Last edited 04 Dec 2014

Self-build home: Justify the project

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Justifying the project is the first, and perhaps the most important stage. It involves assessing whether the project is worth pursuing and whether it is likely to be deliverable. Because of the importance of these issues, it can be beneficial to seek expert advice, perhaps from a surveyor or an architect with experience of self-build homes.

Prepare a statement of need

A ‘statement of need’ is a first attempt to set down on paper the requirements that could justify the project. It should also list alternative solutions, such as; purchasing a completed building, extending or refurbishing an existing building, doing nothing and so on.

Assess the viability of the project

It is then necessary to explore the options set out in the statement of need in more detail. This might include assessment of:

  • The likelihood of obtaining a suitable plot.
  • The likelihood of obtaining planning permission.
  • The likely order of cost of the project (including fees, taxes, contingency, inflation, fixtures and fittings and so on).
  • The availability of funds.
  • The likely delivery route (see Develop a delivery strategy for more information).
  • The likely length of the project programme.
  • Alternative accommodation arrangements during construction (if necessary).
  • An assessment of project risks.
  • Assessment of comparable completed projects.
  • An assessment of the amount of time that can be dedicated to the project.
  • The strategy for managing the project.
  • An assessment of the assistance that might be required.
  • A preliminary organisational structure for the project.
  • The likely value of the finished home.

The project should only proceed to the next stage if this assessment suggests the project is viable, desirable, achievable and affordable.

Next stage: Prepare a brief.

List of all stages.