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Self build - totally crazy?

(15 Posts)
InnocentWhenYouDream Tue 16-Jun-15 06:54:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sandpipernest Tue 16-Jun-15 18:05:04

Land will be your issue. If you have land with planning you're there - butyour hurdle will be land.

Where do you live that plots are so cheap?

lalalonglegs Tue 16-Jun-15 18:42:12

I've visited a lot of self-build homes in a previous life. It depends what you want but, unless you are very experienced, hands-on and have lots of amazing ideas, that budget will get you a pretty standard, quite unexciting house. If you're going to go to the trouble of doing it - and even having a reliable (not a given) main contractor is little guarantee that there won't be a whole load of problems along the way - then try to get something designed. Kit houses, unless they are at the very top end such as Huf House or Border Oak, often feel a bit generic.

Spending money siting the house well on the plot makes a big difference (you'd be surprised how many people get that wrong), allow a great deal of money for landscaping so it blends into its surroundings a bit and don't be tempted to build something big for the sake of it. Spend money on good quality exterior fittings - cheap bricks and windows will always look cheap - and get the proportions right: if you are building a traditional home, make sure the window size and spacing, roof height etc are exactly as they should be.

I'd love to build my own house but live in London where it would be financially impossible and I'm under no illusion that, while the build lasts, sometimes beyond, it is often a jeffing nightmare.

InnocentWhenYouDream Tue 16-Jun-15 20:03:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Apatite1 Tue 16-Jun-15 20:35:30

I'm building a house in London, early days yet. The project manager is brilliant at keeping on top of things, I was forced into making decisions quickly when I got pregnant and we are building to a deadline. It's stressful, i get lots of calls and it's expensive as we have a turnkey service, but so far so good.

Apatite1 Tue 16-Jun-15 20:37:21

And yes, landscaping is a big cost too.

lalalonglegs Tue 16-Jun-15 21:03:06

Ooh, Apatite, where are you building <nosy>? You can PM me if you want to share but don't want to paste all over MN. Am genuinely interested. Good luck.

Good luck to you too, Innocent. Small is definitely beautiful - you'd be amazed by the number of people that include completely extraneous rooms (dining rooms in particular: "It so lovely at Christmas" hmm) or have en-suites with every bedroom so it ends up feeling like a hotel. Or have enormous open plan living kitchens and end up just inhabiting one corner of them (you can tell because all the appliances etc are down one end). And, imo, there is such a thing as too light and airy - if you have to squint in a room, the windows are too big or, at the very least, you should have incorporated a brise-soleil. Can you tell I've seen a lot of not-completely-thought-through self-builds?

Shakespearmint Tue 16-Jun-15 21:14:39

I am an Architect and work for a building contractor .
You need to be very energetic and determined . Enlightened too!
If you are savvy and employ good consultants to design and get the design and planning sorted well in advanced of the construction you can save yourself a lot of stress .
It is true what the previous writer said .....big bland hotel spaces that are dead . Look at contemporary architectural magazines on architecture to see what is possible in places like Scotland /Denmark . Be careful of watching too much grand designs !

Shakespearmint Tue 16-Jun-15 21:16:18

And yes ! Small is beautiful . Squeeze the juice out of every metre !

Shakespearmint Tue 16-Jun-15 21:23:20

By the way have you heard of the Tom Waits song : you innocent when you dream?

InnocentWhenYouDream Tue 16-Jun-15 21:27:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

InnocentWhenYouDream Tue 16-Jun-15 21:29:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pinkje Tue 16-Jun-15 21:35:14

You might be interested in the Housebuilding show in October, Edinburgh.


And have you looked at passivehaus? That might fit your criteria.

Or why not get in touch with Channel 4 if you don't mind having the lot recorded for TV - thinking along the lines of 'building the dream' rather than grand designs!

ClearEyesFullHearts Tue 16-Jun-15 21:37:36

We wanted very much to do our own build this last move.

We even went as far as flying to the Black Forest area for a weekend and visiting the WeberHaus HQ in Germany. Met with our liaison who gave us a tour of the factory to show precisely how the homes are built (I thought I'd hate it but it was fascinating). We got to go through all the show homes to get an idea of design possibilities. They have gazillions of fixtures and bits and bobs of everything. They walk you through the whole process of how it works. It's hugely entertaining. They'll even design the house for you, more or less. I can't recommend it strongly enough.

In the end we couldn't find the right spot of land in our area and had to abandon the idea. But for our retirement...

MelanieK2015 Thu 30-Jul-15 13:29:59

Hi InnocentWhenYouDream, that budget should work fine for you as your 250-300k less the 90k plot leaves you with plenty for a custom build house. I'm an architect in the day job and design houses for Hanse Haus and your budget could get you a 1200-1300 sq foot house or large bungalow by the sound of it

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