Benefits and challenges when owner building

The UK has a more ‘advanced’ approach to owner building, or self building as they call it, with a Government endorsed National Custom & Self Build Association (NACSBA), who provide a useful website The Self Build Portal.
The Self Build Portal
Of the various routes to building discussed, ‘Self build one-off home‘ is the one closest to the full owner builder experience.
‘You manage the design and construction process and undertake a fair proportion of the actual building work too.’
While some of the information and links are very UK specific, the overall process remains pretty similar to that in Australia.
They list the benefits:
  • It usually works out cheaper – saving typically 20-40%
  • You get what you want
  • You know the building inside-out and are sure it has been well built
and the challenges:
  • It is riskier – and unless you know what you are doing there is a chance you could make some costly mistakes
  • It is very hard work – you’ll be on site working long hours every day for many months
  • Building a home is complex and complicated, and there are lots of formal approvals and certification issues to wrestle with
 In addition to that list of benefits, I would add:
  • You can make changes relatively easily (within reason) on the go
  • It is possible to  build in a phased approach without undue penalty
  • It is possible to build a natural home, as it is not yet easy to find a builder of these homes in Australia
As for challenges, I think the one thing that could be added is:
  • You will experience lows as well as highs; having some support – either from a partner, friend or relative –  to bounce your frustrations off will be very useful.
Follow through to the original page for a lot more detail.
Above all, enjoy the journey!

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