The secret of building your own house is…

I suppose this is a bit of a continuation of the post on ‘Is your planning permission running out?’; with the premise of the post being ‘How do you get your house self-built in a reasonable time?’.

Now I’m not talking about how you find a site, how you get the money to buy the site, how you appoint your architect (ahem), how you get your planning permission, how you draw, specify and detail your house, or how you get the money to finally build your house. What I am talking about however is the impetus to actually get started and to finally start building…

The answer is straightforward, you need to make your current living conditions uncomfortable. The more uncomfortable the better. the worse the living conditions – the quicker you’ll get your house built. Look at the success stories on Grand Designs, all the ones on time the self-builders are living in a caravan on the site and unless you’re absolutely loaded then the trick to getting your house self-built within a reasonable time frame is to live uncomfortably either in temporary accommodation or a caravan on the site.

Now, I’m not going to slag off the house we lived in whilst self building our house as I still know the landlord (also the house has been subsequently refurbished), let’s just say it was not the best or warmest house I’d ever lived in and we self-built our own house over a two year period. In my experience if you want as I say to get your house built in a good time frame then GET UNCOMFORTABLE!.

Now I’m talking about project managing your own build; the alternative to getting your house built quicker is to employ a main contractor; I worked with 2 separate clients recently – the first was main contractor led and the client was living in the house after 7 months; the second is just finishing now – 4 years later. It’s a little mathematical calculation each self-builder needs to make – how much money do you have, how much do you want to save (self building as opposed to going the main contractor route) and how badly do you want to move into your house. Don’t forget also that as well as big savings when self-building/project managing there are also big headaches and an incredible amount of time is required ordering and signing for materials, coordinating and getting tradesmen on site…the list and headaches are endless.

There you go, comments welcome as always and below is piccie of our one we did earlier:

Our self-built grass roofed underground house.

Our self-built grass roofed underground house.

Leave a Reply