As you can probably tell – I’m a complete novice! I can’t spare any time away from work to be involved in the actual building but new homes from developers seem to me to be VERY expensive and I’m wondering if we could “do it ourselves” for less? Any help most gratefully received… Thanks!

  • Adam

    Hi Sarah,

    It would entirely plausible to complete a build for this sum of money. You will find many experienced builders, kit home makers and designers (to name but a few of your options!) capable of undertaking this kind of work to a fixed budget.

    A word of caution however. You should do thorough research into the ‘hidden’ costs involved in building a new home. These can sometimes take you by surprise. Planning and building regulations consent require commissioning drawings that can run to the many thousands. Council fees are not cheap. The costs of new connections for electricity, water, gas and sewerage can be abhorrently expensive. Find out who the service providers are for your area and contact them for more information. Often you will need to provide further information for them to give you a quote on connections. The further from the source point (usually the road) the more it’s going to cost. These costs may well influence where you site your home within the plot; this has been true of one place I have built before.

    Once you have investigated these costs and tallied them up you will be left with a figure that you can allocate to the build. Have working drawings drafted (detailed construction drawings; a structural engineer can help here if you are planning on a brick home) that builders can use to precisely quote costs. Make sure that you give all builders the same information to quote from. This means you will need to do a lot of research beforehand relating to ALL your fixtures and finishes or you may end up with very different quotes as builders assume different things for you.

    I find it can be useful to ask them to quote to build the finished shell: constructed to a plastered finish with services in and operational. This will give you a level playing field for comparison and you can then discuss costs for finishing. Most builders can give you fixed prices for things like kitchen/bathroom installations.

    Another option is to research kit home suppliers who offer turn key services at a fixed rate. It can be more straightforward and has far less scope for veering off budget. Your prices are fixed at the start of the project and shouldn’t deviate unless you make changes.

    However you go about it, such a project is a lot of work but can be immensely satisfying. Good luck with it!

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