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Would you buy a new build or self build?


Green Devil

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Green Devil

Heard a lot of horror stories about the build quality of new build houses (not flats). Aka persimmon or Barratt etc.

Are they any reasons why you'd avoid such stuff? Anyone had problems? Been seeing a lot of new stuff going up which seems to be concrete foundations the just a timber build.

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swiss_democracy_for_all
47 minutes ago, Green Devil said:

Heard a lot of horror stories about the build quality of new build houses (not flats). Aka persimmon or Barratt etc.

Are they any reasons why you'd avoid such stuff? Anyone had problems? Been seeing a lot of new stuff going up which seems to be concrete foundations the just a timber build.

Define "Just" a timber build. Timber build can be anything from the finest quality German eco-homes that are energy-positive and would probably last 300 years to nasty under-insulated overgrown sheds that might not last 10 years. 

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Chewing Grass

New builds are generally built by large companies with the sole objective of making the maximum return for their shareholders. Self builds are either built by someone with deep pockets and a burninh ambition or someone with no money and perhaps little knowledge and basic skills.

Therefore, caveat emptor is the order of the day for both.

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Frank Hovis

I posted on another thread that the best quality housing as a rule was built 1950 - 1980 though there was plenty of good stuff before this which you will know as it will have stood the test of time.

Since then building land values have increased substantially and so in order to maintain profit margins houses and flats are built at maximum density and, which is more crucial for build quality, far more quickly.  This is to reduce overall costs plus funding cost.  It is basically "anything for speed" so timber framing (which can start rotting after ten years) and not letting things dry out properly before sealing them is the order of the day.

I would happily rent a mass market new build; but I wouldn't buy one.

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Not strictly a self build - but it might as well have been. 

I remember viewing a place that had been extensively modified by a DIYer.  Should have been somewhat fearful when I saw the fencing was made of recycled wood pallets. Inside was a real horror show. A veritable spider's web of plumbing in the basement some of which seemed to abruptly end in mid air - and the living room had all of the plug sockets about 4 feet up the wall (whether that was a consequence of the poor plumbing I'll never know as I didn't go back for a second viewing). 

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swiss_democracy_for_all
12 minutes ago, SCC said:

Not strictly a self build - but it might as well have been. 

I remember viewing a place that had been extensively modified by a DIYer.  Should have been somewhat fearful when I saw the fencing was made of recycled wood pallets. Inside was a real horror show. A veritable spider's web of plumbing in the basement some of which seemed to abruptly end in mid air - and the living room had all of the plug sockets about 4 feet up the wall (whether that was a consequence of the poor plumbing I'll never know as I didn't go back for a second viewing). 

:) Flood zone? (Guess the basement was beyond saving)

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Just now, swissy_fit said:

:) Flood zone? (Guess the basement was beyond saving)

I suspect not, it was on top of a hill and the nearest body of water was about 4 miles away.  Any floods were likely self induced. 

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Green Devil
1 hour ago, Frank Hovis said:

I posted on another thread that the best quality housing as a rule was built 1950 - 1980 though there was plenty of good stuff before this which you will know as it will have stood the test of time.

Since then building land values have increased substantially and so in order to maintain profit margins houses and flats are built at maximum density and, which is more crucial for build quality, far more quickly.  This is to reduce overall costs plus funding cost.  It is basically "anything for speed" so timber framing (which can start rotting after ten years) and not letting things dry out properly before sealing them is the order of the day.

I would happily rent a mass market new build; but I wouldn't buy one.

yeah my thinking too. ive seen a lot of what appears building firms that appear to be building now on a concrete foundation then what looks like 6x3 panels over 2 storeys. Not what i would like to be buying. Is this sort of stuff mortgageable? I guess it must be, or they wouldnt be able to sell it.

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I wouldn't buy a brand new, new build, too much of a premium on them. We live in an 11 year old house which we purchased 4 years ago. Very happy with it so far, good sound insulation both within and in respect of neighbours (town house). No cracks, no condensation issues, appliances and boiler all still working (I've clearly cursed them all now) and cheap to run in respect of utilities. 

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swiss_democracy_for_all

The better German prefabs I would buy anywhere. Brilliant quality. Better than anything I've ever seen in the UK. Have no idea why people are so attached to trad building techniques.

