A call out to all self builders here. We’re due to embark on a self build for the first time and I’m keen to do the project management myself. However, all the magazine articles, books etc say you need to be on site every day and devote a huge amount of time each day to the project. I work almost full time and could do with an idea of how realistic it is for me to be doing the management myself. Without blowing my own trumpet, I do have excellent organisational skills (is this a job application??) and am lucky enough to have flexible employers who are happy for me to take calls at work and nip out if I need to.

Any previous experience stories gratefully received.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Rebecca. Don’t underestimate the time you’ll require, which rather depends on how smoothly the project goes. This route involves being responsible for deliveries (you’ll note the use of the word ‘responsible’ – meaning that you can in theory have an allotted person there to accept and sign for deliveries but you’ll need to co-ordinate it all), lining up labour and materials on site for tomorrow, next week and next month – so it’s a lot of time on Gantt charts and on the phone.
    Also, of course, it’s time filling in on site – the jobs that the main contractor will usually do such as sweeping up, even installing some products that fall between the gaps of trades’ tasks.
    You’ll also need to give some time to arranging the site logistics, e.g. everything from making sure the loo works to arranging building and warranty inspections.
    So it’s pretty difficult to quantify in terms of time but hopefully that gives you a picture.

  • Vince Holden - Construction Project Manager Holden


    I think what Jason has written is the tip of the iceberg and a colossal understatement for the first timer.
    Clearly, as a professional, I am bound to have a biased view here but since this is your first project, I envisage you in for a rough ride.
    You do not indicate the size of the project but construction works (and more importantly sub-contractors) are not to be underestimated. Unfortunately, excellent organisational skills will only help you part of the way.
    You may want to consider the option where you employ a Manager for certain aspects, who will work alongside you on this first project so you can learn, but not the hard way.
    Please visit my web site for more tips.

    Vince Holden ACIOB
    Construction Project Manager

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