Simon Middleton Interview importance of Structural Warranties for SelfBuilders

Simon Middleton was recently interviewed for SelfBuild.TV about the importance of Structural Warranties for SelfBuilders.

To view the video, please see below:

selfbuildzone.com – Structural Warranties from SelfBuilder TV on Vimeo.

About Self Build-Zone:

Self-Build Zone provides site insurance and structural warranty packages for new builds, renovations, extensions and conversion projects from DIY home improvements and new build, to major renovations incorporating large scale alteration, employment of tradesmen and extension work.

Build-Zone and Self-Build Zone are trading styles of Sennocke International Insurance Services Limited. Self-BuildZone Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sennocke International Insurance Services Limited who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Self-Build Zone Limited is a company registered in England with the company number 04693892. The registered office for Self-Build Zone Limited is Anton House, South Park, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 1EB.

For interviews or comments, please contact our PR agency: SMPR (Simply Marcomms Limited) 0870 199 4044 Email: info@simplymarcomms.co.uk

Minimising risk through a structured approach to self-build lending.

Article by Simon Middleton – June 2011

Self-Build lending is still perceived to be problematic even though it’s one of the largest home building sectors in the UK, ultimately delivering prime market property portfolios.  Issues of planning problems both prior to and during the build project, restrictive covenants, in addition to the usual income and accident related issues and the very nature of the project being undertaken continue to make lenders wary. But that’s not surprising when You consider the rather bespoke requirements of self-build lending are normally shoe horned into the existing home purchase structured product arrangement which relies on the valuation process and doesn’t really provide a thorough risk management approach.

Traditionally self-build customers are released funds based on a series of stage payment mortgages which are valued at stages by the lenders valuation surveyor. Whilst a valuer has good understanding of the construction process and is absolutely key to assessing anticipated final value, they may not have a full understanding of MMC and Ecobuild systems, or how to assess the property for compliance relative to planning permission and building regulations. It is very difficult for a valuation surveyor to provide the stage valuation the Lenders are relying on especially as the stage reached may not be relevant to the actual expenditure made. More importantly it doesn’t control what the self-builder is spending funds on.

A general lack of understanding by the self-builder and the lender of the requirements at this level means that contracts between the self-builder and their contractors or tradesmen are not always used, which increases the risk of the build going over budget and they don’t always utilise Site Insurance or a 10 Year Structural Warranty, all of which can easily be stipulated. For example:- Self–Build Zone have a contract service which caters for the creation of written legal contracts for the whole project and is less than £50.

To provide that increased degree of comfort to lenders then maybe they should be taking a more bespoke approach to lending into the sector as it seems to me that there are already the tools in place with which to adequately risk manage the construction process, it’s just a matter of implementing a standard framework and sorting out the communication between the various tools.

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Join the self build revolution

Raymond Connor of BuildStore Financial Services explains how the self build housing market, with new-found political support, is poised to become mainstream, and why lenders need to act now to benefit from high quality, low-risk lending in this sector.


Source: Mortgage Finance Gazette – 6th January 2011


Structural Warranty Insurance

Against the backdrop of a credit crunch, a recession, and a new government, the mortgage and housing markets have changed for good. With their weaknesses exposed, it is now time to consider the potential for new models of housing procurement, and the funding thereof.  The so-called ‘good times’ of the late 1990s to mid-2000s will never come back. And yet, they are still being used as a gauge for current progress, creating an unrealistic picture of the market going forward.

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Self build structural warranty provider welcomes Government’s self-build sector boost

Structural warranty provider Build-Zone today welcomed the Government’s recent policy announcement to cut red tape and boost demand in the UK self-build sector.

Structural Warranty Insurance

Housing Minister Grant Shapps called on the country’s aspiring self-builders to make a housebuilding revolution their New Year’s resolution.  Self-builders are already Britain’s largest housebuilder, and account for one-fifth of Britain’s new homes each year, but for far too long the aspirations of ordinary people to build their own home have been thwarted by barriers and red tape.  Barriers that stand in people’s way will be torn down – including a complex and bureaucratic planning system, regulatory burdens, and lack of access to land and finance.

A new Community Right to Build will offer communities the chance to give the green light to new developments without the need for specific planning applications.  This could be local people working alone to build their own homes, or entire communities coming together to build the homes the area needs.

The self-build sector is already important to growth and housing supply – with self-builders completing as many as 10,000 building projects each year – so making it easier for more people to build their own home will provide a welcome boost to the housing market.

Mr Shapps has asked the National Self Build Association (NASBA) to work with his officials to develop an action plan to boost the number of self-builders across the country – and address the common barriers aspiring self-builders face, including:

  • availability of land – including making public sector land available for house building
  • availability of finance – working with lenders to ensure self-building communities can get the finance they need
  • availability of expert support – how self-builders can support communities looking to build the homes they need, and how those new to self-building can be supported.

Build-Zone are a major provider of 10 year structural warranty, technical audits, and building control services, to the self build marketplace.

Build-Zone Director Simon Middleton said:

“This is really is a positive step forward for anyone who has dreamed of building their own home but have had their hopes dashed through a complex planning system and lack of land in their community.  Build-Zone has been providing Structural Warranties to this [Self-build] market sector since 2003 and we already have the products in place to provide essential cover on community projects as well.

Our sister operation Self Build Zone is the market leader in the provision of Self-build insurance and is also in the perfect position to provide communities looking to build homes with specific site cover as well. Insuring the project properly is of fundamental importance when there are many people’s financial interests at stake”.

Self-Build Zone products include:

Site Insurance
Buildings Insurance
Structural Warranty
Building Control Services
Renovation Insurance
Code for Sustainable Homes
SAP Energy Ratings
Air Pressure Testing
Sound Testing

Self Build Zone Director, Simon Middleton will be guest speaking at the Lending Policy Meets Housebuilding Reality Conference where  he will deliver a warranty providers view of Modern Methods of Construction and Eco Building.

The website can be found at www.buildzone.com

Or subscribe to the structural warranty blog: www.structural-warranty-blog.co.uk

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Insurance & Structural Warranty – getting the right cover in place

Embarking on a building, conversion or renovation project is an exciting if not somewhat daunting experience at the best of times and there is clearly a considerable amount of planning and preparation to be put in place prior to getting started. Insurance is probably going to be the least exciting of the items on that schedule of tasks but giving it due consideration in plenty of time can literally save thousands of pounds both now and in the future should you need to make a claim.

Simon Middleton – December 2010

Designated Warranty Link Scheme

So what insurance should you be looking to purchase and when? The short answer is it depends on your individual project, but here is a quick overview of some of the areas you need to consider.

Insuring a New Build:

Unless you are using a main contractor for the whole build and there is a written contract in place between the parties stipulating that the contractor is responsible for the entire project until completed and handed over to you, then you will definitely need to consider Site Insurance and a 10 Year Structural Warranty.

Site Insurance, which is available from Self-Build Zone provides cover from the moment you exchange on a plot to the point it’s completed. The following provides a bench mark of what can be covered with Self-Build Zone and why you need it – but it’s worth remembering that not every insurer provides the same cover and your individual needs may be different, so if you want some expert advice call 0845 230 9874 or visit the website www.selfbuildzone.com.

The Claims service is what you are buying so remember to ask your supplier who is likely be sent to your site following a claim. Is the claims service specific to self-build? Some insurers use general ‘in house’ loss adjusters who may not have much experience in self-build.

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