This is the first of what I think will be a series of notes on self build. We are currently finishing off our first self build project which is the renovation and extension of an end of terrace house in East London. So far at least the most important lesson we have learnt from the process is that it takes time and you need to be patient. That is not to say that you don’t have lots of work to do and that there are deadlines to meet, but things take time and every now and they, really do have to sit and wait while things happen.
We purchased the site in 2013 and with things just finishing off on site now, the whole thing has taken 6 years. This is a lot longer than anticipated, but with planning issues and funding issues to deal with we had to wait until the time was right before we could start the building work. In the end, time spent on site has been relatively short – work started in November 2018 and the house will be ready for occupation in June this year. We stuck to a construction budget of £1,250 per sq.m, which is very reasonable for this sort of work.