A property journey, continues…

On the 13th Sept our blogged about the start of a property journey. We thought we’d expand on that for those of you that are considering buying a plot of land and building a new home. We’ve been there, you aren’t bonkers!

The first time we built a home for ourselves, we sold a ‘real home’ – small but perfectly formed, and bought a £500 static caravan and a piece of land.

We moved ourselves and our two 9 month old children into the static and started on a path of outdoor country, mud loving, brick buying living! Every penny went into the plot and home build.

Happy days, weekly trips to a laundrette, lots of attempts to keep the mould at bay inside the van, the start of a life long dislike of net curtains and making a bed every night from a sofa!

But, it’s worth it! If you get your plans right, have them submitted to local authority and approved and can start the build in the spring or summer months, then you are on the right road.

We can draw plans for a new home, submit them to local authority, then prepare drawings for you to get builders quotes from and these can be used for building control approval also.

In addition we bring to your table, our directexperience of building homes from the ground upwards. Need our number? 07584 622776 call us, let’s chat!

Take a look at another blog from Oct 2018 for steps to consider in preparation for a new build journey…


Self Build Homes

So, you may be reading this and considering a self build?

Are you thinking you are mad? Or do the family? Has it been a ‘niggling’ dream for some years?

There are a myriad of articles online and on paper on the subject, but, having done this ourselves, no, we don’t think you are mad and done right, you and your family could be living in exactly the sort of property you desire with the knowledge that you did it yourselves. It’s a good feeling!

You will though, need a strong constitution, the will to succeed and to endure…

Here are just a few of the things you will need to start thinking about in earnest.

Funds: where are these going to come from? Do your research before you find a building plot or piece of land. Self build mortgages are a challenge to secure, and cash flow is vital both before and during a build…

Land: are you being gifted a piece of land, have you found somewhere, are you getting daily updates from pre-set searches on one of the online property portals, have you listed with local estate agents on the ground and made it clear you are actively looking for land? Has the land got permission to build on or not?

Where will you live during the build? We chose a static caravan on site. It was cost effective and increased site security. Our children loved it and took it as an extended camping holiday, we put the majority of our possessions into storage and lived ‘back to basics’. You may wish to rent or be in the position where you stay in your current home or with friends or family, it’s a discussion that needs to be had, early on.

Stamp duty: check out your position with an estate agent or solicitor.

Self Build Insurance Policy: Including but not limited to; a structural warranty, public liability, fire, theft, storm damage and unfinished work cover.

VAT- get advice on this. Keep every receipt and record every payment made, when you finish you can claim for a refund for much of the materials used on the build. This refund can be like a breath of fresh air when you complete!

In our experience, being realistic will help you enormously, both with land, the size of your designs, internal fittings and fixtures and being honest about your budget, whether that be generous or modest.

Think about the sort of home you want and need, come to us once you have your land and lets put some ideas down together. We will put plans onto CAD drawings, we can discuss planning permissions, and submit an application. Once you have your plans drawn, try not to make unnecessary changes.

Do keep in mind, self builders reputedly now account for almost 10% of private new build homes in the UK, so you most definitely are not alone!

Starting a Property Journey…


Property is a journey that many of us make, long term throughout our lives.

We started off as a young couple, with a blank sheet of paper, a pencil and a very tight budget. Sat over a coffee in a rented house-share, we decided to jot down where we’d like to buy in our locality and the places that we wouldn’t consider.

Some on our top choices had to be crossed out wistfully as they were out of reach financially, others stayed – we’ve always been realists…

Then began the process of viewing and assessing a number of potential homes.

The property we bought was purchased for a number of reasons: the location was on our ‘acceptable’ list. The home, an end terrace, two up two down represented a series of compromises that we were prepared to make.

Path from front to rear for the lawn mower.

No garage but parking.

No dining room but a spacious, light kitchen large enough for a good sized breakfast table.

No hallway but a sitting room that you could swing a cat in!

2 bedrooms and an upstairs bathroom.

There was a front garden with space for a border under the sitting room window and a back garden big enough for our own 6×6 shed!

What swung it initially was the location, what sealed it was the layout of the ground floor – less being more to us and the start of our passion for a feeling of space and then open plan living.

When the mother in law saw the place she asked ‘you aren’t thinking of buying this pokey little hole are you?’, ‘NO’ we said, ‘we’ve bought it’ – and so our property journey began….

Whether you are staring your journey and need plans on paper to juggle how your interior space is laid out, if you have moved up the ladder a rung or two and need drawings for an extension to accommodate a growing family, or perhaps you are selling up to spend a year in a static caravan and build a new home (yes, we’ve been there) contact us and let’s chat…