To be seriously considering building my own house?

(55 Posts)
ziggiestardust Mon 09-Sep-13 16:56:53

Am I completely out of my mind?

I'm not talking about restoration, I'm talking about properly buying a plot of land and building a house.

Do people really do this? I'm just starting to wonder how ill ever reasonably afford a decent house otherwise. It seems like you get a lot more for your money, and you get exactly what you want too.

Has anyone done this?

ziggiestardust Mon 09-Sep-13 16:57:27

I'll not ill. Sorry.

BionicEmu Mon 09-Sep-13 17:03:12

I haven't, but looked into it a while ago. You can basically buy many types of kit houses, saves a lot of money over architects etc. But land is horrifically expensive, so for us land+building costs = cost of just buying a house, so we never bothered.

riksti Mon 09-Sep-13 17:08:30

We've been looking into kit houses. Basic logic seems to be that the cost of the kit house is 1/3 of total. 1/3 on land and 1/3 on preparation of land (plumbing, electrics), planning etc from what I understand designing and building your own is potentially even more.

(Ohh, and not sure whether the 1/3 rule applies everywhere or just where we are. It's been given to us as a rule of thumb by the local kit house sellers).

LegoDragon Mon 09-Sep-13 17:17:23

We did this as we moved to a country, and in the soecific are we moved to, this was very much the norm and cheaper. Wood build construction skeleton, not sure exactly what you would do, as again, wood build as the basic formation was what was normal. I would say- it will always take longer than you planned.

ziggiestardust Mon 09-Sep-13 17:25:54

Yes, it looks like land is anywhere between 40k and 120k depending on size, location and planning.

3 bed kit house is around 200k depending on fit etc.

You don't get a lot round here for 300k.

CailinDana Mon 09-Sep-13 17:30:33

It's quite common to build your own house in Ireland. From what I hear it can be incredibly stressful. My aunt built her own house and it is really gorgeous. Mum's friend also built and it is a total disaster. You have to plan meticulously and know what you're doing.

Mogz Mon 09-Sep-13 17:42:22

I would love to do this as I have a very strong idea of what my house should be like, but I doubt we'll ever have the budget.

marzipanned Mon 09-Sep-13 18:04:25

We want to do this, but there aren't many plots in our part of the world and none of the ones we've seen have been quite right yet. I think if the ideal plot came up we would go for it.

I found this company who offer an end to end service, or bits and pieces as you wish, and some of the houses look beautiful:

(I'm sure there are many others that offer the same service, just happened to see an ad for them in Country Living!)

intitgrand Mon 09-Sep-13 18:07:30

well good luck with finding a plot.They are scarce enough Estate agents have business relationships with developers and want to sell anything that comes up to them.

EastwickWitch Mon 09-Sep-13 18:10:59

I'd love to have done. You'll get exactly what you want.
Finding a plot & getting PP will be tricky though.

throckenholt Mon 09-Sep-13 18:12:06

My dad did this when I was about 7 (until I was about 18 !!). He did it all himself - to even digging the foundations by hand because couldn't get a digger on site. DH and I also sort of did similar - in that we built a large extension (doubled house size) and gutted the original house - down to bare bricks. We also lived in it at the same time (I wouldn't recommend that !).

Depends how much you can cope with - eg living on site in a static caravan - coping with winter and lack of space. And mess - inevitably there is a lot of mess.

Best rule of thumb - think of a triangle with cost, speed and quality in each corner - you can have any combination of two but not all 3 - so if you want cheap and quick then it is likely to be poor quality, cheap and quality is usually slow, and quality and quick is likely to be expensive.

And I agree it always takes longer than planned.

I think you have to be very realistic (not get dazzled by the glossy pictures and tv programs) - be tough on your budget, and be patient and not get discouraged.

littlemissnormal Mon 09-Sep-13 18:12:37

DP is currently building a house for someone on a plot of land in a village near us. They are charging him £7.5k to build the shell out of red brick including materials.

throckenholt Mon 09-Sep-13 18:15:21

those oakwright houses are beautiful - I would love all that oak inside !

ziggiestardust Mon 09-Sep-13 18:28:06

Yes love the oakwright houses, thank you for the link!

