Oak frame home sketch

Launching Our Self-Build Video Series

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

Creating the Self-Build Video Series

 

We have created a how to build a house course for our clients. Many clients come to us completely in the dark about the whole process of building a house. They often find that a lot of resources out there are unreliable, outdated, and not realistic. We are completely committed to providing our clients with plenty of help and thoughts this would be the perfect time to create a video series giving them all the information they need through their home-building journey.

Our main objective that we wanted to achieve through this project was to provide solid and easy to understand information and to be a company which our clients would come to for self-build resources.

We set out to plan out the content we wanted to include for our viewers. Using our road map as a guidance, download here for FREE (link Road Map freebie), we listed the process which a typical client goes through to get their dream home. We then broke it down into 9 separate topics as follows:

  • Design and Build Process
  • Project Appraisal
  • Up To Planning
  • The Planning Process
  • The Construction Package
  • Value Engineering
  • Tender Vs Negotiated Process
  • Build Contract
  • The Role of a Contract Administration

Everything you need to kick-start your turnkey bespoke home project.

Why we created it

The aim of creating this video was to give people information they may not already have. We want our viewers to be confident they know what is involved in the process of building a house, including the risks and pitfalls. There’s a huge misconception from builders about what goes on behind the scenes who often make the process sound very straight forward, quick, and often refer to unrealistic costs. Sadly, that’s not always the case. We go above and beyond to make sure you’re leaving your screen with confidence of how to build a house. We give you an accurate portrayal of all the different steps involved, and guidance and advice to make sure you’re working towards a realistic time and budget.

 

How we created it

Although we have used our own resources before this for creating videos for our Youtube channel, we concluded that this was to be more successful with a professional videographer who could provide the equipment as well as the editing skills. We felt this would be more suitable for what we were envisioning for the videos. Green Kiwi Productions was recommended to us and, after looking at their work and discussing their offerings, we felt confident they could deliver what we were looking for. They offered a very casual approach to presenting the videos which was exactly what we were after.

Working alongside Green Kiwi Productions, we discussed various ideas and ways to present this. The key priority was to make it personal and in a casual setting. We wanted to give it a quite informal approach and keep them short and to the point so that our audience would remain captivated and understand the information.

If you haven’t yet discovered our self-build video series but would like to sign up to receive them for free then please click below!

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

Is Turnkey More Expensive?

By | Costs, FAQs

Is Turnkey More Expensive?

 

So what is turnkeyWill it cost me more? I’m a self-builder, why would I need turnkey? These are just some of the questions we’re regularly asked about our turnkey solutionSo let us explain what turnkey is and the benefits of working with a turnkey company like ours.  

What is turnkey?

When you decide to build your own home you have three main options – self-build, self-managed and turnkey. If you self-build you do it all yourself; if you opt to self-manage you source and co-ordinate everything yourself. Turnkey is taking on a company that does everything for you under one roof, this is the solution we offer at Complete Oak Home. 

“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). 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. Complete Oak Home offers us a way of achieving our dream by undertaking those tasks for us.”
M Smith-Keary

Will it cost me more?

Building your dream home is challenging. For anyone without previous experience it can be a stressful experience having to deal with everything from handling planning issues to sourcing suppliers and getting the best value for money. Anyone who has ever watched a TV self-build show will know there’s a lot to learn when you build your own home and how easily costs can escalate and problems arise. Whether you’re doing it all yourself or self-managing your build, the dream can all too easily turn into a financial and emotional nightmare. Choosing to work with a turnkey company like us significantly reduces those risks and gives you peace of mind. Your build will be managed by a team of experts who work together on your project, ensuring a joined up approach. Working with us gives you confidence your dream home will be built on time and within your budget because you are working with experienced specialists.  

Turnkey is not a paid service, it is a way of working with one company handling everything to do with the build. You are not paying an extra fee for turnkey and opting for this solution tends to be more cost effective than doing it yourself or self-managing your project. By choosing turnkey to build your one-off bespoke home you don’t pay anything extra – there is no ‘service’ charge. As a turnkey company we handle multiple projects which enables us to pass on cost savings to our clients. We are confident that a professionally managed turnkey project will cost less than if the same like for like scheme had been self-managed.  

