Building DIY Gardening


08 Jun, 2012

New Self Build Portal – Danger, Will Robinson!

Posted by: Geoff Davis In: building|Buildings|construcción|Directory|Education|Government Schemes|Grand Designs|Housing|Learning|Planning

There is a new ‘web portal’ for all things self-build. This is created by The National Self Build Association (NaSBA). It is independent of Government and has Kevin McCloud on the front.

Bit short on actual advice. In Technical Documents, there is one pdf on Health and Safety in the Workplace.

Demolish low price old house then build new one(s) on site

Demolish low price old house then build new one(s) on site (that's my idea!)

Information is general, as is expected in such a large subject. In land prices, we learn that it varies in price according to location. It also tells you to ask your ‘chums’ on Facebook (they are called friends) to look out for land for you. It says you can use Google Earth to find a building plot. Good luck!

But apart from this talking down approach, they do have a lot of useful links.

Anyone who watches Grand Designs knows that self-build projects always go over budget and arrive very late. This is because building a house – small or large – is very complex and you need skills to get it right. The idea that complete beginners can successfully make houses is like saying amateurs can build cars – possible, but not very likely to have the expected outcome. And a car is a small simple thing compared to a house.

Learning the hard way doing a major build project is a recipe for disaster, and these days, having a major bank loan go wrong is a complete disaster that you will not recover from. Apart from knowing what an RSJ (or green roof) is, you also have to have very good project management skills, and at least some experience. Or is that also something you can make up as you go along?

So to promote this as a way to reduce costs and enable people to get on the housing ladder, build their own home, etc, is disingenuous to say the least. It is more likely to make them go broke and end up with a big mortgage and a half-finished house.

This self build portal reminds me a bit of the last Labour Government’s 60,000 UKP house idea that had John Prescott flapping around saying enthusiastic things. That whole concept disappeared pretty fast. The cheap houses made (not many) ended up on the market at (guess what) market prices. And who wants to live in an ultra low spec house anyway?

There is a housing crisis and a loan crisis, and making fun websites is just that – fun, a pleasant distraction.

But it is still a good idea to have all this info in one place. At least the taxpayer doesn’t foot the bill. But since the onsite advice is vague or absurd, the pedagogical quality depends on the linked external sites, which are mainly commercial or bureaucratic, and so leave people in the same place they started.

But at least they have done *something*.

UK Self build Portal website >

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