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Planning and accuracy 'key to successful self-build'

Anyone keen to embrace a self-build construction project to create their own home has been advised of the need to plan ahead and to stick to the limits they set themselves.

Jason Orme, editor at Homebuilding & Renovating magazine, said it is extremely important to carry out a complete specification for any development before it gets underway, as this enables individuals to ensure the scheme stays on budget and at the same time enables people to be clear about timeframes, materials and contractors.

He commented: "That really means that there is no room for manoeuvre in terms of the builders charging too much or going over schedule. Making up your mind early and sticking to it is the really straightforward advice in that respect."

Mr Orme added that one way to reduce overall costs of a self-build project is to take on some areas of the construction oneself or to oversee tradespeople directly, so as to reduce administrative bills.

In addition, DIY in areas like kitchen or bathroom installation can be a real money-saver, although developers should only take on these tasks if they have experience and the right skills to do so safely.

A sensible move for many people could be to take on a contractor to oversee the main construction of the home, with finishing touches being carried out oneself in order to make savings.

According to recent comments from Anna-Marie DeSouza, editor of Build It magazine, the most important aspect of any self-build is having a strong grasp of the finances, as a failure to do so can leave any project dead in the water.

She noted: "Nothing will bring work to a halt faster than not being able to pay subcontractors or materials suppliers. Make sure your finances are in place, stick to your budget and ensure funds are ready to be released when you need them." 

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