“Having decided on an oak framed house for our garden plot, we realised we were ill-equipped in time and knowledge to manage the project ourselves and were looking for a full turnkey service. We also wanted to know at the outset how much it would cost to determine its affordability and adjust the design accordingly.  We found an oak frame company which claimed to offer the full turnkey service, but found ourselves being pushed through an illogical process with no consideration up-front for our budget, requiring us to make financial commitments which were unclear, and ultimately, being informed that it would be more cost-effective for us to arrange significant parts of the build ourselves than to use their services.  We soon realised the project would be too expensive for us if we continued on this path.  Extricating ourselves from our association with this company was very stressful and left us somewhat crushed and wary.
Complete Oak Home was suggested to us.  Andy visited us and we were reassured by his experience and knowledge, the company’s independence and, most of all, by the logic of the process.  This reassurance was reinforced on visiting the office and meeting members of the team.  Working with Complete Oak Home has been an entirely different experience to the previous one. We have felt they have listened to us throughout.  We have some way to go to finish our new home, but we know we are now working with people who have our interests at heart helping us along the way to create a beautiful, distinctive and affordable home.”
M Haynes & V Rawlinson

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!

How can you be sure turnkey is not a more expensive option?

Cost is the biggest factor of any self-build project with many projects running into trouble because of it. It’s important every self-builder understands, from the outset, the true costs as there is a lot of conflicting information around. Let’s look at the facts. 

In 2017, most self-build costs were between £1,600m2and £2,000m2of usable floor area (gross internal area, GIA) for a fully completed home, ready to move in to. These figures hold true whether you are self-managing your build or using turnkey. The difference in cost comes from any design differences and the specification of the materials and products. These building costs are well evidenced and properly documented if you know where to find them such as the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. 

Many people use self-build publications and TV shows for information but these can be the source of hugely misleading information, setting self-builders off on the wrong path from the start. A recent example featured two homes – one an architect designed, self-build project with a well-researched cost plan, with build costs of £1,695 m2. 

The second, featured in an 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. So why the big difference in cost? Quite simply, the former has been properly costed by professionals.  

Why is this so important? It’s because of the high cost, financially and emotionally, to unsuspecting, aspiring self-builders!  

People embark on self-build projects believing 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. That assumption is not unreasonable based on the information available to them. 

This is just one of the reasons why turnkey can avoid nightmare scenarios like these. We take you through your project from start to finish, we focus on cost control and you know from the outset what your project will cost based on realistic figures.  

Our unique turnkey solution does not mean paying for things you wouldn’t have to if you self-managed the project. It does mean co-ordination, collaboration and rigorous attention to cost efficiency – you benefit from the buying power, expertise and experience of a well-established company. Our turnkey approach is unique and it’s the details that make all the difference – for example, we work with builders local to the site ensuring good value and keeping costs down avoiding potentially expensive travel costs. 

I’m a self-builder, I don’t want to lose control of my project.

Our turnkey solution gives you the expertise and experience of a team of experts but we never lose sight that this is your build. We work closely with our clients throughout the process to ensure you are fully involved every step of the way.  

“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! 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.”
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

Our clients approached us knowing they wanted to use our full turnkey service

Our client’s both have full time jobs and a young family. Due to their busy lives, we handled the entire process using our full turnkey solution ensuring they felt they were in a safe pair of hands.

Kitchen and living open plan interior with oak frame
Beautiful oak frame interior with oak windows

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

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

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

oak frame manufacturers

How We Are Different From Oak Frame Manufacturers

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

How We Are Different From Oak Frame Manufacturers

 

1. We are different to a oak frame manufacturers because we do not make oak frames

Because we don’t manufacture oak frames, it doesn’t matter to us how much oak frame you have in your house. We believe oak frame buildings are more efficient and perform at their best when combined with other construction methods. Our architects and designers are free to give our clients exactly what they want, bringing together budget, value and design aspirations.

We create unique and stunning homes without any pressure to maximise the amount of oak frame we include.

2. We are different to oak frame manufacturers because of our complete accountability

In the first few weeks of your project we will do a thorough evaluation of your aspirations, your plot and project costs. We will be with you at the end of your project to be held accountable for delivering it within the budget we have agreed.

We offer a fully joined up approach which is different to oak frame manufacturers because we have a contractual responsibility to our clients throughout the whole process.

3. We are different to oak frame manufacturers because we have a unique cost control process

Safe in the knowledge your dream home can be achieved within your budget, our ongoing unique cost control process is designed to ensure we achieve best value for money for your build.

Good cost control has to start with good design. Not only working to the agreed budget, but ensuring the building is optimised for oak frame construction. As we’re not oak frame manufacturers we aren’t constrained by the need to maximise the extent of the oak frame.

