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  1. Hi All, I’ve deceived to join the self build journey and we are currently in the process of purchasing a plot of land with full planning permission already granted. I want to get as much prepared while the purchase goes through but not sure on the best course of action. We are opting for a timber frame build and there is no mains gas so leaning towards an ASHP approach. A few burning questions below but please let me know if there’s anything else I should be doing right now. 1) Searches - the solicitor is pushing for me to complete the full set of searches which is going to cost just over £1.3k but not sure if I need these. Looking at the sample reports, not sure what I’d get from it. I’d still need to do a site investigation, contact energy suppliers etc. Are these searches worthwhile? 2) Planning - attached is the existing approved plans. There is a condition to remove permitted development so we want to submit new plans to convert the garage to a granny annex and make the loft a master bedroom/en-suite. If I plan on a timber build, I believe I only need an update concept plan from an architect rather than the full works? 3) Foundations - we have received a quote from one of the timber frame companies to include an insulated foundation which we hadn’t considered. Anybody any experience on this type of foundation and would recommend? Came in at 36k for the foundation so higher than I expected the foundations to cost. 4) Soil Type - as part of the planning, there was a Drainage Strategy completed which briefly touched on the geology of the site. Attached is the result, I can see it references Till which I’ve read is not good for foundations although wondered if anybody could possibly give some more info on this? 5) Site Investigation/Soil Survey - does anybody have any recommendations on companies based Lancaster/North West to complete a proper soil survey? And what the approximate cost of this would be? Many Thanks!
  2. Hi all I have started to convert an old barn into a 2 bed bungalow that will have vaulted ceilings through the majority of the building. I’m getting towards the point of needing to insulate the roof. The plans say in put 50x50mm lengths of wood up the existing 100x50mm rafters then insulate between and then overboard with insulated backed plasterboard. It wouldn’t be bad in a new build to do it this way but the old rafters are all slightly off spacing, are twisted and not square. (200 year old building, nothing is square) my idea was to just to screw the 100mm insulation directly to the rafters, maybe add a layer of OSB board below that then insulation backed plasterboard below that. the osb board would be there to provide a fixing point for the plasterboard and light fittings attached to the ceiling. any advice or ideas would be appreciated
  3. Hi everyone, im still at the dreaming stage of my build and my enthusiasm is not yet lost . I hope to start building this time next year . I have a small plot in Devon with full planning for a 1.5 story 3 bed. However I don’t like the design as reduced headspace on first floor is restricting. This is due to ‘overlooking privacy’ with a nearby building, I’m still 4.5m away from it but the architect said due to this and another garden, first floor windows needed to be Velux 🤷🏻‍♂️ anyway my thought were you could do a Clerestory roof have a row of windows letting in the light on the first floor and increase the headspace on the outer sides of the rooms 🤷🏻‍♂️ . I think I may build with ICF maybe Durisol… budgeting to do a lot of the donkey work, can use a straight edge, dot and dab, run plumbing, flooring decoration etc . Shall give up work to complete the build and budgeting for around the £1500 m2 excluding plot …. What could possibly go wrong 😂
  4. Hello everyone, Occasionally a lurker here over the years but finally decided to change things up and join up and ask for advice (and maybe add some in the future?). My wife and I are looking at how realistic it is to do a self build (ICF preferred) of approx 100m2 (either 1 or 2 storey) with a total budget of £150K (excluding plot cost), right down to the kitchen /bathroom fittings (midrange). I intend to DIY as much as possible, paying trades for the skilled aspects etc. Now I know it's a how long's a piece of string question and I suspect that I'm missing something / seriously underestimating costs but some "rough" calculations look like this (excuse the ordering!) : Carpet etc inc. fitting £3,000 Electrics £5,000 Plumbing & bathrooms £10,000 Triple glazed windows £15,000 Kitchen complete £10,000 Stairs £3,000 Foundations £12,000 Fencing £3,000 Heating, solar, pump, etc £15,000 Legal fees etc £10,000 Roof £11k ICF walls & concrete £25,000 Flooring frames £3,000 For a rough total of £125,000. How wrong (or right) am I? I appreciate any answers because currently I'm reading so much that one moment my budget seems reasonable and the next it's nowhere close!
