We've gathered tips and advice from our experts and customers to help prepare you for your self-build

28 March 2018 Potton News

Self-Builder Top Tip

Ellis People Pic

Take photographs!

First-time self-builders Brian and Loveday Ellis recommend taking plenty of photographs showing where wires and underground pipes run.

"Looking back, it would've been helpful to have images of every wall and ceiling before the plasterboard went on!"

Be organised – it will pay later!
After completion of your build, you will have up to 3 months to submit and reclaim your VAT. Stay organised and file everything as you get it so you can find it easily when required.

Using local trades
Hire local trades wherever possible with personal recommendations that have a reputation to maintain in the area, this will mean they are focussed on detail and delivering the best job possible.

Befriend your new neighbours
Make friends with your neighbours and keep them happy throughout the build. Neighbours will provide invaluable for keeping an eye on your site, particularly after hours. It is inevitable that at some time you will cause them some inconvenience, so by making an effort they will be more likely to be supportive when you need it!

Preparation is key

Georgian Style House by Potton

Be as well prepared as possible before you start y ou build. As the construction progresses, you will be bombarded with questions and decisions and will have little time to investigate solutions. Having the answers to hand before the questions are asked will prove invaluable and you will feel much more in control of the process. Gill Deeks, who built this Rectory style home says:

“it is never too early to start putting all your ideas down - your must-have lists are essential, plus a realistic budget plan of what they will cost.”

Former Potton self-builder, Gill Deeks, looked after the interior design in our Milchester show home when it was given a makeover early 2018. Our Milchester, rectory-style, show house is open to the public. Visit the show centre page for opening times and directions.

Dining Room Potton Self Build Home
Luxury on a budget
If you want a luxury feel to your self build, but only have a limited budget, then focus on the things that you ‘touch’ on a regular basis and those things that cannot be changed at a later date. For example a good quality handle will lift an average door without spending an excessive amount of money.

Involve the planners
Start discussions and establish a good relationship with your local planning department as early as possible, this will help to avoid possible conflicts and they are much more likely to be open to your project if they feel engaged and involved prior to and leading up to planning permission being applied for.

On-site storage
If your build includes garages or out buildings then consider building these first if you have the time and space. You can never have enough dry and secure storage space on a building site and these buildings effectively come free, saving you money by not having to hire storage containers.

Which build route is right for you?

Before deciding upon which route you will take to build your home have a very clear understanding of what time and commitment you can devote to your project. If you are time precious then don’t go down the self-managed route. If you think you will want to be involved at every stage and be part of every decision then a project managed or turnkey solution may also not be right for you. Try to match your time and commitment to the most appropriate route to avoid unnecessary additional cost or conflict by trying to do the project management on behalf of your project manager.

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