Self Build – Time & Money

Self Build – Time & Money

So you’re considering a self build?


This is a realistic and managable option that many people contemplate when building. It’s an option that many people choose for many different reasons such as cost, ability, availability of labour/materials and personal circumstances etc.

As a self-builder it’s not literal that you build it yourself with your own hands, but figuratively speaking you do build the project, in that you become ‘the builder’. I’m often asked by various clients what I think about self-building, and if I’m honest I’m all for it because it’s something I did for myself twice. I have the experience having self-built my first home in 2005 and again revisited 7 years later when I self-built my current home.

For me the decision in both instance was made easy for me based on costs. When self-building one can typically expect to save between 15-30% on the cost of a project depending on a number of factors, such as experience, amount of work done personally, ability to shop around and availability of labour/materials. However when I say I’m all for it is something that I have to counsel with caution. These cost savings don’t come without a cost. The saying that nothing in life is free, and certainly this is true when it comes to a self-build. As you the client become the builder, so you literally earn those savings by doing that building work yourself.

The first piece of advice I always give to prospective self-builders is be prepared for the biggest work load project of your life. It’s not something that you can do at weekends and on your summer holidays, unless you want it to go on as long as the Sagrada Familia.

If you’re considering a self-build project, then one of the items that’s imperative for me when advising a client on the pros and cons of a self-build is that you must have a lot of time to give to the project and that ideally you can attend site at least once every day the work is ongoing.

Being an architect I obviously had the technical know-how and expertise to understand and manage a building project. Being self-employed, I also had the flexibility and time to be able to give to the project and as a result, I would say it was a result. I got to build a house that I could not of afforded had I employed the builder. For me self-building was very much a means to an end.

Joseph English MRIAI

JEArchitecture specialises in the bespoke design of extensions, one-off houses and residential developments. We understand our clients needs, in response to which we offer flexible, convenient appointments and payment terms. At all times we adhere to top-quality, best-practice, regulation and the highest of professional standards. Our signature style is Traditional Form with Contemporary Detailing.