Join our Facebook community: Build Your Dream Oak Frame Home

By | Are we the right fit?

Join Our Facebook Community: Build Your Dream Oak Frame Home

 

Today we’re really excited to announce a new way for our clients, and potential clients to connect with us and share their experiences online. In future, you’ll not only be able to like our Facebook page (where we post daily photos and home build inspiration), but you’ll also be able to join Complete Oak Home’s Facebook group: Build Your Dream Oak Frame Home.  

 

Who is this group for?

The group is for people who are exploring and researching how to go about a whole house design and build project, or people who want to share their knowledge and experience. We know that building your own forever home is a huge decision – and we wanted to create an inspiring and informative place where you can discuss issues, ideas and ask questions.

IF YOU HAVE A PLOT, AND WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO ONE OF OUR PROJECT ADVISORS ABOUT GETTING PLANNING PERMISSION, BUDGETING, BUILDING COSTS OR ANYTHING ELSE RELATING TO BUILDING A BESPOKE HOME, SCHEDULE A CALL HERE TO PICK OUR BRAINS!

Who will see the posts?

The Facebook group (click here to visit the page) is a closed group, so everything you post inside the group will remain private to just you and the other group members. So don’t worry if your house-build is still a secret – the posts and replies won’t pop up in anyone else’s news feed.

As it’s a private group, you’ll need to request to join – but we hope this helps you feel secure in the community, and confident enough to ask lots of questions and get involved.

 

What kind of things will be talked about?

We’ll be posting lots of topics to get the discussion flowing – we have a wide range of important topics ready to post! As this is a community though, we want to hear your topics too. If you’d like to suggest any issues to discuss, or if you’d like to ask the community for help – all you need to do is write your own post and publish it in the group.

 

We hope this community will be inspiring, helpful and beneficial to you as you take on this exciting challenge and project. So come and say hello and join the discussion today!

Pin this post and save for later!

Our cost control process gives clients their lifetime home

IN BUILD

Upside down oak frame house in rural Cornwall

COMPLETED

Contemporary oak frame home designed for clients overseas

NEAR COMPLETION

HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

Because we used an architect first who was absolutely useless. He didn’t listen to us at all or give us a design that we wanted. In fact his design was so poor that I could have drawn it myself or just copied it straight from the internet. When we spoke to The Complete Oak Home you actually listened to us and provided us with a design that met all of our requirements.

B MERRON

We had experienced difficulties with another company but from the moment we met Andy our faith in the project had been restored. He understood what we wanted and listened very carefully to our needs. He talked about structure and wood which was so interesting, and he was clearly so much more of an expert in his field than other people we had spoken to.

P MICHIELS

Building a house has been something we've been looking at for some time but to be honest we didn't really want the hassle of having to do everything ourselves. Complete Oak Home offers us a way of achieving our dream by undertaking those tasks for us.

M SMITH-KEARY

Equestrian oak frame home in the Cotswolds with balcony, and views of the garden and driveway.

Why An Oak Frame Home Is More Achievable Than You Think

By | Design

Why An Oak Frame Home Is More Achievable Than You Think

 

Is this the year you’re finally taking the leap to building your own oak frame home? For most of us, building and designing our own home is a lifelong dream, but more and more people are now realising that it’s a dream they can achieve sooner than they originally thought.

 So, whether you’ve been putting it off for fear of lack of time or lack of funds, at Complete Oak Home we hope to help you realise that building your own oak frame home may be more achievable than you originally thought.

Building your own oak frame home doesn’t need to be something you keep putting back year after year, it can be something you do in the imminent future, with our careful planning and guidance helping you through the process. Perhaps this year is the time to make your dream a reality.

IF YOU HAVE A PLOT, AND WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO ONE OF OUR PROJECT ADVISORS ABOUT GETTING PLANNING PERMISSION, BUDGETING, BUILDING COSTS OR ANYTHING ELSE RELATING TO BUILDING A BESPOKE HOME, SCHEDULE A CALL HERE TO PICK OUR BRAINS!

So how can we help, and what makes us a smart choice?

As an oak frame design and build specialist (and not oak frame manufacturers) we have all the oak frame expertise, but we will be able to work a clever design around your budget, including oak frame in the areas most important to you. Because we don’t manufacture the oak frame, we can include as much or as little oak frame into your design – which can make the process more cost friendly. Sometimes we don’t even include any oak frame, but work with clients who simply want our turnkey expertise.

We are a client focussed company too. We work within the budget YOU set, and we strive to provide the best design and features for you within this.

Our turnkey solution means your home is complete and ready to move in. You don’t need to worry about sourcing different suppliers or spending extra after the build to add in finishing touches.

If the thought of dealing with multiple suppliers and managing multiple aspects of the build seemed daunting and was putting you off taking this leap, you can rest assured that we take care of all the tricky stuff, and manage the entire process on your behalf. The control and creativity stays with you – but we keep the technical and complex parts with us, so you can enjoy building your dream home.

If you would like to talk to us about your new oak frame house, and would like some information on how to work out a realistic budget, please don’t hesitate to call us on 01249 479891, we’re very happy to help.

Here’s an example of a successful oak frame build

Our clients chose to work with us because they wanted one point of contact, a client focused company, a full turnkey service, and they wanted to know that it was a cost friendly approach.

front and side exterior showing large glazed entrance with oak door
Oak frame upper landing oak arch beams glazed bannister

Pin this post and save for later!

Get More Valuable Information About Building Your Dream Home

Would you like to receive valuable advice & tips from us, giving you crucial information to help you with your self-build project? If so, sign-up to receive our weekly email, or join our community over on Facebook where we run live expert sessions and more!

Our cost control process gives clients their lifetime home

IN BUILD

Upside down oak frame house in rural Cornwall

COMPLETED

Contemporary oak frame home designed for clients overseas

NEAR COMPLETION

HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

The team worked with us throughout the duration of our project, from the early design stages through to completion. We now have a wonderful oak framed home which we’ve been delighted to show to many other clients.

K HANSON

Because we used an architect first who was absolutely useless. He didn’t listen to us at all or give us a design that we wanted. In fact his design was so poor that I could have drawn it myself or just copied it straight from the internet. When we spoke to The Complete Oak Home you actually listened to us and provided us with a design that met all of our requirements.

B MERRON

We have both had a good look at the designs and we absolutely love them. It hugely exceeds our expectations and for this we are truly thankful of your superbly impressive work! We are so excited to think that this could be ours - you are very talented indeed.

D SMITH

eco-friendly house model with seedling coming out of chimney being held in the palm of a hand

Eco-friendly House Design Ideas

By | Design

Eco-friendly House Design Ideas

 

In recent years we’ve seen a huge surge in eco-friendly self-build projects and phrases such as “smart technology”, “passive design” and “sustainable living” are featured in every homebuilding magazine. If you’re looking to create your perfect home, an eco-friendly approach is not just for tree-hugging hipster-types. Taking a “greener” perspective can offer huge benefits to running costs as well as interior comfort and your own personal well being.

Saving energy from the outset

Planning is key. While you can retrofit certain energy-saving features, if you start your building process with energy-saving and eco-friendly initiatives in mind, you can create a beautiful home that is designed to complement its environment.  Thinking about your project’s orientation, and maximising the amount of natural light in the rooms that you use the most, is the simplest way to improve energy efficiency, but it can go much further than that.

