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mikthe20

Self-Building An Extension? (Builders So Expensive!)

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Well, our house is feeling really small now kids are growing up and I've had plans drawn to build a 35m2 extension down the side and back of our house. However, builders round my way are really busy and often don't even want to quote. I've had a quote for £50k from a builder that I agreed to but he seems really flaky, hasn't come back on a start date even though we agreed mid September, keeps promising to call and then doesn't, and I think is going to prove trouble if he starts. I have another bid for £70k from a very reputable builder that I know for sure will do a good job. But that's £2,000/m!! Another quoted £85k.

So I'm wondering whether I can self-build or manage the build and get workmen in as and when. I work from home almost all the time so will be around. Thing is, I really don't know much other than usual DIY. Am I mad to even consider this or does anyone have a view on how I can get it done without paying the earth. TIA.

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Well, our house is feeling really small now kids are growing up and I've had plans drawn to build a 35m2 extension down the side and back of our house. However, builders round my way are really busy and often don't even want to quote. I've had a quote for £50k from a builder that I agreed to but he seems really flaky, hasn't come back on a start date even though we agreed mid September, keeps promising to call and then doesn't, and I think is going to prove trouble if he starts. I have another bid for £70k from a very reputable builder that I know for sure will do a good job. But that's £2,000/m!! Another quoted £85k.

So I'm wondering whether I can self-build or manage the build and get workmen in as and when. I work from home almost all the time so will be around. Thing is, I really don't know much other than usual DIY. Am I mad to even consider this or does anyone have a view on how I can get it done without paying the earth. TIA.

Yes you can do it and mostly its not that difficult. The internet will tell you everything you need to know. What you save in money though you will pay for in time, lots of time. Also there is a reason builders are twats....they have to be. You may have to explore your twatish side.

There are lots of blogs about non builders building their own extension s.

Cant find the one I want but heres a start.

http://www.diyfixit.co.uk/two-storey-extension/

http://www.myhouseextension.com

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Well, our house is feeling really small now kids are growing up and I've had plans drawn to build a 35m2 extension down the side and back of our house. However, builders round my way are really busy and often don't even want to quote. I've had a quote for £50k from a builder that I agreed to but he seems really flaky, hasn't come back on a start date even though we agreed mid September, keeps promising to call and then doesn't, and I think is going to prove trouble if he starts. I have another bid for £70k from a very reputable builder that I know for sure will do a good job. But that's £2,000/m!! Another quoted £85k.

So I'm wondering whether I can self-build or manage the build and get workmen in as and when. I work from home almost all the time so will be around. Thing is, I really don't know much other than usual DIY. Am I mad to even consider this or does anyone have a view on how I can get it done without paying the earth. TIA.

Which region of UK are you in?

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You will need building control at the council to inspect parts of the build as you move along.

If it is not up to spec they will order it torn down and started again.....

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Well, our house is feeling really small now kids are growing up and I've had plans drawn to build a 35m2 extension down the side and back of our house. However, builders round my way are really busy and often don't even want to quote. I've had a quote for £50k from a builder that I agreed to but he seems really flaky, hasn't come back on a start date even though we agreed mid September, keeps promising to call and then doesn't, and I think is going to prove trouble if he starts. I have another bid for £70k from a very reputable builder that I know for sure will do a good job. But that's £2,000/m!! Another quoted £85k.

So I'm wondering whether I can self-build or manage the build and get workmen in as and when. I work from home almost all the time so will be around. Thing is, I really don't know much other than usual DIY. Am I mad to even consider this or does anyone have a view on how I can get it done without paying the earth. TIA.

I would go with 'you're nuts to even consider it'. I'm mid extension myself and it's been stressful enough just staying on top of the decisions required working with a very competent building team. For me it's a case of just paying the money required to get the right team in and getting on with your life. Extending rather than moving certainly makes sense given high house prices and low mortgage rates. I would note it took us a year of hanging around before the building work actually started, but since then it has been a whirlwind - it's extraordinary how hard/fast these guys work.

