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"The UK & Irish Republic's Unique Residential Timber-Frame Design Specialists AND 'DIY' Self-Building Professionals!"

 

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Our unique 'FREE' e-Guides are essential reading for anybody thinking about building high-quality timber-frame houses and/or wanting to achieve 'super-insulated', airtight homes to 'Passivhaus' standards (and beyond).  Read them and re-read them because they are packed with information that could transform how you go about designing, building and insulating any new house; potentially saving you £10,000's, possibly £100,000's in the process!  Don't miss them ~ they are FREE.  Just click on the 'blue' highlighted 'links' in the text above.

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

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'DIY' Self-Build

 

 

 

 

 

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Whether you want to just meet Building Regulation/Warranty standards, want to exceed “Passivhaus” / "EPC 'A’ Rating" standards or just be somewhere in-between; but always with huge cost savings; YOU can choose whatever it is you want to do!

It is perfectly practical to simultaneously achieve time and cost ‘targets’ AND to meet or exceed whatever thermal & ‘airtightness’ standards you require on any* ProFrame® designed project!

*And that is as true for 'DIY' enthusiasts as for a professional builder!

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Welcome to ProFrame® ~ Advanced Timber-Frame Design & Construction.

(NB: ProFrame® is fully EuroCode compliant!)

Ideal for 'DIY' Enthusiasts & 'Hands-ON' Self-Builders

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QUESTION: Including all the 'on-site' handling, erection costs & foundations; how much would you expect a 'package-kit' based timber-framed house, erected & weathertight ready for the external wall & roof claddings, to cost you?

Our typical 'DIY' cost = £140-160/m2

That equates to £7,800 for the foundations & a weathertight superstructure

for a 55 m2/600 ft2 2-bed dwelling, £10,400 for a 75 m2/800 ft2 3-bed dwelling and

just £30,800 for a substantial 220 m2/2,365 ft2 5-bed/3-bath dwelling!

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QUESTION: How much would the 'SIPS' for your house cost you; i.e. comprising all the external walls, 1st floor & roof; even when excluding the cost of a telescopic mobile crane & access 'roadway' for the crane to lift the 'SIPS' into place?

Our equivalent 'DIY' cost* = £100-110/m2 erected!

*Assumes 0.11 'U' values (external walls & roof)

That's just £22,000 for a typical 220 m2/2,365 ft2 5-bed/3-bath dwelling!

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WHY SO CHEAP?

Because ALL the timber-frame components are sourced & delivered directly from Builders' Merchants and Trade Suppliers at NET TRADE PRICES using normal 30-day trading accounts; i.e. there are NO (huge) advance costs involved to mess up the 'cash-flow' and/or stage payments & NO factory overheads & (eye-watering) profit margins pushing up the costs!

Structural Components (comprising the walls, 1st floor & roof) = £65/m2

NB: That includes the ProFrame® bespoke structural design & specification for Building Regulations' purposes and fully detailed framing layout drawings, etc. for the simple 'on-site' fabrication & erection of the timber-frame.

OPTIONS: Your Choice ~ Achieve basic 'SAP' compliance & Building Regs requirements OR Upgrade!?

e.g. ~ Fully Insulated "Slim-Line" (Ground-Bearing) Foundation = £37/m2

NB: The 'Standard Foundation' designed to have NO thermal bridging between the Foundation & External Wall Elements!

The simple ProFrame® approach reduces foundation costs and makes it easy to eliminate "thermal bridging"; achieve "Passivhaus" levels of airtightness; remove need for & cost of expensive heating / heat recovery systems; achieve 'EPC A Rating', etc.

(NB: None of these is automatically achieved with 'SIPS' construction; at least one cannot be achieved!)

Timber External Doors (1.8 'U' value) & Windows (1.4 'U' value) = £73/m2

NB: There are cheaper options; e.g. uPVC windows & doors; that would significantly lower 'build' costs!

The simple ProFrame® method has used a cost-effective "Fabric First" approach for many decades; (a) because it reduces the overall cost of building houses and, (b), because it permanently reduces the "running costs" of living in those houses!

 

An integral part of that approach; is to upgrade the 'U' values of the major elements (walls, ground floor & roof) rather than incur the extra expense and somewhat limited overall benefit of having very high window & door 'U' values!

 

(NB: As indicated by the typical costs shown above; even buying good quality windows & external doors with moderate 'U' values can still cost more than buying all the structural timber-frame components to build the house itself!)

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Learn How To Fabricate Timber-Frame Houses In 5 Minutes Flat!

