What Does Self Build Mean?

April 12, 2018

Self Building can mean a number of things - either way, it is a one-off build driven by the home-owner

What does Self-Build mean?

What motivates you to self-build? The idea of self-building an energy efficient timber frame home, exactly tailored to your own specific requirements, is one that’s appealing to an ever-wider audience these days.

But to the uninitiated, the term ‘self-build’ can conjure up images of a solitary figure, alone on a windswept plot, knee-deep in mud and trying to master all the many separate disciplines that go into building a house themselves.

In reality, however, around 90% of the UK’s self-builders decide they never need get their hands dirty and restrict their input to the planning and creative sides of things.

Of course, if you have a background in the building industry, or are just extremely resourceful, taking on practical elements of the project yourself can help stretch your budget even further.

For those lacking in that sort of real-world experience, you can be as involved in the actual construction of your house as you want or are comfortable being. Just as a self built home is designed around its owner’s lifestyle, so too is the process itself.

While embarking on a self-build project is certainly a big step and a lot more drawn-out than just buying an existing home, the flexibility of the operation makes it the ideal choice for people from all walks of life. Whether you have plenty of free time to dedicate to the finer details or your involvement is limited due to other commitments, such as a hectic work schedule, the whole process is within your control, from start to finish.


When Can I Call Myself a Self-Builder?

Once you have a good grasp on the finances involved, including getting an agreement on a self-build mortgage if needed, have bought your perfect plot of land and investigated any planning permission regulations, the next step is to commission your dream home. It’s at that point you become a self-builder!

This is also the stage where you decide how hands-on you want to be. At Kudos, many of our clients come to us with detailed architect plans all ready, while others enlist the help of our experts to design their bespoke timber frame home from the ground up.

As a company, we are adaptable enough to be able to work on self-build projects at whatever level our clients want. Sometimes, that means providing a concept to completion, full turn-key service. At other times, it involves precision engineering and installing a timber frame shell, leaving the client to finish the rest of the work themselves, or to hire tradespeople while they oversee the build in their role as project manager.

The benefits for self-builders of using timber frame as a construction method, particularly for those who decide to take on the management role, is the speed in which the structure can be erected and made wind and watertight.

Being in charge of an entire build involves keeping a lot of plates spinning—you need to be coordinating with suppliers, organising schedules, managing contractors—all while trying to make sure the project stays on time and on budget.

With timber frame, the hardest part of the whole undertaking can be made ready in a matter of days, freeing self-builders from the delays associated with more traditional forms of construction and the biggest cause of financial headaches. For those new to project management, maybe the first time they’ve tackled a project of that scale, it makes a lot of sense.


The Choice is Yours

The title ‘self-builder’ has a much broader definition these days. It is a term that now encompasses a range of different approaches and varying levels of involvement in constructing your dream home.

It can describe everything from the actual physical process of building the house yourself, to taking on a more supervisory role to coordinate all the separate personnel, through to commissioning a company like Kudos to help plan and design your project, and then managing and completing the build from start to finish.

The route you decide to go down is usually influenced by factors such as budget, time restraints and previous building or management experience.

It is important to get involved on a level at which you are comfortable. You only have to watch Grand Designs to see the effects on new self-builders of biting off more than they can chew!

The good news is, there are plenty of people available to offer helpful advice and guidance at any stage. If you are considering using timber frame as your construction method, or just want to know what its advantages are over more traditional building materials, take a look through our website or give us a call and we’ll be happy to discuss any plans you may have.

Building your own home is one of the most rewarding challenges you can take on, giving you the freedom to tailor your own house in any way you want. If you have been put off by the idea of having to do all the dirty work yourself, don’t worry; there are plenty of other options.