We have highlighted some of the most innovative, yet affordable, eco-friendly features to include in your new-build design:

Sustainable building materials

Oak frames are becoming more and more fashionable in the housing industry, which is looking towards using sustainable materials. You can ensure that your hardwood frame (typically oak-framed in the UK) is sourced responsibly by looking for certification schemes. 

Insulation is the main element of your house-build that will enable you to improve your energy efficiency and the heating costs associated with your home. These can also be sourced sustainably, try using recycled or natural materials such as newspaper pulp or sheep’s wool.

Triple glazing and low-emissivity coated glass can dramatically reduce the amount of heat lost compared to standard double glazing. This means that you can still have those dramatic vistas and natural light, without compromising your energy-efficiency, creating a stylish space for modern living.

IF YOU HAVE A PLOT, AND WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO ONE OF OUR PROJECT ADVISORS ABOUT GETTING PLANNING PERMISSION, BUDGETING, BUILDING COSTS OR ANYTHING ELSE RELATING TO BUILDING A BESPOKE HOME, SCHEDULE A CALL HERE TO PICK OUR BRAINS!

Generating your own energy

Installing solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on a roof or elsewhere on your plot is increasing in popularity in the UK. Small-scale wind turbines and ground-source heat pumps are also an option for generating your own renewable energy. The government is currently trying to encourage people to adopt renewable energy at home using schemes such as the “Feed-In Tariff”, where you can potentially claim money back from your energy supplier for the energy you have generated through your solar panels or wind turbines.

Recycling excess heat

Mechanical ventilation recovery systems provide clean, fresh air to your home without losing heat energy. The warm air is extracted from inside the house while fresh air is brought in from outside. Each of these ventilation streams pass over a heat exchange element (usually hidden in the roof structure) which transfers the heat to the clean air that then enters your home. Good ventilation is known to have health benefits, and these systems can reduce the amount of heat lost, helping you to create a healthy, happy, eco-friendly home.

Taking advantage of the British weather

A rainwater harvesting system incorporated into the design of your house could cut your water bills by up to 50%. The rainwater runs off the roof into the guttering system then filtered to remove any debris. The water is then stored in an underground tank and can be used for a variety of applications; WC flushing, garden watering and irrigation, washing cars or domestic laundry.

Final fitting options

Smart thermostats have been available on the market for a few years. They allow you to control your heating remotely, e.g. from your smartphone, and can “learn” your habits to ensure your heating and hot water systems are only on when you need them.

LED lighting is now fairly standard in homes across the UK. They use less energy and have a longer lifespan than their standard or halogen counterparts. You can improve energy savings even further by installing timer switches or motion sensors.

If you have a plot, and you’d like to speak to us about planning, cost or the general feasibility of your project, please give us a call on 01249 479 890 and we’ll be happy to help.

Pin this post and save for later!

Get More Valuable Information About Building Your Dream Home

Would you like to receive valuable advice & tips from us, giving you crucial information to help you with your self-build project? If so, sign-up to receive our weekly email, or join our community over on Facebook where we run live expert sessions and more!

Our cost control process gives clients their lifetime home

IN BUILD

Upside down oak frame house in rural Cornwall

COMPLETED

Contemporary oak frame home designed for clients overseas

NEAR COMPLETION

HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

The team worked with us throughout the duration of our project, from the early design stages through to completion. We now have a wonderful oak framed home which we’ve been delighted to show to many other clients.

K HANSON

Because we used an architect first who was absolutely useless. He didn’t listen to us at all or give us a design that we wanted. In fact his design was so poor that I could have drawn it myself or just copied it straight from the internet. When we spoke to The Complete Oak Home you actually listened to us and provided us with a design that met all of our requirements.

B MERRON

We have both had a good look at the designs and we absolutely love them. It hugely exceeds our expectations and for this we are truly thankful of your superbly impressive work! We are so excited to think that this could be ours - you are very talented indeed.

D SMITH

Inspiring home decor ideas showing living area, large windows and stylish living room furniture

Where to find inspiring home decor ideas

By | Design

Where To Find Inspiring Home Decor Ideas

 

When your new home is built and you have the keys, the most exciting thing to follow is planning the decor and really making the house into a home. Whilst twenty years ago we may have been relying on magazines to fuel our ideas, the internet is now home to so many incredible sources of inspiration.

So, if you’re looking for some amazing ideas for your own home, or maybe a new home, then these websites will need to be saved to your bookmarks.

Pinterest

www.pinterest.co.uk

The mother of all inspiration websites. Pinterest is essentially a virtual scrapbook, where you can save lots of different inspiration from all around the web. You can browse through pre-pinned content by searching for users and keywords, or you can start pinning your own content, and use it as somewhere to house all your ideas.

Design Milk

http://design-milk.com/

If you love quirky design, and appreciate the art of simplicity – then Design Milk will have loads of home decor inspiration you’ll love. The home decor on this site is undoubtedly cool, with sleek minimalist inspiration, and bold one-off ideas.

Room Envy

http://www.roomenvy.co.uk/

Dedicated to finding the most must-have schemes and styles, this is a site to visit if you love being on top of the current fashions. From cool kitchens, to beautiful bedrooms – there’s a little bit of everything here and the layout makes it all really easy to find and browse.

Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/

You might have thought Instagram was just for sharing holiday snaps – but it’s actually a great source of inspiration for all kinds of home ideas. Start off by searching relevant hashtags such as #homedecor #homestyle #newhome and go from there. Because you’re looking at un-curated images from ordinary people, you might stumble across ideas you haven’t seen before.

IF YOU HAVE A PLOT, AND WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO ONE OF OUR PROJECT ADVISORS ABOUT GETTING PLANNING PERMISSION, BUDGETING, BUILDING COSTS OR ANYTHING ELSE RELATING TO BUILDING A BESPOKE HOME, SCHEDULE A CALL HERE TO PICK OUR BRAINS!

Air BnB

https://www.airbnb.co.uk/

We know this isn’t an obvious choice, but this property rental website is known for great photography, and on most property listings there are multiple images of inside the house / apartment / etc. It’s a great way to look inside real houses, and see what real people are doing with real spaces like yours.

Elle Decor

http://www.elledecor.com/

A classic choice, Elle Decor is a fantastic source of home decor inspiration. They update regularly on their website, so you’ll find fresh article every day to be inspired by. Their style is mostly feminine or modern, so great if those are key aspects of your home style too.

Houzz

https://www.houzz.co.uk/

One of the biggest home decor websites, it’s constantly updated with inspiring ideas, examples and inspiration. There are a range of styles to browse through and the blog posts are seemingly endless – so you’re sure to find something you like the look of!

RIBA

https://www.architecture.com/

If you like to look through finished examples of beautiful properties and stunning architecture, RIBA is a great place to find inspiration. We recommend browsing through their blog posts and social media channels.

If you would like to talk to us about your new oak frame house, and would like some information on how to work out a realistic budget, please don’t hesitate to call us on 01249 479890, we’re very happy to help.

Pin this post and save for later!

Get More Valuable Information About Building Your Dream Home

Would you like to receive valuable advice & tips from us, giving you crucial information to help you with your self-build project? If so, sign-up to receive our weekly email, or join our community over on Facebook where we run live expert sessions and more!

