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Should you Live on the Build Site?

By: Elaine Everest - Updated: 10 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Self-build Plot Labour Deliveries Family

When first planning to build your own home the consideration as to live on site or manage the project whilst still living at home must take careful consideration.

Where to Live

Unless there is another structure on site you will have to hire a caravan for the duration of the build, check out prices to see if this viable. Consider buying a caravan or mobile home and selling it on afterwards. Sometimes these portable buildings are shown for sale on self-build forums or from holiday park companies. Transportation fees could be pricey.If you have a family ensure they are willing to live in cramped caravan conditions for upwards of one year. Will they be happy if the weather is bad, how about washing and toilet arrangements?


Would you be committing to the build one hundred percent or still commuting into works each day? Would your wife or partner be happy to act as project manager during you absence? If the whole family were to be absent from the site during the day would your mobile living area be secure and safe from pilferers?


By living on site you will be able to start work early and work late into the night, finishing the build more quickly. Be considerate of any near neighbours who will have the life disrupted by noise from the site as you will have to live within the community afterwards.


Your labour expenses will be less, as you will be able to contribute more time to helping the skilled workers.


Subcontractors, council inspectors and visitors will come to realise that you are available for meetings at most times as you are always available. This is not always a bonus.You will be on hand for deliveries and to check off items as they arrive. There would be less chance of site theft during the night.

From Afar

If you decided to continue living in your old home until the new house was built the family would still have all their home comforts until the new house was habitable. If you have young children they will be safer living at home rather than in the vicinity of a building site? If they continue to live at home they will be amongst people they know and be able to continue attending their school and social groups until the move.


By living on site you will become part of the local community quicker. You may even find local help from neighbours who have the skills needed for a self-build.

Switch off

Staying in your old home you would be able to get away from the stresses of managing your project when travelling home each day. But this would give you less time on the site.


By living on site there will be minimal living expenses during the build. Money will be freed up from the sale of your home. Interest would not be accrued on any loans or mortgages for the next year or so.

Deciding where to live during the build should be part of the major plan when looking for a building plot.

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