Project management for self-build schemes

Survey & Design Partnership can provide a comprehensive, cost effective project management service for self-build schemes. This begins with the creation of an interdisciplinary team with expertise in the procurement of environmentally and financially sustainable buildings through user participation.

We have found self-build projects especially rewarding for end users as they promote individual development through the realisation of aspirations, participation in a joint project and social inclusion through direct participation.

The most cost effective way to manage a community self-build scheme is through a feasibility study which:
Identifies the self-builder group and establishes the competency to deliver their contribution.
Completes a training needs analysis to empower self-builders to fulfil their responsibilities.
Develops a funding strategy for the additional requirements not funded by mainstream sources.
Considers options appraisal for the most cost-effective procurement of the homes.
Considers the buildability issues that will arise.

Two examples


We worked with the local community to enhance and enlarge their existing community centre. Because of the small budget, it was decided to turn the project into a self-build scheme. Together with the community, we designed the scheme, organised a training and build programme, provided cost control, and helped with the build process.

Early stage in the self-build project at Surrey Lane


This scheme of 14 houses for rent was completed on time and within budget - a first for the client and rare in self-build. With our support, the team chose a modern method of construction, Masonite timber frame walls, which cost more but saved months in time and so saved money overall. We trained the team to use our spreadsheet programme to control costs and cut waste.

Chinbrook Meadows

In combination with our normal project manage­ment service, we work with Tim Oshodi who has over 20 years experience in community self-build projects both in this country and internationally; he offers advice and support to groups of self-builders, from group recruitment through to successful completion of the scheme.

Tim has been involved in the project management of all stages of community self-build schemes from initiation to handover. His expertise includes group development and competency, fundraising, funding for up to NVQ level 3 training. He is qualified as an NLP trainer and has developed a series of training programmes that empower self-builders to realise their leadership capacity.

As part of that service, he provides leadership training programmes for self-builders that include:
group empowerment, responsibility and competence
conflict resolution
help with group motivation and discipline.

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Self-build homes at Chinbrook Meadows

Through increased participation in the design and construction of their homes self-build schemes tap into the aspirations and deepest motivations of self-builders. They have the potential to transform individuals in housing need into proactive community leaders in the wider regeneration of their neighbourhoods.

Survey & Design Partnership

Survey & Design Partnership
70 Cowcross Street
London EC1M 6EJ

Tel  020 7639 6255

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