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Frank Hovis
27 minutes ago, swissy_fit said:

The better German prefabs I would buy anywhere. Brilliant quality. Better than anything I've ever seen in the UK. Have no idea why people are so attached to trad building techniques.

Probably because we have seen a host of non-trad techniques trotted out since the 1920s and one after another they have been found to be an utter disaster.

From steel frames to preformed concrete the roll call of disaster strikes terror into the hearts of mortgage surveyors everywhere: Dorloncos, Orlits, Easiforms, BISFs, Prefabs, Cornish Units.

Now with a new name the horror film monster rises from the grave with its "modular units" to spread terror, destruction and "cash buyers only" caveats across the nation. 

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swiss_democracy_for_all
2 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

Probably because we have seen a host of non-trad techniques trotted out since the 1920s and one after another they have been found to be an utter disaster.

From steel frames to preformed concrete the roll call of disaster strikes terror into the hearts of mortgage surveyors everywhere: Dorloncos, Orlits, Easiforms, BISFs, Prefabs, Cornish Units.

Now with a new name the horror film monster rises from the grave with its "modular units" to spread terror, destruction and "cash buyers only" caveats across the nation. 

:) Yes, amazing how they were all so badly executed, one might almost wonder if the building trade sabotaged them.

Time has moved on, people's perceptions should move too. 3d printing soon. The easiest way to force change would be to enforce environmental rules the trad builders couldn't build cheaply but top-class prefabbers or 3d printers could. But the big housebuilders are big political donors......

Tiny example :- These could be obligatory in all new properties. https://orbital-systems.com/

 

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I moved from a brand new house (non-estate) to a 500 year old Elizabethan one. I do miss spending only £250 a year on heating - and being warm in winter!

I did look at a few Persimmon type homes before buying and the quality was dire, even in the show home. Plus you're packed in like sardines which I cannot abide. I'd buy a new build again perhaps, but only by a local reputable housebuilder and not on an estate.

In the 4 years that I lived in the new build, the only problem I had was a fence panel blowing down.

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On 03/05/2017 at 18:51, Frank Hovis said:

From steel frames to preformed concrete the roll call of disaster strikes terror into the hearts of mortgage surveyors everywhere: Dorloncos, Orlits, Easiforms, BISFs, Prefabs, Cornish Units.

 

On the flip side of the surveyor coin, I've seen them give the nod to 1930s bungalows with knackered soakaways causing damp, and dodgy roofs (Can't remember any more detail than that)

They're interested in the price of the land, that's it. They're for the banks protection, not yours.

Can't go wrong with bricks and mortar, indeed.

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3 hours ago, chronyx said:

On the flip side of the surveyor coin, I've seen them give the nod to 1930s bungalows with knackered soakaways causing damp, and dodgy roofs (Can't remember any more detail than that)

They're interested in the price of the land, that's it. They're for the banks protection, not yours.

Can't go wrong with bricks and mortar, indeed.

Also a survey is largely an arse-covering exercise to prevent claims on their professional insurance. I have taken a builder round in the past to give a second opinion of what needs doing and how much it would cost.

 

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No I wouldn't buy a new build. I like something that has stood a while. Some of these new places are all breeze block, and don't even have a brick outer layer.

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"Would I buy a new build or self build?" Mmm, let me see...

In the real world, the phrasing of this question would be "Would I buy a one man tent or a two man?"

How the other half live...

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Frank Hovis
8 hours ago, Tabasco Kid said:

"Would I buy a new build or self build?" Mmm, let me see...

In the real world, the phrasing of this question would be "Would I buy a one man tent or a two man?"

How the other half live...

I don't know your circumstances Tabasco but a workmate spend several years wildcamping in an old camper van, albeit he could when it was really bad sleep at his parents and I think stayed there at Christmas so he had a proper base but he mostly didn't do this and lived in his van, he saved up enough from this for a decent desposit on a small house.

I think it was about three years so savings per month vs a small flat: rent 500, council tax 100, utilities 60 = 660 *36 months = £24k

Costs of old van above having a car: minimal!  Say an extra £4k to buy it.

Cleared £20k on top of what he may have been saving anyway plus gained him loads of kudos as we were all impressed by his initiative.

