Whenever we see case studies of self build projects on TV or in magazines, we’re always surprised at how long the build can take. And yes, it probably will take longer than you hope, because things always do! We are also frequently asked by clients how long they will need to wait for us to build their house. Well, with Scandinavian Homes you don’t need to plan for an 18 month project – timescales are typically no more than 6 months from order to completion.

Here is an indicative timeline to help you plan your build project.

Finding the ideal plot: this is the hardest part, and can take anything from a few months to a few years! It’s easier if you narrow your parameters – pick the area, set your budget, agree what the smallest size of plot is and what you must have/absolutely will not accept (e.g. must be in a quiet area, must not be on a slope) and start talking to estate agents and driving round the area.

Decide on the house that will suit: this part is easy, with our stunning new range of timber panel houses and our established log home models. You just need to look through the website and find the one that appeals to you the most, and we can then customise the layout to suit the way you want to live. No need to spend ages with an architect trying to get them to envisage your dream!

Firm up the guide price for the build so you know you can afford it. A turnkey build package gives you the confidence that the price agreed when you place your order is what you will pay at the end (subject to site-specific conditions), as long as you don’t make changes to the specifications. If there has been a full ground survey prior to agreeing the package, even the groundworks costs can be fixed, avoiding any nasty surprises.

Submit the planning application: this is easier if you already have outline planning on your plot (which is why plots with planning permission are much more expensive than those without). Once your application has been submitted, a decision should be made within 8 weeks, however, these days planning officers often don’t negotiate; they’ll just refuse an application they feel has issues. Make sure you keep track of your application and don’t let it get to refusal. You may even have to withdraw it and resubmit it once you’ve solved any issues raised. There’s no further planning fee for a resubmitted application.

Photo by Daniel McCullough on Unsplash

Following planning approval, get ready to place your order with Scandinavian Homes. If you’re having a turnkey build, we will need to agree the specification for heating, kitchen and bathroom, as well as decorating before your order is finalised. There’s usually an 8-10 week factory lead time, but this can vary.

While your home is being manufactured, groundworks, foundations, utility supplies (and demolition if you’re replacing an existing building with your new home) will get underway – these may take around a month, depending on site conditions. Utility supplies can take longer, so it might be wise to get these under way as soon as you’re ready.

Once the foundations are in place, your timber panel house (complete with windows already fitted in the panels) or log home kit can be delivered. Then the timeline will be roughly as follows for a panel home (for a log home the shell build may take a week or two longer):

Week 1 – Construct house shell to watertight (this means the roofing membrane is in place)

Week 2 – Build internal stud walls, finish roofing.

Week 3 – First fix wiring, plumbing etc., external render/brick slips for panel home if required.

Week 4 – Internal plastering/second fix electrical & plumbing and heating

Week 5/6 – Decorating internally, and bathroom floor tiling and installation

Week 7/8 – Kitchen and appliance installation, tiling, flooring and finishing

Week 9 – General tidying, cleaning & polishing

Week 10 – You move in!

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