In this case, Mr. Williams did all the earthwork, drainage and landscaping work himself. “I rented an excavator at first, but it turned out to be expensive. So I bought a machine for £ 7,500 and sold it for £ 6,500 two years later, which saved a lot of rental costs.”
One surefire way to keep the cost of building it yourself is to go for a simple design. The problem, however, is that the end result is necessarily limited in scope. With an eye for architectural details and an effort to design a house that “looks as if it has grown” in its landscape, Mr. and Mrs. Williams took a different approach.
After they had already built a house and a family house, they modeled this new property on the model of a former agricultural barn with a central living room and double-height, triple-glazed windows. The couple’s son, an architectural technologist, helped with the design.
Mr. Williams clad the new house in flint, the presence of which he was able to witness in person in the area after removing large clumps of it from the ground during the excavations. He also used handcrafted Michelmersh bricks from Hampshire and cladding made from black sawn timber.
Does he have any advice for would-be do-it-yourself builders looking to build on a budget? “Bargain hard when it comes to materials as there is a big markup,” recommended Mr. Williams. “Of course it helps that I’m in the trade,” he added. An offer for falls resulted in a price of £ 10,000 which he was able to get for just over £ 2,000 by contacting the supplier directly.