Touchwood Homes

I’m embarking on my first self-build and will manage it myself, any advice?

From our experience, keeping up a positive attitude regarding the project is important, along with some empathy for your tradesman, who for them, your build site is their work place.

Ideally, some experience in managing a project with different teams involved would be good too.  Once our frame is up, many different trades will need to be on site, each of whom will have other jobs on at the same time, all with their own various time scales. As such, it helps to be realistic and not to expect trades to be on site at a moment’s notice to do your job. There will be days when there is no one on site, other days when the site is flooded with tradesman. Delays can occur outside of your control, which in turn create knock on delays – such as perhaps an electrician being held up which then delays other follow on trades such as plaster boarding.

Some clients have lived on site in a caravan  / mobile home during the project. We’d recommend instead going into rented accommodation or similar during the build – being on site continuously realistically means that you never get away and so its easy to become preoccupied with small issues creating unnecessary stress. Its far better to get away from site, think about something else in the evenings and enjoy living in a comfortable house!

Tradesman will work their best on site if they’re happy, and no one wants to be moaned at when they come to work, so a warm greeting (even if they’ve been delayed) and perhaps a cup of tea will get them off to a great start, and make for a good working relationship.  The whole process should also be enjoyable  and exciting – seeing your site become a home.

Of course, there will be pressure points, but its important to try to remain calm and positive, then you and your team will tackle build issues as they arise and avoid an unnecessary confrontational approach and bad feeling.