We live in Cornwall where, for a plot with PP, you're looking at about 80K. DH has 2 close friends on the town planning committee (small town!) and one of them has done a self build before. If nothing else, they should be able to advise what would be considered acceptable and what's not.

I was thinking of buying a plot of land, outright if possible, then finalising the PP over time, all whilst saving as much as reasonably possible over 2/3 years, so as to try to put down around £60k on an estimated build cost of around £200-250k.

ziggiestardust Mon 09-Sep-13 18:29:24

It also helps that we want a 2/3 bed home, really nothing big at all. We have 1 DC and want it to stay that way. So no extra school/nursery fees coming our way in the future that aren't planned for.

StephenFrySaidSo Mon 09-Sep-13 18:32:31

Op have you considered buying a house off plans in a new housing development? the earlier you get in the cheaper they tend to be and the more say you have in the final layout (to an extent of course) and finish.

ziggiestardust Mon 09-Sep-13 18:35:14

stephen I have not. How does that work?

ethelb Mon 09-Sep-13 18:39:48

I've seriously considered it. Only way I could afford a house. BUT you can't get a mortgage for a first build easily, if iat all, esp if you are a first time buyer.

ziggiestardust Mon 09-Sep-13 18:41:58

Oh really ethel? Is that so? I never knew that!

StephenFrySaidSo Mon 09-Sep-13 18:42:15

i would start by seeing what contractors are building or planning to build in the area you want to live. ask about (your dh's friends in the planning committee might have some good contacts) amongst neighbours and friends, keep your eyes open for new signage going up signalling new developments and then just contact the contractor, ask to look at the plans to see if it interests you and if so then start negotiating.

Tinlegs Mon 09-Sep-13 18:43:05

We do this. Allow 2 years from idea to hanging pictures. Planning is vital and can take ages. Get a good architect as they can do a lot more than just drawing a house. A respectable builder is vital....ours went bust half way through so get recommendations. Worth it but, unless you have unlimited money, you still don't get a dream house, just what you can afford.

BrianTheMole Mon 09-Sep-13 18:44:03

I love to do that. But land is so expensive around here. I keep looking out for that bargain plot though. You just never know.

StephenFrySaidSo Mon 09-Sep-13 18:45:23

i don't know if this still happens so much now but around 5ish years ago some contractors in my area (northern Ireland) were running schemes where they put up a percentage or a set figure of the deposit for your mortgage (through the bank they had the agreement with) if you were a first time buyer buying one of their homes. I've been away from the bank for a few years now though so not sure if these schemes stil exist.

StephenFrySaidSo Mon 09-Sep-13 18:49:25

if you are keen on building your own house and finding a plot don't be afraid to approach land owners if you see a spot you fancy. lots of farmers/land owners will be happy to sell you a plot providing they aren't in a green belt zone. my dad's friend actually saved his family home by selling off the land a plot at a time. the farm was going under, he had to get rid but no buyers for a farm. he was approached by a local family looking to build so he sold to them and then word got round that he was selling up and other people got in touch with him. he sold all the land and now has lots of lovely neighbours grin

FatPenguin Mon 09-Sep-13 18:52:52

Wow at the Oakwrights houses shock

I would love to build my own house. OH and I always say if we win the lottery we would buy land in Bath and design our own home.
If you are clear on all the costs, regulations/planning permission etc then why not?

ziggiestardust Mon 09-Sep-13 18:53:57

But I think it's nigh on impossible to get PP on arable land, isn't it?

Theincidental Mon 09-Sep-13 18:59:08

You can look for plots on plotfinder and through local auctioneers: kivells are good in Cornwall. Homebuilding and renovating have some useful online guides too. You can also a free appointment with an architect to discuss options and they can also help you with site selection if you have a plot in mind.

An architect is good value for money, as they can help get the most from your budget, have very good local planning knowledge and your build can be protected with Insurance and warranty.

Pm for more local info if you'd like OP as I'm down your way.