Our cost control process gives clients their lifetime home

IN BUILD

Upside down oak frame house in rural Cornwall

COMPLETED

Contemporary oak frame home designed for clients overseas

NEAR COMPLETION

HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

The team worked with us throughout the duration of our project, from the early design stages through to completion. We now have a wonderful oak framed home which we’ve been delighted to show to many other clients.

K HANSON

Because we used an architect first who was absolutely useless. He didn’t listen to us at all or give us a design that we wanted. In fact his design was so poor that I could have drawn it myself or just copied it straight from the internet. When we spoke to The Complete Oak Home you actually listened to us and provided us with a design that met all of our requirements.

B MERRON

We have both had a good look at the designs and we absolutely love them. It hugely exceeds our expectations and for this we are truly thankful of your superbly impressive work! We are so excited to think that this could be ours - you are very talented indeed.

D SMITH

What Everybody Ought To Know About Building Costs

By | Costs

What Everybody Ought To Know About Building Costs

Andy Parker, Project Director at Complete Oak Home

 

It may surprise many people to know that in 2017 most self-build project costs are between £1,600m2 and £2,000m2 of usable floor area or Gross Internal Area (GIA) for a fully completed house, ready to move in to. The bulk of the difference between these building costs is due to variations in design complexity and material and product specification. These figures hold true whether you are self-managing your build or using a main contractor.

These building costs are well evidenced and properly documented if you know where to find them e.g. Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

If you consider a 4-bedroom house typically needs around 160m2 of useable floor area, this represents a variation in cost for the construction of £64,000. Whilst this is not immaterial, if your budget is in the middle of the cost range i.e. £1,800m2, a rise to £2,000m2 is an 11% increase. This is about what one should allow as a contingency.

For most people, if they could be confident at the very early stages of the process, they had a budget that was going to be within 11% of the final cost, they would be happy to progress their project.

So why do the figures that most people have to rely on vary so much? The answer, hugely misleading information!

Sadly, misleading information so far outweighs reliable information, it makes the task of having confidence they have a realistic budget almost impossible to achieve for most people.

The most prolific source of confusing information is the very source most people have ready access to i.e. self-build publications and programmes. To give just one example, the July 2017 issue of a leading self-build magazine included two conflicting articles – one about benchmark house construction costs, the other a reader’s project.

The benchmark house takes an architect designed, self-build project and sets out a well-researched cost plan. It is an uncomplicated, 4-bedroom family home built using mid-range materials, run as a self-managed project. It concludes that the house would be built for £1,695 m2.

The article on page 51 of the magazine covers a reader’s project. The house design is considerably more complicated, includes a basement, an oak frame and is built to a much higher level of specification which includes handmade tiles and bricks. It states the building cost as being £1,468m2.

To make matters worse, the oak frame costs £259m2. Given the oak frame construction will give little or no saving over a conventional form of construction, this suggests had the house been built using the same method of construction as the Benchmark House it would have cost just £1,209 m2.

Why the enormous difference?

Simply, the benchmark house has been properly costed by professionals. The costs for the reader’s house have been supplied by the reader and taken at face value. The magazine appear to have not checked them.

IF YOU HAVE A PLOT, AND WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO ONE OF OUR PROJECT ADVISORS ABOUT GETTING PLANNING PERMISSION, BUDGETING, BUILDING COSTS OR ANYTHING ELSE RELATING TO BUILDING A BESPOKE HOME, SCHEDULE A CALL HERE TO PICK OUR BRAINS!

Where are the anomalies?

The article on the reader’s house gives some insight into the more likely cost of the project.

1. The house is currently on the market so we checked it out. The agent’s details give a Gross Internal Area of approximately 521 m2 which we’ve checked against the floor plans. This suggests the area of 613 m2 published by the magazine is the Gross External Area (this is a budgeting trap the magazine themselves raise as a risk to self-builders in their benchmark house article saying ‘so you can see how using the wrong figure could lull you in to a false sense of security over your budget’.) At the build cost given by the reader of £900k this would equate to a cost per square metre of Gross Internal Area of £1,727

2. The project was started in September 2012. Allowing for inflation, the cost per square metre now would be more like £1,935 m2

3. The reader has his own business in the construction industry and used his own employees and plant for significant parts of the house project. In his own words, after 18 months working on the project he ‘Wanted to get his team back to working full time in his swimming pool business’. It is probably reasonable to assume his business didn’t make a profit on the time his own employees spent on his project and that he had this labour at cost.

Taking all this in to consideration I don’t think it is unreasonable to assume the actual building costs were in excess of £2,200m2. This is certainly more in line with our experience of projects of this size, quality and complexity.

Why is this so important?

Because of the high cost, financially and emotionally, to unsuspecting, aspiring self-builders!

What really bothers us, is so many people embark on self-build projects in the belief their budget is reasonable, only to have their hopes dashed, often after they’ve spent money to get planning permission or worse get to the point of tendering their project. Some will have invested in building plots in the belief their budget stacks up. Their assumption is not unreasonable based on the information available to them.

The cynic in me is inclined to think that self-build publications (programmes and shows, who are almost all linked to a publication) have a vested interest in encouraging as many people as they can to undertake a self-build project. Their commercial existence relies on it.

If you would like to talk to us about your new oak frame house, and would like some information on how to work out a realistic budget, please don’t hesitate to call us on 01249 479890, we’re very happy to help.

Pin this post and save for later!

Get More Valuable Information About Building Your Dream Home

Would you like to receive valuable advice & tips from us, giving you crucial information to help you with your self-build project? If so, sign-up to receive our weekly email, or join our community over on Facebook where we run live expert sessions and more!

Our cost control process gives clients their lifetime home

IN BUILD

Upside down oak frame house in rural Cornwall

COMPLETED

Contemporary oak frame home designed for clients overseas

NEAR COMPLETION

HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

The Complete Oak Home offer something rather different, not oak frame manufacturers but oak frame experts who design & build oak frame homes. 

HOMEBUILDING & RENOVATING MAGAZINE

The one thing that has enabled us to progress is I believe finding a company that is prepared to partner with us from the very beginning and take us through planning, design/costing, tendering and build through to completion (or to any stage along the way). The Complete Oak Home offers us a way of achieving our dream by undertaking those tasks for us. 

M SMITH - KEARY

We have both had a good look at the designs and we absolutely love them. It hugely exceeds our expectations and for this we are truly thankful of your superbly impressive work! We are so excited to think that this could be ours - you are very talented indeed.

D SMITH

pre-construction information pack

Pre-Construction Information Pack – What Is It & Why Do You Need It?

By | Contract, Costs, Design, Risks, Value

Pre-Construction Information Pack – What Is It & Why Do You Need It?

 

What Is A Pre-Construction Information Pack?

The pre-construction information pack is often confused with building regulations, which are actually a very small sub set of what’s in the pack. It includes:

1. Full Construction Drawings

For most house schemes this will be between 30 and 40 detailed drawings from foundations to window and door detailing. They will often include drawings of sections through parts of the house showing specific details so you can be confident the design details you’ve discussed with your architect will be executed once on site.

2. Finishes Schedule

This document details the specific fixtures, fitting and finishes in every room of the house as well as the materials to be used externally. Working closely with your architect should help you to make the necessary decisions given both your aspirations for your home and your budget.

