24 Jun 2016

5 steps to make your dream home a reality


Many of us dream of building our own home, from designing the perfect living space, to hunting for those all-important finishing touches, but most of us think this will always be a dream, rather than becoming a reality.


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Recent statistics show that over seven million UK adults would like to build their own home but many don’t know where to start. With this in mind, the design experts at Welsh Oak Frame have put together the five key steps to make your dream a reality.

1. Find your perfect plot

It may sound obvious, but finding and purchasing the plot of land you intend to build on before designing your home is a must. While you may have a set idea of the style you’d like, the individual site will often dictate certain elements of the build. Subscribing to a specialist agency such as Plotfinder.net can be a great starting point, as you can search for available plots in your chosen area, providing a helpful guide on pricing and land availability. It’s 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.

It is also worth bearing in mind that you can always buy an existing house, to knock it down and rebuild. This can be a great way to make use of a site where the current building does not meet your needs and it can also prove to be very cost-effective.

Finally, when selecting your dream plot it also pays to bear in mind planning permission and legal considerations for the design and structure you want to build, as this may influence your purchasing decision.

2. Do the sums

Once you’ve found your dream plot make sure you’ve done your sums and know exactly how you will fund your project. Dedicated self-build mortgage products are now widely available through brokers such as BuildStore. These work on a stage payment basis, so funds are released at key points throughout your project. It’s also a good idea to set a contingency budget of at least 10% in case of any unexpected costs during the project. If you are selling your existing home to help finance your self-build, make sure you know where you are going to live while your project progresses and set yourself realistic timescales.

It’s worth knowing that construction can also be much quicker with oak frames in comparison to other building methods. Welsh Oak Frame’s timber structures can be raised within a few weeks, rather than months, as the frame is constructed very accurately, which means it can be erected quickly and easily, which helps to speed up the building process and cuts costs.

3. Find a designer

Unless you happen to be highly skilled and extremely confident in dealing with planners and grappling with building regulations, it is likely that you will need to call in a professional to help bring your self-build dream to life. When considering designers, be sure to choose someone who understands your requirements, is able to work with you to create a home that fulfills all your requirements and fits within your budget. At Welsh Oak our expert in-house team will tailor precisely the right solution to your project’s requirements, taking care of planning applications, building regulations and structural calculations.

4. Get the essentials sorted

Before you progress with your project, it’s crucial to make certain you have the appropriate consents to build, including planning permission, building control approval and any special permissions, such as conservation area consent. As well as the aesthetic design of your house, make sure you also take into account how you want it to function. For many people, making sure the property is as low-maintenance as possible is very important. The thermal efficiency and air tightness of the house will play a big part in the design of the property. Many oak frames are used in conjunction with other materials such as SIPs, brick and block, glass and even softwood (which is not on show), to help increase light and reduce costs. External finishes can also be a combination of infill panel insulation and external cladding to ensure the thermal efficiency and air tightness of the property.

When building work is complete it’s time to think about the interiors, adding those all-important finishing touches to your project.

5. The final details

Just before you sit back and admire your dream home there are a few practicalities to consider. These include obtaining the completion certificate from building control, ensuring any small issues are dealt with as part of the ‘snagging’ process and making that all-important VAT reclaim.

Further information....

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