If we think about self-build in its literal sense it suggests that we are going to be the ones doing all the physical work, digging the foundations, erecting the timber frame . . . That is definitely not me! While I continue to use the term incorrectly I sometimes feel that custom build is not a good description either. Somewhere between the two there needs to be a new word or phrase to describe what’s going on today! Self-builders may not be hands-on but they are very much entrepreneurial in mindset, regardless what their profession or status in life. They face real challenges which they can only overcome with determination.
I was interested to find my latest guest, Homebuilding & Renovating’s very own Jason Orme, coming to this same conclusion but also adding that this is what needs to be dissolved! So maybe we don’t need to create a new term just yet. The reason Jason says this is because research suggests that lots of people want to build a house (10-30% of the population, depending on your source) but when it comes down to the practicalities of finding a plot and so on, the numbers drop off very quickly. Currently there are around 11,300 new self-build projects each year in the UK.
So could custom build take away the bits that we don’t like about self-building? For example, if you could just buy a serviced plot where the planning had already been done that’s got to be a very nice step in the right direction. Imagine if you could keep the costs fixed too and have a schedule of when things would happen (and they would actually happen according to this schedule!). It does sound great and you would still be getting an individual home. I suppose the question is how will it come about?
In this latest podcast Jason Orme shares why custom build is gradually gaining momentum and what the likely time-scale might be. He also talks about some of common pitfalls that self-builders face in the meantime and how you can avoid them.