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.

Just wondering –  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.

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

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 solutions significantly reduce the risk of budget overrun, falling fowl of your obligations under CDM (Construction Design Management) and programme slippage.

Advice & Tips

Would you like to receive FREE advice & tips from us, giving you crucial information to help you with your self-build project? If so, hit the button below.

Whether you want an oak frame home or a conventionally constructed house, a full turnkey solution or some architectural input, we’ll help you to reduce risk, to have confidence and to enjoy what, for many of you, will be the most important project you’ll ever undertake.

The Complete Oak Home creates bespoke turnkey oak frame homes.

FIND OUT MOREFIND OUT MORE
The Complete Architect - oak frame specialists

The Complete Architect is a RIBA chartered practice with a unique client led approach to design.

FIND OUT MOREFIND OUT MORE

The Complete Home creates bespoke turnkey houses for clients who don’t want an oak frame home.

FIND OUT MOREFIND OUT MORE
Stunning oak frame family house with swimming pool

Stunning oak frame family home with swimming pool

Replacement dwelling in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Working with overseas clients to create a contemporary oak frame home

Contemporary house in highly sensitive location

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

HOMEBUILDING & RENOVATING MAGAZINE – JULY 2015

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

HOMEBUILDING & RENOVATING MAGAZINE – JULY 2015

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

HOMEBUILDING & RENOVATING MAGAZINE – JULY 2015

Is Turnkey More Expensive?

By | Costs, FAQs

Is Turnkey More Expensive?

 

Three main routes to building your house

There are three main routes you can choose when building your own house. One is to do it all yourself (self-build), the second is to source and coordinate everything yourself (self-managed), and the third is to engage a company with everything under one roof (turnkey).

If you self-manage you have all the same costs to bear as when working with a turnkey company. The same build costs, building control fees, professional fees etc. BUT you source and manage everything yourself. In addition, you’ve got to learn everything about how to build a house, take on all the associated risk, AND be accountable and responsible for the finished house.

If you work with a complete turnkey company, however, you don’t need to know anything about how to build a house.! You will have a team of experts advising you and helping you, as you make all the necessary decisions. You will work with one company to ensure a fully joined up approach to your project, with everything you need under one roof.

Is turnkey more expensive?

Working with a turnkey company does not cost more than self-managing. It simply means that you have access to a multi-disciplinary team of experts who all work together on your project, ensuring a joined-up approach. Because turnkey companies handle multiple projects, cost savings can be passed on to the client. You do not pay anything extra. There is no ‘service’ charge for turnkey, as turnkey is not a separate service. It simply means that when you work with a turnkey company you have everything you need for your project under one roof. Click here to read our blog post about how much your oak frame house will cost.

The Complete Oak Home isn’t more expensive as you will pay all of the same costs to build a one off bespoke house regardless of whether you self-manage or use a turnkey company. In fact, we are confident that a professionally managed turnkey project will cost less than if the same like for like project had been self-managed.

Our unique cost control process

We have a unique cost control process that we apply to each project. This allows us to advise you as you make important decisions about design and specification directly relating to your budget.

In addition to not costing any more money, when you work with a complete turnkey company, your risks are greatly reduced. Instead of having to learn along the way and risk costly mistakes, when you work with The Complete Oak Home you have the confidence your project will succeed within your time frame and budget because you are working with a team of experts.

Advice & Tips

Would you like to receive FREE advice & tips from us, giving you crucial information to help you with your self-build project? If so, hit the button below.

Whether you want an oak frame home or a conventionally constructed house, a full turnkey solution or some architectural input, we’ll help you to reduce risk, to have confidence and to enjoy what, for many of you, will be the most important project you’ll ever undertake.

The Complete Oak Home creates bespoke turnkey oak frame homes.

FIND OUT MOREFIND OUT MORE
The Complete Architect - oak frame specialists

The Complete Architect is a RIBA chartered practice with a unique client led approach to design.

FIND OUT MOREFIND OUT MORE

The Complete Home creates bespoke turnkey houses for clients who don’t want an oak frame home.

FIND OUT MOREFIND OUT MORE
Stunning oak frame family house with swimming pool

Stunning oak frame family home with swimming pool

Replacement dwelling in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Working with overseas clients to create a contemporary oak frame home

Contemporary house in highly sensitive location

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

HOMEBUILDING & RENOVATING MAGAZINE – JULY 2015

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

HOMEBUILDING & RENOVATING MAGAZINE – JULY 2015

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

HOMEBUILDING & RENOVATING MAGAZINE – JULY 2015
turnkey company

What is a turnkey company?

