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Self Build Or Work My Way Up The Property Ladder?

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Hey everyone, over this past number of years i've been saving my assets off in order to have a sizable deposit for my first house however over the last couple of months I have been offered a site (replacement dwelling site, pp not granted but shouldn't be a prob hopefully, mature site hidden from the road) from a grandparent. To be honest it's turned my head completely I now don't know what the best route to go down is!?

For a start there doesn't seem to be the same number of morgages available for selfbuilds?

Material costs don't seem to have reduced any, have prob got more expensive from what I can hear.

plus don't want to get neck deep in morgage repayments . . Pay cut uncertainities with work.

- could cope up to 550 per mth or is that being unrealistic?

I must admit I do like the idea of self building ( hence the usename) but don't want it to end up being a mill stone around my neck! What with the risk of hidden expenses that I may of over looked. Would I be right in saying that all in costs could be around £120k - £140k ish given the fact that I'm not concerned about having to get my hands dirty or that finish wise the house doesn't need to be complete before I move in?

Any info provided would be greatly appreciated!!

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Hey everyone, over this past number of years i've been saving my assets off in order to have a sizable deposit for my first house however over the last couple of months I have been offered a site (replacement dwelling site, pp not granted but shouldn't be a prob hopefully, mature site hidden from the road) from a grandparent. To be honest it's turned my head completely I now don't know what the best route to go down is!?

For a start there doesn't seem to be the same number of morgages available for selfbuilds?

Material costs don't seem to have reduced any, have prob got more expensive from what I can hear.

plus don't want to get neck deep in morgage repayments . . Pay cut uncertainities with work.

- could cope up to 550 per mth or is that being unrealistic?

I must admit I do like the idea of self building ( hence the usename) but don't want it to end up being a mill stone around my neck! What with the risk of hidden expenses that I may of over looked. Would I be right in saying that all in costs could be around £120k - £140k ish given the fact that I'm not concerned about having to get my hands dirty or that finish wise the house doesn't need to be complete before I move in?

Any info provided would be greatly appreciated!!

I am also being given a site. Though I have no plans to build on it just yet. Hasn't stopped me looking into it though.

The Self Build show is on in the Kings Hall in the spring. Well worth a visit.

A book called The Housebuilder's Bible also gives some useful advice.

If you are doing a self-build then that price looks a little expensive to me. That is the price I would expect to pay if I was using a contractor. Though maybe you are for building a mansion. I'm just thinking of a 3/4 bedroom, 2 reception, no garage - around 2,000sq/ft. It should be possible to self built that for less then £100k these days.

Have you considered a timber frame house? When you look into it, there seems to be advantages over traditional build for the self builder. As well as being better insulated and more air tight than traditional. From the book, "Very common in other parts of the world, notably North America and Scandinavia. More than 60% of houses built in Scotland are timber frame."

There is also an eco build show coming up soon. But as far as I can see it takes a long time to recover the costs of these technologies - if at all. Avoid if you want to keep build cost down.

Good luck,

BB

Edited by Belfast Boy

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Hey everyone, over this past number of years i've been saving my assets off in order to have a sizable deposit for my first house however over the last couple of months I have been offered a site (replacement dwelling site, pp not granted but shouldn't be a prob hopefully, mature site hidden from the road) from a grandparent. To be honest it's turned my head completely I now don't know what the best route to go down is!?

For a start there doesn't seem to be the same number of morgages available for selfbuilds?

Material costs don't seem to have reduced any, have prob got more expensive from what I can hear.

plus don't want to get neck deep in morgage repayments . . Pay cut uncertainities with work.

- could cope up to 550 per mth or is that being unrealistic?

I must admit I do like the idea of self building ( hence the usename) but don't want it to end up being a mill stone around my neck! What with the risk of hidden expenses that I may of over looked. Would I be right in saying that all in costs could be around £120k - £140k ish given the fact that I'm not concerned about having to get my hands dirty or that finish wise the house doesn't need to be complete before I move in?

Any info provided would be greatly appreciated!!

we self-built a timber-frame house in 2005. the site was used as part-collateral against the loan (standard life) as were other assets, though i would recommend having 25k+ cash fund to get the project off the ground, esp. as you will only get funds from the bank at key stages in the project. we went for outline pp first and when it was passed (failed first time) we resubmitted for full pp and did not process the reserve matters of the existing opp. this proved favourable as the opp stipulated 5.4m ridge height, but when we resubmitted the fpp it had 6.2m ridge height which makes all the difference in a chalet bungalow 'upstairs'.

when fpp was passed, we got it priced by two local timber-frame builders, we had pretty much already made our mind up anyway based on what we had seen of the builders work (very important - go out and look at completed builds). Once the builder was picked we finalised the funding and got the project started, i managed the site clearance and prep and then the builder took over and took about ten weeks in total (timber frames go up quick and have a single skin of block as opposed to dual skin - cavity wall).

we then put in kitchen and bathrooms ourselves and of course decoration, tiling, floors etc. The total cost was approx 120k (excluding site) with about 85k going to the builder.

you need time and patience when building yourself, if you are working to really tight schedules then you are going to get even more stressed on top of the high stress levels you will have anyway - as example, i had to tell the builder i was not happy with some of the windows and roof and get him to replace/rebuild. also don't go for wooden double glazed windows - big mistake imo as i have found to my cost, go for plastic.

what i will say is that, whilst you may not end up with a house that is particularly cheaper than say a developers build on an estate, you will end up with a far more individualised property and privacy.

good luck!

