Checklist for planning your dream home

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Creating your dream home from scratch is as cliché as it sounds, a dream come true. You can put your own personality on the building when you build it from scratch and it’s a unique way to make your house your home. If you’ve been through this process, however, you will realise it is not as easy as it sounds. Before you even start building you have to go through a series of building regulations and ensure you have appropriate planning permissions. As difficult as it is to remember all the necessary paperwork, it is extremely important to ensure nothing interferes with your plans. This is why we have put together a checklist to make sure your dreams can in fact come true.

Firstly you need to obtain planning permission before you make any big changes to a property. Typical examples are if you want to build something new; make a change to the building like building an extension; or to change the use of the building, for example converting an old barn to a liveable area. Failure to get planning permission could result in an enforcement notice that will make you tear down any changes to the property you have made. The same goes for demolitions, you will need to contact your Local Planning Authority to obtain the necessary permissions. It might be the case where you building project is on behalf of the community and in this scenario, you need to contact Neighbourhood Planning who will be able to advise you further.

Your application is subject to approval and failure doesn’t mean the dream is over. It might simply mean that you need to work with the local authorities and compromise on layout or size.

When it has been approved, you need to contact a construction company to size up your dream. They will specialise in new builds and be able to give you a price quote and time scale. The major hurdle for creating a new build is gaining planning permission. Once that is over, your project feels real and the rest is communicating with the builders to help you get exactly what you want. It is best to work with professional builders as throughout the project inspections will need to be carried out to ensure health and safety regulations. Builders will know these regulations inside and out and will guarantee nothing goes wrong with the project. If you decide to carry out work yourself, the main regulations you need to worry about are energy efficiency, fuel and electrics. There are specific regulations surrounding protecting the environment with your build and the electricity regulation has been the centre of controversy in recent years. Get in the know by talking to industry experts who will be able to point you in the right direction. Building a brand new home for most is a once in a lifetime opportunity, make sure you do everything the right way because it will affect you otherwise. 

Sarah Pinkerton

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