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Surveyors

Surveyor can be helpful to self builders in a number of ways:

A surveyor can help with surveying a building plot both in terms of its value and also on the nature of the land itself. see Pre-purchase land survey A QSQuantity Surveyor. A surveyor whose main job is to estimate the quantity of materials […]

Retrofit

‘Under the Sun’, a Victorian terrace house in Birmingham is an outstanding example of bringing a fairly typical old building up to PassivhausSee more on the Passivhaus standard. The PassivHaus Institute has pioneered a standard for low energy buildings. It includes very low energy usage and ways of achieving this. The word is derived […]

Builders / Contractors

Make a contract!

Optimist? – Pessimist? – try Realist!

We all have our dreams of the perfectly built house. This is called optimism

We have all heard of nightmare scenarios involving builders. This might lead to pessimism and negative attitudes

Realism suggests we hope for the best and plan to avoid the worst. Hey presto […]

Material prices

Although many of the builders merchants are a bit coy about publishing their prices, partly because of their obscure discount policies, here are a few price guides for building materials from suppliers on the internet. This may help with pricing up smaller self build jobs. With larger jobs you may be able to negotiate discounts.

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Design it yourself

see also A Pattern Language Almere, Netherlands Designing with timber Lighting Spiral stair calculators Stair design Straight stair calculator Window design

The Ashley Vale development in Bristol shows a wealth of creative input by the residents

Click the image above for 3D panoramic view with drag and zoom

Self build, although demanding, can be […]

Green Design

Denby Dale passivhausSee more on the Passivhaus standard. The PassivHaus Institute has pioneered a standard for low energy buildings. It includes very low energy usage and ways of achieving this. The word is derived from the idea of buildings which are fundamentally low energy and passive solar heated rather than using extra gadgets to […]

The Extra Cost of Green Build

For a self build project, the extent to which ‘greening’ the design of a building project increases the cost is a complex matter which depends on your priorities. It can be anything from a few percent to several hundred! Given that costs are a major issue for most people, it is important to have a […]

Financing Community Self Build

Houses at Ashley Vale community self build

The government Homes and Communities Agency have recently announced it would be making up to £30m of funding available to provide short-term project finance to help unlock group custom build – or self-build – schemes. This is intended to be a ‘pump priming’ revolving fund and details […]

Building Costs & Management

As a very rough rule of thumb, in average parts of the UK the cost of house building (excluding the land and excluding design fees) will vary between about £1000/m² for a very simple design with no frills up to about £1,800 for a house with quite a high design standard and a high specification […]