In our newsletter last week, we shared some information with our contacts about the oak staircase parts that we sell, which is all well and good, except when you think about what a hard task building a staircase must be! Is it something a competent DIY enthusiast would tackle, or is it a job best left to the professionals?
On that note, our thought process went one further, to the many people that take on the immense project of a self build property. How do you decide what elements of the build you will tackle yourself and what tasks to outsource to the professionals?
Much of the guidance on line will tell you that the hardest part is finding the plot and setting your budget. We’d have to agree that planning ahead from start to finish to be able to create a budget to incorporate buying the land, building materials, demolition and labour costs, design and architect costs, legal fees, stamp duty, survey fees, structural engineering, planning application costs and building regulations fees, services, connections and accommodation costs while the build is underway, is a mighty task. Plus adding on to that the all-risks self-build insurance, site insurance, structural warranty and health and safety cover, as well as factoring in extra contingency funds in case of unforeseen circumstances. On the face of it, being an accountant would be ideal at the initial phase!
But, what about when you’re through that stage and have all the adding up, spreadsheets, huge pieces of paper, endless lists and drawings in place? Apparently if you’ve survived the initial stage, then it’s all plain sailing for thereon in. However, could this be so because so few people actually get their hands dirty in a self build project, or is it just because, here in the UK, there are actually not that many people that get involved in self build houses?
In the UK around 10% of all homes are self built, whereas in the US and Australia it is over 40%, in Germany, France and Italy the figure is 60% and in Austria it’s as high as 80%. Whilst there seems to be huge interest in the “idea”, with many many people avidly watching related TV programmes and reading relevant magazines, in face only 13,860 people built their own home last year. Yet it would seem that the cost savings can be immense, with spend being 24% lower than the average cost of a new build property if you use builders to build your self build property and up to 60% lower if you do the work yourself.
So, it seems that unless you are an actual builder, the likelihood is that you will take on more of a Project Manager role if you build your own house, rather than ACTUALLY building your own house! The advice is to spend your time wisely, shopping around to secure the best deals and discounts from materials suppliers, builders’ merchants and tradesmen. The art of negotiation will ultimately save thousands of pounds on the end project, if you manage to secure the very best prices across the board.
For those that are confidently moving forward with a self build project, we’d love to hear from you. We are here to help with materials and would love to know that we were able to contribute to turning someone’s dream into a reality. We can be reached on 01474 444150 or email@example.com
You can read more from us in our timber blog here.