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Services: 'DIY' (Hands-ON) Training!

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This part of our services is truly unique because; to the best of our knowledge; nobody else offers such concise practical 'Hands-ON' training; i.e. as we design the physical work to be 'unskilled' ~ it only needs a few hours of specifically targetted 'training' to learn* how to build a complete house!

*NB: Training is only offered inconjunction with our design services because nobody else seems capable of the quality of design work necessary to remove any need for technical knowledge!

The 'trick' with tackling any 'DIY' Hands-ON project successfully is firstly to know which work is sensible and practical to tackle yourself and which work you should always leave alone and secondly to ensure that the work is properly and fully designed so that the physical work is simple and straightforward enough for anybody to do it!

  • From experience; it is practical to tackle upto 85% of the entire project (see below) but analysis of that same experience also showed that (for me) it was only financially worthwhile to have tackled around 70%; because the money I saved on certain parts of the project was adversely affected by the time taken impacting on interest charges and rented accommodation costs.  For various reasons; the rest of the work is neither practical nor sensible for any form of 'DIY' approach to ever be worthwhile.

When a house is designed properly; there is absolutely NO need to learn any of the technical intricacies of electrical work, or plumbing and heating work, etc.; just to build a house! 

  • All anybody needs is a set of clear 'step-by-step' instructions, a detailed specification of what materials are required where and a few hours 'hands-on' practical training ~ primarily to instil the self-confidence needed to convince yourself that you do now know how to do it!  That's all we have ever found necessary for any of our DIY 'Hands-ON' clients.

Houses are always quicker and cheaper to build with a common-sense led approach to how things are done; only a 'fool' makes life unnecessarily difficult ~ especially for himself.  As already indicated; we have a full range of 'design services' available to handle all the 'on-site' concerns; e.g. simple framing layout drawings and nailing specifications, electrical, plumbing and heating layouts and specifications, etc.; so even the most inexperienced people and 'DIY' enthusiasts can quickly and easily 'learn' how to fabricate and build houses using our advanced timber-frame construction techniques.

  • Better still; by designing out the ever more convoluted 'latest fads' and keeping everything quick, simple and straightforward; it is possible for a keen 'DIY' enthusiast to build a house to match anything claimed for thermal performance, airtightness, etc. for houses built using proprietary 'kit' or 'SIP' products AND to slash the cost to the bare minimum too!

As stated in the introduction to this section of our services; we have literally lost count of the number of times over the decades that we have seen self-styled, self-build 'experts' advocating evening classes in bricklaying, plastering, etc. as the best preparation for anybody thinking of undertaking a 'DIY' self-build.  Of course; it isn't the so-called 'experts' who end up paying the 'price' of acting upon such misguided advice or, conversely, reacting to such advice by feeling that doing it themselves would be too difficult and so end up trying to save money by physically 'labouring' on-site throughout the 'build' instead.  The same amount of time and effort expended intelligently would have gone a long way towards actually building their own houses; instead of paying somebody else to do it!

FACT: I have personally built fourteen timber-frame houses and bungalows myself (mostly single-handed, 'solo' builds) ~ and the only practical 'training' I have ever had ~ was as an eleven year old school boy who did 'woodwork' for a couple of 'terms'!

FACT: I also successfully installed all the 'electrics', plumbing and central-heating systems in seven of those houses and bungalows ~ with NO practical training whatsoever!

FACT: On my first new 'build'; I built a four-bedroom, two-bathroom, three-reception room detached house and garage in just 9 months of 'solo' evening and weekend working; only 15% of the entire project was sub-contracted out ~ the rest I did completely on my own!

  • Perhaps I should also mention that, apart from some 'package-kit' company's brochure pictures, that first new 'build' became the first (modern) timber-frame house that I had ever actually seen; similarly, when I dry-lined the house, it was the first time I had ever actually seen dry-lining!  (I read how to do 'dry-lining' in the British Gypsum 'White Book'!)

Fortunately; there is a surprisingly simple reason why I was able to do so much without having any practical experience and/or training for any of the various building 'trades' involved ~ the fact is that the actual work was virtually totally 'unskilled' and simply didn't require any prior training or experience ~ and that includes all those electrical, plumbing and central-heating installations as well as the structural timber-frames of the houses!

  • Such is the extent of the endemic ignorance that pervades the industry; virtually everybody else that you ever speak to would claim that statement is utterly ridiculous and untrue!!!

What is true; i.e. the real reason why the work was virtually totally 'unskilled' so that any keen 'DIY' enthusiast could have managed to do it; is that I specifically designed every part of the construction of the houses to make the construction work and installation of services, etc. as quick, simple and straightforward as possible so that NO technical knowledge whatsoever was needed for doing the actual work 'on-site'.

  • Removing the 'need' for any technical knowledge automatically reduces most building 'trades' and 'service installation' work down to a very basic 'unskilled' level; which is especially true in respect of structural timber-frame work and electrical, plumbing & heating installations where 'savings' of upto 80% OFF the 'normal' cost can be easily achieved by doing simple 'DIY' work!

Unfortunately; what the so-called 'self-build' experts have collectively managed to achieve is getting thousands upon thousands of 'self-builders' totally deluded into believing that they have learnt all they need to know about how to do a 'self-build' project successfully.  In reality; all that they have been told is how and where to 'throw' their money at an 'industry' all too eager to get its hands on it ~ as indicated above ~ with the inevitable result that 'self-build' projects are virtually always far more expensive than is necessary!  The industry is awash with misinformation and 'charlatans' dispensing 'quack' advice to all and sundry!

  • Whilst our philosophy and ethos as professional 'self-builders' has always been to design everything to be as simple as possible to do; the 'industry' seems to find such a common-sense approach a total anathema and delights in manufacturers finding ever more convoluted ways of using their products to do virtually everything; inevitably increasing the 'build' costs in the process!  (NB: Nothing the 'industry' does is ever designed to reduce your 'build' costs!)

We don't believe in blithely following 'fads' or spending a 'fortune' on some 'glamorous' snazzy new product to achieve something that can be done quickly and cheaply by using a 'plain-old' common-sense solution instead.  Nor do we believe in wasting clients' time and/or money on pursuing methods and products advocated by so-called 'experts' who obviously haven't a clue how to plan and design a successful 'self-build' project but who are, nevertheless, always ready to 'help' clients spend a 'fortune' trying!

Be warned ~ it is only through using our own unique 'tried & tested' design approach and construction methods that we have been able to slash overall 'build' costs by 50% whilst still building and completing high-quality projects within a matter of months ~ rather than wasting several years trying to get a 'DIY' project done like everybody else!

Using the same approach can enable similar overall savings to be made by any 'DIY' enthusiast OR for huge savings of upto 80% to be achieved on individual parts of a project; e.g. the timber-frame or services installation, etc.

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THE NEXT STEP?

As mentioned above; such concise practical training is only feasible when used inconjunction with a project that has been specifically designed to remove any need to learn anything technical.  Effectively; given the dearth of general 'self-build' expertise, let alone expertise in 'DIY' Hands-ON projects; that means that our training services can only be made available as an 'add-on' option to the relevant 'design services' and can NEVER be made available as a separate 'stand-alone' service. 

NB: The training itself isn't a 'standard' package, nor is it random; it is individually tailored to meet your precise needs and requirements so you can undertake the relevant work on your project.

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