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Our unique 'FREE' e-Guides are essential reading for anybody thinking about building high-quality timber-frame houses and/or wanting to build 'super-insulated', airtight homes to 'Passivhaus' standards (and beyond).  Read them and re-read them because they are packed with information that could transform how you go about designing, building and insulating any new house; potentially saving you £10,000's, possibly £100,000's in the process!  Don't miss them ~ they are FREE.  Just click on any of the 'blue' highlighted 'links' in the text above and below.

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Learn How To Create Multiple House Styles For Any Timber-Frame House!

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ProFrame® ~ The Simple 'Low Cost / High Quality' Solution We Developed For & From Our Own 'DIY' House-Building!

 

Physically building your own home is still quite rare in the UK so people never seem quite sure how to react.  Are you some sort of freaky ‘eco-warrior’ determined to return to ‘nature’ and build a ‘straw-bale’ or ‘rammed earth’ dwelling in the depths of the forest somewhere!  The idea that you actually intend building a ‘normal’ home on a ‘normal’ plot of land will often leave them questioning either your sanity or believing they must have totally misheard or misunderstood what you actually said!

 

We have lost count of the number of times over the decades that we have seen or heard "evening classes" in bricklaying, plastering, etc. being advocated as the best preparation for anybody thinking of undertaking a 'DIY' self-build.  Then there are all the featured self-build projects in the magazines and 'Grand Designs' type programmes, etc. where the clients have been physically 'labouring' on-site in an effort to save money.

  • Ironically; any ‘DIY’ enthusiast able to get the necessary building consents for a ‘straw-bale’ or ‘rammed earth’ dwelling can easily find specialist training, information and advice for undertaking such a project!

However; when a ‘DIY’ enthusiast simply wants to build a ‘normal’ type of house; that causes an enormous problem because none of the so-called 'self-build experts' seem to realise that ‘normal’ houses must be designed totally differently for truly efficient construction by a ‘DIY’ self-builder or a NHBC registered housebuilder!  Architects totally lack training for, or experience of, undertaking ‘DIY’ ‘Hands-ON’ self-build projects; they seem totally oblivious to any need to approach the design work differently, naively assuming that the only difference when handling a ‘DIY’ project is that a ‘DIY’ enthusiast will do the work instead of a builder; whether that is via brick & block or a timber-frame package 'kit'!  Strangely enough; that naivety seems to persist even amongst those who have carried out their own personal 'self-build' project!

  • Yet building timber-frame houses really is very simple work; whether by 'DIY' enthusiasts or professional builders; just have a look at "Learn How To Do It In 5 Minutes Flat!" by clicking the highlighted 'link'!

Unfortunately; ‘DIY’ enthusiasts rarely know that anything is amiss; so they get ‘saddled’ with the choice of spending a fortune on a timber-frame 'package-kit' or doing a load of unnecessary extra work; so everything takes much longer, costs more to do and, due to the dirty and heavy work involved, it is much more difficult for the ‘DIY’ builder to tackle things at all because, in their ignorance, ‘designers’ are merrily creating projects that are guaranteed incapable of ever being truly successful for the "hands-ON" enthusiasts.

 

Fortunately; we have always managed to avoid such stupidity ourselves otherwise we would never have tackled another 'self-build' project nor ever advocated it to anybody else; let alone undertaken the other fourteen that we have personally physically built over the years!  The good news is that 'huge sums' can be saved by tackling some or most of the work yourself; but it isn't achieved by doing what all those clueless armchair 'experts' advocate on 'TV' or in glossy 'self-build magazines'; nor by trying to 'mimic' how the building trades traditionally build houses or by busting a 'gut' working as a labourer!  When you have actually been there and physically built your own home using an efficient, sensible & pragmatic approach towards getting things done successfully; it is immediately obvious that most so-called 'self-build experts' have never done so and haven't got a clue how to!

 

Of course; the UK’s ‘self-build industry’ has very little interest in ‘DIY’ enthusiasts because they simply won't be splashing out huge 'upfront sums' on expensive 'package-kits' or 'SIPS' packages; virtually everything the 'industry' does is targetted at getting hold of the financially well-endowed ‘people’; i.e. the people with plenty of "cash to splash" on having their ‘self-build’ project created and built for them by the 'self-build industry'!

  • Just read any ‘self-build’ magazine or book, watch any ‘self-build’ TV programme, attend any of the ‘self-build’ shows or exhibitions, talk and/or listen to the country’s ‘self-build experts’; virtually everything you see, hear and/or read will be about how people have had or can have a traditional or ‘package-kit’ house built for them with all the latest fancy, expensive, ‘must have’ gizmos included; with the 'key' to success being the possession of extremely deep 'pockets' to meet the 'huge' financial cost!