By | FAQs

What Is A Turnkey Company?

 

There are three main routes you can choose when building your own house. One is to do it all yourself (self-build), the second is to source and coordinate everything yourself (self-managed), and the third is to engage a company with everything you need under one roof (turnkey).

Whichever route you take the products and services you need are the same. So why do people choose one method over another?

In short, self-builders tend to have a burning ambition to roll up their sleeves, get stuck in and build their own house, and others want a house built for them, either self-managing their project or working with a turnkey company.

If you self-manage you have all the same costs to bear as when working with a turnkey company. The same build costs, building control fees, professional fees, etc. BUT you source and manage everything yourself. In addition, you’ve got to learn everything about how to build a house, take on all the associated risk, AND be accountable and responsible for the finished house.

However, if you work with a complete turnkey company, like The Complete Oak Home, you don’t need to worry if you don’t know enough about house building, or have limited or no experience! You will have a team of experts advising you and helping you, as you make all of the necessary decisions. You will work with one company to ensure a fully joined up approach to your project, with everything you need under one roof.

To summarise, working with a turnkey company with a joined-up approach gives you

  • Cost savings (compared with a like for like self-managed house build)
  • All the skills and expertise under one roof, advising you as you make crucial decisions
  • Rigorous project cost control; from conceptual design to completion
  • Reduced risk, giving you confidence your bespoke house will be on time and budget
  • Help and support throughout your project, without it costing you any extra fees

So you might ask yourself, why doesn’t everyone choose to work with a turnkey company? Well there are a few people who really do want to be true self-builders and do it all themselves, but more often than not people don’t actually know what a turnkey company is or does. Have a look at our turnkey page  where we’ve listed the most common questions we get asked about turnkey, and hopefully provided some clear answers to help you decide whether working with a turnkey company is the right solution for your project.

Advice & Tips

Would you like to receive FREE advice & tips from us, giving you crucial information to help you with your self-build project? If so, hit the button below.

Whether you want an oak frame home or a conventionally constructed house, a full turnkey solution or some architectural input, we’ll help you to reduce risk, to have confidence and to enjoy what, for many of you, will be the most important project you’ll ever undertake.

The Complete Oak Home creates bespoke turnkey oak frame homes.

FIND OUT MOREFIND OUT MORE
The Complete Architect - oak frame specialists

The Complete Architect is a RIBA chartered practice with a unique client led approach to design.

FIND OUT MOREFIND OUT MORE

The Complete Home creates bespoke turnkey houses for clients who don’t want an oak frame home.

FIND OUT MOREFIND OUT MORE
Stunning oak frame family house with swimming pool

Stunning oak frame family home with swimming pool

Replacement dwelling in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Working with overseas clients to create a contemporary oak frame home

Contemporary house in highly sensitive location

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

HOMEBUILDING & RENOVATING MAGAZINE – JULY 2015

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

HOMEBUILDING & RENOVATING MAGAZINE – JULY 2015

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

HOMEBUILDING & RENOVATING MAGAZINE – JULY 2015
bespoke architecture

Bespoke Architecture. What Is It And What Does It Give You?

By | Design, FAQs

Bespoke Architecture. What Is It And What Does It Give You?

 

We are sometimes asked for floor plans of our house designs, however we don’t have standardised houses that we re-model or adjust. All of our designs are created from scratch as bespoke architecture for one-off private houses. Andy Parker, our Project Consultant, explains what bespoke architecture is and why it is so crucial to creating your dream home…

For many people, having the opportunity to design and build a house is a once in a lifetime prospect. They will often have gone to a lot of trouble to find a plot that offers something they’ve not had with previous properties.

As well as creating a building the owner can be proud of, it’s the job of the architect to make the most of the opportunities a site presents. But architecture isn’t just about design, it’s also about building. If a design doesn’t get built, then at best, it’s a piece of art. So knowing how to mitigate against the challenges a site presents and design a building within the clients’ budget is a key part of the architects’ role.

Making the most of a site requires a thorough understanding of it and careful consideration of the location, orientation and design of the building. The architect must understand the client’s aspirations and help them articulate their brief if they are to design a house that justifies the clients financial and emotional investment.