By working with us, and taking advantage of our industry knowledge and expertise, you can expect to save 10-15% on your total project costs, compared with self-managing.

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!

HOW WE WORK WITH OUR CLIENTS

A successful self-build project is the culmination of the skills, expertise and quality of a multitude of experts, services and products. It requires a continuous chain of responsibility from end to end by someone who has the client’s best interests at heart. A product manufacturer, whether they manufacture windows, concrete or oak frames has a vested interest in promoting their own products.

At Complete Oak Home our team of experts advise and help you, as you make all of the necessary decisions. From discussions on project feasibility, design, planning and build – right up to the day we hand you the keys to your dream home. We understand this journey is an intensely personal process and believe it should start with an experienced team who really care. We specialise in working with clients who want to build their home, but don’t want to be self-builders or self-manage their project.

Our team is multi-disciplinary comprising of architects, engineers, construction specialists, cost experts and project coordinators. We work closely together from the start of your project to ensure the house we design and build suits your lifestyle, meets your design aspirations, and comes within your budget.

We don’t just recommend third party builders, tradesman and suppliers. We coordinate them all for you and take responsibility for the whole project from start to finish. We have a contractual responsibility to our clients throughout the whole process.

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

Video – Setting a realistic budget for your oak frame house

By | Costs, Risks, Value, Videos

Setting A Realistic Budget For Your Oak Frame Home

 

Andy Parker, Project Consultant at Complete Oak Home, advises clients to ask for straight answers about how much their project will cost, so that they can be certain they will remain on budget.

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 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

Our value engineering and cost control process

By | Are we the right fit?, Costs

Our Value Engineering And Cost Control Process

 

At the start of the turnkey process we estimate an indicative build cost which is expressed as a cost per square metre of gross internal floor area (GIFA). As the project develops this evolves to become a fixed price (that falls within the agreed budget) for a specific design and relates to a comprehensive set of working drawings and detailed specification.

To achieve this requires cost planning and diligent value engineering.

This is how the budget and cost plan evolve for a scheme:

1. Understand what budget is available and what needs to be included in it

2. Work out how much space needs to be built to accommodate the brief

3. Assess key cost drivers e.g. size, general level of specification, design complexities, site conditions and planning requirements to establish likely cost per square metre

4. Check cost per m2 (3) and space needed (2) against the project budget

5. Develop the design within the parameters of 2 and 3

6. Planning application submission followed by planning approval

7. Take a detailed schedule of finishes and specification

8. Develop detailed cost plan and working drawings

9. Reach and agree a fixed price for inclusion in the construction contract

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!

In addition to the stages above we continually advise on the budget implications of design and specification decisions you need to make throughout the project. Our cost consultants also constantly value engineer by working closely with the design team to find the most efficient design and construction solutions.

Designing a house that meets your aspirations, is within your budget and represents value for money, is a process of helping you to develop your understanding, so you can make well informed choices.

You have a significant amount of control over how much your house will cost. Our aim is to ensure the decisions and choices you need to make can be done so with confidence, and use our expertise to ensure the best value solutions are available.

The process of budgeting, cost planning and value based engineering is not a single activity but should be carried out throughout the design and construction of your new home. Architects will often suggest the employment of a quantity surveyor (QS) if you raise the issue of cost – however at best a QS will only be able to do an arm’s length snapshot of estimated cost at any one point in time.

Our cost control process allows our clients to build their lifetime home

After unsuccessful service from a previous company, our clients came to us for our turnkey service and cost control process. We are working with them using our cost control process to ensure that all costs are included in the complete project.

Drawings showing rear view of oak frame home
Grand entrance from the front of the house with view of oak frame 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:

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

How much will my one-off bespoke house cost?

By | Costs, FAQs

How Much Will My One-off Bespoke House Cost?

 

We are finding that more and more clients are contacting us because they can’t seem to get a straight answer about how much their project is going to cost. Andy Parker, Project Consultant at The Complete Oak Home, talks below about why this might be, and provides some advice about how you can find the answer.

“One of the first things we get asked is “How much will my oak frame house cost?” But as we all know, nobody can give you a final price for a house that hasn’t been designed yet. However, in my experience most clients understand that, and aren’t looking for a finished cost. What they actually want to know is whether their project is feasible. Are they likely to be able to build the house they want, on the plot they have, within a budget they can afford?

