So, you have finally got the money saved up, you know what your home is worth and the market is good. You are ready to start searching for that plot of land where you are going to build your dream home, your forever home and that one place in the world that will always be yours. But there is a long journey ahead and there are lots of things you will already have thought about and some you may not have. Here is a list of just 3 of the critical things you need to think about before you start getting that dream home built!
Flooding and Flood Risk
It isn’t very cheerful, but the subject of flooding is a really big one and a very important one. Where ever you stand on the climate change issue you are likely to appreciate flooding is becoming more and more of a problem. The reasons for this are actually more than just a single cause. It is widely agreed climate change is causing more extreme weather, but the flooding problems are made worse by the way we have altered the natural environment. Bear with this, it is going somewhere! We have built farm land, car parks, houses and more over land that once drained naturally and in doing so have reduced the places water can drain. By doing this we have increased the risk of flooding. To that end before even looking at the land for your new home you need to get a really good idea of the flood risk. You need to find a flood risk consultant that can help you decide if the location you have in mind is suitable. Further down the line when it comes to planning these consultants will also be able to produce a flood risk assessment and drainage assessment or strategy that could well be essential in the planning permission being given.
While you may have found your dream spot for your home, if it is liable to flood you need to either look elsewhere or if you are brave look at flood mitigation and drainage strategies as part of the design and build process.
Get Planning Permission Before Buying the Land
Once the chosen bit of land has passed the “flood test” the next step is to get planning permission.
That stunning bit of land you have wanted to live on for years comes on the market, you buy it on a gut feeling. You then apply for planning and find out the land is designated in some way and you cannot build anywhere near what you want on it. You are now stuck with some land you can’t build on and have to go through the whole process of selling it. The better way to do this is to locate some land and do some heavy research into planning.
There are two levels of planning permission:
Often land can come with the provisional planning permission that outlines permission to build a certain type of building. This is a really good start because you know building can actually happen on this land.
This is permission to build the exact plans you have created and submitted. It is important to be prepared to change these plans as part of the process in case one or more aspects of the design are rejected. It is normal, and it should be expected.
By checking planning first, you can avoid the nightmare of buying land you can’t use. It is utterly critical to assess the planning situation and hopefully get outline permission before you buy or make and offer on any land at all.
Choose Your Architect or Self Build Type
It may seem obvious, but a lot of people get so excited about the plot of land they fail to actually choose an architect or even the type of self-build house. Some people have an initial design and then nothing more. It is really important if you are going to self-build to choose your brand early. A big name is Huf Haus but there are plenty of other companies. Other options include “self-build” companies that actually design, build and even get planning permission for you like https://www.potton.co.uk/ . This option is likely to cost more but will appeal to a lot of people. Ultimately the key point here is to have all of this decided once you have started looking at land. This will help with budget planning hugely and avoid disappointment afterwards, it will also allow you to budget for the land properly and any flood work needed.
Building your own home is undoubtedly an amazing thing that many people dream off. Most people think of décor, even utilities access but so often they get hit mid project with planning issues or worse get hit by flooding after the build is complete. In the middle of all that they go way over budget because they choose a very expensive designer! Planning is everything, take your time and the project will be perfect.