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Our advice to NI self-builders

Keep track of the project 

Before you sign off on any design, ensure that it will meet the requirements of the planning authorities. Find out everything you can about the planning process. Keep track of your application’s progress and be ready to change or even reverse course. Keep an eye on the big picture. It’s not a crusade for a specific idea; it’s a desire to build your own home.

Consider your future plans

Consider how long you intend to stay in your new home. If it’s forever then all or any of your decisions can be totally tailored to you and your family. If you’re planning to relocate, you should keep an eye on the market and potential resale.

Keep your budget in mind

Your building budget is the sum of your total budget minus the cost of land. Make it clear to any designer that your budget is sacred. Anything they design for you must be able to be built within that budget. If it isn’t, then whatever they produce isn’t fit for purpose. Most projects generate a cushion of new equity, there are very few self-build disasters. Before you start looking for land or thinking about design, figure out your total budget. Calculate your liquid assets and equity, then multiply by your borrowing capacity to get your total budget, which you must stick to. Then, add at least 10% as a contingency, because the tighter the budget, the more stress there will be, especially at the end.

Future proof your home 

> Smart Home Technology 

The use of smart technology in home renovation is a rapidly growing trend. Smart technology allows homeowners to remotely control things like lighting, heating and cooling, locks, home surveillance systems, and even appliances using a smartphone or tablet computer. 

> Energy Efficiency 

Choose energy-efficient appliances. Aside from monthly savings, newer high-end appliances are designed to last longer. Other ways to future-proof your home include replacing old toilets with new low-flow models and replacing inefficient tank-style water heaters with energy-efficient, tankless models. Replacement of single-paned windows with double-paned, energy-efficient windows is always a good idea, especially since these windows are now required in all new homes. Outdated insulation should be replaced with newer options, such as spray insulation, which is less toxic and performs better at sealing cracks and holes, lowering heating and cooling costs.

> Eco-friendly

Reduce your carbon footprint by choosing renewable home heating technology. Air source heat pumps (ASHP) run on electricity that can be obtained from renewable energy sources such as national offshore wind farms. For new builds you could even generate your own electricity with solar panels on your roof, giving you complete freedom and control.

Find time to enjoy it! 

Enjoy your new surroundings. Sit back and take in the scenery while planning your garden. Imagine your life in the house when it is finished, furnished, and bursting at the seams. In this way, you’ll be able to construct your own area and make the small but significant selections that you can then pass on to the workers the following day.

Consider lead times 

Be sure to keep in mind lead times for all aspects of your build. If you don’t plan ahead and order goods in advance, you’ll face substantial delays in the completion of your job. 

Setbacks are inevitable 

Unfortunately, not everything will go totally to plan. Try to put things into perspective and be prepared to ‘Plan B’. materials and labour can become unavailable at the last minute, so try to be as organised as possible and plan both materials and labour well in advance. 

  • wireless heating controls
  • Control your home heating with smart controls

To find out more about installing renewable heating to your new build home, get in touch with us today to arrange your visit to our state of the art heating innovation centre.

Book an appointment at the Bassetts Heating Innovation Centre

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