A new build in Torbay - building the home you've always wanted…

Churston Builders – the Torbay Builder, can build your custom new home! New homes aren’t just built by the big homebuilders, in fact last year in England over 20,000 custom new builds were constructed by local builders.

Read our handy guide to building the Torbay home you always wanted.

1. Finding a building plot

Under the October 2016 Right to Build your own home legislation the local councils have a duty to grant planning permission for sufficient serviced plots to meet demand, measured on so-called Right to Build registers, within a three-year period (and on an ongoing basis).

The best place to start looking for a plot is online services such as Plotsearch or Rightmove where you can search for Land Only packages. Also try local estate agents especially the independent ones who often have their ear to the ground for opportunities. You might also find opportunities at auctions both locally and online – single property plots are always popular and commonly arise as demolish and rebuild projects. Try ukauctionlist.com or Plotfinder.

If you have a location in mind then one of the best approaches is to get out there yourself and look for opportunities – if you see unused land that would suit your purpose the current owner may never have considered the potential so just introduce yourself and ask! Also keep an eye on the local planning department who publish all applications. You may well find users applying for permissions to build on a plot of land who purely wish to sell on the site rather than building themselves. A site with planning permission already granted albeit more expensive could save you a lot of time and hassle. Plots come with two types of planning permission - outline planning permission (OPP) or detailed planning permission (DPP). OPP is consent in principal for development to occur, leaving some or all of the particulars to be established in a later application for DPP. If you purchase a site with OPP you must apply for DPP this within three years of OPP being given or it will lapse.

Budget-wise the plot will be the most expensive outlay of your new build project. Figure at least 33% for the plot, then 33% for the build with 33% profit – however if plots are scares in your chosen area then that plot percentage could rise to around 50%.

Always take professional advice before buying any plot without planning permission!

2. Finance and budget

Have your budget in place from the outset and stick to it! You will need to allow at least 10% contingency for additional costs that arise during the building phase such as additional foundations or groundwork requirements or unavoidable delays. Remember if everything works out as planned you could use this contingency to upgrade final fix features or landscaping grounds.

3. Choose an architect or designer

Churston Builders work with many local designers and architects and can recommend one for your planned home. Be sure to choose someone who understands your requirements and is able to produce thoughtful responses that fit with your budget. Check out websites and look for someone who has completed projects that are similar to what you want - above all be honest about your budget and your aspirations!

If you are planning on using an architect from start to finish to produce all the drawings, planning permissions, building regulation approvals and to manage the project then expect to pay in the region of 12% to 15% of your total build cost. House designers may be able provide a similar service for a fixed fee, office far less than an architect so shop around!

4. Get in touch with the planners

If you’re looking for a smooth ride with the planning department seek out pre-planning advice this is not always available but here at Churston Builders we can work with your architect or designer to advise you on general style, size and any materials stipulations based on our extensive local project experience.

5. The building process

The choice of building route, for example brick and block or timber frame will be influenced by your budget and designer or architects preference but if you have strong views it’s really up to you! Churston Builders are confident in all methods and have a broadly skilled team of tradespeople.
Once your design is finalised and necessary permissions are granted and building control approval gained then work can commence.

6. Groundwork preparation

Stage one of the new build is to prepare the site for the building work. This means sorting the groundworks – from clearing the plot of vegetation and levelling where required (in most areas of Torquay, Paignton and Brixham levelling for a new build is very likely!)  and setting out the trenches ready for the foundation pour. At this stage all the basic drainage and service conduits will go in too.

7. Completing the structural shell

This is visually the most exciting part of the project as Churston Builders construct the structure that will support the finished property. Whether this be brick and block, timber frame or other pre-built systems such as structural insulated panels or concrete formwork this stage is relatively quick and predictable.

8. Wind and weathertight

Before any internal work can begin the structural shell must be wind and weatherproof so it’s on with the roof and in with doors and windows. Churston Builders will ensure any bespoke roof materials and doors and windows are ordered in a timely manner to ensure the schedule is not interrupted. Churston Builders have good working relationships with Torbay manufacturers and suppliers ensuring we can offer you a great service both timely and top quality.

9. First fix processes

Now the structure is weatherproof and secure the first fix can take place. This includes, in no particular order  -

  • Drain runs
  • Spare conduits
  • Soil Pipes
  • Copper pipes
  • MVHR runs
  • Hep2O piping (or other plastic piping)
  • Electrical backing boxes
  • Electricity cable runs
  • Data and Audio visual: printer, HDMI cables, speaker cables
  • Telephony
  • Socket location
  • Security
  • Fire alarm
  • Normal pipes
  • Door frames
  • Pocket door frames
  • Stair well
  • Sound insulation
  • Plaster Boarding

Once all the trades have completed the first fix plastering can take place. As Churston Builders is expert at first and second fix we can see your new build project through from start to finish!

10. Second fix processes

Second fix comprises all the work after the plastering is completed. Electrical fixtures are connected to the cables, sinks, toilets and baths connected to the pipes, and doors fitted into doorframes. Second fix work requires a neater precise finish as it is this work that will make you proud of your new home, you can count on Churston Builders to provide the best finish available!

11. Final decoration

Churston Builders will also undertake final decoration of your new home and can also install engineered wood flooring, tiles floors as well as accessing other finishing touches at preferential rates where required.

If you are looking at a new build project in Torbay and would like to chat it through just call Anthony Andrews at Churston Builders on 07782 413671/01803 906513 or email  here.