House Self-Build

Eden.Agri.AD

Member
Mixed Farmer
Have many on here build their own house?

We are hopefully going to break ground this march on our self build project after 3 years of hassle but we are at the final hurdle now.

I always had this dream of me project managing the build as I have a real interest in doing so and factor in the cost savings etc.

But due to work commitments and a serve lack of available time, I cannot discount the value in giving a builder a 20-30% margin and let them at it.

Questions for the Self Builders,
1)Was it really as much hassle as everybody says it is to self project manage? (If I ask any self builders I know, the answer always is "Never Again")
2)How much time approx did it take up?
3)Did you actually save any money self project managing including adding in your own time and lost earnings?
4)Did you enjoy it?
5)If I get a builder to carry out a start to finish project, will I not have the horror stories to tell every other new self builder?
 

Mur Huwcun

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
North West Wales
Not a brand new house but a house renovation and a 36m sq extension done here. Had a builder on board on day rate that knew other trades but I had to organise most of them and organise all materials and deliveries etc etc. It was a lot of work but we did a lot of the graft work ourselves and only employed the trades for what we couldn't do. I was on site every evening straight from work to do something and here every weekend and holidays for 12 months!!

It was a lot of work but no way we could of afford a house of this size and finish otherwise. You will be constantly on the phone and it will take longer due to you trying to organise the trades to come at the correct time etc but will save a lot of money.

If you're self employed and busy I'm not sure if it's worth it if other things go behind etc or if you have young children (that cant carry blocks, shovel rubble etc!!!!!) then forget it. I practically lived on site and only went home to shower and sleep but look at it every day and get a fantastic feel of satisfaction!!!
 

del_boy

Member
Location
Herefordshire
You will save thousands if you over see it.
I built a 4 bed house 4 years ago now.
We was very lucky that our 2 builders done everything apart from the plumbing and electrics which made it easier . My brother is electrician so that helped.
If you got the gift of the gab and like talking on the phone ringing round getting the best price go for it. I was getting electric wire switches etc cheaper than my brother in the trade using his supplier. The savings can be immense. It would've paid me not to work for 12 months on what we saved.
A good relationship with builder helps and gives you notice on what materials to order next.
It was a bit stressful at times but i would definitely do it again, alot of satisfaction in it at the end.
 

Eden.Agri.AD

Member
Mixed Farmer
but look at it every day and get a fantastic feel of satisfaction!!!
It was a bit stressful at times but i would definitely do it again, alot of satisfaction in it at the end.

Thanks, it's good to here something positive about the whole experience, it actually shocks me that the average answer I get is always "Don't do it".

I can't image the level of satisfaction of looking at something you achieved every night.
 

Foxhollow

Member
Location
Bury St Edmunds
The problem people get into with getting a builder is that there generally is not sufficient detail for them to adequately price the job and also they do not ask for lump sum prices. When we did our house, which was gutting the existing and adding 2/3 additional floor space. I made sure we had a fully detailed set of drawings for everything. Then this was broken down into a detailed spec and very itemised work schedule. We then went to tender to 5 builders based on a lump sum contract with a time duration for doing the works proposed by the builder. The contract then had penalty payments per day if he was late.. When all 5 tenders came in the difference in price from the most expensive to the cheapest was 10%. As part of our build was refurbishment I knew that there was always going to be unknowns so allowed 10% contingency within my own budget. Overall the whole build price was the contract price and 8% which covered item for some unknowns such as once we removed some flooring there was some new joists to put in. Also we amended the lighting spec to full LED everywhere.
I was on site every day and got any problems agreed there and then backed up by written confirmation straight after. Also the builder was only paid for the work he completed so there was no upfront payments. Any builder usually has at least 30 days credit with suppliers. He got paid the amount that he had put in each itemised item in the tender. Every month we agreed what had been done in the month and he sent through an invoice which we paid within 24hrs as we had agreed the value of work done in the month together before him submitting his monthly invoice.
This way there is no incentive for him to take more time over things also if he took longer that was his risk.
 

rob h

Member
Location
east yorkshire
Our house was a self build 30 years ago.i did most of the work myself .used a bricky to put the shell up but I did the foundations roof plumbing electrics. Had a joiner do the doors skirtings etc and I laboured for him. Spent a lot of time ordering stuff and going to merchants for supplies. It took over 2 years but I enjoyed every minute. And saved a lot of money enabling us to build a much bigger house than we would have been able to afford. But if you are on a tight schedule it may be better to let the builder organise it
 