Unsurprisingly; the 'industry' has absolutely NO interest in saving any 'self-builder' money; so very little, if anything, appears in the media about how to reduce costs, how to avoid the need for expensive ‘add-ons’ or about economic house construction methods; conversely a great deal of 'marketing effort' is put into encouraging people to believe that they ‘must have’ all manner of invariably expensive items; regardless as to whether they actually need them or whether there are cheaper and/or better options available!

 

So it isn’t just your friends and family, neighbours and workmates who won’t understand what a ‘DIY’ project involves because; irrespective of professional qualifications, ignorance about ‘DIY’ projects is widespread within the so-called ‘self-build industry’ too.  The typical (professionally qualified) 'expert' is almost invariably limited to working within what the house-building industry normally 'does' and totally oblivious to practical alternatives that could serve their clients' interests much better.  That’s also the reason why (mainstream) ‘DIY’ projects aren’t actually designed for a 'DIY' approach, and automatically guarantees that the projects are pre-destined to ‘fail’; i.e. they will take too long to build and/or cost too much and/or the ‘DIY’ builder will struggle to achieve the desired standard of thermal performance and/or ‘airtightness’; as proven by all the ‘DIY’ projects featured in the media year after year. 

 

Having started 'life' as an enthusiastic 'Hands-ON' self-builder first and foremost; even before becoming an industry 'insider'; the "Self-Build-Pro" uses that practical knowledge and experience to serve our clients' best interests without being constrained or inhibited by what the industry normally 'does'!

 

Which makes "Self-Build-Pro" rather unique because; with over 40 years experience of designing AND physically building timber-frame homes ourselves; we have a wealth of ‘Hands-ON’ practical experience to back-up our unique professional design and ‘support’ services for clients!

 

i.e. We KNOW How To Design & Manage Successful ‘DIY’ Self-Build Projects!

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Whatever Your Reason For Doing It "Hands-ON"!

Tackling and completing a successful 'DIY' (Hands-ON) self-build project is one of life's greatest experiences.  The sense of achievement and fulfilment is truly immense and beyond anything most people will ever experience from anything else in life, (a) because it stems from an unique achievement and (b) it is something that will constantly be with you for as long as you live in the house.  Nothing else can match the unique combination of an immense sense of achievement & fulfilment and the longevity of the 'after-glow of satisfaction' that follows ~ fuelled by the pleasure of knowing that the house you are enjoying living in, isn't just your creation; it's also a creation that has saved you a great deal of money and has probably transformed your financial well-being too.

  • What makes the whole thing so special is that; unlike having great pride in our children, passing exams and/or qualifying to do something, winning at sport, accumulating wealth and assets, even doing 'life-saving' work, etc.; which are things that most people can experience in one form or another as a natural part of life; it takes a totally different 'mind-set' to choose to get so far out of most people's 'comfort-zone' by personal choice!

Of course; there are numerous possible reasons why any of us choose to embark upon a 'DIY' (Hands-ON) 'self-build' project; but that doesn't detract from the perceived achievement of completing a successful 'build'.  The general perception 'sees' such an achievement as making you worthy of respect, even envy; because it is one of the few things in life that people will freely acknowledge isn't something they could ever envisage being able to face having to do themselves!

Incidentally; that isn't a perception supported in many other countries; where 'DIY' house-building is often quite common, almost traditional; in fact, it is an almost uniquely British reaction of admiration for anybody capable of 'bucking' the usual 'system' for doing things; i.e. pay somebody else; which is exactly what most 'self-builders' do AND what the 'self-build' industry wants everybody to do!

It Helps If You Understand Why Most 'Self-Builders' Won't Do It!

There have been 'self-build' books and monthly magazines around for decades; even 'Grand Designs' and other similar TV series have been around for many years; yet despite the many superficial impressions to the contrary; I have been reluctantly forced to conclude ~ there is NO 'self-build' industry in this country and never has been!  What does exist is a substantial number of people who want to create new 'one-off' houses, primarily for their own occupation, people who have been collectively labelled as being 'self-builders'.

  • Consequently; a whole industry 'sector' has grown up around the very profitable 'retail' business that those relatively numerous and affluent, 'self-builders' can provide for both the 'mainstream' building industry and all the sundry manufacturers, suppliers and installers that have jumped onto the band-wagon 'hyping up' all manner of 'must-have' expensive 'goodies' via glossy magazine advertising and/or brochures!