Edit - 5.7m not 5.4m is the bog standard bungalow height

Edited by p.p.

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Hi PP,

The big advantage that I see with timber frame is that it is more suitable for a true self-build i.e. trade-by-trade. Mainly because the timber frame company does so much of the main structure. They even provide engineering drawings for the base to be constructed using an ordinary builder. Then the timber frame can be constructed, windows and doors installed, roofed - completely weather tight - all inside 2 weeks.

It sounds to me like you employed - what I would call a contractor i.e. someone who organises a builder, glazier, plumber, plasterer, joiner, electrician (and takes his cut from each trade + his fee). Though contractors are definitely the way to go if you don't have the time to be a project manager.

Edited by Belfast Boy

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Hi PP,

The big advantage that I see with timber frame is that it is more suitable for a true self-build i.e. trade-by-trade. Mainly because the timber frame company does so much of the main structure. They even provide engineering drawings for the base to be constructed using an ordinary builder. Then the house can be constructed, windows and doors installed, roofed - completely weather tight - all inside 2 weeks.

It sounds to me like you employed - what I would call a contractor i.e. someone who organises a builder, glazier, plumber, plasterer, joiner, electrician (and takes his cut from each trade + his fee). Though contractors are definitely the way to go if you don't have the time to be a project manager.

yes we did use a contractor but a timber frame specialist, we had got it priced very early on with scotframe (hillsborough?) but decided upon a local timber frame contractor (setanta) who worked off our own plans

edit - i have to say thay 2 weeks sounds overtly optimistic;

after the erection of the frame and plasterboard + insulation, the dry-lining needs to be done and no-one else wants to work with that going on. similarly the joiners will want the place to themselves whilst putting in the doors, skirts, stairs etc. the spark and plumber (central heating etc) will want to get in before either the dry-liners or joiners. the plasterboarding will take a while as well - the boys who done ours went really hard at it (12hr days) and it still took them a week

the total square footage of our house and garage is 2400 if that helps

edit 2 - in fact the plumbers had to come in before and after the walls were in (plasterboard + dry lining) to finally fix the rads

Edited by p.p.

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Belfast boy- thanks for the heads up on the shows, although ive always thought thatrenewable energy technologies are over priced I think they're worth a look at if nothin else!! Have heard of a few people going down the timber frame route, it's an option i haven't given much thought to be honest will definately look into it!! Have always had a preconceptions that they maybe not suited to our climate with the risk of rot if not properly installed. But can see there def can be savings to be had. ie construction time, heating etc.

As regard the house I have in mind, hoping for 2500 sq ft 2 story. 4 bed, 2 reception rooms, kitchen diner and attached garage

pp thanks for the info I'm at the start of a huge learnng curve so any advice from someone who has recently gone through the process is invaluable!! By the way what happened to your wooden double glazing?

Edited by Selfbuilder

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As regard the house I have in mind, hoping for 2500 sq ft 2 story. 4 bed, 2 reception rooms, kitchen diner and attached garage

pp thanks for the info I'm at the start of a huge learnng curve so any advice from someone who has recently gone through the process is invaluable!! By the way what happened to your wooden double glazing?

If you are going for a 2 storey build i hope your site is in a town, because if it's rural development, i hope you have a good agent or know a few councillors as that will be frowned upon

The wooden windows we have need yearly upkeep to treat the timber and the strips holding the glass in place are warping in places!

Never again

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Having visited both North America and Germany to look at the timber frame and other modern methods of construction I can say that there is nothing in the line of timber frame housing being built in Ireland (that I have seen) that compares. What the timber frame people erect here is not the same thing.

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Having visited both North America and Germany to look at the timber frame and other modern methods of construction I can say that there is nothing in the line of timber frame housing being built in Ireland (that I have seen) that compares. What the timber frame people erect here is not the same thing.

How so?, looking forward to your detailed explanation

edit - have you seen the houses that this outfit builds

Edited by p.p.

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just to clarify (for the unfamiliar observer), the main difference between a timber frame house, as the name suggests, is the presence of a timber frame, the resulting stud walls and a single skin of block on the outside as opposed to dual skin.

from the outside of the house, they 'look' exactly the same as traditional construction.

