Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pitfalls and Pleasures of Building Your Own Home; in a Series of Articles, David Smailes Will Share His Knowledge of Construction to Provide Guidance and Point out the Possible Pitfalls When Building Your Own Home

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pitfalls and Pleasures of Building Your Own Home; in a Series of Articles, David Smailes Will Share His Knowledge of Construction to Provide Guidance and Point out the Possible Pitfalls When Building Your Own Home

Article excerpt

Byline: David

MANY of us dream of building our own home. But, of course, few us will actually do it, leaving it instead to the professionals.

However, every year, some 13,000 people embark on a self-build adventure.

In my opinion, there are selfbuilds and there are self-builds. What I mean is there are enthusiastic amateurs, extremely competent DIYERS and individuals with a background in construction who will undertake most aspects of the building work themselves.

And there are those who have neither the skills, the time, nor the inclination to attempt the work, preferring to appoint a reputable contractor to undertake the work on their behalf.

Whichever way you choose to go, the process and the stages of construction will be the same. However, either option will bring benefits and challenges which will become apparent in different ways as the project develops.

Typically, by doing all the work yourself, the key benefit will be one of saving you money.

Of course, saving money is important, but without a large team of helpers willing to work for free it will take longer to build, especially if you have a day job to go to.

Budget control has to be your number one priority, irrespective of the route you choose. Depending on the scale of your project you will also be liable to paying VAT, which incurs an additional cost of 20% We've all watched programmes like Grand Designs, and while these undoubtedly produce some stunning results, they are not without their challenges when it comes to having expectations that exceed budgets.

This is where many self-builds begin to struggle from day one. It's important that if you plan to manage the work yourself, you understand the scope of works you are about to undertake and the costs associated with achieving your desired finish.

Capturing the essence of understanding cost and value, art critic John Ruskin once said: "It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. …

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