3. Building Regulations Information

This is a relatively small amount of information required to satisfy a building control body that the scheme will meet the required regulations. This may be a local authority or independent company.

IF YOU HAVE A PLOT, AND WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO ONE OF OUR PROJECT ADVISORS ABOUT GETTING PLANNING PERMISSION, BUDGETING, BUILDING COSTS OR ANYTHING ELSE RELATING TO BUILDING A BESPOKE HOME, SCHEDULE A CALL HERE TO PICK OUR BRAINS!

Why Do You Need A Pre-Construction Information Pack?

This comprehensive pack of documents is crucial for several reasons:

1. Accurate Costing

It allows the scheme to be accurately costed and for a reliable fixed contract sum to be agreed

2. Accurate Construction

It provides all the information needed from which to construct the house, thus ensuring it is built as designed and not diluted by vagaries that allow a builder to interpret the design and specification as he sees fit

3. Enables Contract Administration

It provides a robust set of documentation from which the construction contract can be administered i.e. monthly contractor valuations for work undertaken and any variations you might want to make

To read more about contract administration then click here.

4. Allows Cost Engineering

A rigorous technical design process allows the opportunity for cost engineering as you go

5. Reduces Interpretation & Misunderstanding

Without the necessary documentation, the scheme will be open to interpretation and misunderstanding. It can lead to the dilution of the design as contractors interpret the information they do have, sometimes to suit themselves. In our experience this leads to an adversarial culture on the site and a high likelihood of unexpected additional costs.

6. It Saves You Money

Money spent on a comprehensive pre-construction information pack will be saved many times over in value engineering if you progress down a negotiated contract route or tender evaluation if you choose a tendering route.

If you would like to talk to us about your new oak frame house please don’t hesitate to call us on 01249 479890, we’re very happy to help.

Pin this post and save for later!

Get More Valuable Information About Building Your Dream Home

Would you like to receive valuable advice & tips from us, giving you crucial information to help you with your self-build project? If so, sign-up to receive our weekly email, or join our community over on Facebook where we run live expert sessions and more!

Our cost control process gives clients their lifetime home

IN BUILD

Upside down oak frame house in rural Cornwall

COMPLETED

Contemporary oak frame home designed for clients overseas

NEAR COMPLETION

HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

Initially our feeling was one of relief and disbelief! A unanimous committee decision was far more than we had expected. It has still not properly sunk in nearly a week on. We feel as though our first assessment of what could be achieved on the site has been vindicated with the expertise of The Complete Oak Home and their planning team.

G & S HUNT

Having steered our project through challenging planning issues, Andy and his team worked tirelessly to ensure our new home is both what we wanted and within our means.

N RISDALE

I just want to say a huge thank you for today. You were really professional and it was a pleasure to watch. We have taken it as a positive result, albeit a delay, but I guess that’s a function of this business as well as mine! You are a real asset and we are so happy with everything you do for us, worth every penny.

D & K SMITH

Looking for a plot

The Two Things You MUST Know When Looking For A Plot

By | Build process, Costs, Design, Planning, Risks, Value

The Two Things You MUST Know When Looking For A Plot

 

Looking for a plot of land to build on is one of the most challenging aspects of building your own home. Setting aside the normal requirements of buying a house e.g. getting the right location, access to amenities and schools and so on, you have the additional consideration of viability as a self-build plot.

There are tonnes of articles online that go into huge detail about how to find your perfect plot. At Complete Oak Home we like to keep things simple, and so have highlighted below the two most important things you need to consider. The first being plot viability and the second financial viability.

Looking For A Plot Of Land To Build On – 2 Key Things To Find Out:

1. Plot Viability

When considering the viability you should look at the likelihood of getting planning permission for the house you want to build. First look at the current use of the land and its relationship to other development. Look for a plot that already has residential use and either has a building on it or is within a development boundary. Infill plots or large gardens can present an opportunity. If you would like advice on planning viability feel free to call us. We can usually carry out some preliminary evaluation and advise you free of charge.

Next, investigate the chances of being able to put up a house of the size and style that you want. Local planning policy will guide you. If there is an existing house on the plot the policy will guide you on how much of an increase in size you will be allowed with your new house. If you want to re-locate your new house on the site there may be a natural ‘building line’ which the planners would want you to stay within.

IF YOU HAVE A PLOT, AND WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO ONE OF OUR PROJECT ADVISORS ABOUT GETTING PLANNING PERMISSION, BUDGETING, BUILDING COSTS OR ANYTHING ELSE RELATING TO BUILDING A BESPOKE HOME, SCHEDULE A CALL HERE TO PICK OUR BRAINS!

2. Financial Viability

For most people financial viability is also a consideration. Once they’ve finished their project they want the property (house and land) to be worth at least as much as they have invested in it. If you intend to live in the property for a long time then you may be comfortable with a break even position or even a small loss in the short term.

How to find a plot:

  • Net based plot finding services, normally subscription based where you can set search criteria.
  • Identify the area in which you want your plot and register with estate and land agents. Keep reminding them you’re serious. In our experience you’ll drop off their radar quite quickly so a regular phone call reminds them you’re still there.
  • Some people have been very proactive, dropping leaflets through the doors of houses with large gardens that might be appropriate for splitting.

We hope this information gives you some insight into how to find a plot for your project. However, there are many things that are project specific. If you would like to talk to us about your new oak frame house please don’t hesitate to call us on 01249 479890, we’re very happy to help.

Pin this post and save for later!

Get More Valuable Information About Building Your Dream Home

Would you like to receive valuable advice & tips from us, giving you crucial information to help you with your self-build project? If so, sign-up to receive our weekly email, or join our community over on Facebook where we run live expert sessions and more!

Our cost control process gives clients their lifetime home

IN BUILD

Upside down oak frame house in rural Cornwall

COMPLETED

Contemporary oak frame home designed for clients overseas

NEAR COMPLETION

HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

Initially our feeling was one of relief and disbelief! A unanimous committee decision was far more than we had expected. It has still not properly sunk in nearly a week on. We feel as though our first assessment of what could be achieved on the site has been vindicated with the expertise of The Complete Oak Home and their planning team.

G & S HUNT

Having steered our project through challenging planning issues, Andy and his team worked tirelessly to ensure our new home is both what we wanted and within our means.

N RISDALE

I just want to say a huge thank you for today. You were really professional and it was a pleasure to watch. We have taken it as a positive result, albeit a delay, but I guess that’s a function of this business as well as mine! You are a real asset and we are so happy with everything you do for us, worth every penny.

D & K SMITH

How T|o Build Your Oak Frame Home

How To Build An Oak Frame Home

By | Are we the right fit?, Build process, Contract, Costs, Design, Planning, Risks, Value, Videos

How To Build An Oak Frame Home

Creating a traditionally styled bespoke oak frame home with our turnkey solution

Our clients came to us looking for a company to build a unique oak frame house using a full turnkey solution. “This house is set with a beautiful secluded glade surrounded by ancient woodlands. The aim here was to shape the architecture in such a way that it could command the site whilst not effective the openness of the green belt,” says Josh Wood, Architectural Designer on the project. “A three winged form has been proposed to achieve this. This geometry enables 3 separated courtyards to suit the client’s aspirations: A welcome entrance, raised morning garden and sunny patio.” This grand oak frame home is looking to be finished in 2018.

