you want to try your own hand at designing, use a 3D Architect software package.

Finance
Accurate financial planning is the most important step in seeing your self-build home project completed successfully. The bare cost of construction comes to roughly a small charge per square foot for a very basic home. Other costs like the professional fees, survey fees, insurance fees, legal fees, land agent commission, etc., are additional. Once a reasonable figure is arrived at, you need to consider the sources of revenue. In addition to using your savings, you can take finance from a mortgage or a high street lender.

Insurance
In a self-build home project it is advisable to get an insurance cover to protect you and your subcontractors/labour against unforeseen risks or accidents, e,g. theft of materials, injuries to workers, fire, storm, flood, damage to neighbours property, etc.

If you pay attention to all these factors, you can realize your dream of being the proud owner of a self-build home.
About the Author
At http://www.potton.co.uk/ you can find out more about Self Build homes.
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