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Anyone built their own home?

(11 Posts)
mulranno Fri 19-Aug-11 12:33:59

Thinking of selling up releasing equity to buy a cheap bungalow to know down so that I can build the house of my dreams....

mollschambers Fri 19-Aug-11 12:56:54

I have. What do you want to know?

mulranno Fri 19-Aug-11 13:40:32

Was it worth it? Was it as traumatic and all encompassing as you see on Grand Designs? - how much of your time does it demand - could I do this on top of raising my 4 kids and working full-time? what did you learn from it and what would you do differently? - does it always go over time and over budget?

Pendeen Sat 20-Aug-11 01:15:59

Depends what you mean by "build".

Imagine? Create? Design? Obtain statutory consents? Dig? Lay foundations? Drainlayig? Bricklaying? Carpentry? Roofing? Electrics (only some allowed for amateurs)? Gas (not at all for amateurs). Plumbing? Plastering? Fittings and fixtures? Flooring? Decorating?

Or are you just looking through glossy magazines and dreaming?

Forget dramatised and sanitised television rubbish such as Grand Designs.

mulranno Sat 20-Aug-11 11:23:20

Pendeen -- I would use a contractor for the whole thing - so my imput would be financial and design.

SquirtedPerfumeUpNoseInBoots Sat 20-Aug-11 11:41:03

I have.

It's nothing at all like Grand Designs.

Even if you hire a contractor to do all the work, there will still be decisions you need to make there and then. For example, they may start work on the founds and discover a problem with the ground. We discovered an old well. do you want it filled in and capped, or worked round? Either of these options means money, and until you make a decision no work goes on. So to answer your question, if you can take and make phone calls when in work and can get time off at short notice to be on site then yes you can manage it.

lucyspangle Sat 20-Aug-11 21:02:21

Have done this.
Took a year out of our lives basically and we did very little work- paid a company from plans to completion.Not the cheapest option obviously.
Came in on time and on budget.
Many many decisions to make in the process and many we would have made differently.
Was it worth it? Well at the height of property boom our house was valued at over 3 times the mortgage we had- but obviously that only really matters if you are going to sell-which we haven't.
Would we do it again-probaly. DH feels he has one more house in him!
Do your research and plan carefully.

mollschambers Sun 21-Aug-11 19:10:25

Yes it was worth it.

Yes it took over our lives. Pretty much put family life on hold for 18 months. We designed it ourselves and used separate trades. DH project managed - he's in the trade and would never trust anyone else to do it! Much cheaper. Even using one firm don't expect to leave them to it - you'll need to make decisions all along the way (and, frankly, be there to keep an eye on them)

Very little we would do differently (couple of electrical sockets could be better positioned but that's it really). DH is very clued up through his job.

Yes it often goes over time and over budget. You have to do your research and keep a tight hold on things. Things like groundworks and landscaping tend to be the things that people don't budget enough for. Also by the last stretch (kitchens, bathrooms, flooring) you're so used to writing cheques for thousands of pounds right, left and centre that it is easy to get carried away.

Won't ever do it again but built on family land and was always going to be our forever home.

queenmaeve Tue 23-Aug-11 23:15:05

We are in ours 2 years. It was the best thing we ever did, I still wake up and think wow this is ours! But.... to get here it was very stressful. But thats pretty much expected. We had a builder who did the work as far as the watertight stage, then we contracted our own electricians, plumbers, plasters, etc.
I was off on maternity leave and was on site every day. It is unbelievable the amount of decisions that have to be made.
You have to be organised with your paper work and finances, clear about what exactly you want and sometimes be an absolute pain in the ass to get people to do the job properly.
I knew nothing before we started but could chat with anyone now about underfloor heating or insulation.
But it is really worth it. We have a 3000 sq foot house, with an added 1000 sq ft games room, built for far less than what you would buy a house at. Every inch of space is used and it totally suits our family, heaven really.

oricella Wed 24-Aug-11 09:01:25

we're in the middle of it right now & it's stressful & fun

I do think that the balance between build costs and house prices is shifting; even a couple of years back you could let a house be put up by a contractor and it would instantly be worth a lot more than you paid for it. With house prices going down those margins are squeezed, especially as prices for materials go up (one window supplier increased their prices by 20% within a 3 month period!), as well as fuel costs

At the moment I think we're looking at zero return on investment when it's all done - but then, we intend to live in it for a while & invested heavily in extra insulation, so will be close to passive house standard, and of course we will have a truly gorgeous house

jennymac Wed 24-Aug-11 13:40:46

Also in the middle of house building - hope to be in in 3 months. Haven't found it particularly stressful but we did hire a contractor and my dh has done most of the liaising and checking the site on an almost daily basis to check things are being done right. Definitely costs more than you expect - and there are loads of decisions to be made constantly. Because of the fall in house prices and value of land etc, the house probably won't be worth much more than it is costing us to build (plus we have the expense of renting until it is completed). However, I love the way it is shaping up, and at least you know the house will be done to a high standard including high spec of insulation etc. All in all, worth doing. My dh said that if we were to do it again, he would definitely project manage it ourselves and save a fortune - but heh, you live and learn!

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