Self Build: Not for the faint hearted

According to research released this week one in three people in the UK would consider building their own home in the next five years.  A sizeable figure indeed, but is the idea of creating your dream home a lot more attractive than the reality?

We’ve all seen Grand Designs on the TV. The end result is often a glamorous, spacious property with a stylish interior built exactly to the owner’s personal specifications.  Indeed the programme makers don’t pretend this end result is easy to come by.  We are taken through the ups and downs, heartbreak and stumbling blocks that are often faced, but are the risks associated with building your own property somewhat played down in the limited one hour slot that these programme makers are given?

The reality of building your own home is that it is hard work. It is a full time project that can take years and will almost certainly absorb your bank balance and most likely take over your life.  There are those that are fully prepared for this, understand the potential pit falls and have the acute understanding of planning, surveying, building and design required for such a project.  However, to imply that one in three people might be suited to self build is a little optimistic to say the least.  Although it might be a nice dream to have, most people who like the idea of having more control over the design of their home might be better placed to opt for a new build property instead.

The research mentioned earlier found that 42% of respondents claimed that the biggest attraction of carrying out a self build was to create a home that suited their own individual wants and needs.  In many cases, liaising with a developer at the outset of a new build project will allow you to have more input than you might think.  Estate agents in your desired location will be able to alert you to housing development plans and put you in touch with the developer.  If you speak to the developer early enough you may be able to have input into fixtures, fittings, kitchens, carpets and in some cases room layout. For the vast majority this is surely a much more manageable way of achieving your dream home.