Squitten Mon 09-Sep-13 19:02:20

I have watched too many Grand Designs would love to build my own house but we're bloody awful at basic decorating so I think we'll wait a while...

mamabrownbear Mon 09-Sep-13 19:06:36

We are contemplating it. We've got some money saved up but don't want huge monthly payments, especially on a house where we've had to compromise on size plus we might find a house we like at the top of our budget and get knocked out by someone who can offer another £10k. That could happen time and time again so it would be cheaper and less heart breaking to build. Yes a lot of work, yes a lot of stress but in the end you get exactly what you want...don't you?

ziggiestardust Mon 09-Sep-13 19:09:15

Oh theincidental thank you SO much for that!! I'm ever so grateful.

Is there any mileage in buying arable land and just going for PP if you have the luxury of time? I'm only thinking that recently, farm land has been bought up by big companies (Taylor Wimpey et al) and turned into huge developments.

There is a massive housing shortage where I live.

Worth the risk? Or should I just pay extra and go for the plot with at least outline PP?

ziggiestardust Mon 09-Sep-13 19:10:20

Add message | Report | Message poster mamabrownbear Mon 09-Sep-13 19:06:36
We are contemplating it. We've got some money saved up but don't want huge monthly payments, especially on a house where we've had to compromise on size plus we might find a house we like at the top of our budget and get knocked out by someone who can offer another £10k. That could happen time and time again so it would be cheaper and less heart breaking to build. Yes a lot of work, yes a lot of stress but in the end you get exactly what you want...don't you?

This. This EXACTLY is why I want to build.

Tinlegs Mon 09-Sep-13 19:14:01

We did. Oops!

Theincidental Mon 09-Sep-13 19:14:44

It depends on where the land is. Permitted development rights re changing to include areas in the outskirts of towns/villages that includes some agricultural land.

Lmd in Cornwall can at a premium depending where, some towns like polzeath/rock can be upwards of 250k.

Sometimes a knock down rebuild can be a solution and easier with planning, though it adds costs in other ways.

CailinDana Mon 09-Sep-13 19:15:06

From what I've heard building is real minefield. If you have good builders/contractors then it's great but one cowboy can send the whole thing tits up. It can be great but don't underestimate what a huge project it is.

D0G Mon 09-Sep-13 19:21:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ziggiestardust Mon 09-Sep-13 19:23:35

Oh cailin I absolutely don't. For that reason I'd go for a turnkey self build with a large company. I'm sure there are loads of really great builders and contractors out there, but I wouldn't really want to go down that route.

theincidental I'm not anywhere near those areas grin not rich enough for that!!

Plomino Mon 09-Sep-13 19:23:41

I live in the fens , and people do it here a lot , as land is relatively cheap , so you get a lot of plot for your money . My house is a self build , as are about 50 percent of the houses in our tiny village of about 70 houses . My neighbours are all individual self builds too , some of which we have watched go up , and some are obviously better planned than others . The most successful ones as far as we can tell are those who really really thought what they wanted , and then told the architect everything . Potten houses seem to be very popular here too .

D0G Mon 09-Sep-13 19:24:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ziggiestardust Mon 09-Sep-13 19:25:18

Oh really D0G? Now that's interesting. I'd definitely get myself on site as much as possible to lend a hand/be a general dogsbody. I suppose it would make sense that would save money.

Plomino Mon 09-Sep-13 19:26:15

As for getting planning for arable land , I know that here you won't get planning permission for grade 1 arable any more , because one of my farming neighbours tried and got basically laughed out of the planning department .

ziggiestardust Mon 09-Sep-13 19:26:46

Yes not sure I'd buy land without PP, was just a thought. Although I suppose you'd then have to pay out for connection of services.

D0G Mon 09-Sep-13 19:31:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Beaverfeaver Mon 09-Sep-13 19:44:37

If I could I would in a heartbeat.

If I had the money and a plot wasn't available, I would then buy a run down building and either knock it down and start from scratch or redevelop it.

Oh the dream!

quoteunquote Mon 09-Sep-13 20:24:48

for those of you who like the oak frame.

I build, don't buy without planning, it would be silly.