It is over forty years since I started on my first 'self-build' project; but I have never seen, heard or read anything advocated by any of the self-styled 'self-build' experts; that has ever been about doing or trying anything that wasn't simply an expression of the traditional 'mainstream' house-building industry ways of doing things; even though some of these 'experts' claim to have done their own 'self-build' projects!

  • However what these so-called 'experts' have done very successfully for decades; is to delude thousands upon thousands of 'self-builders' into believing that they have learnt all they need to know about how to do a 'self-build' project successfully, whilst in reality; all that they have 'learnt' is how and where to 'throw' their money at an 'industry' all too eager to get its hands on it; with the inevitable result that most 'self-build' projects have become ridiculously expensive compared to commercial house-building costs!

A quick look at how most of the 'successful self-build' projects featured in magazines, etc. have astronomically expensive 'build' costs (£/m2); clearly demonstrates just how successful that whole process has been!  Reality is so distorted that a 'no-expense spared' approach is portrayed as somehow being completely normal; with the definition of a 'successful project' generally dependent upon the self-builder's ability to spend huge amounts of money rather than anything else!

Truly successful projects don't happen by chance; but they don't cost a fortune either!

Ironically; under a media inspired delusion of thinking that the 'experts' must know what they are doing, many 'self-builders' spend a fortune on professional consultants & are totally oblivious to the thousands of pounds they will be 'blindly' waste following professional advice!  Unfortunately when people are persuaded to simply follow the industry's 'normal' way of doing things it does become a self-fulfilling reality that 'throwing money' at a project becomes the 'norm'!

Unfortunately; even employing professional consultants won't guarantee a truly successful project if people are reluctant to go the 'extra mile' and have all the necessary 'design' work carried out properly.  There are huge cash savings to be made when tackling a 'self-build' project as a 'DIY' (Hands-ON) build; but it is a false economy to put those savings at 'risk' by seeking to save money on the 'design' work that will ensure that things are capable of being done properly.  Good 'design' work may look expensive; but it will always be demonstrable that the 'savings' achievable will significantly outweigh the fees involved!

  • Successful projects don't just happen, they need to be planned and executed 'professionally'; i.e. being a 'DIY' project, doesn't mean that it can be treated in a 'slap-dash' manner; success comes from good planning and organization, with the project specifically designed to facilitate a 'DIY' approach.  After all; it is far easier and more satisfying to do any 'DIY' self-build when it is properly designed and tackled in a 'professional', organized manner; the alternative will inevitably take more time and effort and cost more too.  It was never down to 'luck' or by chance that we achieved such 'quick' builds AND slashed normal 'build' costs by 50% or more in the process!  The projects were always thoroughly planned and designed to achieve precisely that outcome and those end-results are equally achievable by any keen 'DIY' (Hands-ON) self-builder following our design and erection methods.

Ultimately; successful 'DIY' house-building comes down to also remembering that the 'objective' is to build a house that gives NO indication of having been a 'DIY' build; otherwise the finished property, literally and metaphorically, won't end-up worth the time, effort and money put into building it ~ no matter how cheaply done!

We have the knowledge and experience; do you have the inclination?

Our 'specialism' is to provide the best possible way to build superb quality 'mainstream' houses; i.e. a way that is quick, cheap and practical; allowing anybody keen to build a house with their own hands a realistic and practical opportunity to match anything achievable via 'package-kit' or 'SIPS' based construction; irrespective of the type or style of property required or what the external claddings will be!

  • To that end; we have developed a full range of services to cover everything needed to successfully tackle a 'DIY' (Hands-ON) 'self-build' project.  However much or little 'Hands-ON' work you choose to do; we can advise and support you accordingly.

  • We will also 'sit-down' with you to discuss everything about your proposed project with you and help you find the right balance of involvement for you relative to your available time, budget, overall project completion date, etc.  We will also continue to advise you upon any adjustments that may become necessary to maintain your objectives.

Whilst NO single method is ever going to be universally agreed as the only way of doing anything; it is essential that the method that is used has been tried and tested and proven to be better than the rest!  There are numerous proprietary 'systems' being marketed; none have yet proven to be financially OR environmentally cheaper and/or better than using site-fabricated timber-frame ~ that is the SOLE reason behind why WE carry on using it and advocating it ~ because we know it is also in our 'DIY' clients' best interests!  Blithely adopting some "construction method" because it appeared, or worse was advertised, in a magazine or on TV; isn't the way to guarantee the success of any 'DIY' project!

