There are a few ways of bypassing the big house-builders to get a new home that is designed for you for your needs:
- 'Custom-Build' - describes a way to choose a standard design by a house-builder on a plot on their development.
- 'Self-Build' by yourself - A lot of hard work as you will be 'designing' it and building it yourself.
- 'Self-Build' by Construction Manager - Designed with the assistance of an architect (minimum seven years University backed training to above Masters degree level) or by a 'designer' not qualified as an architect. Built using a network of sub-contractors or friends managed by a construction manager who could be yourself.
- 'Self-Build' by Main Contractor - Designed with the assistance of an architect. Built using a Main Contractor under a formal Building Contract administered by your architect. This is usually the most expensive but often the most cost-effective as it usually the quickest.
The following is a PDF checklist that you may find useful if you are interested in having a home designed to meet the needs of you and your family. One important thing to remember is that ONLY architects (registered with ARB) are qualified as architects. RIBA Chartered Architect Practices that are members of the Association of Self-Build Architects (a nationwide group, http://www.asba-architects.org) have chosen to specialise in bespoke homes. There are other differently qualified professionals and tradesmen who can design to varying standards with varying levels of ability and insurance.