3 First Steps for Self-Builders

Building your own home might seem like an unachievable dream, but it can easily become a reality. Often, aspiring newcomers are worried about the size of the project, their lack of building experience and the financial aspects. However, with the right planning and the use of experienced professionals, you can have a successful self-built house.

Finding the Right Site

Researching available sites in your desired area is a crucial first step, as this will dictate the size and style of property that is achievable. Figures from the National Custom and Self-Build Association show that around 6.5 million people are currently at the research or planning stage of a self-build project.

There are a number of aspects that you should take into consideration when you’re searching for a site. This includes access, the likelihood of receiving planning permission and any environmental issues, such as the need to use a land remediation service.

Planning and Design

You’ll need to provide a lender with details of the proposed design, as well as information on where you are in the planning process. It’s important to have the plans drawn up correctly, by using a builder or architect. This will ensure that the property is in proportion, all the vital aspects are covered off and it will be more likely to get through the planning approval system.

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Accessing Finance

Self-building is not a cheap option and there are a number of factors that you need to budget for. Before you look at getting a self-build mortgage, it’s important to have a detailed budget in place that covers all the likely costs. These should include building costs, materials, fees, insurance, land costs, stamp duty, other services (such as companies like and the price of alternative accommodation during the building work.

Lenders will also want to examine your plans and details of planning permission before approving a mortgage. The majority of self-build mortgages are through building societies, as the models used by major lenders don’t typically suit the need for staged payments.

Once a self-build project is complete it’s a satisfying experience to know that you’re living in a home that you designed and built yourself. With the right support and advice, even home owners with a limited knowledge of the industry can successfully build a home that is exactly what they need.