Where to live while building a house

One of the most common and perhaps most important questions people ask when thinking about self-build is – Where to live while building a house?

Where you live and how you live whilst you self build will likely depend on your own financial circumstances and the size of your family.  For example, living in a static-caravan for several months with a family of 4 or 5 could be impractical, therefore renting may be the option for you.

Static caravan, log-cabin or outbuilding

A popular choice when self building is a static caravan or log-cabin.  A static caravan can be deployed on site, making it easier for you check the progress of the build and saving time traveling to and from the plot.  The caravan would also be able to be hooked up to the mains power supply (make sure such utilities are in place beforehand).  Also, you must check in with the local planning authority that it is okay to have a caravan on site during the build process.

House under construction where to live while building a house

Where to live while building a house is one of the most common questions that arises with new self builders.

There are however some downsides with caravans that could cause potential problems.  Firstly, you need to make sure there is enough space for the caravan on the site and also check that it can be easily removed once house construction is complete.  Secondly, should you buy a caravan, you will have to sell the thing after. This may be difficult, as you’d look for a quick sale which could result in a loss of money due to drop in value of the caravan.

If you have a family of 3+ with children, then living in a caravan for months may cause a few problems.  You may feel there is not enough space for you to live in comfort or that it could be potentially dangerous living on a construction site with children.  If so, it would be advised to temporary fence off an area around the caravan.  If you are a couple or an individual, living in a caravan should be relatively comfortable.  Building your own home is generally quite a stressful event – living in a caravan for the duration is unlikely to relieve that stress!

If your site is large enough you may want to look into acquiring a log-cabin or outbuilding.  Something that can erected in a short time which you could live in temporarily and then still use after the completion of your house.  A log-cabin or outbuilding could be utilized as a gym, games room, outside office or anything else.  You will need to check with the planning authority that this is acceptable.

Living on site in a cabin or caravan would require you take out storage on your belongings.  You can use firms like the Big Yellow Group or LoK’nStore who will allow you to store away your possessions for your required time period.

Renting a property

Renting is perhaps one the best options when looking at where to live while building a house, especially if you have a family.  You can still live in comfort while your new house is being built and choose a location closer to your site.  Capital will be raised from the selling of your property could cover the costs of your deposit and rent.  Also, unlike with a caravan or cabin, you will not need to take out storage (or not as much if you have a lot of stuff).  You’d simply be able to move your own items into your new house.

Stay in your house

Ideally you would like to stay in your current property up until your new property is built, but this may depend on your financial circumstances.  Many people will want or need to sell their house first to finance their new project, meaning living at home during the build will be difficult.  There is an option that you could sell your current home when you come towards the end of the build process on your new home.  Some mortgage lenders will allow you to do this, but the interest that occurs during the build will be costly, resulting in losing funds that could be spent on your new house.

Location could be a major detractor though if your self build plot is some distance from your current home.  This will depend on how hands-on you will be.  If you’d like to be heavily involved with your self-build project, then the traveling may prove costly, tiring and time consuming.

Some custom build developers, such as Czero Home, will offer part exchange on your existing property and will agree this at the outset.  This gives you the confidence that you can live in your home for as long as you need to and then move out and complete the sale at very short notice.  There is usually a discount to your current expectation of sales price of your existing home, but this could be a price worth paying for the certainty, particularly if you are saving a considerable amount through the self build process.

Live with another family member

This is not something everyone can do, but if you are a couple or an individual and have a family member with spare rooms, living temporarily with them can be a cost effective option.

We hope these options helped you in deciding where to live while building a house.