With the help of renowned award-winning architect, Piers Taylor, the team at Scotframe look into what needs to be considered when choosing the right contractor method for your project.
Now you have your dream self-build home designed and your planning application is in place, it’s time for the construction to begin. How things will look on-site depends entirely on how you’ve decided to build, either by managing the project yourself or by appointing a main contractor to do it on your behalf.
As renowned architect Piers Taylor explains in the video, managing your own project, or choosing the right project manager and contractor will be key to the build’s success.
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Main contractor management
If you’ve decided to appoint a main contractor to look after things for you on-site, then there is a degree of, ‘sit back, relax and enjoy the show’. But how do you choose the right contractor for the job?
You can ‘go to tender’, which means you can post out details of the job and interested contractors can submit bids to carry out the work for you. Don’t take this at face value. Make sure you ask to see examples of their previous work and ask for references from other clients. You’ll be entering into a long-term relationship with your contractor, so it’s important that you trust them and feel good about working with them.
Before work begins, make sure you’ve got their timings for the job and any agreements on requirements set out in writing.
Once you’ve chosen your contractor, they’ll manage everything happening in your build, including appointing all the different sub-contractors needed on-site to carry out the work every step of the way, from floor to ceiling.
You won’t be kept in the dark, though. The contractor should present you with a chart detailing all the different processes and the sequence of events that will be happening during your build. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions if you’re unsure of anything.
DIY on-site management
A self-build project isn’t as dramatic and scary as some of the TV shows make it seem. In reality, time, costs and quality can easily be controlled and going it alone can save you money over having a contractor do things for you. If you’ve decided that you’re going to manage the build yourself, an important piece of advice to remember is this – always make sure you know what is happening on-site and who is responsible for what action.
Project management can be complex, as you are managing several different trades who are all required at different stages of the build. Before everyone arrives on-site, you should map out who you will need and when, and ensure that any overlaps between trades are communicated.
Typically, the build process will follow the below sequence:
- Clearing the site
- Ground works
- Laying foundations
- Install structure
- First fix
- Joinery – external doors, windows
- Plumbing – heating
- Second fix
If you’re managing the build yourself, you will need to familiarise yourself with these steps and be the person who sets them into motion.
Preparation is key and you will need to know what’s needed in advance of each step. For example, all groundwork would need to be completed before the sub-contractors come in to place the structure. If everything is not in place ahead of time, this could end up setting the build back, costing you money in the process. Setting a schedule for the build is important, but you also must allow for unforeseen circumstances, such as bad weather and illnesses within the team.
You will need to ensure that you have an approved building inspector in place, along with your other hired contractors, to ensure that all work is carried out in compliance with building regulations.
Say hello to your forever home
The prospect of building your own home in this way can feel like an exciting challenge, if not a little daunting. That’s why our knowledgeable Scotframe team are always on-hand to assist and advise during every step of the journey.
You can also take a read of some Case Studies from some of our former clients, who have self-built their own dream homes using Scotframe self-build kits: https://scotframe.co.uk/case-studies/