The Definitive Guide to Managing Your Own Self Build Home Project


Building your own home is arguably one of the most satisfying and lucrative projects the ordinary man can undertake. It can also be the most stressful.

This needn’t mean building it with your own bare hands, more as effectively managing and using experts. Acquiring materials at the right time and tradesmen in the correct order is key.

The only solution to this is to create some form of a timeline. Go into a building site managers office, and you will find a large poster on the wall showing dates, trades, deliveries building inspections and targets.

Time is money, and it cannot be wasted. Arrange with each trade to quote you a price and tell you how long they will take on their part of the build.

You will find here, a guide to help you in your quest for a new home. We are assuming that the architect has produced detailed plans and planning permission is in place.



Breaking ground is an exciting day. The foundation trenches will be dug out to the specifications in the plan and concrete will be poured. The building inspector will want to see that the foundations are correct before he will sign them off and allow you to proceed.


A concrete slab will need to be created. The concrete needs to be delivered by a truck as there is far too much to mix manually. A damp proof membrane will need to be laid before the concrete is poured.


The walls can begin to rise from the foundations. They will be double skinned with a cavity. Insulation and Ancon Cavity Wall Ties, or another kind, will be installed as they are built.


Once the walls are built, it is time to fit the roof to make the building dry. A crane will be needed to raise the roof trusses. Modern trusses come pre-assembled, but your roof may need to be assembled in situ by a carpenter.

Roofers will be needed on site to apply the roof covering and tiles.


Once the windows are fitted your building will be dry, and internal tradesmen can now set to work.

First Fix

The first fix is a term used to describe the installation of the main wiring, plumbing, gas pipes, and carpentry. The job is not finished at this stage. Call Jeff’s Plumbing & Repipe, electricians, and others so that they are not all working at the same time. A bit of juggling the manpower will be necessary.


The plasterers must come in next, to apply a suitable product to the walls and ceilings. They may use plasterboard or two coats of plaster depending on the specifications.

Second Fix

Things are coming together by the second fix stage of the project. The kitchen, bathroom, plumbing, carpentry, electricity and heating among many other jobs can now be completed.

Once the second fix is complete, your job is over, and you are the owner of a sparkling new house. If things have gone to plan, you will have moved through your timeline perfectly. I suspect, however, that there will have been many hiccups and frustrations along the way.

You will have dealt with many people from various trades and learned that they are not all as reliable as they would have you believe. Deliveries will have been delayed, and time will have been wasted thanks to the weather on some days.

It will all have been worthwhile, however, as you have a home at about half of what it would cost if you were to buy one already built. It is also the home you wanted and not just the home that was available. Building your home is highly recommended if you have nerves of steel.

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