The final cost of a house is dependent on a huge number of variables, from site and planning considerations, to size and style, to detailed specification and finishes. For that reason most companies will tell you that at the very least you will have to wait until first concept design is done before they can give you any idea of cost. And that’s because they have to rely on external expertise (a builder or a quantity surveyor) to give them advice.

Most companies only take responsibility for part of the process, the architect the design, the builder the building and then there are numerous other parties such as engineers and surveyors.

Of course as a scheme develops i.e. the design evolves, planning permission is granted, the working drawings are detailed, and then a cost can be established very accurately, but it’s far too late in the game if you discover that your scheme is beyond your reach, and to compound matters you will have already invested some of your hard earned money.

So the only fool proof way to get a realistic evaluation of the feasibility of your project is from a team who take responsibility for the whole of the planning, design and build process. At Complete Oak Home we have a multi-disciplinary team working together under one roof, to ensure a joined up approach to your project.

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!

We start by getting an idea of the size of house you want to build. This could be in area or simply in terms of the number of bedrooms. We’ll also discuss the style of house you want and some of the things that are particularly important to you. For example you might want a particularly high specification kitchen and bathrooms. Also things we might consider are big ticket items such as renewable energy sources. At the early stage it’s important to understand the general level of specification of the house to make an accurate assessment of a realistic budget for the project. Once we have this information we can discuss some high level budgeting costs based on an estimated price per square metre for the construction of the house. We typically have 20-25 active projects at any one time so we have a very good understanding of current construction costs around the country.

In addition there are a raft of other costs that need to be taken into account for the overall project budget. People do tend to focus on the cost of the build and not pay enough attention to other significant costs associated with the construction of a one-off bespoke house, for example engineering work. As well as the need to design the house, every building has to be ‘proved’ by an engineer and the calculations submitted with the buildings regulation package. Then there are numerous surveys that normally have to be conducted such as a topographical survey, and the habitat survey which then spill into specific surveys for things such as bats and reptiles. It’s also possible that the planners will require an arboricultural survey. It may also be necessary to have a ground condition survey and sometimes but not often an archaeological survey and full geotechnical survey. In addition to these costs the scheme will require an accredited SAP consultant to calculate the energy performance of the building and then you’ve got planning application fees and building regulation fees and so on.

So it’s no wonder that when clients call us they really don’t know where to start. If you are self-building or self-managing your project, but you don’t know anything about building a home, what started as an exciting project can soon become stressful and overwhelming.

What we suggest, when looking at the high level budget at the very early stages, is that people allow between 8% and 10% of the anticipated construction cost for all the other costs. It’s also important to understand that whilst a house won’t attract VAT these other costs will. So in reality you need to allow between about 9.5% and 12% for other costs including VAT. And that VAT can’t be recovered.

Something else that can be confusing for clients is the cost per square metre that is quoted by a lot of self-build publications and TV programmes, which are often inaccurate and I’d even go as far as to say they are misleading. This is often because people give the magazine figures they were quoted at the start of their project and not what was actually spent. Secondly people often overlook some of the project expenditure, perhaps because they decided to pay for some of it out of income and not from their project budget. Thirdly nobody likes to admit they’ve gone over budget and more often than not self-built, self-managed projects do.

So, in order to set a realistic budget for your project you must consider everything. House construction, associated professional and regulatory fees, and other work you must do to construct the house such as demolition, and then work out other work you want to include in your project. Start with what you know and make informed assumptions about what you don’t. As the scheme evolves, replace your assumptions with certainties and ensure you have a fixed price before construction starts. Talk to someone in the industry who knows what current construction costs are. Throughout the entire process of design, planning, technical drawings and specification and construction, continually evaluate the scheme to ensure it stays within budget.

Alternatively work with a complete turnkey company who will give you advice, support and guidance throughout your project.

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

New video – How much will my oak frame house cost?

By | Costs, FAQs, Videos

Andy Parker, Project Consultant at Complete Oak Home, advises clients to ask for straight answers when asking “How much will my oak frame house cost?”

If you would like a PDF of the video transcript please click here.

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!

Having confidence from an early stage that your dream home can be achieved within your overall budget is crucial to getting started. With 20 to 25 bespoke homes underway at any time, our cost experts have extensive knowledge of pricing to advise you on all the costs before the project begins. They’ll detail everything involved in the planning, design and build of your home and make sure nothing is overlooked.

Safe in the knowledge your dream home can be achieved within your budget, our ongoing cost review systems are designed to ensure we achieve best value for money for your build.

