Self Builders Week – No. 5 – Conclusion and a more positive slant…

Well here we are at another Friday and it’s the end of the weeks posts on self-building. So far they’ve been a little pessimistic and hopefully this post may give a slightly more positive slant to the process.

The post also gives a bit of a conclusion to the week. Firstly, let’s look back on the posts this week:

1. Introduction

2. YOU are the contractor!

3. Draw-downs & banks – this one is for architects

4. Why architects should charge self-builders more, not less – the conundrum

So the positive slant. If you can do it then self-building is a great experience. It empowers you to take charge of a job and is one of the most adult activities you are able to do (short of rearing children).

The advantage is that you are in charge and can control the speed of the job and everything that you do. The disadvantage is that self-builds tend to drift on in time; I remember starting 2 builds on exactly the same date; the client had moved in on the first by main contractor in 7 months whilst the second the client was still building three years later.

The downside of being in control and doing what you like is that there’s a big risk that you’ll do something wrong and you’ll end up with a non-compliant building (seen too many times unfortunately).

The buck starts and stops with you (remember that YOU are the main contractor) and that any oversight on your part will remind you of turning your back on a problem (even for an instant). On our own self-build the areas that were probably the most problematic turned out perfect and the tiny errors we made were on stupid aspects that we’d blinked on for a second or were away that weekend when were done unsupervised.

So, as a conclusion; if you are looking at self-building you may not have an option financially and you have my support and hand-holding if you require an architect. It’s not an easy job but the rewards on completion when the house is finished and you’re living in what you built are immense.

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