Building Your Dream

Zara Moon Architects outline how you can begin to design and build your dream home

If you’ve watched Grand Designs and thought, ‘I want to build my dream home one day’, then here are three things you need to know to get you started on making your dream a reality:

Finding a plot
Searching for a suitable plot, in the desired location, which can achieve approval or already has approval, and is within budget can be a minefield. Land which is for-sale on the popular marketing sites will be visible to all and therefore will attract competitive bids driving the price higher, or being sold very quickly. Finding plots off market can be a way of reducing competition, however these are more difficult to find. Prior to bidding for land, you must seek advice from a suitably competent consultant such as an architect or land surveyor. These professionals may also be in a position to know where land will be for sale. For land with planning permission, you can expect to pay 30 to 40 per cent of the final building value which can increase based on the desirability of the site location. For land which does not have planning permission you can expect to pay between £10 to 15k per acre. Join the council Self-Build Register, and your council will notify you of suitable plots which are available in your selected area.

Making sure approval can be achieved
There are many factors to determine if planning can be obtained for your desired property. You may have found a bargain of a site, however achieving approval could be impossible. When we first visit your site during our free consultation, we discuss what your ideal solution would be, and comment on the likelihood of achieving this, what would be a suitable scheme for the particular site and what our strategy would be to obtain approval. Pre-Applications are a way of gaining feedback from the Local Authority with regards to the principle of the development and can be submitted without a detailed scheme design. You can usually expect to obtain a response within four to six weeks.

Pick the right design team for you
It is important that you select the most suitable architect/design team for your project. You need to create a wish-list with everyone that will be sharing your home, in priority order. We also ask clients to create their own inspiration board of interior and exterior styles they like. This is your opportunity to create a bespoke property to meet your individual requirements, so your design team needs to understand you and your family, how you live, what you need and your budget. You need to trust them, and feel you would work well together as you will be working together on your project for a considerable amount of time. You will also require additional consultants and surveys as part of the planning and construction phases.

Next month: Self-Building continued – the next steps.

Contact a member of our team for your free consultation to discuss how you can begin your own self-build dream project.

Zara Moon Architects
We Transform Sites, Buildings & Lives
13 New Market Street
Colne BB8 9BJ
01282 908440



Tedd Walmsley

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