Building controls have issued our “Completion Notice” a big milestone for any self build and definitely called for a celebration. A big sigh of relief from both our councils building control and us.🙄
Our many thanks to all the contributors at BuildHub, we certainly could not have done it without the support of the forum members. Particularly Jeremy Harris @Jeremy Harriswho’s broad knowledge and good advice...goodness knows where he’s disappeared to but the forum is a poorer place without his input.
It’s been a while since we first broke ground in January 2019 and it certainly has had it’s moments and a good few sleepless nights.
There is no doubt in our minds when doing a self build that you have to be doing it for yourselves. We’ve ended up with a house that we could not have gone out and purchased and learned a whole lot on the way. Our initial vision was something small, manageable and future proofed. Hopefully we have achieved this and have added a decent quality house to the housing stock.
When we started we visited the building research establishment (BRE) and looked at the Zed Factory house that was there. We decided to take a look at that route. ZED provided either a shell or turnkey solutions, both of which were within our budget. The cost per square metre in the ZED literature at BRE indicated a very competitive turnkey price in the region of £1,350 a square meter. As with all things the low price came with compromises as it was a “cookie cutter” solution and the finish was not all that we would have liked. What we have ended up with is our own vision at a comparable cost of around £1,400 a square metre built to our specification. Sounds like a great result, that is until you factor in the fact that we did the majority of the labour. It’s easy to see why the prices from ZED increased to more like £1,600 a square meter when we asked them to quote.
From a design point we still need to live a full year in the house to know if we got our energy sums correct. Early indications are that we should need very minimal input in winter but may have too much solar gain in spring. Our east facing windows are great for the clear winter morning but a little too warm for April sun. In the big scheme of things it should be easily fixed by adding blinds. Our EPC rating came out as a “B” marked down from a due to our use of gas for heating and water, a bit daft given it’s the lowest CO2 emissions at 0.184kg per kwh compared to electricity which is in the 0.233kg region. It would be simpler and better just to do EPC on a kwh per square meter basis, putting the emphasis on input reduction. The MVHR is certainly helping, here's a screen shot from the duct temperatures on a frosty morning.
We’ll draw our blog to a close at this point, just got to dust off our resumes and add house building to the skill set 🤣.