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Financing and reflection

Thedreamer

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This will be the last entry for our self build blog.

 

Our plan

 

We originally commenced a self build as there was no affordable housing for us to get on the housing ladder.

 

The approach for the self build, was whether we could build a better-quality house than what we could purchase from a developer for the same cost. This was later refined to achieving a lower mortgage if possible.

 

For the self build we decided to split the project into three chunks.

 

1. Obtain outline planning, purchase of site – this allowed us to know that a build was possible.

 

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2. Put in services, access, design – this was the first actual work and made an area of croft ground into a valuable plot for lending purposes.

 

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Commence the build over two years - using subcontractors and our own materials to eliminate any margins and ensure tight control over the specification.

 

 

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Doing this would allow us to complete the project and prevent us being stuck unable to finish it.

 

What did it cost?

The total cost for the project was just over £196,000 (net of VAT). This includes the land, services, professional fees, overheads and the actual build costs.

I’ve summarised all of my costs into a pie chart below.

 

image.png.c23a6b0b2476cc6aacc61596219fc7b8.png

 

How was it funded?

·        A small electricity grant £1,550

·        We obtained a croft house grant for £38,000

·        The final mortgage of £74,500

·        The remaining balance of £81,950 was funded by savings from employment, which started when we were 23 and finished when we moved into the house in July 20 at 33.

·        Most of the work we carried out was decorating and general labouring, therefore contributed a small amount of sweat equity to the project.

 

What is the final result?

The surveyor provided a valuation back to the building society of £265,000. This was pleasing as sometimes self builds can be more expensive then the total project costs or just about breakeven.

Prior to building we were aware of building cost being measured per m2. However, during the build process I realised that this method of reviewing the financial performance of a self build had room for error, as the calculation could be skewed depending on the quality of the finish.

 

For the purposes of our project this would be £1,420 or £1,230 excluding (land, professional fees and overheads).

 

I came to the conclusion that the best method for us is calculating the final cost per month (mortgage, utilities, council tax, insurance) to live in the house. I set a target of £500 per month and I am pleased that we have been able to achieve this. I feel this is a good measure as I wouldn’t want to live in an expensive house that has a huge mortgage.

 

Often at the end of Grand Designs and other tv shows, the presenter asks whether they would do it again?

For us I would say, yes, of course. When I look around, every single item in the house was researched, compared, purchased and gradually put together. The thought, time and energy that we have put into this build has created a much deeper connection to the property. Our blood, sweat and tears are in the very fabric of the house.  

The hardest part of the process was when we were focussing on saving as much of our income as possible to ensuring a low mortgage. We made many sacrifices to ensure we reached this end goal, but we knew these relatively short term sacrifices would have long term gains for our family.

 

For the actual building of the house, we chose a two year build schedule from starting on the foundations. This allowed us planning time between build stages and made the build process more manageable. It also allowed us time to do some jobs ourselves such as fitting insulation, interior decorating etc. We enjoyed taking time to do the jobs we were confident in doing well ourselves. Perhaps we could have taken on the more tasks, but I’ve come to the conclusion that it made more sense to work a bit of overtime and pay a contractor to do the work well, rather than us doing a job slowly and at a reduced quality.

 

In the future, we would consider another self-build, perhaps in thirty years when I will be semi or hopefully fully retired. So until then…

 

See you next time and thanks for reading.

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First of all, congratulations on living the dream. Thank you for sharing the details. 

One number that surprises me is the percentage spent on the superstructure. 18% including the roof looks very low and as there is no separate section for the insulation I gather it's also included. This is quite a result. 

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congratulations on building yourself a lovely house.

any chance you can show us a layout.

you are very lucky to get a grant of 38k, nothing like that is available in my neck of the woods.

enjoy living there and it's lovely to know that you have plenty of equity in your property in these uncertain times.

