If you’re in the process of looking for a new home but are struggling, we understand just how frustrating it can be. Nothing ever seems quite right, does it? No matter how hard you look, you just can’t find that ‘perfect’ house. Probably because it doesn’t exist… yet. Well, there’s a reason that programmes like Grand Designs are so popular! Creating your own individual home from scratch can be one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do.
Of course, a lot of research must be done before you embark on such a journey; this blog post is simply a stepping stone to help you on your way. Unless you are a qualified builder yourself, you’re likely to want to enlist some help from a registered company. And that’s where we come in! But we wish to offer you some advice first… here’s what you should look for when choosing a company to self-build with.
Do they offer a comprehensive, ‘turnkey’ service?
Of course, how important this factor is to you will depend on your own experience and skill set. But if you’re looking for a company to completely take over and do everything for you, a turnkey service should be high on your list of priorities. A company who offer this type of package will have experts in every area of the self-build process – from design to planning permission to the physical build and management of the site. Any problem that arises will have to be solved by them, not you. Essentially, you’ll sit down with them to discuss what your vision is and they’ll truly take the reins from there. Obviously, it’s still your project and your house but their expert knowledge will make the journey a smooth and easy one for you.
How good is their customer service and care?
First impressions count. If a company is making you feel welcome and informed from the get-go, chances are that this will continue throughout the entire process. By the same token, if you feel confused and unappreciated when you first contact a self-build company, this may be a sign that they aren’t the right people to choose. After all, you will be putting a lot of your own money and time into this project. It’s only logical that you should go with a company that offers excellent customer service to make it worth your while. This will become especially clear during the build process; a good company will keep your informed and updated on a regular basis. In fact, you should have at least regular update meetings where choices and the build process should be discussed. This is not counting the various site visits you’ll certainly want to make. After all, this is your dream, your house. If a company is not willing to be transparent about what’s going on with your build then they might not be the right one for you.
Will they give you a fixed price quote or add sneaky costs?
When you have had your initial design meeting and consultation, your chosen self build company should propose a fixed fee. Ideally, this will include everything from planning requirements and building regulations to full build costs.
This is how we operate at CB Homes: you will receive a comprehensive fixed price quote. Best of all, any additional costs that are incurred through our mistakes are not your problem or responsibility to pay. So, ensure that you always compare like with like when checking your quotes – you definitely don’t want to have to pay for something that has just “cropped up on site.” And don’t forget, once your chosen builder has started on site, swapping builders might be much more difficult than anticipated. So get it out in the open from the moment go: who’s paying for what and most of all, what’s included in the price.
Do you like their previous work and will they understand your preferences
Whilst your self-build project should be entirely tailored to your preferences, not every company is going to be understanding and listen carefully. Make sure that you choose someone who will be completely open to your dreams and ideas, whilst using their expertise to think logically about the outcome. If you are a fan of the company’s previous self-build projects or developments, there’s every chance that you’ll find it easy to work with them.
Is their work up to scratch?
Each self-build company will have their own level of standards and quality. This is key! Have you had a look at previous work from the company you’re considering? Do their houses look up to scratch? If there are lots of lovely images on their website of past builds, it’s a good sign that they’re proud of their work and happy to show it off. Have they won any awards? Are they commended by registered bodies like the NHBC? All of these questions are important to ask.
And finally, are they willing to let you meet previous clients? Here at CB Homes, we always offer meetings between new and old self-builders to give you that peace of mind and face-to-face recommendation!
How can we help you with your self-build?
If you need any more information or guidance on self-build, we can give you free, impartial advice. Don’t hesitate to get in touch and see how we can help you! And if you’re looking for a suitable plot to get started with, why not check out our available plots?