 

Of course houses should not be so stupidly expensive that you would have to do this in the first place; but for now they are.

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JoeDavola

If you're going to buy a new build, make sure it's been standing for 5-10 years and you know a few people who've lived in them already and can give inside info.

I think that many of these houses that are being thrown up en masse in commuter towns around the UK will not age well at all. Both physically and in terms of how the design of them are perceived. I already see houses and flats from 15/20 years ago or so that look 'dated' because they tried to design them to look very 'hip' at the time, if that makes any sense?

A self build that was a labor of love, from someone in the know who built it to live in it as opposed to turning a profit, might actually be the best thing you could buy. A rare thing to find though I'd guess.

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27 minutes ago, JoeDavola said:

If you're going to buy a new build, make sure it's been standing for 5-10 years and you know a few people who've lived in them already and can give inside info.

I think that many of these houses that are being thrown up en masse in commuter towns around the UK will not age well at all. Both physically and in terms of how the design of them are perceived. I already see houses and flats from 15/20 years ago or so that look 'dated' because they tried to design them to look very 'hip' at the time, if that makes any sense?

A self build that was a labor of love, from someone in the know who built it to live in it as opposed to turning a profit, might actually be the best thing you could buy. A rare thing to find though I'd guess.

Depends what your tastes are. A lot of new houses on expensive estates round here, ie not Barratts, are pretty nice design-wise. A strange mix of styles, periods and materials but I like the overall effect. Where they fall down is being packed in like sardines. An example of what I'd consider a nice enough housing estate: https://goo.gl/maps/K55B971jCEs

You get an NHBC or equivalent warranty with brand new homes, which doesn't count for as much as people think -- like all warranties -- but buying one at 5-10 year point is when the warranties expire and problems start happening. The first 5 years are usually trouble free, particularly as the housebuilders are likely still on site putting up new rabbit hutches and want to create a good impression.

Otherwise, the worst case scenario actually played out on an estate near me a few years ago on a TW development: the residents started sticking up signs warning people not to buy on the estate...

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Green Devil

Why bother with a skip at today prices, just the raise the level of the garden, so I would agree with you lawn comment!

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31 minutes ago, Green Devil said:

Why bother with a skip at today prices, just the raise the level of the garden, so I would agree with you lawn comment!

Depends on what's in the skip. I had bamboo roots and nobody would collect it as they all wanted topsoil. In the end it cost a bomb to dispose of. 

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  • 1 month later...

I can barely get a fork 4 inches into places of my lawn, if I ever re-turf it will be interesting to see what's there

Found a 1990s vintage crisp packet a while back xD

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Chewing Grass

Neither, I would buy a house that has stood the test of time and refurb it myself. We all know the problems with new-builds and self-builds generally follow the idiosyncracies and skill set of their builder and the two who I know who have done it have been odd, one used the cheapest materials he could get his hands on where they couldn't be seen (staircase in particular was horrendous) and the other was obsessed with mass fill concrete, concrete commons for the inner leaf and double cement mortar.

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  • 11 months later...
Chewing Grass

This one is funny, involves Persimmon Homes as usual who like to make the most cash possible out of innocent/clueless housebuyers.

fenced-in-a-new-157791.jpg

https://inews.co.uk/news/uk/house-surrounded-fence/

Even I can see what has gone on here:-

Ooh lets turn the end house round, clad it in fake stone so it looks better than the others and give it a view. Look there is an unmade road at the front, obviously not belonging to the cunts at Persimmon..

Forget it is directly adjacent the farm access.

Forget that the buyers will think the farm access is their own personal drive to dump their C-Class on.

Then say it is nothing to do with them as the house is on their land, which it is.

The twats at Persimon Homes should have stuck the front door on the other wall.

Poor old Thomas and Rebekkah bleat:- “Rebekah and I have just started our own business and had to fight to get a mortgage and then to get this house. “We specifically bought this house, beating off a lot of competition, for its beautiful views and now they’ve gone. “Rebekah is always in tears. She is in despair – there was no warning and the fence just appeared.

So they paid Persimmon a premium, how unfortunate, wonder who did the 'survey', probably the cheapest one they could get.

 

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