Static Caravans for Self Builds

Static caravans are a great solution for temporary accommodation for self-build projects and offer a short term alternative when your self build project gets off the ground. There are many things to consider when choosing a static caravan for a self build project and at SBL Caravan Centre, we have supplied a large number of caravans for these types of projects since 1989.  The question that we are always asked is ‘what type of caravan is most suitable for a self build project?’ The answer is always different and is determined by the individual and your needs during that project.

How Much Should I Spend on a Static Caravan for a Self Build Project?

This is an open ended question, typically many customers start with a budget that is as low as possible but this may change once your requirements become clear. For those likely to be using the caravan during the winter, we do recommend at least double glazing and preferably also central heating. However, customers budgets do not always stretch to these things and so we work with you to find the best caravan for your money. It is worth noting that spending more on a static caravan to get something a bit newer or with specification will likely mean you achieve more when you come to sell the caravan once your self build project is finished. Some times the net spend can therefore be comparative.

Static caravans for use as office space

If you are looking for a static caravan as an on site office rather than for accommodation, your best option may well be at the very lowest end of the market. These tend to come untested and described as a ‘shed’ but can still be a useful space to use as you intend. If you do not require gas/water services, then a Used static caravan that is no longer fit for living in can be lower priced and offer a great solution as a site office.  However, you may require a site office to have working hot water and a toilet and so a more standard caravan may be more suitable. It is worth noting that on most occasions, the beds in a caravan can be removed, giving you some empty rooms to use as you wish.

What Features are Important in the Static Caravan?

If your self build project is going to run through the winter months, we do suggest a caravan with double glazing and central heating. Gas central heating will provide a better, more constant heat than any other kind of heating. With the use of a timer and/or thermostat you can ensure the temperature in your caravan stays comfortable. Double glazing will help to keep the warmth in. Some wonder if it is worth spending more for double glazing. We tend to make the point that there is a lot of windows & doors in a caravan and if all that glass area has two layers rather than one, it will be a benefit. The additional benefit of double glazing is that if will often reduce the condensation in a caravan. During colder months the temperature inside a caravan can be much higher than outside and this can lead to moisture developing on the glass. You may find that some of the extra cost of buying a double glazed caravan will be negated in the form of lower bills over a winter.

Most preowned static caravans are built to holiday home specification EN1647 but more modern static caravans will tend to be better insulated than older models.

If you do not have central heating you may instead had electric heathers. These are usually called either panel heaters or plinth heaters. Panel heaters are usually a flat surface approx. 400-600mm wide/heigh and around an inch thick. These are fitted to the wall and radiate heat. Plinth heaters are usually fitted to the bottom or top of a wardrobe and blow out hot air. Depending on their use, electric heaters could cost more to run than central heating. Electric heaters often do a decent job of heating a room but do not come with thermostatic or timed controls.

How Many Bedrooms are Optimal for a Self Build Static Caravan?

That really depends on the number of people that will temporarily sleep in the caravan. If the caravan will be used for one person or a couple, you would probably be best off with a two bedroomed caravan and use one bedroom for storage space. A 2 bedroom caravan will always have a larger main bedroom than a 3 bedroom model. The living space does not differ greatly between a 2 or 3 bed model. If there are going to be multiple children living in the caravan then more bedrooms may make life easier! Remember that static caravan bedrooms are typically smaller than in a house and they can quickly get filled with clothes and other belongings! It’s worth remembering that most beds can be removed, so if you had two children, each with their own bedroom, the additional bed in each room could be removed in favour of additional storage.

Is it Best to Hire or Buy a Static Caravan for a Self Build?

The vast majority of customers end up buying a static caravan for the simple reason that it is generally more cost effective as you can often sell your caravan back to your dealer at the end of the project. Self Build projects tend to over run in terms of time, they are also typically used for a period of at least 12 months, if not longer, making it financially more prudent to buy the static caravan and then sell it on when your project is finished. When you work out the costs of hiring a caravan, it usually is far more cost effective to buy and then re-sell. We do not offer any hire services.

Is a Static Caravan a Good Choice for a Self Build?

If you require temporary accommodation during the process of a self build project, the vast majority of people have two choices. Either take out a short term property rental or buy a static caravan as temporary accommodation. Renting a property can be expensive, especially for an extended period and usually eats into the budget available for the self build. Rental properties are also currently extremely difficult to find.