• Self Build – Could you build your own?

    Self build homes are often an extremely cost-effective way of delivering housing. In her column in this weeks East Anglian Daily Times Homes and Gardens Supplement, Suffolk’s Young Business Person of the Year Dayle Bayliss takes an in-depth look at the self build phenomenon and at how local authorities can help bring more projects to fruition.

    In today’s housing market, where prices are high and choice is limited, the idea of building your own home is understandably appealing.

    Self build developments offer people a way on to the property ladder without compromise. They can be involved in the design process, make choices on proportions and opt to source materials to suit their budget.

    Studies have shown that most self builders are so delighted with the work that while the average householder moves every six years, the average self builder moves only once every 25.

    There are so many pros to self building it is difficult to understand why there is not more of it being done. But a recent report revealed the number of people building their own home remains stagnant suggesting that the Government’s self-build drive has yet to deliver.

    In 2010, the then housing minister Grant Shapps, singled out the market as an area requiring investment. A  number of initiatives were announced including the introduction of new plots and a £30 million Custom Build Investment Fund.

    If you ask me it is now up to local authorities to support this at grassroots level.

    They should be looking to pioneer self-build communities by offering up redundant land, setting targets for a certain proportion of new homes to be self builds when allocating sites and treating modest low cost self builds as affordable housing.

    There is a misconception out there that self builders are well-off and want to build huge Grand Designs style properties. Actually, self build appeals to lots of people on modest incomes and the majority of their homes look just like any other.

    Suffolk could be a front runner in promoting self build developments. Indeed, the news that the Orwell Housing Association is to turn over an area of overgrown scrubland in Felixstowe to the cause is extremely welcome.

    Hopefully other groups will follow this example and we will start using such innovative ways to work our way out of the current housing crisis.

    Dayle Bayliss Design and Construction Consultants specialise in architectural design, building surveying and project management. For more information on their services visit their website at: www.daylebayliss.co.uk or email info@daylebayliss.co.uk

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