I’m currently in the process of a self-build project, so I know all-too-well the ups and downs that naturally come with building or renovating a property.


There are the extreme highs of securing planning permission and finally getting out of the ground, and then the extreme lows if/when problems arise. But there is one thing for sure – the sense of satisfaction is overwhelming.


If you’re considering buying a house that needs renovating, or embarking on your own self-build project, here are my five tips to making it work:


Plan how much it will cost


This is very important. I can’t stress enough how important. Money is one of the biggest stresses when completing a property, particularly if you have a self-build mortgage and the cash is being released to you in stages.


You need to think about – and try to prevent – any hidden surprises. Create a spreadsheet of all costs and work in some contingency budget per each item. You’ll find that you often want something higher quality – and therefore more expensive – when it comes down to actually making decisions.


If it’s a property you’re doing up, you should consider having a full property survey first, which could save you a lot of money in the long run.


Don’t be scared to get stuck in


If you can do some of the work yourself, you will save money. There are always things to leave to the professionals – like electrics – but there will always be ways to help out, whether it’s labouring on, or project managing it.


Buy the right plot


The plot – or the property itself – need to be right in the first place. Choose a location that you love; it’ll make your hard work feel worthwhile. But not only that, it’s better to find a flat plot than one on a hillside. Bear in mind that ground works can be expensive, and the less you spend on this stage, the more you’ll have to play with later.


Remember, you may be able to reclaim VAT


HMRC has a DIY Housebuilder’s Scheme which means that you can reclaim the 20% VAT you pay on materials if you are building a new house, converting a building or bringing a disused building back into use. During the build process, be sure to save all your receipts, and then submit your claim to HMRC within three months of receiving a completion certificate.


Don’t be scared to negotiate


This is quite a big one. Be clever with your purchases and don’t be afraid to ask for discount or to play suppliers off against each other. It can help save thousands on big purchases such as kitchens or bathrooms.


Self builds and renovations can be a good investment, whilst helping you to get the home of your dreams. Contact us today to talk about mortgage options for your home project:


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07834 818805