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Yes you can do it and mostly its not that difficult. The internet will tell you everything you need to know. What you save in money though you will pay for in time, lots of time. Also there is a reason builders are twats....they have to be. You may have to explore your twatish side.

There are lots of blogs about non builders building their own extension s.

Cant find the one I want but heres a start.

http://www.diyfixit.co.uk/two-storey-extension/

http://www.myhouseextension.com

Thanks for that - interesting.

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You will need building control at the council to inspect parts of the build as you move along.

If it is not up to spec they will order it torn down and started again.....

Yeah, am aware of that. Not planning to cut corners on quality.

I would go with 'you're nuts to even consider it'. I'm mid extension myself and it's been stressful enough just staying on top of the decisions required working with a very competent building team. For me it's a case of just paying the money required to get the right team in and getting on with your life. Extending rather than moving certainly makes sense given high house prices and low mortgage rates. I would note it took us a year of hanging around before the building work actually started, but since then it has been a whirlwind - it's extraordinary how hard/fast these guys work.

I agree, but it's so expensive. I thought it would be £1k/m and now £2k/m. Just seems extortionate. It's a 1980s house so very simple and not fancy - PVC windows for example.

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Yeah, am aware of that. Not planning to cut corners on quality.

I agree, but it's so expensive. I thought it would be £1k/m and now £2k/m. Just seems extortionate. It's a 1980s house so very simple and not fancy - PVC windows for example.

DIY, building control should provide speck concerning insulation /foundations/structural issues, could be worth pricing the major costing of materials (concrete for floors and footings is a bit of a hard one though until the holes have been dug and building control sings off on footing depths) just to see the savings that may be made

The key is finding a good bricklayer they will then be able to provide you with the contacts for the other trades

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Make sure it does not end up like my conservatory. Somebody built it, but I would not call them a "builder".

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You are better of taking the time to find a good builder. The one you say who quoted 50k and is flaky - go with your gut, please, and drop him. Bet you if you did use him overruns would push it up to 75k anyway...

When I have used builders, the professionalism has made all the difference between a mare and a dream. Not the price.

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It depends on your skills, I've just rebuilt a small outside wall (3m ish) which took me several days. It's far better than it was but isn't perfect, although as the rest of the wall clearly wasn't built perfectly my bit is more than OK. The tough part of laying bricks is building the corners up square and level. With a line the rest is pretty straight forward but then you have the holes for windows to remember etc... A builder will put it up far faster and it should be right, you may miss something obvious that could be costly to correct.

An extension is a major project and it all depends on your skills as to whether you can do it.

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I would say that with no knowledge of construction you should not try to manage it yourself.

Some 'tradesmen' may take advantage of your lack of knowhow and overcharge. It's not like you can get three quotes for every trade where you are.

A bit like when I go to a garage I haven't been recommended and they start throwing fancy words at me = more money because they know and I don't.

On first reading I thought £1,000/ m2 would be enough to get a fully finished extension but then I saw your location. I am a northerner and for me London is obviously nuts as regarding prices from beer to fish & chips to parking to property. It's the price you pay for living in the most desired location on earth!

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Find some reputable east european builders and you will save a packet.

Of course the key is 'reputable' i.e. get them through word of mouth and ask to see references (as in: extensions they previously built were the home owners will confirm this).

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I put up one last year, you need to follow spec and regs laid down

I enjoyed it and would do it again but am pretty practical and design stuff for a living. I think it cost about £3.5-4K once I included the bifolds but it took about 6 weeks

It's amazing what you can source like mismeasured windows/doors etc. It took about 9 months to get those bits and I was ready to go. Putting thought into it is the hard bit,like underfloor heating, speakers in the roof and lighting design etc.

