Can you project manage your own new build or renovation

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On December 17, 2015 by Josh

If you regularly watch the news or current affairs programmes, it can’t have escaped your attention that experts feel house prices are over-inflated. They’re shooting up year by year, and that can make it very difficult to find somewhere suitable, especially if you’re buying for the first time. Fortunately, there are other options. If you’re prepared to do some serious renovation work, you can buy properties at well below the standard market rates; and there’s also the option of building a new home from scratch.

Building a new home – what does it take?

To build a new home, you’ll first need to buy some land. The cost of land varies enormously, based mostly on location; if you’re happy to settle in a rural area, then it’s likely to cost only a tiny fraction of the overall project budget. You’ll need to manage that budget carefully, as you will normally only be able to get a mortgage to help you complete the project after you have made the structure wind and watertight. This means you will need access to more cash than you would need for a mortgage on a cheap home, but, of course, your monthly payments will be lower and you will have more equity after the build is complete. You’ll also have a home designed to suit your needs.

Managing a construction site

Bringing your project to life will begin with finding an architect. A good architect will work with you to rationalise your design and will suggest ways you can strip it back to reduce construction time or cost without compromising too much on what you want. You’ll then need to identify suitable contractors and establish when different types of work will need to be performed, which will depend to an extent on what’s present on the site already (even with undeveloped land, proximity to phone exchanges, sewer pipes, etc. makes a difference). You’ll need to visit the site regularly whilst construction is taking place and be available at all times in case plans need to be adapted. You’ll need insurance to protect you if anything goes wrong, and when everything is complete, you’ll need to arrange an inspection to confirm that the structure is suitable to live in and determine what your on-going premiums are going to be.

Finding the right contractors

Finding the right contractors can be a challenge, but you shouldn’t be tempted just to go with the cheapest quote, because it’s vital that the work is of good quality. Many people rely on recommendations, but if you’re using the internet for these, be aware that some companies fake their reviews. One option is to use an umbrella company that can provide contractors with all or most of the different skills you need – this means you have some additional assurance at the outset, and if one contractor impresses you, then you’re likely to be able to rely on others.

Managing a project like this is hard work and can eat up a lot of time, but it’s an investment that can really pay off in the long term, giving you a much nicer home than you could otherwise afford – and a home that really feels like yours.

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