Bespoke Turnkey Home within woodland area
The exterior of a bespoke turnkey home showing the oak frame

IF YOU HAVE A PLOT, AND WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO ONE OF OUR PROJECT ADVISORS ABOUT GETTING PLANNING PERMISSION, BUDGETING, BUILDING COSTS OR ANYTHING ELSE RELATING TO BUILDING A BESPOKE HOME, SCHEDULE A CALL HERE TO PICK OUR BRAINS!

Pin this post and save for later!

Get More Valuable Information About Building Your Dream Home

Would you like to receive valuable advice & tips from us, giving you crucial information to help you with your self-build project? If so, sign-up to receive our weekly email, or join our community over on Facebook where we run live expert sessions and more!

Our cost control process gives clients their lifetime home

IN BUILD

Upside down oak frame house in rural Cornwall

COMPLETED

Contemporary oak frame home designed for clients overseas

NEAR COMPLETION

HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

The team worked with us throughout the duration of our project, from the early design stages through to completion. We now have a wonderful oak framed home which we’ve been delighted to show to many other clients.

K HANSON

Because we used an architect first who was absolutely useless. He didn’t listen to us at all or give us a design that we wanted. In fact his design was so poor that I could have drawn it myself or just copied it straight from the internet. When we spoke to The Complete Oak Home you actually listened to us and provided us with a design that met all of our requirements.

B MERRON

We have both had a good look at the designs and we absolutely love them. It hugely exceeds our expectations and for this we are truly thankful of your superbly impressive work! We are so excited to think that this could be ours - you are very talented indeed.

D SMITH

The Complete Architect Icon

Complete Architect

By | Design

Complete Architect

 

Our architectural services are delivered by our in-house design team, Complete Architect. Complete Architect handles the full range of architectural services including feasibility studies, concept drawings, planning applications (both outline and pre-app), construction drawings and contract administration.

You choose to either work with Complete Oak Home, our complete turnkey company, or Complete Architect if you only need architectural services, the choice is yours. To find out more about the Complete Oak Home turnkey company please click here. Both Complete Architect and Complete Oak Home work on oak frame and non-oak frame projects.

The practice ethos is to create inspiring designs that enable our clients to realise their aspirations. In addition to considerable architectural experience, the strength of the team lies in its in depth knowledge of project cost management and site based pragmatism.

IF YOU HAVE A PLOT, AND WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO ONE OF OUR PROJECT ADVISORS ABOUT GETTING PLANNING PERMISSION, BUDGETING, BUILDING COSTS OR ANYTHING ELSE RELATING TO BUILDING A BESPOKE HOME, SCHEDULE A CALL HERE TO PICK OUR BRAINS!

Great design and good cost control means clients ambitions of completing their project come to fruition.

Good architecture is as much about understanding people as it is about creating beautiful homes. Designing for our clients is close to our hearts and starts with developing their brief through a process of listening, enquiry and shared possibilities. But possibilities have to be within reach and our team relish the creativity that comes with constraints. For our clients, design isn’t a theoretical exercise but part of a process leading to a completed project.

Our team are equally adept at contemporary and traditional design, responding to the unique characteristics a site presents and the specific requirements of our clients, resulting in high quality, carefully considered and imaginative architecture.

Enhancing years of architectural experience and training the team use a range of tools, from simple hand sketching to highly sophisticated software to help our clients visualise and contribute to the design process. These include REVIT, Adobe Design Suite and SketchUp Pro.

Get More Valuable Information About Building Your Dream Home

Would you like to receive valuable advice & tips from us, giving you crucial information to help you with your self-build project? If so, sign-up to receive our weekly email, or join our community over on Facebook where we run live expert sessions and more!

Our cost control process gives clients their lifetime home

IN BUILD

Upside down oak frame house in rural Cornwall

COMPLETED

Contemporary oak frame home designed for clients overseas

NEAR COMPLETION

HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

Because we used an architect first who was absolutely useless. He didn’t listen to us at all or give us a design that we wanted. In fact his design was so poor that I could have drawn it myself or just copied it straight from the internet. When we spoke to The Complete Oak Home you actually listened to us and provided us with a design that met all of our requirements.

B MERRON

We had experienced difficulties with another company but from the moment we met Andy our faith in the project had been restored. He understood what we wanted and listened very carefully to our needs. He talked about structure and wood which was so interesting, and he was clearly so much more of an expert in his field than other people we had spoken to.

P MICHIELS

Building a house has been something we've been looking at for some time but to be honest we didn't really want the hassle of having to do everything ourselves. Complete Oak Home offers us a way of achieving our dream by undertaking those tasks for us.

M SMITH-KEARY

Self-build turnkey

7 Ways To Turbo-Charge Your Project With A Self-Build Turnkey Solution

By | Are we the right fit?, Build process, Contract, Costs, Design, Planning, Risks

7 Ways To Turbo-Charge Your Project With A Self-Build Turnkey Solution

 

Working with a self-build turnkey company can really turbo-charge your project. You instantly benefit from the coordination, collaboration, cost efficiency and buying power of a well-established company running multiple projects. You have all the expertise you need at your fingertips, meaning you can move things forward immediately. Complete Oak Home has the most comprehensive self-build turnkey solution on the market. Here’s how it can help you turbo-charge your project.

1.     Under one roof

We do more under one roof than anyone else. Our team of architects, project coordinators, cost consultants and contract administrators are here to look after every aspect of our client’s projects.

2.    Cost control

We pay more attention to rigorous cost control than anyone else. Our robust costing processes enable us to advise our clients as they make the multitude of decisions needed to complete their project.

3.    Approach to design

Our unique approach to architectural design fully involves our clients, helping them get the house they want whilst benefiting from our architectural expertise and experience.

IF YOU HAVE A PLOT, AND WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO ONE OF OUR PROJECT ADVISORS ABOUT GETTING PLANNING PERMISSION, BUDGETING, BUILDING COSTS OR ANYTHING ELSE RELATING TO BUILDING A BESPOKE HOME, SCHEDULE A CALL HERE TO PICK OUR BRAINS!

4.    Planning

We have a great track record of getting planning permission on even the most challenging of sites. Whether it’s a straight forward full planning application or a site requiring a considered planning strategy to ensure success, we can help.

5.    Third parties

Where external specialists are needed, such as ecologists and engineers, we appoint them so we have responsibility and control over their performance.

6.    Local construction teams

Working countrywide means we work with local builders to ensure good value and avoid unnecessary costs for our clients. Our construction contracts ensure our clients best interests are served.

7.    Contract administration

Throughout the construction we act as contract administrators, making sure the house is built to specification, the design doesn’t get diluted and the clients only pay the fixed price agreed under the contract.

Due to the distance between our client’s home and the project, they wanted a complete end to end design and build service

Like so many of our clients, they wanted cost control, value engineering, and have a contract administrator on site was particularly important as they live remote to the site.

upper terrace with oak beams and balcony
famiy room with white fabric couches and blue throw and cushions

Pin this post and save for later!

Get More Valuable Information About Building Your Dream Home

Would you like to receive valuable advice & tips from us, giving you crucial information to help you with your self-build project? If so, sign-up to receive our weekly email, or join our community over on Facebook where we run live expert sessions and more!

