If you've ever dreamt of creating 'the perfect house' for yourself then help is at hand, thanks to the newly launched Richmondshire Self & Custom-Build Association (RSBA)
According to Ipsos MORI research, one in seven Britons, around 7 million people, would prefer to live in a house that they had a hand in building. Sadly, each year only a few thousand folk (around 12,000) actually manage to fulfil their dreams.
The good news is that this position is slowly beginning to change. In Richmondshire a group of likeminded enthusiasts has been formed to try and assist anyone who has 'self-build aspirations'. Better still the advice they offer is free, once you become a member and membership costs nothing either!
'Self-build' is a catchall term that's applied to people who play a part in creating the housing that best suits their personal needs. However, 'self-build' doesn't necessarily mean, hammering in all the nails or plastering all the walls, as often these tasks are done by skilled trades-people. Still, this is quite a different approach to what the majority of the population do, when they buy new homes, which is usually to just purchase them 'off the peg' from one of the major commercial housebuilders. Self-built homes are often less expensive because their owners save money on Stamp Duty and VAT (plus the big building company's profit). This type of housing is often designed better and built to a superior standard.
The Richmondshire Self & Custom-Build Association (RSBA) is a voluntary group of individuals who between them have years of experience in getting buildings built. Their skills include all aspects of construction, architecture, landscape design, self-build finance, planning and the law surrounding land purchase and public liability.
Donald Cline, who has lived in Richmond for more than 40 years, has assisted in putting this non-commercial (not-for-profit) organisation together.
"The shortage of high quality housing, right across the country, is one of the nation's key societal issues of our time, says Donald." "The idea behind the RSBA is to demystify all aspects of housebuilding and give people living in the area the 'tools they need' to at least consider whether 'self-build' might be a possibility for them."
Recent changes to the national legislative framework mean that local authorities must record the interest of latent 'self-builders' and to help, using planning policy, to find suitable building plots where this type of housing can be delivered.
If you'd like to learn more about self & custom-building the RSBA would welcome your interest. Just visit the RSBA website: www.rsba.co.uk, where you can discover how to get involved as a member (with lots of questions to ask) or as an advisor-member, who is willing to share their knowledge of this subject with others
PHOTO: RSBA Advisor-Members on site in Brompton-on Swale - L to R: Trudi Brunskill, Dan Gracey, Donald Cline, Richard Rutherford, NIgel Laborde and Matt Ball