Thinking of Self Building? A few tips to get you started.

Self Projects: Let’s get started.

There’s no greater space than one created specifically to meet the needs of you and your family and it doesn’t have to cost the Earth. In fact, cutting out developers and creating a self-build will not only leave you with an overwhelming sense of satisfaction but could also save you big bucks. If you’re ready to take this creative and innovative plunge, we’ve put together some money-saving ideas to ensure your budget goes even further. ..

Planning and Preparation

Before you begin the design process, it’s a really good idea to consider the garden and surrounding features. There are the obvious choices to make: views, south-facing gardens and so on but further to this, recycling already established plants and tress is a really cost- effective strategy. Plants don’t have to remain in situ however, digging them up and keeping them well for replanting post-build could save you some cash at the garden centre! This, coupled with keeping the spoil (what’s dug from the land to fit the foundations) could save you a small fortune. Not only can spoil removal cost thousands but re-purchasing soil for landscaping can run up a hefty bill too. While we are talking horticulture, another great solution for a soakaway is to have a pond. If the pond is set 600mm below the surrounding ground and the surrounding banks are planted up, heavy rain could make the water level rise but it will then disperse into the surrounding soil.

When designing your space, ensuring it suits your needs entirely is a must and at ACRE we are experienced in understanding the needs of our clients. Many things must be considered in the initial design stages. The lounge is one example where focal points can often compete for space in this busy living area; simply situating the fireplace in the corner of the room (as opposed to the traditional centred wall fireplace) eliminates the problem. Not only does it reduce cold spots either side of the fire but it allows wall space for large windows, sofas, a television, storage or whatever you are passionate about! This is a the beauty of the self-build: we can help you achieve the perfect space, forget the ‘norm’ and build the perfect house for you.

Insulation Essentials

From a cost saving perspective, as well as an eco-sensitive one, insulation is a vital consideration. Further to the obvious use of insulation, simple additions can make a huge difference; for example insulating your bath with mineral wool insulation behind the panels (as long as it isn’t freestanding of course) ensures your water stays warmer for longer – especially handy if you have a few children to bathe!

As we all know, insulation is key for cost-savings with heating but here’s another cheap consideration – sound insulation for stairs in your self-build. Though this would allow an easier entry for teenagers sneaking home later than planned, a ‘silent staircase’ could make a huge difference to the peace in your home. This can be achieved ridiculously easily by stuffing the underside of the staircase with wool insulation before boarding stairs – obviously this wouldn’t be compatible with an open staircase however. This is another area where the team at ACRE understanding your needs entirely can help make sure these kind of elements are included in your designs.



Equipment equals ease

In rainy climates such as ours, laying concrete can be problematic which is why hiring a concrete pump is one of our top recommendations for self-builds. They can be costly at around £500 a day but they allow for large amounts of concrete to be laid in one day and avoid damage which can be caused by lorries, dragging concrete and bad weather.

Using manpower alone to put up trusses and steel joists in particular can be a time-consuming and dangerous task, which is why we would recommend hiring a crane for this, and at around £500 per day it’s well worth the spend. It’ll keep the job moving forward, cause the least aggro and remove potential damage – to your build and body parts!

Detailed design

Lastly, we cannot stress enough the benefits you’ll see when appointing ACRE as your designer. With detailed plans, developed with your dream in mind, your home can be built within budget and without nasty surprises.

Thinking of Self Building? A few tips to get you started.

Right from the start, at the “needs and options review” which proved incredibly worthwhile, Alistair and his team have provided professional, thorough and imaginative service. Our project has daunted us in many ways but Alistair has always been on hand to allay any concerns we had. He has been incredibly helpful, full of ideas and specialist advice throughout the process. Our extension has now been granted planning permission and building control approval. Thanks to Acre Design this is looking so much better than anything we could possibly have imagined.

Diana Robson

Contact Acre Build

CAI Building, Royal Quays,
North Shields, NE29 6DE

T: 0191 6808 088

Leave a Reply