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Over 5 million people watch Channel 4's Grand Designs every week - when it's on - but only 15,000 people a year are brave enough to actually go ahead and build their own home from scratch or carry out a major renovation or conversion.

The key reasons why people don't take the self build option are:-
1. Don't think they can afford it.
2. Think a renovation is easier.
3. Believe they have to do it themselves.

All of these are rarely true. Some people (even now) are self building on budgets of £100,000 or in cheaper areas for less money.

Affordability of Self Build
The average self build costs around £250k to £300k, but can cost from as little as £60,000 to well, millions!

Many still believe that you have to have the cash to build a property, so think you have to sell your home, move into a caravan and then build throughout a freezing winter! In actual fact you can now secure funds based on the equity in your current home, live there while the build takes place and then when it's ready to move in, you sell your old home and can remortgage as you would do normally!

So if you own a home that's worth around £250,000 it's likely you can self build, no problem. If you are first time buyer and can find some land at a good price, it may be you can build yourself a new home even if you can't afford an already built one.

Think Renovation is Easier than Self Build
Kate can guarantee it isn't! Her love of property came from renovating and it is fraught with difficulty, particularly if it's an older property.

Self Build is far easier than renovating. As long as the property is built on land that already has utilities connected to it then they just have to be connected up and the property built. You know everything about your property's construction, can decide whether you want partition walls or brick built for noise reduction. Subject to planning regulations the room sizes can be of your choosing as can the layout. Neither of these is rarely possible with renovation!

Timber frame self build kits mean that you can build fast and furious, standard properties can be built within six months and means that 40% of your costs can be fixed from the start.

Does Self Build Have to be Self Built?
Unlike many of the TV shows, most self builders choose to get the builders in rather than do it themselves and do so on a fixed fee for the whole job. You can choose to play as much part in the build as you wish, so you can choose all the materials and order them yourself, or just choose the materials and hand over the ordering to the builders.

Typically the costs of a self build are broken down as follows:-

Land50% of costs
Materials25% of costs
Labour25% of costs

So on an average build cost of £300,000 the labour would be around £75,000.

Self Build Extra Checks
When considering a self build you would need to:-

1. Speak to an experienced IFA to find out how much you could afford.
2. Visit one of the self build companies such as Potton or Oakworth Homes so you understand what type of build you want and the likely costs involved.
3. Start looking for plots of land - but only buy ones with planning permission or a property that you can tear down and rebuild what you want (subject to planning of course).
4. Make sure you gain a self build insurance certificate from the likes of Zurich or Premier Guarantee.
5. Ensure all the certificates that are required are in place such as building control, gas and electrical safety certificates.

To find out more about how we can support you during your property project visit our Introduction page in the Essentials section.

For more information about how we can help support you throughout your property project, please email: enquiries@designsonproperty.co.uk or call us 0845 838 1763. We'd love to speak to you!

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