^^ brilliant kit houses

Theincidental Mon 09-Sep-13 20:32:08

Sky space is beautiful d0g!

OP I'd start keeping an eye out for sites through the auction lists and estate agents if you are serious. Like I said, you can get architect's opinion on the possibilities of what planning permission the council would be likely to agree for an area. It's true that so much of the Cornish coast is designated aonb or ssi, but houses still get built! There are ways of creating a convincing application that meets the planning dept criteria and housing needs.

There is a lot going on in Cornwall on the construction side and if you scour through their website you might find some useful tips and potential funding sources too... Like the empty homes scheme.

You've missed this year but there's "get Cornwall building" event hosted by the council and "green Cornwall" which both focus on advice to potential home builders. Also coming up is the self build and design show in Exeter which might be worth a good mosey to get inspiration and find out more about the process. Free advice sessions and q and a with various suppliers.

throckenholt Tue 10-Sep-13 09:43:56

As far as I am aware the only people who can get planning permission on arable land are farmers and the building then has agricultural restrictions on it - ie only people with agricultural connections can live there. The local farmers used to do it quite often.

Otherwise, pretty much you don't get permission for small building projects on arable land (only big developments where they build a whole estate). So you really want to keep an eye out for a building plot with outline planning permission. And be aware that mortgages can be tricky - they won't lend you much on the idea - you have to have something of value which can cover the value of the mortgage should you go bankrupt and they need to get their money back.

ziggiestardust Tue 10-Sep-13 12:40:01

I've been puzzling over the idea of a knock down/re build actually. There's a little 2 bed place for sale nearby for £150k on a big plot. Next door to it are currently extending (massively as well), and every house in the area is totally different. In the mean time, it is very liveable. Newish kitchen and bathroom, nice sized rooms. Definitely worth a further look?

GibberTheMonkey Tue 10-Sep-13 12:42:58

I thought about this
Mins fault actually as I 'know' a blogger from here who built themselves a beautiful house

mistlethrush Tue 10-Sep-13 12:47:24

ziggie - I'm a planning consultant and regularly help clients on whether a certain piece of land has any chance of gaining consent or a house has a chance of extension etc... Planning does control significantly - but without it suburbia would be significantly larger and our 'green and pleasant land' wouldn't be as good as it remains.

ziggiestardust Tue 10-Sep-13 13:49:50

mistle so for that reason, do you think a knock down/re build or a renovation is a better approach?

ziggiestardust Tue 10-Sep-13 13:50:38

Because obviously, there's already a dwelling on that land; you're not taking away the green and pleasantness, if you see what I mean.

mistlethrush Tue 10-Sep-13 13:54:11

It depends where it is - because if its still in the Green Belt or the countryside outside a settlement, you might find there are restrictions on how much more floor area you can achieve. However, it does start with a good basis. Its not that difficult to check on this - you need to look at the planning policy section of the relevant Council and find it on one of their policy maps to see if there's any designation which covers the plot you're interested in. If it is within a settlement, then check whether there are particular rules that relate to house building or extending in that area etc etc etc.

Northernexile Tue 10-Sep-13 13:58:25

DH and I have done this- it is pretty common here (NI). We have a self-build mortgage, and we have saved money as DH, an engineer, bought land off family and project-managed the whole thing himself while working full-time.

It took about 3 years to get moved in, we had to spend the first nine months of married life living with MIL <shudder> as we couldn't afford to continue to rent and pump money into the build, and then we went and had DD, meaning the outside is still a building site as we have no time to spare.

It has been manic, but hugely rewarding, and I now have a home I could only have dreamed of having growing up on a council estate in the north west!

megjswg Fri 10-Jan-14 11:53:58

I know I'm a bit late joining this thread, but I was doing some browsing of topics!

We have been looking into building our own home and have completely fallen in love with Border Oak homes -

We have spoken and met with them and they are absolutely lovely, friendly, helpful and they seem to really know their trade.

The houses are just gorgeous and we've seen others built near us that sell for a lot! The prices they gave us seem really reasonable and has made me realise our dream could be a reality.

I would definitely take a look at their website (but be prepared to fall in love!).

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