Before jumping in to the exciting prospect of building your new home you should think long and hard if this is really the path you want to take, or would it be more suitable and cost effective to simply buy a new property. Don’t get me wrong, if you do decide to build your home, and if you use the services of a reputable building company, the joy will definitely outweigh the headaches but you must approach your project with your eyes wide open.
I failed to do this on my first project in Chigwell Essex. I did get advice from a friend, who was also a local builder in Aylesford Kent, and although his advice on the build was invaluable he was not accustom to the Chigwell area (I obviously should have contacted a local builder in Chigwell Essex instead!). Therefore, I did not fully comprehend the pitfalls I could face when building my own home. If I was to give one piece of advice on this subject it would be this… it is essential you gather as much knowledge and advice about the property and its location from as many people in the local area as possible before making your final decision to proceed with a new build house!
Before instructing an architect to draft pre-application plans to your local council, speak to the council about your intentions and other projects in the area to get an indication as to what you will or will not be allowed to build in that location. I did not do this! Once you have this information it will be much easier to decide if what you want to proceed with the new build home or not, and for your architect to draft plans that are more likely to be accepted. Also, do not be scared to speak to a couple of ‘local’ builders and your architect for guidance on points you are unsure about before speaking to the council. They are pretty knowledgeable when it comes to local councils and their requirements. If your builder is providing you with an estimated quote make sure you make notes of everything they are including in the quote, and make sure they provide you with a detailed quote in writing before they start work!
Cost is always going to be the cornerstone of your decision to proceed so you should look at costs not only pertaining to the build but also to things like; storage of furniture, regular ongoing bills like council tax and water rates, rental property or hotel bills, these all need to be factored into your budget. Additional things to consider would include; the time it will take to complete the works, the impact it will have on your family (pets) and your lives – for example the school run could be a lot further everyday if you rented a house in a different area. Make sure you have a clear vision of all the ups and downs before moving forward to the next step.
So, if you have a realistic budget, are clued up about your local building requirements, and employ a reputable building company and architect to do the work you have more chance of a healthy and exciting building experience.
Happy New Home Building!