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News

Task Force promotes community-led housing with awards of free advice

Following a call for applications earlier in the year, the Right to Build Task Force has awarded five organisations free help in the form of tailored expert advice.

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Get inspired by Netherland's Custom and Self-build homes

The Netherlands has been leading the way in innovation for Custom and Self-build homes, so get inspired by some of the various routes it uses to give people a tailor-made home.&....

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RUSS training day: From proposal to Planning

RUSS is running a one-day workshop for community-led groups, the second module in its education programme. 

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Could your grand design be built in a flying factory?

A flying factory is way of building a Self- or Custom Build home with all the benefits offered by building in a precision-factory environment, but on site.

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Community groups should take up learnings from free Right to Build Expos

The Right to Build Task Force has announced four more Expos fo....

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Case Studies

Bath Street Collective Custom Build

Bath Street Collective Custom Build

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Planning for retirement with Potton

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Bakers Shaw

Bakers Shaw mixed build-method Passivhaus

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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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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

VAT

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How to be your own project manager

HOw to be your own project manager
  • Project managing sounds very professional and difficult but it is in fact what anyone running a building firm does all the time. Arranging sub-contracters to come in on the right day, and checking that they know what to do; organsing materials; co-ordinating with architects and building inspectors, keeping the site safe and tidy and secure; and keeping the client happy. A DIY project manager does all these except the last.
  • You need time and energy to do your own project management. Experience and contacts are also useful but not essential.
  • Ask yourself “Could I sack someone?” If not, maybe you aren’t cut out for this.
  • As a rule, it takes about one hour of project management for every seven hours worked “on the tools.” So if you have three people working on site (say for a total 24 hours a day), you will need to spend two to three hours managing the process, of which ideally one hour should be spent on site.
  • Don’t undertake DIY project management unless you can be on site at least once a day most days. Don’t even think about it if you are living more than an hour from site.
  • If you have more time to spare, then don’t sit around on site doing nothing. Become a labourer. Or lift up a broom. But don’t stand around talking to (and watching) your sub-contractors — this will slow them down and wind them up.
  • If you don’t know what you are doing, get help from someone who does.