cardinalb

First time self builder

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Posted (edited)

We are thinking of self building in central Scotland (well doing as little of the work as possible, maybe some but can't commit with young children) and have been trying to get up to speed with how you go about that which is certainly a learning experience! We have seen a plot of ground that suits are requirements, has planning permission and services in place site is level. It's just off a main road and has good access and space round it (about 1400m2)

 

Now in my niaivity I had thought we could look at around 250k (just the build not including land) to get about a 200m2 1 3/4 modern house (hebhomes style) with double garage. However, with all the info out there and talking to an architect and getting some general advice from a QS this seems like it would either be possible with little input from us (info from mortgage broker and kit suppliers) or not possible at all architect and QS. Oh standard fit kitchen and bathrooms.

 

Does anyone have and advice for current conditions in Scotland and what we could reasonably aim for with a 250k budget (we have a fair bit of contingency in there too as I am risk averse so if it went over by 50k it wouldn't be a huge issue.). 250k would therefore be slightly flexible.

 

Any help, advice or anecdotes would be gratefully received!

Edited by cardinalb

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If you are looking at a turnkey build 

You should be budgeting around 2000m2 depending on finish 

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Should have said as well the intention would be main contractor then employ local trades.

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Hi and welcome to the Forum. There are members, including myself, who didn't use an architect or QS - or even a PM. Most self builds are manageable but again it does depend on ones circumstances. You say your time  is a premium so are unlikely to be too involved. That in itself will add to your costs.

 

I don't know how far down the line you are and what type of build you are after - TF or Block/ brick? Again, all important things when trying to price up / estimate costs.

 

3 years ago we finished our house - 165sq metre - a generous 3 bed 3/4 build for £1850 per sq metre. Again, the detail needs looking at rather than the headline as our finish may be considered higher than others and it did include an oak frame garage and shed combination. 

 

Take a look at my blog which might assist - 

others are also available and can be found here - https://forum.buildhub.org.uk/blogs/

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9 minutes ago, cardinalb said:

Should have said as well the intention would be main contractor then employ local trades.

It can be done 

We came in at 815 m2 for our build  5 bed tradition 283m2 plus a dg But did most things ourselves 

We intend to keep the cost und 1000m2 for our next But have to take most things on ourselves 

If you go the TF route It will cost quite a bit more than traditional 

Also labour costs are sky high at the moment 

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Unless you can spend considerable time on the build itself and have some applicable skills then you're going to be in the £1500-2000 / m2 range - so worst case your 200m2 build will cost you £400k.

 

If you employ a main contractor then you will definitely hit the upper end of the scale as they will price in project management of your project and their management overhead.

 

If you PM, i.e. directly engage with each contractor in turn then you will save that fee and will also be able to directly influence costs  - trades will never be as price sensitive as you. You can do all that without lifting a finger on site, however the more you are involved - even tidying up every evening, the more efficient things will be.

 

Also consider living on site in a caravan, you can buy one and sell it on for more or less what you pay, same for site containers. If you have young children then it's not too much of a burden - ours quite enjoyed it.

 

Being on site saves accommodation costs and takes the time pressure off you somewhat, especially if trades are busy and there are gaps between stages. Also means you are closer to the build process and things tend to go more smoothy and faster when the boss is around!

 

Timber kits can be more expensive than traditional blocks etc but have the advantage of going up fairly rapidly and get you through the most critical structural phase with one contractor. We went from frame erection to scaffolding down (I.e. doors & windows in, roof slated, rendered walls - a complete house from the exterior, shell on the inside) in about 8 weeks. Took another 7 months to finish off the interior though and then a year before we tackled the landscaping.

 

 

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Thanks for all the advice. I must admit I am a little surprised at the building costs being so high. I think we need to perhaps go for something slightly smaller. My intention was timber frame, purely because that's the way things are done in Scotland. 

 

I honestly thought you could build a house for about the same as it would cost to buy but it seems you do get more for your money buying. 

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1 hour ago, cardinalb said:

 

I honestly thought you could build a house for about the same as it would cost to buy but it seems you do get more for your money buying. 


Bespoke builds have much higher costs around site and prelims etc that can’t be shared. Also
you find that self build spec is much higher - your average developer won’t spend more than £3k on the kitchen, similar on all the bathrooms, ensuite and cloakroom. Self builders can spend that on a single en-suite.
 

Developers also have huge economies of scale on purchasing so you are paying 15-25% for materials. Your land cost will potentially be 30-50% higher for a single plot, so factor these costs in and you can see why a self build can soon add up to more than a spec build. 
 

 

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1 hour ago, cardinalb said:

Thanks for all the advice. I must admit I am a little surprised at the building costs being so high. I think we need to perhaps go for something slightly smaller. My intention was timber frame, purely because that's the way things are done in Scotland. 

 

I honestly thought you could build a house for about the same as it would cost to buy but it seems you do get more for your money buying. 

Harder to make the figures stack up in a lower value housing market like we have in Scotland - you'll not make your fortune self-building unless you're in a nice bit of the east coast (and probably bought the land without planning permission). In my case we're building a 200m2 house that's exactly what we want for our family and will have far lower energy demands for, all being well, the same cost as buying a 130m2 identikit box by one of the volume developers. But we'll be taking on a fair bit of research, responsibility and risk to do so. Think of it as a home, not an investment. 

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23 hours ago, eandg said:

Harder to make the figures stack up in a lower value housing market like we have in Scotland - you'll not make your fortune self-building unless you're in a nice bit of the east coast (and probably bought the land without planning permission). In my case we're building a 200m2 house that's exactly what we want for our family and will have far lower energy demands for, all being well, the same cost as buying a 130m2 identikit box by one of the volume developers. But we'll be taking on a fair bit of research, responsibility and risk to do so. Think of it as a home, not an investment. 

Oh we don't care about making a profit as long as it's not in immediate significant negative equity. Hopefully the last move until we get charged off to old folks homes but you just never know what may happen.

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You'll probably need to factor in material cost increases, some shortages and delays plus there is a scarcity of skilled trades at the moment because everyone is busy / impact of Brexit - we've experienced all 3 on our build. We're paying £1,800/m2 for our turnkey build

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What size of house are you going for at that figure? I was hoping for 1500 but 1800 would be doable too. I am just really risk averse.

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On 27/04/2021 at 21:31, cardinalb said:

Oh we don't care about making a profit as long as it's not in immediate significant negative equity. Hopefully the last move until we get charged off to old folks homes but you just never know what may happen.

In that case make sure you make it old age compatible! Warm, low maintenance, low running costs, accessible both with regard to level access and facilities.  All are easy included alterations during build and not noticeable (except a lift but the space for one can be prepared by avoiding putting services in that area). It all sounds nuts as you live in your beautiful home, until that time when you start struggling and don't want to leave but can't cope. 

 

M

 

 

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17 hours ago, Marvin said:

In that case make sure you make it old age compatible! Warm, low maintenance, low running costs, accessible both with regard to level access and facilities.  All are easy included alterations during build and not noticeable (except a lift but the space for one can be prepared by avoiding putting services in that area). It all sounds nuts as you live in your beautiful home, until that time when you start struggling and don't want to leave but can't cope. 

 

M

 

 

Have that in order, a bathroom and bedroom downstairs, parking within a few meters and doors wide enough for wheelchairs!

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