The Scotframe team and renowned award-winning architect, Piers Taylor, share insights on how you can choose the right techniques to conquer your self-build property.
Building your own home can, at first, feel like a daunting challenge. But there are many benefits to a self-build, which allows you to have more flexibility over the style and aesthetics. You can build the home to suit your own personal needs and have it work the way you want it to. But how do you get started? And how do you ensure that your dream build design passes planning applications with flying colours?
As renowned architect Piers Taylor explains in the video, what you build is determined by how you build. It’s important to choose self-build techniques that you know you will be able to manage directly.
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Choose what fits your circumstances
There’s a range of self-build techniques, from having a contractor who looks after everything for you, to going it completely alone. Sitting in the middle of these techniques is purchasing a self-build kit which has the frame of the home included and made-to-measure.
There are many ways to self-build, which are:
- Professionally managed
- Package build
- Main contractor
Evaluate not only your own skills, but also your own unique personal circumstances before you decide on which path you want to take. Whichever you choose should best suit your circumstance and skillset.
Things to consider should include:
- Your personal finances
- How much time you will be able to dedicate to the project
- How patient you are
Pick your materials
If you’re not so confident with starting the build from scratch, then you may wish to consider a timber frame, however if you would prefer to build from the ground up, take a look at masonry instead.
There are many different construction choices which you could consider, such as timber frame, steel frame, traditional masonry, hybrid sustainable materials, and many more.
Most houses in the UK are built from masonry (brickwork) or timber frame. Masonry is a good option for thermal mass as the materials used store heat very well. You typically have more flexibility through the build phase until quite late on as you can move walls, windows and other components more easily. The downside is that it can be difficult to control the quality of the build.
Timber frame is a great option for those who don’t want to build brick-by-brick. Timber frames are typically manufactured off-site at a factory and brought on-site for the build pre-cut to size. Not only is this more friendly for the environment as it reduces waste, but it also means the shell of a house can go up much quicker than traditional masonry. However, as specifications are decided earlier on in the process, it’s much more difficult to move things around once it arrives on-site.
If you’re unsure of which materials you should be using, our friendly and knowledgeable Scotframe team are happy to advise you through all stages of the build.
Decide your style
Arguably the most exciting step of the self-build project. Decide how you want your dream home to look. Do you want an ultra-slick modern building or perhaps a country-style cottage? Whatever you’re looking for is possible when opting for a self-build project.
Many people can get caught up in the number of bedrooms a home has, but also take some time to think about whether you might want an open plan living space, vaulted ceilings or a garage, and what size windows and rooms you want.
Consider the outside too. Do you want it to fit in with the other houses in the area or be more of a statement home? Realise your dream early in the self-build process to help you gain planning permission.
If you’ve got a hundred different ideas in your head, here at Scotframe, we have a handy 3D Home Designer on our website to help you visualise your ideas, from the roof tiles to the door handles.
Make your dream a reality
Once you’ve decided what you want your home to look like, you’ll need to request planning permission from your local authority.
Planning permission will be based on the look, appearance, scale, and location of the property, as well as where it sits on the site and what it’s made of.
Generally, you will need to align your build with the other properties around it. But this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to compromise on the aesthetics you have chosen.
You can de-risk the planning permission process by submitting a pre-application. You can show the authorities the plans you are intending to submit, and they will write back to you to tell you which policies you need to abide by. There may be an element of negotiation and things may need to move around a little to conform.
Alternatively, you can take advantage of Scotframe’s Architectural Services for Self-Builders. They are a team of highly experienced architects who can supply you with the necessary planning drawings and other documents you will need to submit as part of your planning application.
Designing your own self-build home doesn’t have to be an exhausting challenge. With the right information and assistance, you can make your dream a reality. For information on how Scotframe can help you achieve your dreams, contact one of our team by filling out the form on our website here.