MORE TOP TIPS
It’s easy to forget that keeping to a budget, for most of us, means exercising restraint and making choices based on value for money, rather than buying whatever takes your fancy.
Check which way doors open on the drawings and picture how these would feel in the finished house. Do any of them clash with each other or interfere with your planned layout?
If you’re using a timber frame structural system, it’s easy to overlook where you’ll need to reinforce noggins or add battens to hang the likes of a big TV, towel rails or kitchen wall units. This is straightforward to do before the plasterboard is fitted, but difficult and disruptive afterwards. Make sure everyone’s working off the same structural drawings. Plans tend to evolve slightly over the course of a project, and it’s important everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet to avoid hiccups between different trades’ work. Number and date drawings before circulating them so that it’s easy to check what version people are using.
You can net considerable savings from simply being better informed about the process involved in a project – often to spectacular effect. Build It’s website at www.self-build.co.uk is a comprehensive resource; and NACSBA’S Self Build Portal (www.selfbuildportal.org.uk) is worth a look, too. Consider making a trip to one of the major exhibitions, such as Build It Live (www.builditlive.co.uk) or the events at the National Self Build & Renovation Centre in Swindon (www.nsbrc.co.uk). The NSBRC also offers a suite of project advice courses (there’s a charge for these).