  5. Hi Everyone, I’m looking to build a new property for my wife and I to live in, in our current garden. Once complete and plot divided, sell the original to clear the mortgage(s). It’s on a slope with planning only likely for single storey so looking to have garage and entrance in an excavated basement. Just at planning stage in Feb ‘23 so loads to do!
  6. Hi. Just wondering if there is good structural warranty provider who given the flexibility to source the alternative material other than from only approved manufacturers? Not liking the monopoly some of these big players have and see if there are any alternative options. Thanks in advance.
  7. Jenki

    The Windy Roost

    Over the years, 24 and counting, as a couple we’ve never settled, bought a house needing doing up, renovated it, lived in it, whilst bringing up our son. Sold, moved to rented, bought and renovated others. Sold and moved on, but never settled. Thought about emigrating, a disastrous foray into overseas property and we still found ourselves unsettled. The thought of doing something different with our lives and possibly working together was always there. Over the years I’ve built extensions for families and seen the positive impact I’ve had on them. The want to build my own house was strong, and when I say build my own, I want to do it all, and luckily Mandy’s onboard. Fast forward a few more years, we re-model our house and sell. Move to rented with the plan of moving to the Highlands. We’ve got a very modest budget i.e. not enough (remember the overseas bit). So the land needed to help, we found a croft for sale with no buildings or services, and too expensive, but with a bit of negotiating made an offer with clauses for planning and services. More on the plans later. Based in a small rural village of Occumster on the North East Coast in Caithness, Scotland, known as the lowlands of the highlands, our croft of 11.8 acres of grass, now has planning for a house and a couple of Glamping Pods. The croft is fronted by the A99, part of the North Coast 500 route, so hopefully this is where our initial income will come from. I’m more than aware that I will need to go off and earn money to live. Eventually we will have Bees, and rare breed pigs hopefully boosting our income, and satisfying the croft requirements to work the land. And here starts the adventure..
  8. I own the land with a value of £100k with no outstanding borrowing on it, Can I get a self build mortgage after gaining full planning permission so that the money can be used to fund the build warrant aswell as the build?
  9. Hi. Please could somebody share the cost estimation spreadsheet. We are embarking on our self journey (remodel/rebuild) and I want to cost both option so that I am clear as to what can be achieved. Has anyone been to QS. Are they worth the money? The issue is they would need plans and plans would cost money and two option would cost more moneys so I want to see first I can pull of total rebuild, if not I will go down the remodel route. Would really appreciate any help you guys can provide. Thanks.
  10. Hi I am starting on Selfbuild Journey. We recently bought a banglow built in 1960s on a very clayee place with existing foundations between 400mm and 1m. There has been no movement/cracks. Good old days..... but it wont pass the building regs these days and we want to build on top. Hence, starting again is the option we are seriously considering to future proof the house to some extent. The existing banglow is c180sqm and with extension we can go to 225sqm plus if we build on top the first floor and the loft, one can see the expected size. This is a great forum and it has been very helpful so far and now I want to start active conversation with you guys who have been on similar journeys. Is there anyone who can share the excel spreadsheet for the cost estimation. It will be a self managed project with core skills arranged with each of the skilled trade. I read somewhere on this forum about Abbey pynford for foundations involving Piles. They have been contacted and yesterday the ground investigation work was done (expect the depth of piles to be around 10/11m with slab and the void to allow for the clay movement. That would a significant spend. The reason I am describing this as an experiment is as I want to test getting material and fit out outs from manufacturer and the scale of the project is such as that in my experience manufacturer here or in Europe/China will happily provide the requirement. In other words what would be the bare cost of a house build taking all profits element within the supply chain and building contractor out. I am just keen to find that out as the build cost per sqm does not work in my head. I want to know the real breakdown. So procurement is where the true experiment sits. I have some contact in China supply chain so any procurement from China should not be an issue. My plan is ensure the structure is all based on BBA approved items so that it qualifies for the warranty. Key steps I have outline in my plans are as follows and I am expecting different skills are required for each of the key stages hence would source these: Surveys / planning work QS costing Warranties Procurement Foundation / ground drainage /Subfloor Underfloor heating DPM Brickwork/Block work/steelworks and insulation Timber work Roof work (clay tiles or sate -chinese/spanish) Windows Weather tightening Heat Plumbing and in house drainage Electrics first fix MvHR Drywalling (metal furring channels and then either tape and joint using plasterboard or MGO) trying to skip the wet plastering but enhancing the sound insulation Stairs and balustrade Bathrooms Tiling and flooring Kitchen including separate scullery Internal doors and skirting (composite skirting boards) Decoration Second fix electrics Lighting Patio Landscaping Epc (Any thing I missed -please advise) I dont envisage I would be able to do all in one go so happy to divide the project in phases if required. Would really appreciate any help/feedback/insight that can be provided.