You do get a sense of satisfaction but it was hard work

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Well, our house is feeling really small now kids are growing up and I've had plans drawn to build a 35m2 extension down the side and back of our house. However, builders round my way are really busy and often don't even want to quote. I've had a quote for £50k from a builder that I agreed to but he seems really flaky, hasn't come back on a start date even though we agreed mid September, keeps promising to call and then doesn't, and I think is going to prove trouble if he starts. I have another bid for £70k from a very reputable builder that I know for sure will do a good job. But that's £2,000/m!! Another quoted £85k.

So I'm wondering whether I can self-build or manage the build and get workmen in as and when. I work from home almost all the time so will be around. Thing is, I really don't know much other than usual DIY. Am I mad to even consider this or does anyone have a view on how I can get it done without paying the earth. TIA.

You can indeed do it. We did it with our very first home (a suburban semi). You will be 'inspected' by TPTB as you go through the stages (e.g. to check you have dug the foundations to the correct depth, etc).

We ( I should say 'I' !) did it almost 100% by hand with no 'power' tools (e.g excavator to dig out the foundation) to further save cost. Back breaking work, but very satisfying sense of achievement at the end of it all.

A friend, at around the same time, did a similar thing - but got his strapping teenage sons to assist in the labour and completed the whole thing much quicker. With two daughters I was not so lucky, and was on my own,

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I put up one last year, you need to follow spec and regs laid down

I enjoyed it and would do it again but am pretty practical and design stuff for a living. I think it cost about £3.5-4K once I included the bifolds but it took about 6 weeks

It's amazing what you can source like mismeasured windows/doors etc. It took about 9 months to get those bits and I was ready to go. Putting thought into it is the hard bit,like underfloor heating, speakers in the roof and lighting design etc.

You do get a sense of satisfaction but it was hard work

How did you get bifolds so cheap or source mismeasured items? Cheers.

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the shortest answer to your question is no

the longer answer is that yes you could, but even if you were the best in the world, you would likely save only around 30%

and, on your own house, first time, not really knowing what you are doing..... the risks of getting it wrong, going over budget, taking the absolute age of a crow to finish

it simply isn't worth it

imo

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How did you get bifolds so cheap or source mismeasured items? Cheers.

I got a set on ebay, they were mis measured and german ones that still had the protective film on them, about £650, there seems to be lots of people changing their plans and selling them, there are companies out there with mis measured ones in stock

They sat outside for 9 months, you have to source stuff over time if you want to save money. Also I drove 60 miles to get them but usually tie trips like that in with a day out.

I got 2 3m x 1m skylights for £10 for the pair and another 2 windows for £20... like new.

Can provide pics if it helps but this was about 12ft x 12ft.

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I put up one last year, you need to follow spec and regs laid down

I enjoyed it and would do it again but am pretty practical and design stuff for a living. I think it cost about £3.5-4K once I included the bifolds but it took about 6 weeks

It's amazing what you can source like mismeasured windows/doors etc. It took about 9 months to get those bits and I was ready to go. Putting thought into it is the hard bit,like underfloor heating, speakers in the roof and lighting design etc.

You do get a sense of satisfaction but it was hard work

What size and spec are we talking? At that price, I'm imagining a Wendy house.

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What size and spec are we talking? At that price, I'm imagining a Wendy house.

It's the only pic I have here at work.

20140815_200103.jpg

post-17023-0-54876900-1442840318_thumb.jpg

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I got a set on ebay, they were mis measured and german ones that still had the protective film on them, about £650, there seems to be lots of people changing their plans and selling them, there are companies out there with mis measured ones in stock

They sat outside for 9 months, you have to source stuff over time if you want to save money. Also I drove 60 miles to get them but usually tie trips like that in with a day out.

I got 2 3m x 1m skylights for £10 for the pair and another 2 windows for £20... like new.

Can provide pics if it helps but this was about 12ft x 12ft.

Wow, superb, well done. Will investigate -thanks for the tip!

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Wow, superb, well done. Will investigate -thanks for the tip!

No problem, I hope some of it helps, even if you pay people to assemble/build stuff it might help with the cost.

I put speakers in the walls and ceiling, that worked well. Usually boy stuff,

Am doing a house somewhere else now, already have the kitchen!

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