Have you found your dream area but can’t locate the property to match? Or are you looking for a rewarding experience encompassing dedication, determination and hard-work, that results in long-term financial security? Self-builds give you a blank space to build a unique property that stretches your imagination – and guarantees a fresh start that may be life-changing for some.
Self-builds can be one of the most rewarding – and lucrative – projects an individual can take on in their lifetime. Cornwall-based architect Märraum have experience helping passionate clients bring their dream home to life – so find out more about creating a space that’s both functional and inspiring, with the help of their self-build starter’s guide below.
The benefits that a self-build project can bring
From paper to plot, self-building may not be the most obvious answer for future homeowners – but there are a huge number of advantages that treading the path can bring. Residential new builds benefit from not needing to pay VAT on labour and materials – giving you huge savings throughout the development process. Plus, for individuals with a background in building, you can build at cost, with further enticing savings.
Choosing to self-build means that you gain complete autonomy over the functionality of your space, choosing every granular detail that makes up the DNA of your home. This means you can incorporate the latest technology and make detailed interior decisions that you wouldn’t be able to control otherwise.
Build with your own hands or admire from afar
The beauty of a self-build is that you can be as involved, or removed, from the project as you like. Deliver a brief to professionals or get hands on and build your future home brick by brick. There’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach to a self-build, and you’re free to let the journey unfold as you please.
Create a sustainable home for the future
Sustainability is one of the most important issues in today’s society, and it has had a huge impact on the property industry. Being your own project manager puts you in the unique position to make your home as eco-friendly and sustainable as you desire. If you’re passionate about creating an eco-friendly home then look at sustainable materials such as rammed earth, reclaimed wood and cork. Incorporate green spaces, make better material choices for the fabric of the building, design for reuse, look at ways to reduce energy consumption and adopt Passivhaus methodologies – all to make your property work for both you and the planet.
Securing finances for your self-build project
From buying your building plot and hiring a project manager, to investing in an architect, site surveys and contracting builders, a self-build requires a huge amount of financing before you’re ready to realise your dream. If you don’t have a significant amount of savings (and remember you’ll need a secure amount of ‘buffer’ for unforeseen obstacles that may arise) then you’ll need to turn to a mortgage.
Self-build projects are typically more difficult to secure funding for than a traditional mortgage, with the main difference being that a self-build mortgage releases your finance in stages, giving you bulk sums to finance developing stages of your project. Approaching a specialist self-build mortgage provider is one of the most successful ways to guarantee securing your finance.
Where to start?
Self-builds are a rewarding adventure, but knowing where to begin can be overwhelming. There are a few simple steps in the journey, each one more exciting than the last:
Start with a space: Space is your only limitation when it comes to letting your imagination run free. Understanding the size of your land, features and planning restrictions will provide the robust foundations for your property design. You can find land for sale through estate agents, newspapers and websites like Plot Search.
Decide on your story: At the heart of every architecture project is the people who use it. What do you want your property to convey? Your story will shape the functionality and aesthetic of your home. Is your property a practical space or an idyllic escape? Do you want to create a contemporary masterpiece or harken back to a rich heritage period?
Put pen to paper: A professional architect will take your brief and turn glimmering ideas into stunning, purpose-driven designs that spell out the blueprint of your build.
Bring your vision to life: Contracting tradespeople to build your home is a vital part of the process, and one that needs careful consideration. Your professional architect should have a network of trusted suppliers who they’ll be able to recommend. If you don’t have the time to personally oversee the project yourself then investment in a project manager is a must – they’ll be able to ensure the development goes smoothly and keep your project on budget.