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Building Your Home

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build [bild] verb ]


1. to construct (especially something complex) by assembling and joining parts or materials: to build a house.


uilding your own home is one of the biggest and most exciting projects you could ever undertake. With so many decisions to make, what keeps you going throughout the process is the knowledge that you are not just building a house, but a home custom designed for your lifestyle. EBS has been helping people finance their purpose built homes for many years, so we’ve put together this Pocket Guide to Building your Home to help you in the process. In this Guide we look at some of the things you need to consider when building your home, from financing your build with EBS to some of the key milestones along the way. We also meet some EBS self-builders to find out how they did it. Good luck with your home building project and if you’d like to discuss it with us at any stage, do get in touch.

For more details, drop into your local EBS, log on to www.ebs.ie or call 1850 654 321. 1

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Getting started All around Ireland people are building their own homes. Some have been gifted sites by family, some have purchased the land of their dreams. All have one thing in common, the desire to create a custom-designed home for their families.



trought the guid

throughou this Guide


Financing your build


f you’re thinking of building your own home, you will be making lots of decisions before you even break ground and even more before you turn the key in your new front door.

Funding your build will be one of your key priorities and a good place to start is at ebs.ie where you can use the handy on-line calculators to check-out mortgage affordability and repayments. The next step is to drop into your local EBS or call 1850 654 321 to speak to one of our mortgage experts, who can help you through the mortgage process.

Trina Lawlor and Joseph Lynch, Co. Louth

Martin Phillips and Noreen McCarthy with Henry (3) and Elsa (1), Co. Limerick

With an EBS Self-Build Mortgage you’ll get the perfect combination – flexible payments tailored to suit your building schedule and experienced staff who can guide you through the mortgage process.

The EBS Self-Build Mortgage also features: ✓ Competitive interest rates including Variable relative to your Loan to Value and Fixed; ✓ Dedicated mortgage advisors to help you every step of the way; ✓ First Time Buyer - up to 90% of the value of the home you want to build for mortgages up to €220,000, maximum of 80% loan to value applies on any value thereafter. Up to 80% loan to value available for non first time buyer; ✓ Repayment terms up to 35 years, subject to the age of borrowers; ✓ Flexible stage payments, ensuring finance when you need it – a maximum of five stages is recommended; ✓ Interest-only payments available for 12 months or until all funds are drawn down – whichever is sooner; ✓ You will need to be over 18 and security will be required before you can obtain a mortgage; ✓ What you can borrow will also depend on what you can comfortably afford to repay monthly, this typically should not exceed 35% of your disposable income, however this may vary according to individual circumstances; ✓ You will require Mortgage Protection and House Insurance which can be arranged via EBS or you may purchase this through another Insurance company.

p14 Terms and conditions apply. See page 16 or www.ebs.ie for details. 2

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Ten things you need to know ...before building your home

Getting your building project finished on budget and on time is everyone’s dream. Here are some other things worth knowing before you decide to build your own home. Employing the right architect to design and manage your build will take a lot of the stress out of the process and may save you money in the long run. Find an architect through personal recommendations or at www.riai.ie.

Applying for planning permission is laborious and time consuming, but essential. Consult a qualified architect or engineer with planning experience in the location of your site before you apply for the permission. You should also check your Local Area Plan, which will give you a good indication of what lies ahead for your locality. Don’t even attempt to start work on site until you receive the grant of permission, as distinct from the notice of intention to grant permission. 4

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Stage payments allow for money to be paid as work is completed and you are satisfied. Whenever any money is exchanged, always insist on a signed receipt. It is essential that trades people employed on your build have certification and are affiliated to the relevant association. Be wary of employing contractors in an ‘unofficial capacity’ as you may be denied legal recourse if things go wrong.

