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News

Homes England loan funding unlocks land for further custom build homes

20 new plots for custom build homes are being brought to market at Howton Road in 2018 as part of a development allocation in Newton Abbot by Teignbridge District Council (DC) i....

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Ecology Building Society provides mortgage finance at Cambridge Cohousing’s Marmalade Lane project

Ethical lender the Ecology Building Society has teamed up with Cambridge Cohousing to offer mortgages to the future residents of Marmalade Lane, a 42-home community in the proce....

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Fareham Borough Council and the Right To Build Task Force pursues potential for plots at Welborne Garden Village

Fareham Borough Council and the Right To Build Task Force are working together to help realise potential for self-build and custom build plots at Welborne Garden Village in Hamp....

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Ticket offer for Spring self-build shows

 

Self Build Portal brings you free ticket offers to the best self build shows for anyone wanting to build their dream home...

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Right To Build Expo heads South West for self-build and custom expertise

NaCSBA's Right To Build Task Force, NaCSBA and Wood for Good, in partnership, are hosting the Right To Build Expo: Unlocking the Potential of Custom and Self-build, near Exeter ....

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Case Studies

Beattie Passive house

Manx passive home

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Contemporary Timber Frame Home

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Passivhaus Family Farmhouse

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Steel Farm

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Merlin Haven

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Timber Frame Home, Ventnor

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Aldcliffe Yard, Lancaster

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Walthamstow Social Rent Scheme

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Prefabricated Passivhaus bungalow

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Cookham Dean, Berkshire

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Harvest House

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Bickleigh Eco Village, Devon

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Stoke-on-Trent Serviced Building Plots

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Forevergreen House

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Housing People Building Communities

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Sülzer Freunde, Cologne

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Berlin - 'Building Groups'

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Manor Farm, Kirton

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Straw-baling, Perthshire

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Findhorn

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Almere, Holland

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Hockerton

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Top tips

Tommy Walsh's
Top Tip

Tommy Walsh's Top Tip Read more

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Hiring builders

Builders
  • Word of mouth is still the best way of finding good builders (but not always possible).
  • If they use a trade organisation on notepaper (i.e. FMB or NHBC), make sure at the outset that they are current members.
  • Try and talk to previous clients - you will learn a lot, even though they only put you in touch with the good ones.
Fixed price or day rate? Mostly the building trade works on a fixed price basis, but sometimes on smaller jobs it is difficult to make an accurate estimate and here you may choose to pay an hourly rate, or a day rate. Some trades (notably bricklayers and plasterers) like to work on a measured rate basis: here you agree to pay so much per thousand bricks laid or per m2 of plastering done and then calculate the total owed at the end by measuring how much was done. Whatever you choose, ensure that you agree beforehand what the terms are.
  • Contracts: usually only used on fixed price work. With subcontractors (plumbers and electricians, kitchen fitters etc) the quotation may be the only contract form but on larger works — typically engaging a main contractor to build a house or an extension — it is a good idea to use a written contract. These will outline the terms of payment as responsibilities of both client and builder.
  • Remember that a contract is no substitute for a detailed written specification of the works involved. This takes time (and costs money) to develop and often forms part of the design process.
  • An hour spent planning the job before it starts saves four hours tidying it up at the end. It’s an old building adage but one worth bearing in mind.