5 Top Tips For Self-Builders

5 Top Tips For Self-Builders
George Sweeney

Author: George Sweeney - Content Writer

Updated: November 30, 2023

If you’re an aspiring self-builder planning to build your dream home (or perhaps an investment property), you’re probably aware it can be a complex and expensive process.

So, to help you on your house-building journey, we’ve put together these five top tips to make your life easier and help prevent unnecessary extra costs or delays.

1. Understand the self-build process

Before you start and part with any money, it’s well worth taking a step back to fully understand the process. Knowing what to expect throughout will allow you to create better plans.

This will make everything more likely to get approved, prevent avoidable mistakes, and ensure you have realistic expectations from the outset. Once you’ve got a decent overview, you should think about the type of finance that best suits your needs.

Take a look at our article on self-build mortgages for an overview of how they work.

2. Get expert financial advice

With an idea of the type of finance you need and what your plans would look like in an ideal world, it’s well worth getting some advice from a specialist self-build mortgage broker.

Using an advisor who has experience with past clients means that, along with introducing you to available lenders Also, they can point out any areas of the plans (or timeline) that may need tweaking or adjusting before you approach a lender.

An expert advisor will also help review your plans and budget to make sure your cost projections look sound. This could involve informing you about additional costs like insurance or required structural warranties.

3. Be realistic with your plans

It may be your dream project, but it’s essential to keep your feet on the ground to make your self-build plans a reality.

Think about what will make the most sense and have discussions with architects and designers to determine if there are more efficient or cheaper ways to build.

There’s no harm in being optimistic but cautious. This will ensure that your property meets your needs but also aligns well with your budget and timeframe.

4. Seek support if you need it

You may want to micro-manage every single part of the build, but this could cause project delays or lead to burnout on your end.

If you have skills, use them to your advantage. But specialist advice or guidance for certain aspects can be useful. Whether that’s paying for a better level of architect, designer, finance advisor, surveyor etc.

Doing this may add additional upfront costs, but it’s likely to save you plenty of time, energy, and money in the long run.

5. Expect the unexpected

Thorough planning is essential, but a big undertaking like this can come with hiccups and unexpected obstacles.

Along with mentally preparing for potential frustration, it’s worthwhile having some leeway in your budget to account for rising material costs or possible mistakes.

Lenders understand that things can (and likely will) go wrong at points, and these errors can be out of your control. Being adaptable and agile are skills you’ll need to sharpen to keep your self-build project on track to completion.

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