Our cost control process gives clients their lifetime home

IN BUILD

Upside down oak frame house in rural Cornwall

COMPLETED

Contemporary oak frame home designed for clients overseas

NEAR COMPLETION

HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

It's been something we've been looking at for some time but to be honest we didn't really want the hassle of having to do everything ourselves. The Complete Oak Home offers us a way of achieving our dream by undertaking those tasks for us.

M SMITH-KEARY

To me turnkey means that you have a safe pair of hands to look after you through the whole process. But I was also quite nervous of it because I really wanted to be involved in all of the decision making, and needed to know that I wasn’t going to left out of the process. Your turnkey service means that I am really enjoying the journey of building our dream holiday home. I get to be involved in all of the nice bits knowing that you take care of all of the stressful bits!

C NASH

“The team worked with us throughout the duration of our project, from the early design stages through to completion. We now have a wonderful oak framed home which we’ve been delighted to show to many other clients.”

K HANSON

Pitfalls for self-builders

The Top 10 Pitfalls for Self-Builders

By | Build process, Contract, Costs, Design, Planning, Risks, Value

The Top 10 Pitfalls For Self-Builders

 

If you’re in the process of trying to work out how much of your project you want to, or can take on, we’ve compiled the top 10 pitfalls for self-builders to be aware of. You may find it useful to understand more about what’s involved at various stages, which professionals would normally undertake the work, and where self-builders are at greatest risk.

1.     Getting planning permission

Getting planning can be problematic on some sites and an architect should advise on the best way to approach it.

This can be as straight forward as preparing your design and submitting a full planning application. It can be as complicated as establishing some key principles through permitted development rights before a pre-planning process, outline planning and full planning application.

Employing an architect should help you minimise your financial risk as you establish the likelihood of getting planning permission for what you want.

2.    Architectural design up to getting your planning permission

This work would normally be carried out by a qualified architect if you want to make the most of what your site offers and want a bespoke design to suit you.

To complete the design and get planning approval the architect might call on specialists to provide information he needs. These are project and site dependent but will often include a topographical survey and a phase one ecological survey. He may also require things such as a heritage statement, visual impact assessment, arboricultural survey and contamination survey to name but a few. Nearly all this information must be carried out by an accredited person if the information is to be considered valid by the planning authority.

Without the necessary information, planning permission will be delayed because the planners won’t have all the information they need. If you haven’t considered the cost associated with getting all the necessary information your budget and financial plan will suffer.

3.    Construction information

To ensure a house is built to the required design and specification, to facilitate accurate costing and allow the build contract to be administered, a comprehensive construction pack must be prepared. This pack includes a small sub-set of information required to meet building regulations.

This work is normally undertaken by an architect and/or an architectural technician. He will work out how best to build the house and often call on other experts for detailed technical information. These might for example, include specialists in home automation, heating and electrical systems or renewable energy. Once complete the information will typically comprise 30 – 40 detailed drawings and a finishes schedule.

Without this information, the design can become diluted by the building contractors. Prices provided by contractors will be unreliable as gaps in information will be replaced by assumptions to suit the contractor. Administration of the contract will be difficult, potentially costlier and requests for additional money from the contractors during the construction, almost inevitable.

4.    Budgeting and cost planning

Budgeting and cost planning for a construction project is complex. Prices change over the duration of the design development, there are a myriad of interrelated components and there is no standard approach.

During the early stages of the design the architect should be considerate of the likely build cost of his proposed design. As the scheme develops a quantity surveyor or cost consultant will sometimes be engaged to further refine the estimated costs. Finally, a price will be put against the scheme either through a negotiated contract process with a nominated contractor or through a tendering process.

Without a robust approach to budgeting and cost planning the self-builder can find they have planning permission for something they can’t afford to build. It is quite possible this fact won’t emerge until all the architectural work is complete and significant cost incurred.

5.    Contracts

The construction contract would normally be prepared by an architect, project manager or contract administrator. The most commonly used type is a JCT (Joint Construction Tribunal) contract. To be robust it must be supported by a comprehensive set of information (the construction pack).

A poorly prepared contract, open to individual interpretation, is difficult to administer fairly and inevitably leads to adversarial relationships between the parties. In turn this results in budget and programme overrun with all the associated costs and angst.

IF YOU HAVE A PLOT, AND WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO ONE OF OUR PROJECT ADVISORS ABOUT GETTING PLANNING PERMISSION, BUDGETING, BUILDING COSTS OR ANYTHING ELSE RELATING TO BUILDING A BESPOKE HOME, SCHEDULE A CALL HERE TO PICK OUR BRAINS!

6.    Getting the design you really want

You don’t want to move in to a completed house and start listing the things you wish you’d done differently otherwise you might as well have bought a house off the open market. Knowing your architect is doing a great job for you will mean being confident their listening to what you want and designing a house you’ll be able to afford to build.

7.    Staying within budget during design

Budget overrun is rightfully most people’s biggest fear. Bear in mind a professionally run construction project will involve a cost consultant or quantity surveyor. It’s worth considering the implications if your project were to overrun by 20%. We frequently see examples self-build overruns of 50% upwards.

You need to be confident at every stage, from when you apply for planning permission to when your house is completed, you’ll still be within budget. There are so many interrelated component parts to a house that cost analysis isn’t simple and with the significant costs of the substructure (below ground) and superstructure it is rarely a case of simply substituting one cost item with another.

8.    Staying within budget during construction

It’s only possible to keep within budget during the construction if you have a comprehensive set of documents, a full construction pack, on which prices have been fixed and contracts agreed. Without these the scope for misunderstanding is significant. A competent contract administrator will ensure the appropriate documents are in place and that they are adhered to by the contractors during construction.

Without a rigorous approach the self-builder can find themselves financially exposed by paying for work and materials not yet incorporated into the build. They are also likely to face claims for variations in cost from the contracts as misinterpretation of what has been priced for comes to light. These additional costs can quickly run to many tens of thousands of pounds.

9.    Programme overrun

This is perhaps the most commonly acknowledged risk of a self-build project. Whilst it is straight forward to get a main contractor to commit to a programme of work, this is almost impossible to achieve when using multiple sub-contractors. They will nearly all be dependent on other contractors on the project over whom they have no control.

The true cost of programme overrun is often overlooked with such things as the cost of alternative accommodation if you have sold your house to fund the build, additional interest on development loans before they can be converted in to a conventional mortgage and the extra cost of site attendances. Site attendances are those things shared across multiple trades such as plant and scaffolding as well as site welfare facilities which must be provided by law.

10.  Contractors going into administration or liquidation

The construction industry is peppered with contractors operating on a small scale, very good at their jobs but less able to manage their finances. Consequently, financial failure is common place.

During construction, the client should never pay for labour or materials that haven’t been incorporated in to the building. Part of the role of a contract administrator is to ensure this doesn’t happen.

In some circumstances, where bespoke products are manufactured off site, an advance payment may be required. In this case a vesting certificate should be issued by the contractor to ensure any goods at their site are clearly marked as the property of the client, thus protecting them from administrators should the business fail.

If you wanted to see what’s needed before actual construction, this post all about pre-construction packs may be useful to you.

Pin this post and save for later!

Get More Valuable Information About Building Your Dream Home

Would you like to receive valuable advice & tips from us, giving you crucial information to help you with your self-build project? If so, sign-up to receive our weekly email, or join our community over on Facebook where we run live expert sessions and more!

