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How much of a design can you build yourself?

The first and arguably most important stage of building an extension (or even an entire home) is the meeting you have with your architect. It’s your chance to communicate your vision to the architect, so it’s imperative that you share as much information as possible with them. The more information an architect has, the less chance there is of being disappointed with the final result. Talks with your architect will also involve a conversation about budgets. Most people are looking to save money on their build wherever they can. The big question becomes: how much of a design can you build yourself?

Your skills

If you’re lucky enough to know a trade, it’s certainly possible to cut down on the need for hiring people. Electricians and plumbers in particular will have an automatic advantage when it comes to cutting costs, since you’ll be able to do a lot of the work yourself. As long as you plan carefully, you’ll be able to take time off your regular work to perform tasks on your own project without disrupting your income. Since many electricians and plumbers choose self-employment, it’s easier to be flexible around other contractors failing to finish in the timeframe expected, too.

Don’t be tempted to try wiring up your house or connecting the plumbing if you don’t know what you’re doing, and don’t mess with connecting your new home to the gas main. Making a mistake here could prove to be a costly and incredibly dangerous problem further down the line.

Writing for @howstuffworks, Becky Striepe explains that sometimes if you decide to do a job yourself, it can turn into something bigger:

“It’s also important to make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. Some parts of a construction project have more to them than meets the eye. If you agree to paint, make sure to find out if you’re just painting the walls, or if you’ll have to paint the trim and the ceiling, too. My husband and I got burned a little on our home addition when we said we would paint. Let’s just say that the addition has been finished for almost a year, and I’m still staring at unpainted closet doors and trim and kicking myself!”

Bank loans

It’s important to note here that it can be challenging to secure a loan to build your own home – it is even more difficult if you intend to do large chunks of the work yourself. This is partly because banks often fear your build will go over time and over budget if you are trying to fit the building work around your regular employment. Be prepared for an extra time delay if you’re choosing to try to build as much of your design as you can.

If you’d like to learn more about how to cut down your budget and take advantage of your own skills, get in touch with a member of our team today. We’ll be happy to walk you through the pros and cons of doing work yourself, and how you should alter any designs as a result.



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96 Kensington High Street London W8 4SG
Studio 2 4 The Highlands Exning Newmarket Suffolk CB8 7NT
T: 01638 662393
How much of a design can you build yourself?