+ve's: easier to heat, quicker construction, more eco-friendly build

-ve's: sound proofing not as good as cavity, similarly stud walls need special raw plugs etc. when attaching anything of weight (unless you find a joist)

edit - sp. and examples removed - just check out the macavana link in the above post

Edited by p.p.

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Hi PP,

The big advantage that I see with timber frame is that it is more suitable for a true self-build i.e. trade-by-trade. Mainly because the timber frame company does so much of the main structure. They even provide engineering drawings for the base to be constructed using an ordinary builder. Then the timber frame can be constructed, windows and doors installed, roofed - completely weather tight - all inside 2 weeks.

.../..

i think i now know where we are getting our wires crossed - you may be referring to the erection of the frame (+doors and windows) without the block-work and render, on a site where the foundations have already been put in. also the roof may be made water-tight with the felt, but still lack the tiles (obviously not for too long though!)

Edited by p.p.

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I don't know whether this is the same company

http://www.belfast-gazette.co.uk/issues/7227/pages/536

scroll to bottom of page left hand side

interesting, as the scotframe subsidiary i dealt with over here in 2004 was based in Hillsborough. However, the parent Scottish company still appears to be trading.

check this out - http://www.scotframe.co.uk/web/site/Company/Locations/Hillsborough.asp

a different scotframe?

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Just a word of caution. I'm not sure of how Code for Sustainable Homes affects NI. If it does make sure you take account of the extra costs involved. If the local planning authority has, as many have, adopted an accelerated implementation policy you may find you have to meet level 4 rather than level 3 set out in the national policy. CSH drags you into employing a lot of consultants. These are all new costs which add nothing to the performance of the home, just line the pockets of a lot of parasites. The CSH pre and post assessment, registration and certification will exceed £2k for single house development. Then there is the ecological report, surface water drainage report, meeting Secure by Design and possibly LifeTime Homes. The Secure by Design thing really winds me up. The police architectural liaison officer make his recommendations which will include all sorts of stupid stuff he bungs in at whim - like a particular type of glazing which simply does not exist yet in available window and door systems. Life Time Homes is similar - stupid stuff as well like windows with handles where no manufacturer puts the handles. You can't just go out and buy normal materials - they all have to be certified as sustainably and responsibly sourced and meeting an alphabet soup of standards. As you might guess, the only stuff you can install is grossly expensive. The government and the BRE has commissioned reports that try to show the cost impact is very low but when you read through you'll find they are just specious. The professionals, these are big names, who produced the reports ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Then you have all the management overhead of ensuring you comply with Considerate Constructors, set and monitor your targets for emissions, water use, energy use, miles travelled by the delivery vehicles. Is there anything living on your site, like weeds or rats - biodiversity that is. Got to maintain the ecology.

The blame for all this goes to New Labour and its habit of handing out monopolies/duopolies to favoured bodies. In this case the Building Research Establishment. It's more of Prescott's legacy to the population.

The house building world has changed since 2005 and once you get to level 4 of CSH it's hard to see how a single house development could possibly be worth the trouble,

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belfastvi is absolutely correct, the typical UK and Irish versions of timber frame are miles behind the continent, in some ways there's good reason for it, in others its simply because we're seriously lagging.

as far as i am aware code for SH is only mandatory for social housing in NI, irrespective refugee, do you disagree with legislation that strives to preserve the environment and our limited energy sources.

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belfastvi is absolutely correct, the typical UK and Irish versions of timber frame are miles behind the continent, in some ways there's good reason for it, in others its simply because we're seriously lagging.

i respectively disagree with this; whilst some types of Scandanavian build are superb, i think we should look at the climates that they are being built in and the sourcing of materials locally. However, the variety of timber-frame construction in Ireland n+s is well represented and established. Similarly, are the types of building being built. check out the macavana link as example.

the company who built my TF house have been making them for years here, the 'Gables' in Randalstown are testament to that

Edited by p.p.

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i would be interested for the detractors of irish (n+s) timber frame builds to come up with a technical argument rather than opinion

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i respectively disagree with this; whilst some types of Scandanavian build are superb, i think we should look at the climates that they are being built in and the sourcing of materials locally. However, the variety of timber-frame construction in Ireland n+s is well represented and established. Similarly, are the types of building being built. check out the macavana link as example.

the company who built my TF house have been making them for years here, the 'Gables' in Randalstown are testament to that

I'm not talking them down. It was mentioned above that they have been building timber frame houses in N America and the colder parts of Europe for years (which is correct). I just wanted to point out, which I think you are agreeing to, that these are not the same as the TF offered here. This is starting to change with the introduction of HUF etc.

I am not going to get into the technical issues surrounding TF. But there are differences.

TF is more expensive than Traditional, albeit it is faster.