  11. Hey everyone, So we are having a nightmare with Building Control in Glasgow City. Since our house is the first self build (ever) in the city, and we are part of the pilot self build scheme, they have no clue about what we're doing here and don't seem at all interested. I have been asking for temporary habitation since July and was told by our BC officer that we might as well just go for full completion. I have been asking for a site visit for months too, when 2 guys in hi-vis jackets and lanyards showed up unannounced the other day, not wearing masks, and started picking our build apart. One guy told me we would "never" get temporary habitation. I asked for a list of things we had to do to get there and they said they would only speak to our builder or architect, despite me telling them that Ben and I are the builders. They left the site and we have not been sent any more information in over 3 weeks. Ive complained, I've called, and we just can't get any movement. Meanwhile our architect who submitted our original drawings told us the house is built perfectly to spec and is of the best he's seen. The BC officers told us we had to rip off all our Russwood cladding since spiders and rats could get inside. It's all been approved! I can't get anywhere with this and am getting really worried as our mortgage is sky high and now loan repayments are flying out the bank too... Is there anyone who knows how we can get BC to move on our completion certificate? Or does anyone have any advice here? Really stuck... GCC are terrible. Thanks. Joanna
  12. Hi all, my husband and I have planning consent to convert an old coach house in to a home. We own the land/building and are awaiting our building warrant. Hoping to benefit from all of your experiences and to share our learning as we go.
  13. Looking for some advice, Currently about to sell our house and move to rented accommodation. We are using the equity from our house sale to purchase the land and then apply for a mortgage to do the build. When should we apply for the mortgage? We will be starting planning and building warrant process next week. Do we wait untill we have planning/warrant in place?
  14. We have been struggling for over a year to get our local water company to design and quote for laying on our sewage pipe under our residential road (we have clean water sorted). South West Water have been unable to quote (too busy) and all suppliers are reliant on them. We were originally quoted £50K verbally but all quotes from private suppliers are coming in at £150K plus - a lot of this seems to be quoting based on massive housing developments and we will be the only house using it and are not allowed a water treatment plan on site. Much of the cost seems to be associated with road closure, hiring kit and dealing with South West Water. We are on a two ended quiet residential street, not a main through road. I am sure I am not the only self builder who has this challenge. Has anyone come across a pragmatic and sensible provider we could approach (South West UK)
  15. Hi All - so grateful to find this forum as can already tell it’s going to be super useful! My husband and I have been dreaming about building our own sustainable home for several years and now, with a 1year old in tow, a lack of space is making us want to do it sooner rather than later! As with many others on here, we’re trying to find some land in Kent or Sussex but know we may well be in for the long haul as it’s like gold dust in the south east....but where there’s a will there’s a way! Am am I right in saying that building outside of a town’s settlement boundary in an AONB is an absolute no-go? And has anyone had any luck with getting permission to build on green belt land? Looking forward fo sharing learnings on this exciting journey! Heather
  16. Im just wondering if anyone knows of any online sources of ready made plans for timber buildings? I have been toying with the idea of a self build for a while now and am just investigating options. I used to make oak frames in my 20s and that has always been the dream, to live in an oak framed house that I built myself. As this would be quite a physical and financial undertaking I was thinking of initially building something simpler, as Im sure I could build some of these flat pack versions that are available nowadays... and then building the dream home onsite over time. Lets just assume; land, planning, regs. are all in place and a non issue. Im not upto speed with all the latest regs, most efficient materials etc, and I know environmental is a big thing now... so was wondering if there was a library of timber framed plans somewhere for self builders perusal, that included e.g. materials, regs etc? Just as a starting point really to see whats achievable, and so I dont have to dig out my CAD 2006 lol. Probably wishful thinking but if you dont ask you dont get. Thanks.