 

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1 hour ago, LSB said:

congratulations on building yourself a lovely house.

any chance you can show us a layout.

you are very lucky to get a grant of 38k, nothing like that is available in my neck of the woods.

enjoy living there and it's lovely to know that you have plenty of equity in your property in these uncertain times.

 

image.thumb.png.4410eed71139c7cf31e77b0a6be43359.png

 

image.thumb.png.2e93a7633880df7396564abc00503772.png

Hope that comes through ok! We did away with the wardrobe, WC and store upstairs. Now have an open plan living area for our children. 

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5 minutes ago, Thedreamer said:

image.thumb.png.4410eed71139c7cf31e77b0a6be43359.png

 

image.thumb.png.2e93a7633880df7396564abc00503772.png

Hope that comes through ok! We did away with the wardrobe, WC and store upstairs. Now have an open plan living area for our children. 

thanks, great to see someone's plans that have made it to completion and interesting to see how you did away with some things during the build.

 

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1 hour ago, oldkettle said:

First of all, congratulations on living the dream. Thank you for sharing the details. 

One number that surprises me is the percentage spent on the superstructure. 18% including the roof looks very low and as there is no separate section for the insulation I gather it's also included. This is quite a result. 

 

It cost £13k for the materials to build the kit. Included within that is £5k for engineered attic trusses from Pasquill.

 

Labour was £9k, included within that was the time making the kit, erecting it and also the suspended ground floor.

 

Other expensive items were a steel beam for the vaulted ceiling and three Kerto beams for the middle ridge part.

 

I also had to hire a telehandler with a truss jib for two weeks that cost around £750. 

 

By the end of that we looked like this.

 

P1150495.thumb.JPG.077d9df628d1e542c7d563a22b998d4c.JPG

 

Roof for the main part.

 

Was £5k for the Cupa heavies slates and £4.5k for the roofer.

 

The wee metal lean to roof was cost about £1.2k for materials and labour.

 

Included within the roof is also some cast iron affect guttering, which was around £500 and £250 for labour in fitting.

 

Yes I have included insulation, within 1st fix.

 

We spent around £5k on insulation.  Could add another £1.5k for labour as joiners did the rafters and service void insulation. We fitted the glasswool and the groundfloor insulation ourselves.

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Great summary, thanks. 
 

This comment was pleasing to read

 

The thought, time and energy that we have put into this build has created a much deeper connection to the property. Our blood, sweat and tears are in the very fabric of the house. “
 

To a degree I think that this is one of the major measures of success if you can feel like that at the end of it. Your build process seems to have gone relatively smoothly in general (I’ve been following you blog). I think that when things start to go wrong and there are large overpends, poor workmanship or reliability issues from  trades etc. then that’s where the ‘falling out of love’ begins. It’s always good to hear when the journey has been worth it. 

 

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6 hours ago, newhome said:

Great summary, thanks. 
 

This comment was pleasing to read

 

The thought, time and energy that we have put into this build has created a much deeper connection to the property. Our blood, sweat and tears are in the very fabric of the house. “
 

To a degree I think that this is one of the major measures of success if you can feel like that at the end of it. Your build process seems to have gone relatively smoothly in general (I’ve been following you blog). I think that when things start to go wrong and there are large overpends, poor workmanship or reliability issues from  trades etc. then that’s where the ‘falling out of love’ begins. It’s always good to hear when the journey has been worth it. 

 

 

One benefit of self building in a small community was that all my contractors knew each other and would know the standard of each others work. They also had each other's mobile numbers so could drop each other messages if any issues overlapped etc. This approach created synergies that would probably not have been achievable in a more urban environment.

 

As this will probably be the biggest purchase of my life, an added bonus is that our labour cost went into the pockets of local contractors. As a chartered accountant serving local businesses this was important to me.

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30 minutes ago, Thedreamer said:

One benefit of self building in a small community was that all my contractors knew each other and would know the standard of each others work.

 

Yes that's a great benefit. We moved 400 miles so didn't know any trades. That said we did get some good ones (and a few sharks too). 

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