To get an accurate quote, you’ll need to supply the trades with as much information about your build as possible including: • A full set of accurate and current plans and drawings • Specification documentation • Details of any materials you want/ any you will be providing • Details of any work you will be handling or subcontracting • Details of any preliminaries (e.g. site clearance, demolition, etc) Make sure the quote clearly shows the tradesperson’s name, address and landline telephone number. Read all quotes carefully to make sure the trades have fully understood your brief. Don’t forget to check if the quote includes VAT, as this will have an impact on your final invoice. Always insist on a revised quote for any additional work before that work is carried out. Check, too, if their work is guaranteed and if guarantees are insurance-backed. Ask to see the tradesperson’s public liability insurance certificate. Make sure you insure your site and your build. With an EBS Self-Build Mortgage you can get free Course of Construction Insurance, so you pay nothing for the first 12 months while you are building your property. Details from your local EBS, phone 1850 654 321 or check out ebs.ie. EBS Home Insurance is brought to you by EBS Limited and is solely underwritten by Allianz p.l.c. Standard acceptance criteria, terms and conditions apply. Allianz p.l.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

Think twice before choosing too low a quote and be aware of the difference between an estimate and a quotation. A quotation should be a written exact price for the job whereas an estimate is an educated guess. You should always get a quote before you hire. Get a minimum of three quotes and make sure that quotes are based on the same specification.

When you are building your own home, you need to be aware of radon, a colourless, odourless and tasteless naturally occurring radioactive gas, which is prevalent in some parts of the country. You should install a radon barrier and sumps at the time of construction as this will greatly reduce the cost and the disruption associated with remediation. Once your house is built test for radon over a minimum three month period to assess radon levels. The test costs from €40. When your house is finished you will need to devise a snag list for your building contractor or project manager. Don’t make the final payment until all jobs have been finished to your satisfaction. There should be a final re-inspection before the process is signed off. However, you should not expect to receive massive discounts because of your snag list. 5

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Budgeting for the self-build


anaging the cost of building your home is like managing a small business. Your build costs are influenced by the size, level of specification, number of storeys, and the extent to which you will be personally involved in the building project. Understanding your costs and managing them prudently is key to getting the home you want within your budget. COST BREAKDOWN The figures here are just a guide to help you work out an approximate cost of your project. They show the approximate percentage of the total cost of your new home, through each stage of the build. Start by estimating your total costs and add a further 20 per cent to this figure for unforeseen costs.



Top tip Check online for an Irish Build Cost Estimator which allows you to obtain a detailed list of everything that you will need to build the house, right down to the nails in the skirting board.


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Top Tips


Be realistic about the number of window openings you need. Windows can be one of the biggest single costs in the build and are also sources for heat loss later on. If you want a lot of space for less, go for a two-storey house instead of a bungalow, which has a much larger foundation and needs more roof coverage and therefore has higher initial site costs. When planning for the roof and walls, remember that the more angles and gables you opt for, the more material, more time and more money you need. To save on these costs, keep it straight and keep it simple. Heating and waste system options vary hugely. Don’t just consider the up-front costs. Check on running costs and long-term maintenance for the most economical system over all. If you are building on a sloping site, you must be prepared to add a few thousand euros to your build for every five degree slope you have to deal with. Unforeseen ground conditions, overruns, delivery delays or even the loss of a subcontractor can all have a major impact on your budget. Since better energy efficiency is an obligation, more of your budget should be attributed to insulation, energy choices and heating sources. This will pay dividends as the house ages.

2 Costing your build Site clearance Foundation External walls and insulation Roof Windows and external doors Upper floor Stairs Internal walls Internal doors Floor finishes Wall finishes Ceiling finishes Heating Electrical installation Water installation (cold/warm) Waste & sanitary Kitchen Built-in cupboards Professional fees This information is based on an average, detached, two-storey house. *Source: Build Your Own House and Home Annual.

