This article explores the possibility of a diy approach to house building. Building an entire new house is definitely beyond the average diy skills but building house extensions is definitely much more practicable. Much depends of course on the scale and size of the project and how much time, skills and experience that you might have.
Right at the easier end of the scale of projects for the diy extension enthusiast are those buildings like sheds and conservatories. The easiest of all are the sort of kitset construction projects that can be bought in large home centre stores. They come with instructions and all the materials and all you need are a few tools, time and the space to erect the building. There are very few extensions these days that require planning permission so this is not a concern either. The tools that are needed for this sort of project are simple things that most people probably have in the house like hammers, screwdrivers and spanners. Kitset buildings are not exactly things that add value to a house as far as resale is concerned in fact they may even be a nuisance, but they can at least serve as useful extra storage or living space for the family they have been built for.
Some larger kitset buildings and certainly even simple house extensions involve ground works and here is where the more difficult and onerous task will be involved. The work will involve quite a lot of hard work and plenty of time, but there are always ways of making things easier by using the right sort of equipment. A lot of equipment can be hired for short periods which means that one doesn’t have to buy things that are simply going to sit around idly afterwards taking up all the space that you have spent so long in creating! The more difficult part of these simpler buildings and extensions is where plumbing and electrical fittings and connections need to be installed. It is quite likely that there are areas here of expertise which are best left to a qualified tradesman even if the main construction can be completed by the amateur.
Going from a kitset building to a real house extension like a kitchen extension is not such a great step as one might think – the project is definitely feasible by the diy amateur, but time considerations do have to be considered carefully. The benefit of doing things oneself is that you can incorporate exactly what sort of materials you want rather than leaving it to somebody else’s choice. If for instance you have a particular interest in using sustainable materials in a house extension then building the extension yourself is probably the easiest way to go about it.
One other factor to consider when self building an extension is insurance, which may be slightly more difficult if you are not employing an “expert” to do everything for you. Insurance is an absolute must whether you are building an extension yourself or getting a builder to do it for you. Normally builders will have their own insurance policy which will also cover them for public liability i.e. Insurance in case somebody gets injured while on site. If you are going to be doing the work yourself you will need the same sort of insurance cover.