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10 top tips for coping with a major project

Mike Hardwick has built his own home and helped countless others achieve their dreams. Here, he sets out his golden rules to take the stress out of running a scheme

For some self builders, the roller coaster of emotions they go through during a project can make them feel alive and they just can’t wait to plan their next. Others might swear that they’ll never take on this kind of scheme again – but I think it’s fair to say that nobody embarks on a self build or serious renovation lightly. Those who do will invariably find a way to make it over the finish line, no matter how smooth or rough the road to their goal, and end up with a home to be proud of. So what can you do to make the process as hassle-free as possible? Here are my top 10 coping strategies.

Winners of the 2016 Build It Award for best self build project,

1 Plan ahead

Time spent researching what you want, what it will cost and how you can get it is seldom wasted. I’d recommend you take as much time planning what you’re going to do as you do actually building the house. There’s so much choice in terms of design options, structural systems and finishing materials that making decisions can seem overwhelming. But by adopting a patient approach, researching what’s out there, speaking to experts and visiting shows such as Build It Live, you can ensure you’re making the right choices and getting good value for money.

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About Build It

Build It magazine’s January issue is packed with detailed practical advice & inspiring projects to help you create your dream home. Here’s a taster of what’s inside: • Stunning contemporary oak frame home (page 22) • Revealed: your new right to self build (page 62) • The best low-maintenance cladding options (page 69) • Running an air source heat pump (page 80) • Expert guide to gaining planning permission (page 94) • Designing the perfect extension (page 106) … and more!