  • We have always striven to keep everything as simple, quick and straightforward as possible for undertaking our own, frequently single-handed, 'DIY' (Hands-ON) 'self-build' projects.  That also meant designing them accordingly in order to facilitate and simplify the physical work.  We have looked at and analysed how the rest of the World manages to build houses quicker and cheaper than here in the UK; we took the best method we could find and have spent the last 45 years developing and evolving it through our 'Hands-ON' experience, taking full advantage of practical 'hindsight' to refine things as well as periodically checking up on the rest of the World for any viable, new ideas that may have appeared; whilst tackling a succession of 'self-build' projects for our ourselves and with our 'Hands-ON' clients. Ironically; over a quarter of a century after we started using our evolved timber-frame construction methods, the Americans and Canadians started to adopt the same approach instead of the old traditional 'stick-building'. More recently; i.e. over four decades later; (2017) we have seen technical journals advocating the same advanced structural framing design methods as we have been using in order to eliminate the need for lintels over load-bearing wall openings! Rather than finding new, more advanced and/or efficient construction methods elsewhere, it seems that other countries are now adopting our 'tried & tested' methods.

As mentioned above; it is never by 'luck' nor by chance that we can achieve such 'quick' builds AND slash normal 'build' costs by 50% or more in the process!  The projects are always thoroughly planned and designed to achieve precisely that outcome and the end-results can be achieved by any keen 'DIY' (Hands-ON) self-builder using our design work and following our assembly & erection methods.

However; it was purely by chance that our choice of construction (timber-frame); originally made purely upon the basis of cost and efficiency; has actually turned out to use the only truly sustainable 'mainstream' construction material; i.e. timber ~ the 'green building' material par excellence; much to the chagrin of manufacturers desperate to keep selling other building products, methods and/or materials!

The essential reading mentioned above for anybody thinking about building high-quality timber-frame houses and/or wanting to achieve 'super-insulated', airtight homes to 'Passivhaus' standards (and beyond) are our unique 'FREE' e-Guides.  Keep on reading and re-reading them because they are packed with information that could transform how you go about designing, building and insulating any new house; potentially saving you £10,000's, possibly £100,000's in the process!  If you haven't already discovered them; simply click on the 'blue' highlighted 'links' immediately above!

   

"The UK & Irish Republic's Unique Residential Timber-Frame Design Specialists AND 'DIY' Self-Building Professionals!"

(Providing A Truly Unique Blend Of Professional Design & 'DIY' (Hands-ON) House-Building Experience With Speculative/Commercial Residential Planning & Development Experience.)

Keen To Keep 'Things' Simple?

How about using a 'Bespoke' Timber-Frame 'Self-Assembly' Trade Priced Kit?

It's the best of both worlds!

It avoids the hassle of getting quotes for materials, placing orders and/or arranging for delivery of the structural materials yet still retains the full benefit of simply paying competitive 'net' trade prices for everything at a  Builder's Merchant; i.e. NO hidden profit 'mark-ups'; NO manufacturer's factory & office overheads and profits to pay for, NO heavy lifting gear/cranage costs, NO erection 'crew', etc. to push the 'build' costs through the 'roof'!

Some clients have even found that getting a 'self-assembly' kit assembled and erected works out cheaper than the price they had been quoted just for the erection of a manufacturer's 'package-kit' for constructing the same house!

(Click on the 'blue' highlighted 'link' above.)

We take care of the 'organisation' so you can concentrate on getting the house built!

 

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Registered Address:   Belmont Business Centre, Brook Lane, ENDON, Staffs. ST9 9EZ
Phone & E-mail:         Tel: +44(0)7518 793 779       E-mail: self-build-pro.co.uk


Our Guiding Philosophy ~

To appreciate what our clients want and to provide an unique response that will create great 'added value' for them.


Further Information About What Else We Do ~ Simply Click On The Highlighted Website 'Links' Below

Self-Build-Pro (Chartered Surveyors) ~ Residential Planning & House Design

ProFrame-XL  ~ 'Bespoke' Residential Timber-Frame Design

Land Agent Services ~ Selling Land For A 'Premium' Price (It's A Totally Free Service)

   
 

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Copyright © 2002-2017 ~ Self-Build-Pro      Trademark: ProFrame
® 2008 ~ Self-Build-Pro    Last modified: 26-Jul-2017

   

               Home                       Professional Services_        Genuine "How To Do It" Self-Build Books!   

Send mail to the webmaster with questions or comments about this web site.    DISCLAIMER:  This website does not use 'cookies' to record or store any information about you.
Copyright © 2002-2017 ~ Self-Build-Pro      Trademark: ProFrame
® 2008 ~ Self-Build-Pro    Last modified: 26-Jul-2017