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 They often find that a lot of resources out there are unreliable, outdated, and not realistic.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!

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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

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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

Contact Us - The Complete Oak Home

When Should You Contact Us?

By | Build process, FAQs, Planning

When Should You Contact Us?

 

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

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

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

It’s never too early to contact us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pin this post and save for later!

Get More Valuable Information About Building Your Dream Home

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

Our cost control process gives clients their lifetime home

IN BUILD

Upside down oak frame house in rural Cornwall

COMPLETED

Contemporary oak frame home designed for clients overseas

NEAR COMPLETION

HERE'S WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY:

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

G & S HUNT

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

N RISDALE

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

D & K SMITH

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 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.

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!

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.

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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

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.

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!

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.

Complete Oak Home incorporates Complete Architect.

The architecture for this oak frame home was designed to command the site whilst not effect the openness of the greenbelt area

The design of this house was carefully considered by our architect Josh Wood as he wanted to make the most of the site without effecting the openness of the greenbelt area.  “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. The interior layout is designed to be open plan with an impressive central atrium where the three wings meet. Throughout the day, the occupiers can emigrate with the sun from the east to the west sides of the house to make the most of the stunning countryside views.”

Bespoke Turnkey Home within woodland area
Front view of bespoke turnkey home under construction

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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

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.

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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.

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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 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