Self-build has been considered by many purists that it is a system of mainly getting one’s hands dirty to construct a home. As a substantial number of dwellings and slums in many poor countries are built by locals themselves, they are not considered to be part of the self-build approach. Yes, they are constructing houses themselves, but that leans more towards vernacular architecture, which is a system of constructing dwellings in response to one’s society using local traditional methods without the help of any architect or professional. On the other hand, self-build reveals an applicable vernacular for our time as it is more systematic and methodical. It is an approach in which the residents organize, plan and construct the build of their future homes using various construction methods that may be examined by architects and professionals. However, is it worth the residents taking full responsibility and action in not just the construction of the dwelling, but also the entire process of how their living spaces will functionally and aesthetically look like?
A saying that has been widely said by self-build supporters is that “no one will provide more care or fulfil to your needs more than yourself.” the tradition system of housing that are built by developers, then bought and moved in by people, have been stated by Dominic Stevens that “the houses people live in are not so varied, and are rarely suitable or flexible enough to accommodate their inhabitants comfortable.” Therefore, if the government cannot respond to the needs of individuals, then perhaps they can take the advantage by becoming the designers themselves. Self-build provides the opportunity for anyone, no matter how much they lack the experience of building, to take part in constructing their own dwellings.
self-build enables users the complete ability to control and design spaces by firstly producing a brief fundamental design proposal of their needs and requirements. With the interaction of an architect, they are able to design the plans of their future dwellings tailored in their desired configuration of spaces. This could range from the style of the house, layout arrangements of rooms, the internal and external finishes and all uncommon features that users preferred.
As the self-builders are put as the main construction planners, they have more concern for quality than commercial builders. Reducing around 20-30% money than traditionally buying a house, self-builders can save the money for it to be used to finance better quality materials. Quality not just in terms of aesthetics, but also the robustness of the structure. This could provide residents to retrain the full control of cash flow and resources, meaning they could change the nature of work commenced during any specific period