Five Common Self-Build Mistakes

self build home in development with big red X and frustrated man
Read our guide to avoid common mistakes made by selfbuilders

Building your own home is an exciting and rewarding challenge. The prospect of creating a space tailored to your needs and preferences can be exhilarating, but it’s not without its challenges. Many self builders make common mistakes that can have a significant impact on their dream home. Let’s explore some of these pitfalls to ensure your project goes smoothly…

1. Inadequate planning

One of the most critical stages in building your own home is the planning phase. As the saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail. Rushing or neglecting this step can lead to issues and delays down the line.

From budgeting and design to obtaining necessary permits, meticulous planning is the foundation of a successful self build. Take the time to thoroughly research and consult with professionals to avoid costly revisions later on.

2. Unrealistic budgeting

Setting a realistic budget is key to a smooth self-build process. Many homeowners make the mistake of underestimating costs or not accounting for unforeseen expenses. It’s essential to have a contingency fund for unexpected issues that may arise during construction. Be diligent in obtaining accurate quotes from contractors and suppliers to avoid financial surprises.

3. Overlooking building regulations

Disregarding or not researching building regulations in self-build projects can lead to costly setbacks, legal complications, and compromised structural integrity. This can jeopardise overall success and safety of building projects.

Have you researched the Part O building regulations? According to Approved Document Part O (Overheating), all new residential properties must be developed with strategies to prevent overheating. This can greatly affect the desired plans of your self build home, including the sizes/number of windows allowed in the property. To avoid any confusion, it’s best to discuss this with a qualified professional, so be sure to ask your architect for their advice. See our blog post for more information – Building Regulations Part O (Overheating) Explained.

4. Neglecting thorough home surveys

During the excitement of building your dream home, don’t overlook the importance of thorough surveys. A detailed survey, including a focus on the roof’s condition and efficiency, can uncover potential issues and save you from costly surprises and delays. Aerial roof surveys conducted using drones can be particularly efficient as they are quick to deploy without the need for setting up additional scaffolding.

Finding a qualified surveyor and prioritising a comprehensive survey helps you gain valuable insights into the topography, soil conditions, and any legal restrictions that may affect your project, contributing to the long-term stability and efficiency of your dream home.

5. Lack of understanding of surrounding environment

When planning to build your own home, understanding the surrounding environment is key to staying one step ahead of issues you may not anticipate.

Here are our top things to consider:

  • Insect ingress: Planning to build your dream home near a lake, river, forest, or farm? Be aware of potential insect ingress when you leave doors and windows open. Integrated insect screens are a modern solution that can be planned into the design of your home without affecting your views.
  • Wildlife and vegetation impact: Disregarding the local ecosystem can disrupt wildlife habitats and native vegetation. This may have environmental consequences and, in some cases, legal repercussions.
  • Drainage and flooding: Lack of awareness about the local drainage patterns and flood risks can result in poor water management around your property. This may lead to water damage, erosion, or even flooding during heavy rainfall.
  • Neighbours: Building without consideration for your neighbours can lead to strained relationships. Issues such as overlooking privacy concerns, casting shadows on neighbouring properties, or creating excessive noise can result in disputes.
  • Resale value: Building without understanding the local real estate market and buyer preferences may impact the resale value of your home. Failing to consider future market trends could lead to a property that is less desirable to potential buyers.

Bonus mistake: Not allowing for delays

Back to our first (and most critical) point for a successful self-building project – planning! You can put in all the hard work to plan everything down to the finest detail… but there’s always a chance that something out of your control could swoop in and cause a delay. Whether it’s the fault of supply issues, extreme weather, or running out of time due to earlier unforeseen issues.

Always allow your self build project (and yourself!) some breathing room so you have extra time should you need it.

There we have it! We hope this post has helped guide you around some common mistakes for building your own home.

Our expert team are always excited to take on new challenges and hear about your developments. Should you require any advice on solar shading, bespoke fly screens, or privacy blinds, please get in touch.


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