Be strategic in terms of what you do yourself, and what you employ professionals to do.We were told that we needed both a project manager and a quantity surveyor, but we discovered that it would have been easier and more accurate for us to cost the materials ourselves, rather than getting the surveyor to do it.
Nobody knows your project better than you, so if it’s an option, consider taking time out from work and drawing a salary as part of your build. That way you can commit to the project. For us, trying to combine the build with running a business was tough.
Have a generous contingency fund. We started with 10 per cent of the total cost, but this ran out almost immediately due to delays and costing errors. Having at least 20 per cent will mitigate any issues you encounter.
Make sure you commission an architect you get on with. You’ll be spending a lot of time together, and if you’re building your forever home, it should be a collaboration.
Use tried-and-tested materials, rather than experimenting. We used shou sugi ban (or charred wood) for our decking, which turned out to be a bad idea: it’s great for its intended use, on walls, but as flooring it just gets dirty.
Jon and Nik Daughtry are taking part in the My Habitat project, which takes a look inside the homes of some of the UK’s most creative personalities. habitat.co.uk/inspiration
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