Good cost control has to start with good design. Not only working to the agreed budget, but ensuring the building is optimised for oak frame construction. As we’re not oak frame manufacturers we aren’t constrained by the need to maximise the extent of the oak frame.

By working with us, and taking advantage of our industry knowledge and expertise, you can expect to save 10-15% on your total project costs, compared with going down the self-build route.

During construction our specialist contract administrators continue to look for cost savings. Best value is at the heart of every project.

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

Video – What is a complete oak frame house turnkey solution?

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

What Is A Complete Oak Framed House Turnkey Solution?

 

Andy Parker, Project Consultant at Complete Oak Home, explains what the term ‘turnkey’ means, and identifies what a complete planning, design and build turnkey service should include.

If you would like to view a PDF of the video transcript please click here.

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!

As the only multi-disciplinary company specialising in the planning, design and build of oak frame homes, our turnkey house service is unique. Right from the start, our team of specialist planning consultants, architects, engineers, surveyors, cost experts and project managers will look after everything you need – and you’ll be the most important person on the team!

To find out what makes us different, click here to download a copy of our ‘How Do We Compare?’ checklist.

We’ll take expert, professional care of every aspect of the design, the management of your budget and of course the construction of your turnkey house, providing support and guidance at each step. As our client, your dreams and aspirations are at the heart of everything we do.

From turning your initial ideas into concept sketches, creating a stunning bespoke design, obtaining planning permission and project managing every meticulous detail, until we hand you the keys to your dream home. You simply relax and enjoy the process.

We specialise in working with clients who want to build their own home, but don’t want to be self-builders. You choose your involvement at every step and leave the rest up to us.

“Your turnkey house service means I’m really enjoying the journey of building our dream home. I get to be involved in the nice parts knowing you take care of the stress, there’s a safe pair of hands managing the process and I still get involved in all the decisions.” C Nash, Oxfordshire.

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

oak frame house budget

How Do We Help You Stay Within Your Budget?

By | Costs, FAQs

How Do We Help You Stay Within Your Budget?

 

Andy Parker, Project Consultant at Complete Oak Home, talks about how we make sure we stay within our client’s budget.

“Yet again (this happens with almost monotonous regularity) I’ve just had an enquiry from someone who has had a house designed by another architectural practice only to discover that it is beyond their budget by an astronomical 80%.

Having started with the expectation that they were going to have a 5 bedroom family house of around 450sqm with a likely build cost of £2,000sqm, they have ended up with a design of 685sqm and an anticipated build cost of £3,000sqm. So a jump from £900,000 to just over £2m. And what’s more it has cost that person £20k in architect’s fees to get to that stage.

I regularly get asked how we can be so confident of delivering our client’s projects on budget when no one else seems to be. I think it can be summed up in two words – expectations and control.

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!

At the very first stage we speak frankly to people about whether their project is feasible. At a very fundamental level, we establish whether they are they likely to be able to meet their aspirations given their plot, planning policy and project budget.

We then make sure that we discuss total project budget and not just construction budget. A one off bespoke build comes with a raft of unavoidable associated costs from architectural design, to engineering calculations to planning fees. The total of all of this is material (normally around 10% of the construction cost) and can’t be overlooked.

Our clients come to us for our experience and expertise, not just in designing one off bespoke houses but in cost control. We have a duty to bring our expertise to bear and if that means reining in our clients we must not shy away from that duty.

Of course we are working for our clients to design and build their house with their money. But most people are prone to enthusiasm when they start to see a dream coming to fruition and we believe that the architectural professional has an obligation to ensure they keep that enthusiasm within the boundaries of the client’s budget.

And it’s not just the clients. A good architect, passionate about a scheme, is equally prone to getting carried away. Sometimes even quite modest changes to a design can add significant cost. And what’s more it’s actually far easier to design a big house than it is a modest or small one. If you can’t quite meet the client’s aspirations with a first or second iteration of a design it’s easy to get drawn to adding more space to solve a problem. But frankly, in my opinion, that’s sloppy architecture.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen architects present a client with a design they can’t afford in the hope that they will fall in love with it. But experience tells me that eventually the client will have a reality check and the whole project starts to go pear shaped.

We always ensure that we understand the client’s aspirations, talk frankly about project budgets, don’t shy away from explaining when client decisions are putting the scheme beyond their reach, and make sure the project team can blend creativity and flair with grounded financial security.”

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