Our cost control process gives clients their lifetime home

IN BUILD

Upside down oak frame house in rural Cornwall

COMPLETED

Contemporary oak frame home designed for clients overseas

NEAR COMPLETION

HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

The Complete Oak Home offer something rather different, not oak frame manufacturers but oak frame experts who design & build oak frame homes. 

HOMEBUILDING & RENOVATING MAGAZINE

The one thing that has enabled us to progress is I believe finding a company that is prepared to partner with us from the very beginning and take us through planning, design/costing, tendering and build through to completion (or to any stage along the way). The Complete Oak Home offers us a way of achieving our dream by undertaking those tasks for us. 

M SMITH - KEARY

We have both had a good look at the designs and we absolutely love them. It hugely exceeds our expectations and for this we are truly thankful of your superbly impressive work! We are so excited to think that this could be ours - you are very talented indeed.

D SMITH

Guide to self-build procurement routes

Your Simple Guide To Self-Build Procurement Routes

By | Contract, Costs

Your Simple Guide To Self-Build Procurement Routes

 

There are two main self-build procurement routes; negotiated contract and tendering. In this post we explain what each route involves, and the pros and cons of both.

1.     The First Self-Build Procurement Route – Negotiated contract

The first self-build procurement route is a negotiated contract. This involves a builder at the earliest opportunity and enables them to contribute expertise to the construction methodology as the detailed construction package is developed. He can also provide current market costings during the process.

Once planning permission is granted and the construction package is underway, a preferred contractor is chosen.

As stages of the construction package are completed they can be reviewed with the builder so he can fully familiarise himself with the project and discuss preferred construction methods with the design team.

When the builder provides costs for the work we evaluate these against current market rates. It is in the interest of all parties that the costs are fair and not skewed by misunderstanding.

Once the construction package is complete a final fixed price can be agreed with the builder and a construction contract prepared.

Pros:
  • Engages a preferred builder earlier into the design and costing process
  • Allows time for rigorous value engineering
  • More likely to lead to a collaborative working relationship between all parties
Cons:
  • Less familiar to clients as a procurement process
  • Requires expert impartial costs analysis & negotiation to ensure fair market rates; skills which most self-builders will not have

IF YOU HAVE A PLOT, AND WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO ONE OF OUR PROJECT ADVISORS ABOUT GETTING PLANNING PERMISSION, BUDGETING, BUILDING COSTS OR ANYTHING ELSE RELATING TO BUILDING A BESPOKE HOME, SCHEDULE A CALL HERE TO PICK OUR BRAINS!

2.    The Second Self-Build Procurement Route – Tendering

Tendering requires the preparation of a comprehensive construction and tender pack, extending an invitation to tender to selected builders, circulating tender documents, evaluating tender submissions and making a recommendation for the most appropriate builder to use.

The tendering process can only start once the construction and tendering packs are complete.

Once tender packs are circulated tendering parties make enquires to clarify aspects they may not fully understand. They are normally given between 4 to 6 weeks to submit tenders.

Once tenders are received we evaluate them and provide the client with a advice as to which is the most suitable.

Pros:
  • More conventional approach and more widely understood
  • Maintains a degree of competitiveness for tendering parties
  • May hit the market when a suitable contractor can accommodate the work and be willing to do it at a keen price
Cons:
  • Tender documents need to be watertight to prevent misinterpretation of the requirements
  • Requires analysis of tenders to ensure proper comparison
  • Requires 2 months after issuing the tender pack to get tenders returned and evaluated
  • Tender prices that look too good to be true often are

These clients chose the negotiated contract route over the tendering process

This client chose the negotiated contract route particularly because of the value engineering process which saved them many tens of thousands of pounds when compared with a more conventional tendering process.

Open plan living and dining area showing high ceilings with oak frame beams
Living area showing exposed oak frame beams in drawing

Pin this post and save for later!

Get More Valuable Information About Building Your Dream Home

Would you like to receive valuable advice & tips from us, giving you crucial information to help you with your self-build project? If so, sign-up to receive our weekly email, or join our community over on Facebook where we run live expert sessions and more!

Our cost control process gives clients their lifetime home

IN BUILD

Upside down oak frame house in rural Cornwall

COMPLETED

Contemporary oak frame home designed for clients overseas

NEAR COMPLETION

HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

The Complete Oak Home offer something rather different, not oak frame manufacturers but oak frame experts who design & build oak frame homes. 

HOMEBUILDING & RENOVATING MAGAZINE

The one thing that has enabled us to progress is I believe finding a company that is prepared to partner with us from the very beginning and take us through planning, design/costing, tendering and build through to completion (or to any stage along the way). The Complete Oak Home offers us a way of achieving our dream by undertaking those tasks for us. 

M SMITH - KEARY

We have both had a good look at the designs and we absolutely love them. It hugely exceeds our expectations and for this we are truly thankful of your superbly impressive work! We are so excited to think that this could be ours - you are very talented indeed.

D SMITH

The Right Design And Build Partner

3 Top Tips For Choosing The Right Design And Build Partner

By | Are we the right fit?, Build process

3 Top Tips For Choosing The Right Design And Build Partner

 

Designing and building a house is complex, so it’s imperative you find the right design and build partner to work with. Unless you know a lot about it you are bound to feel, at some point, you are making a leap of faith. You’re entrusting your project, and perhaps one of the biggest decisions and financial commitments of your life, to other people.

You will be working with those people for somewhere between 18 and 24 months. Not only do you need confidence they can do their job, you probably want to enjoy working with them.

So how will the leap of faith become one you can make? Listed below are the three key areas we feel you should look into when choosing your design and build partner.

1.     Processes

Have confidence in the process. Look at how different design and build partners will go about delivering your bespoke home. Does it make sense to you? Find out what their approach is to things such as project viability, design, cost control, procurement routes, value engineering, contract preparation and contract administration.

IF YOU HAVE A PLOT, AND WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO ONE OF OUR PROJECT ADVISORS ABOUT GETTING PLANNING PERMISSION, BUDGETING, BUILDING COSTS OR ANYTHING ELSE RELATING TO BUILDING A BESPOKE HOME, SCHEDULE A CALL HERE TO PICK OUR BRAINS!

2.    Expertise

Look at the skills and expertise of the team you’ll be working with. Are they qualified to do the job? For example, there’s a big difference between being a qualified architect compared with an architectural designer. The ideal solution is to work with a multi-disciplinary team of fully qualified architects, and architectural technicians, that are supported by project coordinators and cost consultants who work collaboratively and efficiently all under one roof.

 3. People

The clear majority of people in the construction industry spend their time working with industry professionals, designing and building commercial buildings, schools, hospitals, mass housing and so on. They spend their waking hours speaking industry language, they all understand how the processes work. They never need to consider that someone might need an explanation in a language they can understand. Choose a design and build partner who selects their staff for their passion for working with clients and helping them to realise their dreams, who take time to really understand what you want and need from your project. Staff that specialise in guiding and advising clients throughout the process, in the full knowledge that for many this is a once in a lifetime experience, and one that should be enjoyed.

 “From being nervous about the project, we now feel confident and are enjoying the process. We are looking forward to when it’s complete, inviting you to come and experience what you have helped create for us.” Mr Hammond, North West.

