Alok Sharma opens UK’s first ‘plot shop’ for self and custom-build homes

The UK’s first-ever ‘plot shop’ has been officially opened in the town of Bicester in Oxfordshire by the housing and planning minister Alok Sharma.

self- and custom-build homes

The plot shop is located on the high street and the outlet will sell plots of land on the Graven Hill site in Oxfordshire to those who wish to build their own home.

The Graven Hill development is set to be the largest of its kind in the UK, delivering up to 1,900 new self- and custom-build homes.

The plot shop promises to pioneer custom- and self-build as a mainstream choice for aspiring homeowners.

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UK’s leading self-build insurance and structural warranty providers launch in Irish Market

Self-Build Zone and Build-Zone, are delighted to announce the roll-out of their services into the Irish market as negotiations reach their final stages.

 

Sennocke International Insurance Services, a general insurance operation based in Sevenoaks, Kent, are the scheme administrator for the Build-Zone 10-year structural warranty product as well as the Self-Build Zone Site Insurance product range.

Self-Build Zone provides Site Insurance and Structural Warranty products for New Builds, Renovations, Extension and Conversion projects whether they be DIY Home Improvement, a New Build, or a major Renovation. With over 20 years’ experience in the self-build insurance market, they are excited to announce that they have launched their insurance products in Ireland.

Build-Zone was created as a 10 Year Structural Warranty provider in 2003, they are experienced in underwriting warranties for all types of developments, from single unit self-builds to large residential or commercial developments. Whatever your project, they can help provide the 10 Year Structural Warranty you need as well as using ‘A’ rated Insurers.

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What is custom build?

For many years now in the UK, new housing has been delivered almost exclusively by the larger, national and local housebuilders.  However, this has one major drawback – a very limited choice of design and plot size and virtually no input from you, the house buyer, into your finished home.

What is custom build

Now, there’s a new form of housing emerging called custom build which gives you the opportunity to have a real say in the creation of your new home. It’s the norm abroad – we’re just catching up here in the UK!

Key features of custom build include purchasing a fully serviced plot from a custom build developer and working with either the site architect, or your own, to design a home that’s truly yours. It’s all about choice, flexibility and putting you in control.

There are several routes to a custom build home. Every custom build site will have different variables and the custom build developer will provide you with a menu of options to choose from. Even if you’re hopeless at DIY you can custom build.  Choose to do as much or as little of the work yourself with professional assistance and support available from beginning to end.

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BuildStore CEO Raymond Connor says, “We need to review what custom build really means.”

Over the past 12 months, custom build has been a buzzword within our industry. However, not much has happened over the last year. This was down to the fact that there were very few companies within the wider property sector that knew much about the market’s potential.

custom build

However, the recent Housing White Paper, which has effectively given government endorsement to custom build, has had an enormous effect and brought this route to homeownership to the forefront of people’s minds in the industry.

Since the Paper was published we, BuildStore, have had renewed interest from lenders who are attracted to custom build due to the assistance that professional developers can offer to purchasers.

We are in the process of speaking to a variety of lenders about what custom build entails, and the advantages of entering the market. However, the question always asked by lenders is: “What is the difference between self-build and custom build?”

Each month we seem to have a more firmed up view that custom build is all about developer involvement, with developers providing the opportunities.

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Fires, Flues & Chimneys: What Can Go Wrong?

Learn the questions you need to ask to ensure a successful installation, with surveyor Andy Butchers’ insider advice.

fire

Whether your taste is for a cosy inglenook with an open fire or an eye-catching modern stove, the right solid fuel heater can add style and panache not just to the room it’s in, but to the entire house. For many self builders and renovators, however, it’s not simply about aesthetics. Combined with other technologies, these can be genuine heat sources that form an important part of the overall energy performance strategy for your home.

The basics

As with most elements of a major project, it’s crucial you do your research before finalising the spec. What sort of fire do you want, and will it be used as a primary or secondary heat source? Do you want a formal fireplace and chimney or just a flue, and does the type of structure you’re proposing cater for the installation requirements? Check back with your local authority, too, as some restrict the use of open fires and the fuel types you can burn.

An important step is to hire a suitably-qualified installer – look for HETAS or OFTEC registration for solid fuel appliances, and Gas Safe for gas. They’ll advise on specifications and, on completion of the installation, will provide a certificate to show that it complies with Building Regulations.

A certification plate is often fixed to the flue to verify testing has been undertaken. A warranty provider won’t usually cover these appliances unless there’s a suitable certificate in place.

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