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Can You Work a 40 Hour Week and Build Your Home?

By: Elaine Everest - Updated: 5 Aug 2013 | comments*Discuss
Self Build Building Internet Tradesmen

Many people who build their own homes also have full time jobs. It is not always possible to take a break from work to be able to build a house. A work - build balance needs to be observed.

Family Help

A self build project should be a family project. Be they parents, siblings or a partner there is help to be found. Do not turn down any offer of help during the build as family may be able to offer a few hours labour during the day or be available to take in deliveries when you cannot be at the building site due to work commitments.

Plan Ahead

Start a building diary and religiously update it each week. A wall planner may be helpful with work related appointments in one colour and building commitments in another colour. Each Sunday make a list of what materials are to be delivered and arrange for someone to be there to take them in and check that they are correct. Do you have site inspections from planning officials that you need to be in attendance for? Can you fit these in around a lunch hour? What about work, are there any important meetings to attend that will make you home late and lose time at the site? By diarising your 'work and build week' you will feel in control and less stressed.

Use the Internet

If the Internet is alien to you then make time to learn how to use it. You may not have Internet access in your work place and it is not good policy to work on your own projects during your employer’s time but there are ways to be online and in touch on the site. Mobile phones with Internet connection mean that ordering goods online and keeping in touch with tradesman is within your grasp. A laptop with a pay as you go dongle can keep you online and is ideal for when you are onsite as well. Use tea breaks and lunch breaks to catch up on letter writing and working out pricing and costs, a laptop computer is a godsend to the self builder.

Never over Commit

Never try to cram in too many commitments during your working week. Becoming stressed when you are behind on the chores will only make you stressed and ill. A self builder with a full time job cannot afford to be ill. Neither can he or she afford to let the building of his house creep into the working day. Any employer will be interested in your project as long as it does not affect your work output. Take photographs to work and keep your work mates and boss up to date with progress on site. You never know they may offer to help out at weekends!

Evening Work

It may be that you intend to go to the site each night after work and put in several hours on the house. Be considerate of close neighbours who may not be endeared to you if you are noisy late into the night or floodlight the area with bright lights when they have children trying to sleep. More help on handling your neighbours during a self build here.

Hired Help

When budgeting for your build remember to cover the cost of hired help. You may have planned to build most of the house yourself but if you find the task is too much for you and your family, then tradesmen will have to be brought in to help out. By costing this eventuality it will not stretch your budget once mortgages and loans have been set in place.

Site Security and Safety

Being away from the building site during the working day can lead to petty pilfering or even damage to the build. High fences and good locks will not always deter someone who is hell bent on stealing from you. If there is no one on site each day consider hiring someone who could do some work albeit tidying and preparing the site so they are there to deter thieves. Alternatively if there is a close neighbour they may be able to keep an eye on the site for you but remember the treat them as a way of saying thank you.

Not Coping

If the time comes when you cannot work and build at the same time then consider asking for extended leave or take your holiday entitlement to enable you to work on the house.

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