Pin this post and save for later!

Get More Valuable Information About Building Your Dream Home

Would you like to receive valuable advice & tips from us, giving you crucial information to help you with your self-build project? If so, sign-up to receive our weekly email, or join our community over on Facebook where we run live expert sessions and more!

Our cost control process gives clients their lifetime home

IN BUILD

Upside down oak frame house in rural Cornwall

COMPLETED

Contemporary oak frame home designed for clients overseas

NEAR COMPLETION

HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

The team worked with us throughout the duration of our project, from the early design stages through to completion. We now have a wonderful oak framed home which we’ve been delighted to show to many other clients.

K HANSON

Because we used an architect first who was absolutely useless. He didn’t listen to us at all or give us a design that we wanted. In fact his design was so poor that I could have drawn it myself or just copied it straight from the internet. When we spoke to The Complete Oak Home you actually listened to us and provided us with a design that met all of our requirements.

B MERRON

We have both had a good look at the designs and we absolutely love them. It hugely exceeds our expectations and for this we are truly thankful of your superbly impressive work! We are so excited to think that this could be ours - you are very talented indeed.

D SMITH

Contact Us - The Complete Oak Home

When Should You Contact Us?

By | Build process, FAQs, Planning

When Should You Contact Us?

 

It’s never too early or late to contact us. We work with clients who are at all different stages of their project to help make it a success.Whether you’re wondering if you can get planning permission on your land, or you already have it, we can help.

Have a plot, but don’t have planning –  we have a high success rate for getting planning approval for complex planning applications in all areas of the country.

We can work alongside your current planning consultant or planning lawyer or we can take care of the entire process.

It’s never too early to contact us.

If you are at the wondering stage we’re happy to provide advice over the phone without charge. One of our project consultants can look at your plot on line, and give you guidance on how the relevant policies will affect your chances of getting planning permission.

If the site has merit, we can undertake a more comprehensive Desktop Study.

IF YOU HAVE A PLOT, AND WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO ONE OF OUR PROJECT ADVISORS ABOUT GETTING PLANNING PERMISSION, BUDGETING, BUILDING COSTS OR ANYTHING ELSE RELATING TO BUILDING A BESPOKE HOME, SCHEDULE A CALL HERE TO PICK OUR BRAINS!

Already have planning – take advantage of our unique cost control processes or turnkey solution.

If you already have planning permission then contact us straight away, as there is still a lot do to ensure the success of your project; construction drawings, building regulations submission, satisfying planning conditions, SAP calculations, engineering calculations, cost planning, contract preparation and contract administration to name a few.

With our in-house cost consultants, we are uniquely placed to guide and advise as your project develops, as you make the multitude of decisions needed, to keep your project within your intended budget.

Our turnkey solution significantly reduces the risk of budget overrun, falling fowl of your obligations under CDM (Construction Design Management) and programme slippage.

Pin this post and save for later!

Get More Valuable Information About Building Your Dream Home

Would you like to receive valuable advice & tips from us, giving you crucial information to help you with your self-build project? If so, sign-up to receive our weekly email, or join our community over on Facebook where we run live expert sessions and more!

Our cost control process gives clients their lifetime home

IN BUILD

Upside down oak frame house in rural Cornwall

COMPLETED

Contemporary oak frame home designed for clients overseas

NEAR COMPLETION

HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

Initially our feeling was one of relief and disbelief! A unanimous committee decision was far more than we had expected. It has still not properly sunk in nearly a week on. We feel as though our first assessment of what could be achieved on the site has been vindicated with the expertise of The Complete Oak Home and their planning team.

G & S HUNT

Having steered our project through challenging planning issues, Andy and his team worked tirelessly to ensure our new home is both what we wanted and within our means.

N RISDALE

I just want to say a huge thank you for today. You were really professional and it was a pleasure to watch. We have taken it as a positive result, albeit a delay, but I guess that’s a function of this business as well as mine! You are a real asset and we are so happy with everything you do for us, worth every penny.

D & K SMITH

choosing the right architect

Choosing The Right Architect – Our Top Tips

By | Are we the right fit?, Design

Here Are Our Top Tips For Choosing The Right Architect

 

Choosing the right architect shouldn’t be like choosing the right pair of shoes. You shouldn’t have to browse around until you find one that fits or buy a pair you think fit but after a couple of outings prove not to.

A good architect should be able, if willing, to design any style of house. If his preferred style isn’t likely to suit you he should advise you to look elsewhere, not try and shoehorn your aspirations or endeavour to expand your budget to suit his will. All the while charging you a fee for doing so.

However, it may appear you have little option because the architectural process is rarely clear and often confusing. It can appear to be a mystical art. The usual approach seems to be to look at architect’s portfolios, find one you like, take the plunge and hope for the best.

Alternatively, look for a practice not with an in-house style you think suits but with a clear design approach that engages and involves you whilst sharing and employing their skills and expertise to ensure you get the house you want. This should really help you when choosing the right architect.

The more eclectic the architect’s portfolio the more likely they are listening to and creating what their clients want.

IF YOU HAVE A PLOT, AND WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO ONE OF OUR PROJECT ADVISORS ABOUT GETTING PLANNING PERMISSION, BUDGETING, BUILDING COSTS OR ANYTHING ELSE RELATING TO BUILDING A BESPOKE HOME, SCHEDULE A CALL HERE TO PICK OUR BRAINS!

Architecture –  the art or practice of designing and constructing buildings

All too many houses fail to get built, either at all or as originally intended, because they are beyond the client’s financial reach. Through the design and specification process the clients budget is stretched to breaking point and the project grinds to a halt.

Even worse, the question of project cost is avoided, the design is developed and put out to tender and only, after substantial investment, financially and emotionally, does the client discover the scheme is beyond their reach.

When choosing the right architect, look for a practice that takes your budget seriously, doesn’t avoid discussions about budget and has a robust process of budgetary control.

A unique design by one of our architects allows clients to have compact suburban home

Given both planning and project constraints, this project design had to be a little out the box. We think the design clearly demonstrates the eclectic mix of projects we do.

compact suburban home
compact suburban home

Pin this post and save for later!

Get More Valuable Information About Building Your Dream Home

Would you like to receive valuable advice & tips from us, giving you crucial information to help you with your self-build project? If so, sign-up to receive our weekly email, or join our community over on Facebook where we run live expert sessions and more!

Our cost control process gives clients their lifetime home

IN BUILD

Upside down oak frame house in rural Cornwall

COMPLETED

Contemporary oak frame home designed for clients overseas

NEAR COMPLETION

HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

Because we used an architect first who was absolutely useless. He didn’t listen to us at all or give us a design that we wanted. In fact his design was so poor that I could have drawn it myself or just copied it straight from the internet. When we spoke to The Complete Oak Home you actually listened to us and provided us with a design that met all of our requirements.

B MERRON

We had experienced difficulties with another company but from the moment we met Andy our faith in the project had been restored. He understood what we wanted and listened very carefully to our needs. He talked about structure and wood which was so interesting, and he was clearly so much more of an expert in his field than other people we had spoken to.

P MICHIELS

Building a house has been something we've been looking at for some time but to be honest we didn't really want the hassle of having to do everything ourselves. Complete Oak Home offers us a way of achieving our dream by undertaking those tasks for us.

M SMITH-KEARY