3% 9% 17% 9% 7% 2% 1% 2.5% 2.5% 4% 5% 2% 6% 4% 2% 7% 5% 1% 11%


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Step-by-step self-build planner Keep on track and on time with your new build with our essential step-by-step schedule SIX WEEKS BEFORE START DATE ● Arrange site insurance. If you have contracted a builder, they are responsible for the site and what happens on it. If you are a selfbuilder or using direct labour, you are considered the contractor and responsible for site insurances as well as a number of other elements. ● Submit a commencement notice to your local authority a minimum of 14 and a maximum of 28 days before you start. ● Arrange a water supply to your site by either temporarily connecting to a neighbour’s supply, drilling your own well, or connecting to a mains supply where available. Ensure you are complying with conditions outlined in your planning permission. ● Get an electricity supply on site for lighting and power tools by contacting your local ESB office (in remote locations this can take 12 weeks or more and may cost several thousand euro). Alternatively, hire a generator. You should also arrange secure on-site storage and a portable toilet. ● Fence off the site and/or plant boundary holding and put in a lockable gate. Erect public notices and warnings (i.e. ‘hard hats must 8

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be worn’; ‘construction sites are dangerous areas’; ‘no entry’). ● Put in an access road if necessary and a hard stand area (an area to put digger / materials on). Level the site and clear it (tree and hedge removal etc).


01 Setting out site and house (one day) ● Surveyor/ builder’s engineer sets out the site. ● Debris and top soil is removed from site (top soil may be put aside for later use). Dig the foundations and trenches for services (three days) ● If soil needs to be disposed of cost should be factored in. ● Reinforce steel placed in trenches. ●Architect/engineer to inspect trenches and steel work.


02 Pouring concrete foundations (one day) ● Ready-mixed build concrete suppliers will have been notified, and sometimes paid in advance. They will normally organise the concrete pumping. ● The precise amount of concrete needed for the foundations will be calculated by the surveyor.

Building the rising walls (one to two weeks) ● Build blockwork on the foundations below ground up to the underside of the floor slab. ● Backfill excavations with hard core (big stones) and binding course (20mm bed of sand). ● Install radon sump and outlet pipes (recommended). Damp Proof Course (DPC) radon barrier (one week) ● A radon barrier can cost around €1,500 and can double as your DPC. ● As you cannot check for radon before the house is built, a radon course is essential. ● An architect/engineer will inspect DPC/radon barrier. Oversite slab (two days) ● The construction company will build/pour the oversite slab. ● An architect/engineer will inspect.


03 First floor structure (three weeks) ● Build superstructure to first floor level. ● Build first floor structure/roof beams (may require crane on site) and fix batten clips for ceiling. ● An architect/ engineer will inspect up to first floor level.



Build structure to wall plate (three weeks) ● Build up to wall plate. ● Bricklayer installs and anchors wall plate. ● An architect/engineer will inspect up to wall plate.


05 Chimneys and gables (one week) ● Build gable ends and build chimney through roof. ● Carpenter raises rearend trusses as templates for gable-end brickwork and blockwork. ● Arrange leadwork.


06 Roof structure (one week) ● Plumber to install large tanks in attic before trusses spaced. ● Carpenter fixes remaining trusses and roof structure, places carcassing for dormer windows, fascias and soffits and any other roofs, like porch or bay window roof. ● Weathering building, installation of windows and external doors. ●Landscaping. 9

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Finish roof (three weeks) ● Flashings to chimney, walls, dormers, etc. ● Felt, batten and tile roof. ● Plumber fi xes guttering and downpipes; decorator paints before scaffolding comes down. Glazing all windows/doors. ● External renderings and decorate fascias and soffits.


08 First fix carpentry (three weeks) ● Internal carpentry for partition walls, battens for plasterboard ceiling, staircase. ● Install cylinders and tanks in attic. ● Finish external decoration.


09 First fix plumbing and electrics (two weeks) ● Positions of power points, switches, lights, TV points, cooker, security alarms, white goods, speaker system, etc. and complete wiring. ● Allow for central vacuum system, if required. ● All piping and ducting 10

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for radiators, heated towel rails, underfloor heating. ● Install hot and cold supply. ● A preliminary /blower door test can be beneficial to assess the air tightness of installed doors/windows.