  17. Hi All, I thought I would say hello here, I have a plot that's approx 0.22 acre, currently occupied by a bungalow. I've always wanted to build my own home and I'm about to embark on this journey for the first time. There is already permission to build a 4000sqft property on the site however it's not to my taste I'm looking for an architect to help me realise my dreams/ideas. A SIP build does interest me, however due to my circumstances I'm not looking for a complete turnkey build. I'd prefer a staged approach i.e. wind & water tight, then I can proceed as budget allows. Are there any pointers or threads that I can start reading, also anyone else near me done anything similar? Thanks Freshy
  18. Hi, My husband and I are looking for funding to convert our barn into a bigger family home. We already have planning. The cottage we live in now is on the same plot/under the same title and has a covenant on it to stop us splitting the plot up. We are assuming the trust that placed the covenant on it when it was sold to us would want a pay out if we were to have it removed so we want to avoid that. We could borrow against the cottage, but it won't give us enough funds to complete the barn project. Any suggestions?
  19. Hello all, New here and thought I would first say Hello and Happy New Year. Hoping to design and build our own home, probably Timber Frame and I would self Project Manage it. We are based in South Gloucestershire near Bristol and so far have been doing some research on here, Youtube, Instagram and the various Timber Frame companies that exist. We are on the Right to Build Register (for whatever that's worth) for South Glos, Stroud and BANES to show the sort of areas we are aiming for. Currently living in our first house and have no experience of self building but can see the benefits of having a more personal impact on a new home and reducing our impact on the environment. Currently scouring Plotfinder, Plotsearch, Zoopla, Rightmove, Onthemarket, google, google maps and wherever else we can to find a suitable plot to build a 4 bed detached home and garage which is the goal WilliamsHome
  20. We did it! Today we received a completion certificate for our new house - our home! It took us 61 weeks from breaking ground - and these included a very wet winter seasons, a change of builders mid-project, difficult neighbours, sacking the PM, a lockdown, tons of remedial works, and another lockdown! What a journey - feels surreal! Could not have done it without you lot here - love this forum totally Before and after pics are below
  21. I'm trying to understand the economics of a self build better and want to understand how to better predict £/m2 pricing. Obviously the complexity, design features, material choices will have an immense impact on price but for the sake of this arguments let me simplify it to a cost for a watertight shell (finished render exterior & doors and windows). What would be more expensive: A 200m2 single storey house or A 200m2 1.75 storey dwelling with a ground floor area of 100m2. To me the answer is obvious the first will be more expensive due to the larger foundations roof etc. However, by how much? I am looking at a plot that has planning permission for a rectangular 4 bed 1.75 dwelling (200m2 roughly) and I'm straggling to understand how to price it correctly per m2. Location: outside Edinburgh by-pass, preferred construction method: ICF. I've budgeted about £110 - 130k so far for a water tight shell with me working PM'ing a contractor to reach that stage but maybe i'm day dreaming.
  22. Thank you for accepting us into your community, we are in a process of planning a passive house home, I’m looking to find some direction here. Many things on the web, but I like to understand, what is important in designing such a build and what are members experiences following a completion. What would they do differently next time. Help required... not sure how to work this forum, so please navigate me if I need to post my questions in another section. Thank you M
  23. Hello! We’ve always wanted to buy land and build our own home. For one reason or another we’ve never had the courage or the finances to do it. Now we find ourselves with two teenagers and a tween and wonder where the years have gone. Anyway, an opportunity has arisen to buy some land close to our own home (less upheaval and resistance from teenagers) but my gut feeling is that it is completely overpriced. I trawled through every plot of land for sale in Scotland last night and still feel that it is overpriced. Does anyone know how plots are priced up? I have a few points I can go back to the estate agent with tomorrow but I’d like a bit more, I’m assuming there’s a kind of formula like pricing up actual property?? If anyone has any insight I’d love to hear. Thanks, L.
  24. Hello everyone, We are attempting to embark on our first self build in the Scottish Borders. We are at the stage where we are about to make an offer on a plot of land and doing as much research as possible. I found this forum when I was researching Watching Briefs as I found out there was an Archaeological Condition on the plot we are interested in. I found some great information and look forward to learning a lot more here. Best wishes Sarah
  25. Has anyone used or know any information about Log Home Scotland, their web page has some great log home kits http://www.loghomescotland.co.uk but I'm struggling to find any reviews etc, can anyone here help?
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