How to build your own home

  • Vernacular Homes - How To Build Your Own Homes

Building your own home is a dream for many people. However, with so many factors to consider, the sheer enormity of the project can seem overwhelming.

Creating a bespoke home, perfectly suited to your taste and needs is often a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our clients.

If you’re self-managing your build without a company like Vernacular Homes working with you, breaking the build down into smaller tasks and assigning experts to manage each job can make it an achievable dream – just be prepared to work hard and dedicate many hours to it!

1. Start with your budget

This is the most important item on your agenda. You may have a rough idea of some costs, but there will be plenty you will be unsure of so it’s vital you include a contingency for any extra unforeseen expenses. You’ll need to factor in fees such as land purchase, hiring house designers, builders, interior designers, materials, planning submission fees and so on.

It’s easy to lose track, so an expert architectural design team will advise you on all likely expenditure, and keep track of costs at all times including any changes along the way, helping you to budget realistically so there are no nasty surprises.

2. Find your plot

The beautiful home you dream of deserves an equally beautiful setting. You might have somewhere in mind, or have already purchased a plot but if not, a good website to check is Plot Finder, Rightmove and Zoopla.

The South East has a number of popular areas for development, such as the Kent towns of Tunbridge Wells, Westerham, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, Sandwich, Canterbury and Maidstone. In East Sussex, Crowborough, Heathfield, and Lewes are just some of the more desirable areas.

3. How to choose an architectural designer and builder

A good, reputable architectural designer and house builder are crucial to the success of your project. Word of mouth is always a great place to start if you have friends or family who’ve recently used someone they’d recommend but otherwise, the internet is your go-to.

When looking online, here are some key questions to ask yourself:

  • Does their website include images of past projects?
  • Do they have examples of similar projects to yours?
  • Are they experienced in using specific materials you envisage using, such as the type of cladding, for example?
  • Do they have good case studies, and can you contact previous clients for feedback?

Vernacular Homes offer a ‘turnkey’ or ‘full-service’ – meaning not only do we design and complete the planning process for our client but we also manage the build phase too. By having one company at the helm, the process can be smoother and quicker – with less chiefs in place!

4. Appoint a project manager

There are so many things to do, deadlines to meet, things to know and processes to follow when you are building a new home. Most of the feedback we get from clients during and after their build, is that we took all of this headache away from them!

If you’ve ever watched the house building programmes on the television, you will most likely notice how the project takes over their life – often for at least a couple but sometimes, many years.

If you have family or work commitments, it can become very stressful to spin all of the plates – and an extra pair of hands like Vernacular Homes managing the timelines and task list can be very reassuring.

Handing this role over to an experienced professional company could save a lot of time, stress and potential issues – including costly hold-ups or tricky negotiations.

5. Hire an all-in-one solution

An experienced design and build company, able to liaise and deal with all professionals involved in your house build can be worth their weight in gold, taking on all the tasks mentioned above.

A self-build is a big investment of money, time and emotion. Having specialists involved from the start can help you to come up with design ideas you might not have considered, giving your own designs an experienced review and enhanced end result. You don’t want to wish you’d done it differently once it’s built!

They can bring them to life via technology such as Building Information Modelling (BIM) which we use for our designs, which allows our clients to explore their house before it’s even built and make changes and tweaks until it’s just how they want it.

From design, to planning to the final build, we take care of it all, giving our clients a single contact to deal with – easier and speedier.

In short, a company like ours can help ensure the smooth running of your project, with the end result being a home beyond anything you’d dreamed of.

6. Expect the unexpected!

A final word of advice – patience is golden! No matter how carefully planned a project is, there are almost always unforeseen issues along the way.

Having the right team around you is the key to ensuring any hiccups are either anticipated or swiftly rectified. Most professionals will have experienced any particular challenge you come up against before and will have the expertise to resolve them quickly and effectively.


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For an informal conversation about your project please call us on 01233 861177 or E-mail us using the form. Your data is not used for marketing – only to contact you.