10 Connect drains (two weeks) ● Dig trenches for drains from house to inspection chamber. ● Backfill drains and service trenches. ● Connect mains gas and water and electricity. ● Bricklayer builds internal fireplaces or decorative internal brickwork.


11 Floors/plaster (three weeks) ● Plasterboard to ceilings and studded partitions. ● Plaster all walls and skim all ceilings and walls.



Second fix carpentry (three weeks) ● Hang internal doors, skirtings, architrave, bottom tread and balustrades to stairs and landing. ● Lay wooden floors, lay stone flooring or floor tiles.


13 Install kitchen and fitted furniture (two weeks) ● Install kitchen and fitted furniture.


14 Second fix plumbing and electrics (two weeks) ● Fit bathroom, plumb in white goods in kitchen, fit radiators. ● Fit all light fittings, switches and sockets. ● Connect cooker hood, fit smoke detectors. ● Commission Certificate of Completion for electrics and gas.


15 Boiler, insulation and tiling (two weeks) ● Test boiler and adjust system programme thermostats. ● Install roof insulation. ● Fix wall tiles to bathroom, kitchen and utility.


16 Decoration (two weeks) ● Thoroughly clean house and make ready for decoration. ● Prepare surfaces for decoration, seal and undercoat. ● Paint all interior, ceilings, walls and woodwork.


assessor carry out BER final assessment. ● Carry out airtightness test


18 Final inspection/moving in (two weeks)


19 Defects period (six months) ● Allow the systems, particularly heating and plumbing, to be tested over the period of two seasons.


20 Correct any defects

17 Snagging and externals, BER assessment (two weeks) ● Internal repairs/ decoration. ● Carpet fitting. ● Basic landscaping, turf, paving and seed lawn areas. ● Have architect/engineer inspect all items. ● Check steps 11-17 periodically and prepare snag list at the practical completion of the project. ● Have SEI registered 11

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Louth and clear Trina Lawlor and Joseph Lynch check out progress on their new build in Co. Louth


fter a yearlong battle to get planning permission to build a house on her parents’ land in Donore, just outside Drogheda, Co Louth, Trina Lawlor was very happy to find that her application to EBS for a self-build mortgage was stress-free. Trina, a Montessori teacher, and her partner, Joseph Lynch, a plumber, had been living in a rented house for about


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two years. The couple who have a son, Leighton, 9, and a daughter, Lexie, one-and-a-half, were thrilled to be offered a half an acre site by Trina’s parents. “I always wanted to live beside my parents and stay in the area,” says Trina. “Joseph’s family home is eight miles away, in the same parish and we wanted to live within walking distance of local amenities. My mother also minds Lexie and Leighton attends the

local primary school, so there were loads of reasons why building our own home made sense.” To help save money for their new home the couple moved in with Trina’s parents, while waiting for their planning permission and mortgage approval. Living in the scenic Boyne Valley area, near the ancient temple of the hugely

popular tourist attraction of Newgrange, constructed over 5,000 years ago, has its advantages. However, the beauty of the setting didn’t make things easy for Trina and Joseph when it came to seeking planning permission. “It took about a year for us to get planning permission and we had to change the design a number of times. The options we were given by the County Council were a two-storey farmhouse or a very plain bungalow, so we went for the bungalow using direct labour,” Trina says. EBS came highly recommended through Joseph’s brothers, so the couple decided to apply for their mortgage there. “The team in EBS Drogheda was really helpful, very approachable and great at explaining the various stages of the process and helping us through them. They sent me a list of reminders about what they needed. It was quite daunting going through the whole process for the first time but EBS simplified everything,” Trina says. Planning permission was finally granted in August 2012 and construction took approximately a year. The four stage payments for the self-build mortgage

were processed on time, avoiding potential delays on construction. When the family moved into their new home in September, it was a dream realised. “At one stage, with all the planning permission problems, we were on the verge of giving up. A house across the road came up for sale and we

thought about buying that. But I just decided not to give up on my dream,” Trina says. Now happily settled in their new four-bed home, the family is relieved to have their own bespoke living space. “I have great plans for decoration. I love country style décor and I want to make this house a home,” Trina says.

