martynj.com - things I have learnt

Starting a Self-Build House Adventure

Well it's official, we've just bought a ropey 1960s bungalow in Sheffield with the plan to demolish it and build our own house. If all goes to plan, it'll be self-build in the sense that we'll work with an architect to spec a house to our requirements and will be making loads of decisions along the way, but ultimately we won't be the ones laying the bricks.

It's a decent sized plot by UK suburban standards, about 750 square metres, which is plenty for a good-sized house (200 square metres over 2 stories) with a generous garden around it.

The bungalow comes with planning permission for demolition and new build of a larger house, but since we want to make some changes (extra windows, change in overall footprint), we have to re-file for either a material amendment or completely new planning permission. Either way, that's an 8-week process if all goes smoothly, and we need to decide on the changes and have an architect draw up plans before that starts.

Any demolition before we have planning permission confirmed can jeopardise the application, so it'll be a few months before we can start laying into the bungalow with a sledge hammer!

A very rough estimate by our architect, based only on the general scale of the build, is a 45-week build. So on top of time for initial design, obtaining planning permission, putting out to tender, then actually building, it's looking like late-2016 before it's habitable. But serial consumption of Channel 4's Building the Dream teaches us that there are always unforeseen delays, so we'll not book in a Christmas 2016 family visit quite yet!

Let's see how it goes!

Tagged: self-build sheffield

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