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The Self Build Self Help Site Hints & Tips

A one-stop shop of information for people interested in self build - whether self building a complete home or undertaking an extension, renovation or modification.

Hints & Tips

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Design

Main Structure Floor Structure Wood or laminate floor Walls Windows Stairs Roof

Planning

Reclaiming your VAT Services Before Starting Scaffolding Good Things to Have Tools for DIY & Repairs DIY Projects: 5 Top Tips Site Security

Project Management

Site Safety Hiring Contractors Buying Materials Materials Handling Waste Management

Doing Stuff

Block & Beam Floor Building a Chimney Flue Drains Fixing a Wall Plate Forming a Chimney Stack Insulating the Loft Keeping Water Out Landscaping Painting & Decorating Rendering a Gable End Replacing a Radiator Retaining Walls Roof Truss Installation Roof Windows

These pages are aimed at helping you to overcome the problems and pitfalls that are inevitable when undertaking a project as large and complex as building a house.

The term 'self build' can be construed in a number of ways, and your particular way of self-build will determine how you use the information from this site.

At one end of the scale, a self-builder will be project managing the build and doing a lot of the work him/herself. This is not for the faint hearted but should be the cheapest option. If you are considering this option then be aware that it will be a full time job unless you do it in your spare time and don't mind the project taking many years. You will also be handling the problems yourself, and will only be able to turn, perhaps, to your architect or your sub-contractors for assistance. You will need to understand your architect's charging structure - if you have only contracted them to produce plans then they may charge extra for any significant help or site visits they do for you.

Some days you could spend most of your time on management activities - which may jeorpordise your timescales if you have not factored this in. Overall, you could be spending up to a fifth of your time on project management (more on this under "Project Management").

You could employ a project manager on your behalf - who will then take a lot of the heat away from you, dealing with you and the sub-contractors, suppliers, architcts, resolving problems etc. You should still hold the reigns regarding design change decisions. Your architect may offer this kind of service, or be able to suggest a company who can.