Barnsley entrepreneur urges first-time buyers to build their own
24 September 2012
A Barnsley entrepreneur is setting the foundations of a new business by offering an unusual solution to getting on the property ladder – build your own semi.
Paul Wright wants to persuade people that self-build doesn’t necessarily involve a grand property and a massive budget.
And he is a man who knows first-hand what can be achieved after undertaking three successful self-builds for his own family.
Paul has launched his venture – Site 4 Self Build – under the Genesis initiative for growing businesses, part of the Enterprising Barnsley programme. He expects it to expand quickly thanks to a Government drive to increase the number of self-build properties in the UK over the coming years.
Paul said: “The general perception is that building your own home is only for a wealthy select few. This isn’t true yet this idea prevents many people even considering self-build.
“My business is focused on helping people build their own three-bed semi or possibly a small detached house, and with just a small deposit to start out with. It still offers the benefits you might imagine, like creating a place designed around your lifestyle.”
Paul project manages each build from start to finish and organises every aspect of the development for the buyer, including finding land and providing labour and materials. Owners do not have to set foot on site if they don’t want to.
The homes, all built to high environmental standards, are based on an initial blueprint, but owners can choose different options to meet their own specific needs.
The whole process takes between 12 and 18 months with construction done in 26 weeks. The business has 40 houses on the drawing board so far.
Paul says the package is ideal for first-time buyers with an increasing number of companies now lending money to the self-build market.
He added: “What really appeals to house buyers is that they can log in to the website and see exactly how their build is progressing. Plus funds are held in one secure place where all involved parties can see the financial picture.”
The venture also offers clients the opportunity to invest longer-term through a series of self-builds. Paul’s own family projects in the North East, where he hails from, led to him being able to turn a deposit of a few thousand pounds into owning a four-bed detached home worth £250,000 outright.
Last year in the UK almost 14,000 new homes were self-built. However, the self-builder’s share of the market - one in ten of all new homes - is still very small compared to other countries.
The Government wants to see the industry double in size over the next few years and has set up a number of initiatives to this end. These include a £30 million rolling fund to enable larger sites to be purchased and divided into serviced plots for self-builders.
Paul, a former British Army linguist, spent seven years as a property consultant in Cyprus and project managed developments worth a total of €50 million for major construction companies.
He returned to the UK last year and settled in Barnsley where he recently launched his business through Genesis, run by Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre (BBIC) under the Enterprising Barnsley programme.
The programme is aimed at supporting high-growth innovative or knowledge-based businesses in the first year or two of life. It includes intensive business coaching support, technical assistance and business development workshops. Paul has also been provided with office accommodation in the Genesis suite at BBIC’s Wilthorpe site.
Paul said: “I had all these ideas but was lacking adequate funding and support to get the business off the ground. I felt very isolated. What I’m getting through Genesis is the true meaning of business support.
“I expect the business to grow very quickly as what I’m doing is unique, and I should be able to create three new jobs by next spring.”
Architectural designer David Houltby, director of another company on the Genesis programme DH Design Management, is working with Paul on some of the projects.
The Enterprising Barnsley programme is supported financially by the European Union. The project has attracted £2,259,511 investment into Barnsley from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development, through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Picture: Paul Wright (right), of Site 4 Self Build, and architectural designer David Houltby discuss plans.
For more information about Site 4 Self Build, contact Paul Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01226 249590 or 0770 9044126.
For more information about Genesis, contact BBIC chief executive Tim Milburn at email@example.com or on 01226 249590.
The Enterprising Barnsley programme is a partnership between Barnsley Development Agency (BDA) and Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre (BBIC).
The Enterprising Barnsley programme is part financed by the Yorkshire and Humber European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit www.communities.gov.uk/erdf