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.

drawing a house onto a plot of land

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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How to Get Planning Permission First Time

Getting planning consent for the perfect scheme can be a major stumbling block on the road to a successful project. Mike Dade shares the secrets that will give you the best possible chance of winning approval.

Most self-builders and renovators, having secured a plot or building to convert or refurbish, want to get on with the build as quickly as possible. With planning applications taking at least two months from submission to decision, nobody wants to go through the process more than once if they can avoid it.

So, what are the causes of delays and refusals in the planning process – and what steps can you take to avoid them and give yourself the best possible chance of securing consent at the first attempt?

Common sticking points

The most frequent causes of delays and refusals can be grouped into three broad categories: content and presentation of the application; conflicts with policy and planning officers’ opinions; and political issues. Many applications are delayed on submission because the council won’t validate and register them.

Forms, plans, accompanying reports and information and the necessary fee must all be correctly presented. The eight-week period for determining the application won’t start until the council is satisfied that everything is present and correct.

Once underway, any conflicts with local or national planning policy (or the planning officer’s interpretation of those policies) can result in rejection – or at least a request for you to make amendments, which will have obvious ramifications for your schedule.

Finally, where the project is locally contentious, applications can sometimes be rejected at committee, even if you have the support of your council’s planning officer.Working with a specialist design and build company, such as Potton, can take some of the hassle out of the planning process. The company’s expert team came up with a sensitive plan to knock down the Kings’ existing 100m2 bungalow and replace it with a new, eco-friendly dwelling that was twice the size. Planning was quickly granted without a hitch.

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