The realities of building your dream home – Part 1

September 26, 2016

In a recent survey, over seven million UK adults admitted they would like to build their own home, but many aren’t sure where or how to start*. With this in mind, the design experts at Welsh Oak Frame have put together a step by step guide, taking you through the self build process: from initially finding your plot, through to the nitty gritty details of making your dream home a reality.

Location, Location, Location

Finding the perfect plot is sometimes the biggest problem when it comes to building your own home. This derives from the understanding that your style idea may have to be tweaked to comply with certain elements of your chosen site.

Subscribing to a specialist agency, such as can be a great starting point as you are able to search for plots in your chosen area. It will also provide you with information on pricing and availability of the land. It is also worth letting local residents know that you’re looking to join their community so they can help to keep an eye out as and when plots become available.

But why look for just land? There’s always the option to buy an existing house and then remodel or knock it down and re-build. It can be the perfect solution to acquiring your ideal site and can also help to cut costs.

Before choosing your plot, keep in mind that the land may have certain limitations that could limit your design. Planning permission and legal considerations can considerably impact the structure and design of your ideal home.

Do the maths

Now, to the part can put some people off self-building … the cost. Make sure that you have done the maths and have a contingency fund (usually at least 10%) so you know exactly how you are going to fund the entire project. There are mortgage services available that are dedicated to the self-builder, which work on a stage payment basis, so funds get released strategically at crucial parts of the build.

If you’re selling your current home to part fund your project, make sure you have an alternative place to live while your project progresses and be realistic about the time frame involved.

It is also worth bearing in mind that construction time can be much shorter with an oak frame, in comparison to other building methods or materials. Welsh Oak Frame timber structures can be raised within weeks due to the accuracy of the frame design and construction before arriving on site. This reduces construction time whilst on-site and any issues during construction. For example Mr & Mrs Leech’s project in Wales took just three weeks for the whole structure to be erected!

Next week we will be delving into the world of building documentation and planning permission to progress your perfect home.

In the meantime, if you have any questions please give us a call on 01686 688000

* National Custom & Self Build Association (NaCSBA)