Simon & Natalie Groom
Simon and Natalie Groom wanted to design a home that suited the way they live after being unable to find any existing properties within the area. The first steps in their self build journey consisted of researching local land prices and discussing budgets and ideas with a family friend who is also an architect.
The Grooms were searching for a plot of land when they came across the perfect plot about half a mile away from where they currently lived. The plot was one of 27 on sale within a wooded area and the couple really liked the idea of being surrounded by the forest.
Although the couple had no prior self building experience they had renovated two previous homes before. The project itself was managed by Simon with the help of a main contractor. Simon and Natalie did very little work themselves, leaving it to the professionals, as most work was subcontracted via the main contractor, however they took control at final fix for decoration.
During the project, Simon and Natalie suffered some sleepless nights as the land owner had not registered the plots causing issues with electricity, gas and water connections. They also discovered that some trades were difficult to deal with and people would sometimes turn up at incorrect times or not turn up when promised causing delays in finishing off.
Hints & Tips
Make your mind up early and stick to your decisions
The couple struggled to get the quality of stone work correct on their natural stone wall but after its final clean the couple are delighted with the results. In terms of the highs onsite, the Grooms found joy in seeing the finished house, stating “once you are somewhere near finished the hard work and stress falls away”.
This self build experience taught the couple to look into the minor detail as soon as possible. Simon drew out every room with wall elevations so they could set out final fix items as early as possible. This meant the couple were able to get sockets and accessories in the right place first time and this didn’t hold up first fix activities through indecision.
In terms of the finance, Simon and Natalie’s budget was pulled together with the main contractor and their architect. Simon is a project manager within construction so had a good idea of how much certain items would cost.
The land owner recommended BuildStore to the couple and Simon states he “found BuildStore to be very professional and helpful”. The couple would definitely recommend BuildStore’s services and have done so already!
Simon and Natalie found their self build experience stressful, fulfilling, eye opening and “overall one of the best things they have ever done”. Although the couple don’t think they will rush into another self build soon, they had great fun overall with their first and are even considering doing another in the future but are too busy enjoying their new home at the moment.
Location Wynyard Park, County Durham
Project New build
Construction Timber frame
Plot Cost £200,000
Build Cost £372,000