Friday, 7 February 2014

Cladding Options for Timber Framed Homes

A wide range of external cladding options is available to the Self-Builder/Developer when constructing a Timber Framed Engineered Home. Materials that can be used include;
  • Brick
  • Stone
  • Blockwork/Render
  • Timber boarding
  • uPVC/Composite boarding
You can even use a combination of the above materials in order to give your new home a unique look.

The "section through" image on the left shows a typical timber frame super-structure with brick cladding. Because the brickwork "outer skin" is constructed after the timber frame is erected, the brickwork is tied back to the super-structure using J pattern ties.

You have to decide on your cladding prior to submitting your planning application and ordering your timber frame. If using brick, window and door heights may need to be amended so as they work to the gauge of the brickwork and avoid using slips under the sills.

Friday, 24 January 2014

First steps to building your own home Part 10

Addition considerations.

Also consider the the points below when planning your dream home.
  • Where will you live during construction? Some people opt to site a 2nd hand mobile home on the site for accommodation during the construction phase. This can be a cost effective alternative to short term rental although you will need to add the cost of the caravan and any service connections required to your budget. If you have young dependants living with you, short term rental may be the only practical solution and again the costs need to be factored into the budget.
  • Self-Manage, 3rd Party Manage or a combination of both? If you cannot afford to devote  20 hours a week (during working hours) to your project then you should consider employing a Project Manger to assist you. You will need to deal with the ordering and scheduling of materials and labour, site health and safety, build quality and progress, finance draw down applications and payments to suppliers and contractors. If you cannot work full time on the project you will need to devote time in the evening and weekends to these tasks.
  • Still make time for the family - There is no point building your dream home if you relationship falls apart because of it.
Finally - Raise a glass and toast your hard work!

We hope you have enjoyed reading this "First Steps" series.

Friday, 17 January 2014

First steps to building your own home Part 9

Build It!

You have found the land, got the house designed and raised the finance - Build It!

Complete on your land deal and engage your Architect to submit your planning application. Use the period between now and planning approval being granted wisely.

Get quotations for labour and materials - don't just go with one builders merchants, shop around for the best deals and don't discount the small independent suppliers.

You should now draw up a realistic build programme and consider you on-site storage and access arrangements. You may not have space on site to store materials that arrive as a full load, or access may not be suitable for large lorries. If this applies to you, you should make the supplier aware of this when asking for quotations.

Theft is also an issue on any construction site. Do not leave easily transported items out in the open, the chances are they won't be there the next morning.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

First steps to building your own home Part 8

 Apply for finance.

If you already have your finance quotations as discussed in Part 2 of this series, you will now be in a position to sit down with the lenders and secure the best deal available.

As mentioned previously, the majority of self-build finance is drawn down in stage payments. You should therefore take along your build costs to any finance meeting and ensure that each draw down will 100% cover the costs of reaching the next draw stage. It is extremely difficult to procure additional funds which are the result of inaccurate build cost projections or poor planning. If you have ever seen a self-build project that has just stopped, it is often the result of running out of funds!

Don't forget about the Vat. You will need to pay this on certain items such as materials throughout the build stage and claim it back on completion. Try and negotiate a deal with the lender where the Vat you reclaim can be paid off in a lump sum against the loan and thus reduce the interest payments.