Forever Fendt

Member
Location
Derbyshire
You don’t want any tradesmen that usually work on housing sites (house bashers ) they earn to much money for a sh!t job I have built houses and a barn conversion it’s not hard if you have an insight into the job , if your a novice or learning forget it , you can save a lot of money and end up with a better job if you have good tradesmen you can call on , you will need to be on the job all the time really to make sure things run to plan , there is the triangle of Cost, Quality and Program and you will only ever achieve any 2 off them so you better decide at the outset which 2 you are aiming for
 

Mur Huwcun

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
North West Wales
Thanks, it's good to here something positive about the whole experience, it actually shocks me that the average answer I get is always "Don't do it".

I can't image the level of satisfaction of looking at something you achieved every night.

I look at my fire place every night and still remember the stones we had to pull out to get the lintel in and every time I go from the kitchen through to the hall way I look at the corner where we had to drill, plug and feather and split a massive stone to convert a window into a door way opening!!! I think you guaranteed need to get yourself involved, it just depends how much!! I did all groundworks, carried all blocks up scaffold, did all the gutting etc, re located and fitted a new staircase and did 90% of the dry lining and plasterboarding aswell plus a lot of pluming and running cables!!
 
I've done 3 and doing a 4th now. Not all from scratch (two were major renovations of old houses and two barn conversions).

I don't particularly enjoy it as dealing with the trades is a pain in the arse but I've saved a lot of money doing it this way and learnt a bit. I would say it worth doing it yourself unless you are in a hurry. Don't skimp for the sake of finishing the job off either - finish the job off when you move in
 

bobk

Member
Location
stafford
You don’t want any tradesmen that usually work on housing sites (house bashers ) they earn to much money for a sh!t job I have built houses and a barn conversion it’s not hard if you have an insight into the job , if your a novice or learning forget it , you can save a lot of money and end up with a better job if you have good tradesmen you can call on , you will need to be on the job all the time really to make sure things run to plan , there is the triangle of Cost, Quality and Program and you will only ever achieve any 2 off them so you better decide at the outset which 2 you are aiming for
This ^^^

It's not difficult to project manage , if you've got the right people employed .
The schedule is the most important aspect , you need to be 3 or 4 weeks ahead of the trades .
 

Landrover

Member
I was told before I started to build mine and it's very true, materials are the cheap thing, it's the labour that's expensive ! Builders can have a very different idea of what a day's work is ! But there is good and bad in all occupations !
 

Eden.Agri.AD

Member
Mixed Farmer
The 2 builders that I approached about doing the complete package have surprised me slightly with how meticulous they are with their pricing. Every detail is thought about down to every socket position before the house build starts and the price they quote is what you pay unless we make a change through the build.
One of them has a building team of 11!! and they give you 2/3 days at alternative weeks.. And these guys are expectational at what they do, I think there total squad is 26 strong including all sparks, plumbers, joiners etc

But for some reason I'm still leaning towards doing it myself
 

bobk

Member
Location
stafford
The 2 builders that I approached about doing the complete package have surprised me slightly with how meticulous they are with their pricing. Every detail is thought about down to every socket position before the house build starts and the price they quote is what you pay unless we make a change through the build.
One of them has a building team of 11!! and they give you 2/3 days at alternative weeks.. And these guys are expectational at what they do, I think there total squad is 26 strong including all sparks, plumbers, joiners etc

But for some reason I'm still leaning towards doing it myself
DIY and you'll halve the cost
 

Hfd Cattle

Member
Location
Hereford
Built a small house 3 yrs ago . OH project managed it cos my attitude would have been 'that will do !'
there was basically 5 involved in building it ....the OH , oak framer, the insulation man , general builder and the ground source heating man . They all worked together very well but were organised by the OH who stood for no nonsense!
I kept out of the way !! 4 bedroom house built in 12 mths from footings to moving in .
Would I do it again ......dunno !!
 

Update on the Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot

  • 171
  • 0
Update on the Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot

Written by Lisa Applin

Webp.net-resizeimage-3.jpg


In July, we opened the applications window for farmers to join our Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot.

The Sustainable Farming Incentive is 1 of the 3 new environmental land management schemes. It sits alongside the future Local Nature Recovery and Landscape Recovery schemes.

Through the Sustainable Farming Incentive, farmers will be paid for environmentally sustainable actions – ones that are simple to do and do not require previous agri-environment scheme experience.

We are piloting the scheme to...
Top