{ } Reader’s tip

“If you’re planning to build your own home, shop around and ask to see examples of tradespeople’s work. Personal recommendations are really valuable. Having a partner who works in the building trade was helpful – but we worked on the basis of recommendations.” Trina Lawlor

Trina and Joseph’s new home is near the popular tourist attraction of Newgrange

For more information about financing your self-build drop into your local EBS, log on to www.ebs.ie or call 1850 654 321. Woods Financial Services Limited trading as EBS Drogheda is a tied mortgage agent acting solely on behalf of EBS Limited.


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Field of dreams

Martin and Noreen’s new home is just outside Limerick

Pictured at their self-build home in Scart, Limerick are Martin Philips and Noreen McCarthy with Harry (3) and Elsa (1)


hile Martin Phillips, an electrician and his wife Noreen McCarthy, a nurse, will be sad to leave their current home in Annacotty, Co Limerick, they are looking forward to having more space in the four-bed dormer house they are building on a half an acre in Scart, Killonan. “We love living in Annacotty but with two children, Harry, 3 and Elsa, 1, we found the


space tight,” says Martin. “We have three bedrooms but one is just a box room, and we don’t have a garden. The estate is

lovely – we couldn’t ask for a nicer place and we will be sorry to leave.” However, when the chance came to build

{ }

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Reader’s tip

“It’s a buyers’ market out there now, so take your time when selecting a builder, be resilient, and do your research. Word of mouth is king. My builder was able to take me to at least three houses he had worked on, and the owners trusted him so much they left the key out for us.” Martin Phillips

a bigger house on a site owned by Noreen’s family, it was an offer they couldn’t refuse. “It is a beautiful setting and will be ideal for the kids. There are fields behind our site and the location is so convenient – we will be less than three miles from Annacotty and two miles from the motorway. We will also be near shops, restaurants and the University of Limerick,” says Martin, who is a member of Limerick Cycling Club and Limerick Athletic Club. Planning permission took time to come through with a lot of requests for additional information.

However, work on the house is now well underway. ‘The blockwork is complete and the next stage of roofing has just started” says Martin adding that they have been very fortunate with their choice of builders who have been so obliging and professional. The couple are no strangers to EBS as Noreen availed of an EBS mortgage to buy the house in Annacotty before she met Martin who also had an EBS account. They were approved for a self-build mortgage with five stage payments by the Dooradoyle EBS team. “Pauline McCarthy

there has been fantastic. I have nothing but praise for her and the team there,” says Martin. “They are all very nice and extremely helpful. It is like dealing with your friends. Everything is explained in layman’s language – there is no bureaucracy,” he adds. “What I really like about EBS is that you know where you stand. Everyone is forthcoming, yet the atmosphere is very relaxed and the service is really personal. EBS doesn’t mind you ringing and asking about anything. A few queries arose through the process but everything was sorted out really quickly,” Martin says. Not only will their new home offer them much needed additional interior and exterior space, it also has a train track nearby, much to little Harry’s delight. “He is fascinated with trains so that is a big draw for him. As for myself, I’ll have more room for my digital piano,” laughs Martin.

For more information about financing your self-build, drop into your local EBS, log on to www.ebs.ie or call 1850 654 321. Rahin Financial Services Limited trading as EBS Dooradoyle is a tied mortgage agent acting solely on behalf of EBS Limited. 15

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Home Mortgage Regulatory Information Important Regulatory Information

Warning: If you do not meet the repayments on your loan, your account will go into arrears. This may affect your credit rating, which may limit your ability to access credit in the future.

