Planning a new build? Here are some tips to help you plan

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  • Do not be afraid of planning officers or the application procedure – even though getting approval for your project could take a long time, you should consult with a Planning Officer who can give you sensible advice.
  • Before you start building, make sure your approval of the planning reflects what you really want! When you need Cheltenham Builders, visit
  • Communicate regularly and engage your neighbours in the planning process to reduce any local opposition to your plans.

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Tips for trade and buying materials

  • Ask for the builder’s advice about the important things – they are an invaluable resource and it is much easier to change things if the builder has bought into the project.
  • You can use family members who are skilled in a few trades. Even if they’re specialists, they will likely know other trustworthy tradespeople.
  • Use local trades and buy materials directly. Pay them at a fixed price.
  • It is important to have a full set of construction drawings so that there are no misunderstandings with the tradesmen on site and you do not get hit with hidden costs.
  • Please read the fine print in your builder’s quotes and contracts.
  • Do not be afraid to let tradesmen know if you are unhappy with their work.
  • There are always great deals to be found if you shop around and bargain.
  • Build costs should be realistic. Shop around for the best prices and to negotiate with suppliers.
  • You should take notes during every meeting as goals are often changed later.
  • Compare at least three quotes from contractors.
  • You can save money by choosing a frame that is supplied and erected from the manufacturer. This will allow you to avoid paying VAT as well as the builder’s mark-up.

Budgeting Tips

  • Expensive fixtures and fittings can push you over your budget.
  • Stick to your budget. If you’re able to spend more, make sure you choose items that you will use for a long time and are worth it.
  • If you’re on a tight budget, choose the cheaper option and upgrade later when the pressure is off.
  • Always plan for contingencies and keep to your budget.
  • Prepare yourself for the fact that construction will take longer and cost more than you originally thought.

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Take care of your finances

  • Use a self-build mortgage advisor to get the best advice on your project.
  • Get your personal finances in order if you’re self-employed before beginning the mortgage application process. This paperwork can delay your application.

General tips

  • It’s easier to spot any problems if the site is clean.
  • It is expensive but worth it to hire an independent building regulation company.
  • Employ a project manager, an architect, or a trusted builder who is familiar with the industry to manage the project and work closely together.
  • Keep everyone in the loop about the project, particularly when it comes to timescales.

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