You can heat a TF house faster than traditional, but it has no 'sink' for the heat and therefore will lose the heat quicker. This is not the same as insulation as both methods can be insulated to the same level. Its more to do with comport.

Extremely difficult to have underfloor heating in the upstairs part of the house with TF. (may not bother most)

Generally a traditional house is more flexible in making changes.

Fans of TF can argue other benefits of TF over traditional. Generally it comes down to personal choice. As materials go up and labour comes down it the cost difference is growing.

If someone is buying a house I am not sure the fact it is TF would alter the opinion to buy. It would for me, but I'm just funny that way.

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I'm not talking them down. It was mentioned above that they have been building timber frame houses in N America and the colder parts of Europe for years (which is correct). I just wanted to point out, which I think you are agreeing to, that these are not the same as the TF offered here. This is starting to change with the introduction of HUF etc.

I am not going to get into the technical issues surrounding TF. But there are differences.

TF is more expensive than Traditional, albeit it is faster.

You can heat a TF house faster than traditional, but it has no 'sink' for the heat and therefore will lose the heat quicker. This is not the same as insulation as both methods can be insulated to the same level. Its more to do with comport.

Extremely difficult to have underfloor heating in the upstairs part of the house with TF. (may not bother most)

Generally a traditional house is more flexible in making changes.

Fans of TF can argue other benefits of TF over traditional. Generally it comes down to personal choice. As materials go up and labour comes down it the cost difference is growing.

If someone is buying a house I am not sure the fact it is TF would alter the opinion to buy. It would for me, but I'm just funny that way.

Thanks for clarifying your viewpoint

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interesting, as the scotframe subsidiary i dealt with over here in 2004 was based in Hillsborough. However, the parent Scottish company still appears to be trading.

check this out - http://www.scotframe.co.uk/web/site/Company/Locations/Hillsborough.asp

a different scotframe?

... no, the same scotframe. Like you said, it is the NI subsidiary.

I have also heard of another timber frame company that has had their assets frozen.

One of the bits of advice regarding timber frame, in The Housebuilder's Bible, was that any requested payments should be made to your solicitor's bank account and only released when the frame was constructed.

Edited by Belfast Boy

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i respectively disagree with this; whilst some types of Scandanavian build are superb, i think we should look at the climates that they are being built in and the sourcing of materials locally. However, the variety of timber-frame construction in Ireland n+s is well represented and established. Similarly, are the types of building being built. check out the macavana link as example.

the company who built my TF house have been making them for years here, the 'Gables' in Randalstown are testament to that

that's fine, and i completely agree, our relatively temperate climate does not force us to meet the standards that others achieve, this is one of the good reasons alluded to in my post.

having managed a number of timber framed schemes, albeit education rather than residential, i still believe we have lessons to learn from the continent, besides that i've no probelm with it, apart from maybe increased fire risk during construction, particularly for structures over two story's.

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that's fine, and i completely agree, our relatively temperate climate does not force us to meet the standards that others achieve, this is one of the good reasons alluded to in my post.

having managed a number of timber framed schemes, albeit education rather than residential, i still believe we have lessons to learn from the continent, besides that i've no probelm with it, apart from maybe increased fire risk during construction, particularly for structures over two story's.

forgot about that.

YouTube or recent TF Fire

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Hey everyone, over this past number of years i've been saving my assets off in order to have a sizable deposit for my first house however over the last couple of months I have been offered a site (replacement dwelling site, pp not granted but shouldn't be a prob hopefully, mature site hidden from the road) from a grandparent. To be honest it's turned my head completely I now don't know what the best route to go down is!?

For a start there doesn't seem to be the same number of morgages available for selfbuilds?

Material costs don't seem to have reduced any, have prob got more expensive from what I can hear.

plus don't want to get neck deep in morgage repayments . . Pay cut uncertainities with work.

- could cope up to 550 per mth or is that being unrealistic?

I must admit I do like the idea of self building ( hence the usename) but don't want it to end up being a mill stone around my neck! What with the risk of hidden expenses that I may of over looked. Would I be right in saying that all in costs could be around £120k - £140k ish given the fact that I'm not concerned about having to get my hands dirty or that finish wise the house doesn't need to be complete before I move in?

Any info provided would be greatly appreciated!!

you may have a problem here SB

i dont know whether its just my area or not

but i have heard my local planners have turned down all the replacement applications in the last 3 months

if there is a structure present they want it preserved

your area maybe diferant but if there is an old house present

i would consult a local professional to see what the score is before worrying about morgages etc

rock on!

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I took a brief interest in self building because i fancied the idea of a passive house with heat recovery ventilation and solar water, most of which, from what I can see, are timber framed.

I came across these two companies -

http://www.scanhome.ie

http://www.tyronetimberframes.com/

Both of which seem to do the more Scadinavian/American type timber construction.

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  • 142 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
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      • up 5%



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