An architect will typically take 5 years plus to achieve their full qualification. The title ‘architect’ is protected by law and in the UK you can’t refer to yourself as an architect without being fully qualified and being registered with the Architect Registration Board.

So when a qualified architect creates bespoke architecture the result will almost certainly make far more of the client’s investment than can ever be achieved by remodelling or ‘customising’ an existing design. Whilst this approach may have its place, it’s more appropriate when a plot presents very limited options and more like those seen on housing developments. Arguably if you are ending up with a house akin to one on the housing market then that may well be where your money is best spent.

The Complete Oak Home incorporates The Complete Architect, a RIBA Chartered  Practice.

Advice & Tips

Would you like to receive FREE advice & tips from us, giving you crucial information to help you with your self-build project? If so, hit the button below.

Whether you want an oak frame home or a conventionally constructed house, a full turnkey solution or some architectural input, we’ll help you to reduce risk, to have confidence and to enjoy what, for many of you, will be the most important project you’ll ever undertake.

The Complete Oak Home creates bespoke turnkey oak frame homes.

FIND OUT MOREFIND OUT MORE
The Complete Architect - oak frame specialists

The Complete Architect is a RIBA chartered practice with a unique client led approach to design.

FIND OUT MOREFIND OUT MORE

The Complete Home creates bespoke turnkey houses for clients who don’t want an oak frame home.

FIND OUT MOREFIND OUT MORE
Stunning oak frame family house with swimming pool

Stunning oak frame family home with swimming pool

Replacement dwelling in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Working with overseas clients to create a contemporary oak frame home

Contemporary house in highly sensitive location

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

HOMEBUILDING & RENOVATING MAGAZINE – JULY 2015

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

HOMEBUILDING & RENOVATING MAGAZINE – JULY 2015

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

HOMEBUILDING & RENOVATING MAGAZINE – JULY 2015

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 The Complete Oak Home we have a multi-disciplinary team working together under one roof, to ensure a joined up approach to your project.

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.

Advice & Tips

Would you like to receive FREE advice & tips from us, giving you crucial information to help you with your self-build project? If so, hit the button below.

Whether you want an oak frame home or a conventionally constructed house, a full turnkey solution or some architectural input, we’ll help you to reduce risk, to have confidence and to enjoy what, for many of you, will be the most important project you’ll ever undertake.

The Complete Oak Home creates bespoke turnkey oak frame homes.

FIND OUT MOREFIND OUT MORE
The Complete Architect - oak frame specialists

The Complete Architect is a RIBA chartered practice with a unique client led approach to design.

FIND OUT MOREFIND OUT MORE

The Complete Home creates bespoke turnkey houses for clients who don’t want an oak frame home.

FIND OUT MOREFIND OUT MORE
Stunning oak frame family house with swimming pool

Stunning oak frame family home with swimming pool

Replacement dwelling in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Working with overseas clients to create a contemporary oak frame home

Contemporary house in highly sensitive location

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

HOMEBUILDING & RENOVATING MAGAZINE – JULY 2015

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

HOMEBUILDING & RENOVATING MAGAZINE – JULY 2015

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

HOMEBUILDING & RENOVATING MAGAZINE – JULY 2015
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 The 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.

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.”

Advice & Tips

Would you like to receive FREE advice & tips from us, giving you crucial information to help you with your self-build project? If so, hit the button below.

Whether you want an oak frame home or a conventionally constructed house, a full turnkey solution or some architectural input, we’ll help you to reduce risk, to have confidence and to enjoy what, for many of you, will be the most important project you’ll ever undertake.

The Complete Oak Home creates bespoke turnkey oak frame homes.

FIND OUT MOREFIND OUT MORE
The Complete Architect - oak frame specialists

The Complete Architect is a RIBA chartered practice with a unique client led approach to design.

FIND OUT MOREFIND OUT MORE

The Complete Home creates bespoke turnkey houses for clients who don’t want an oak frame home.

FIND OUT MOREFIND OUT MORE
Stunning oak frame family house with swimming pool

Stunning oak frame family home with swimming pool

Replacement dwelling in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Working with overseas clients to create a contemporary oak frame home

Contemporary house in highly sensitive location

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

HOMEBUILDING & RENOVATING MAGAZINE – JULY 2015

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

HOMEBUILDING & RENOVATING MAGAZINE – JULY 2015

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

HOMEBUILDING & RENOVATING MAGAZINE – JULY 2015