Execution and registration of the mortgage deed will involve payment by you of your solicitor's fees, outlays and registration fees. The amount of solicitor's fees can be determined by negotiation with your solicitor, who will also inform you of the amount of the outlays and registration fees. We will charge you €60 for executing a discharge, release or vacate of a mortgage. A valuation of the property must be carried out by a valuer on our approved panel of valuers. You will pay for this valuation which should not cost you more than approximately €150. You will pay for a re-valuation or final valuation of the property if the conditions of your loan require one prior to the loan being made available for drawdown or following the completion of the building of the property, renovations or repairs to the property. This valuation should not cost you more than approximately €65. Information correct as at 01.06.15

Warning: The cost of your monthly repayments may increase.

The following is applicable only where the interest rate is FIXED

Warning: If you do not keep up your repayments you may lose your home.

Warning: You may have to pay charges if you pay off a fixed-rate loan early. Warning: This new loan may take longer to pay off than your previous loans. This means you may pay more than if you paid over a shorter term. Warning: The entire amount that you have borrowed will still be outstanding at the end of the interest only period.

WARNING: YOUR HOME IS AT RISK IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP PAYMENTS ON A MORTGAGE OR ANY OTHER LOAN SECURED ON IT. THE PAYMENT RATES ON THIS HOUSING LOAN MAY BE ADJUSTED BY THE LENDER FROM TIME TO TIME. (Applies to variable rate loans only) Note: The above notice in respect of adjustments to repayment rates will not apply during any period when the loan is at a fixed rated. If you or your dependants intend to use the property as a principal place of residence, you must show evidence of mortgage protection insurance, unless you are exempt under the Consumer Credit Act 1995 (you can seek this insurance through us or from other sources). EBS Home Insurance is solely underwritten by Allianz p.l.c. Maximum loan to value of Owner Occupier Residential Properties - 90% of purchase price or valuation whichever is lower. Lending levels are subject to monthly repayment burden, typically not exceeding c. 35% of borrowers disposable income and will vary according to individual circumstances. Loan requests considered on the basis of proof of income, financial status and demonstrated repayment capacity (including capacity to repay at higher interest rates). Loans not available to people under 18. Mortgage loans require to be secured by a mortgage and charge on the subject property. A typical €100,000 20 year Variable interest rate mortgage for an Owner Occupier residential Property with LTV greater than 80% will have monthly repayments of €603.35APR 4.0%. If the APR does not vary during the term of the mortgage, the total cost of credit i.e. total amount repayable less the amount of the mortgage, would be €44,803.74. The effect of a 1% increase in interest rates for such a mortgage will add €53.85 to monthly repayments. 16

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An early redemption charge is payable in the following cases where the fixed interest rate period has not expired: (a) if a capital payment or full repayment is made to the Loan, including an involuntary/ voluntary payment from a third party source e.g. a payment from a Mortgage Protection policy, or (b) if the Loan is converted to a variable interest rate, or (c) if the Loan is converted to another fixed interest rate. The formula to calculate the early redemption charge is A x U x D%, where “A” is the amount being repaid early or the amount being converted to a variable rate or another fixed rate term and “U” is the remaining number of days left before the fixed rate is due to expire, divided by 365, and “D” is the difference between the original cost of funds and the cost of funds for the fixed rate period remaining. Worked example: Assume a 5 year fixed rate loan. Full repayment of €100,000 after 3 years (A); remaining term 2 (U); difference in cost of funds 2% (D). The early redemption charge would be as follows: (A) 100,000 * (U) 2 * (D) 2% = €4,000. EBS Limited is an authorised agent and servicer of EBS Mortgage Finance (a whollyowned subsidiary of EBS Limited). EBS Mortgage Finance is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. EBS Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Registered Office: 2 Burlington Road, Dublin 4, Ireland. Registered in Ireland No. 500748.


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www.ebs.ie The people featured in this guide received a gratuity for their time in its compilation. The content of this booklet is expressed in broad terms and is limited to general information purposes only. Readers should always seek professional advice to address issues arising in specific contexts and not seek to rely only on the information in this booklet which does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by EBS.

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EBS - Building Your Home  

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