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Answering the Most Common Questions About Self-Build Projects

Thinking about undertaking a self-build project, and creating the home you’ve always wanted? Wondering where and how to start your self-build journey? You’re not alone, self-build projects are a unique experience unlike any other type of building project. Alongside all of the excitement of designing your own individual space, there is an overwhelming amount to consider and plan, and many challenges that arise along the way. 

Below, we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions about self-build projects in an easy-to-read, quick guide. From what a self-build actually is, to whether it’s the right idea for you, we answer the most essential queries. Read on to learn more about the whole process. If you’re in need of more self-build advice, please contact the HEM Architects team via our contact details at the bottom. 

What is a Self-Build Project?

Self-build projects are a unique type of construction project, involving an individual commissioning a house to be built on a particular piece of land that they own, with the purpose being to live in this house after its construction. A self-build is normally overseen by a would-be homeowner, often working in close collaboration with an architect such as HEM Architects, or specialist design and build team. 

Ultimately, working alongside the architect, the aim of the self-build project is to plan, design and build a dream house that meets all of the personal specifications and requirements. Whilst self-builders are deeply involved in the overall creative process of a self-build, they are generally not actively involved in the building work. Construction is typically taken on by professional tradespeople and experts.

Is Self-Build the Right Choice?

One of the most common questions that we receive is whether a self-build is the right fit and direction to go in. The answer isn’t a short one, as there are many factors to consider here. Essentially, the whole self-building process is about building a home that is right for you and suits your lifestyle. When you compare this with simply buying an existing house on the market, and settling for an existing design, layout and look, a self-build is a considerably more personal and involved experience.

At the same time, there can be several restrictions that exist for self-builders, making the process complicated and challenging from start to finish. For example, planning can be less straight forward for a new build which may affect your project programme. But, overall, a self-build is the right choice for you if you want to live in a home that is unlike any other, and would normally be out of your price range financially if you were browsing the market.

A self-build will give you the best quality of life, allowing you to design and build a house that complements your lifestyle and gives you a comfortable, healthy house. If you are considering a self-build though, it’s vital that you remember it’ll consume a lot of your time, energy, brain power and money. You need to be fully committed and passionate about what you’re doing; if you’re not, self-building may not be for you.

How Do You Find a Self-Build Plot?

When you are thinking about embarking on a self-build journey, one of the first things you need to ensure is that you have found a self-build plot. There are different approaches to finding a plot, from using websites of specialist plot finding services online to personally exploring the local area, attending auctions and using word of mouth. 

Furthermore, it’s also smart to register with your local authority under the Right to Build scheme; this scheme requires local authorities in England to monitor the demand for serviced plots in their area. Once you have found a plot, you need to assess and examine it in more detail, looking out for planning permission that has expired or will expire soon, potential access issues, any covenants, services and the title deeds. 

Do You Need an Architect for Self-Building?

Working with a good architect is highly recommended for a self-build project. At HEM Architects, our architects working in Rotherham, Sheffield and surrounding areas, can assist you throughout the whole build process. From design and budgeting to planning and construction methods, we’ll be with you every step of the way, ensuring that you end up living in a user-friendly space that’s tailor-made for your lifestyle. 

We’ll guarantee that your self-build is warmer, more comfortable and healthier for you to live in, building your dream home. If you would like to get in touch with us to discuss homebuilding and renovating, then please fill out the online enquiry form on our website, or call us today on +44 (0) 114 4420 123.