Many of us dream of building our own home. But only the bold go on to realise their dream.
Creating an ideal home from scratch is not easy. And it’s not for everyone. Ask any three-year-old and they’ll tell you that only one little pig still had a house after all that huffing and puffing!
This essential guide to a successful build your own home project should help you keep those big bad wolves at bay.
Keep that dream alive – the rewards are there for the taking!
Finding A Plot
Choosing a plot of land for your new home is the first critical decision that you must take.
Your choice of land will be limited by two things: your budget and the land available. Check that there is a workable crossover between these to make your plans realistic.
You can start looking in places like these.
- Estate agents
- Property websites
- Local land auctions
- Your local council
- The Homes & Communities Agency website
Next probe deeper by exploring whether any land developers, farmers or utility companies are holding undeveloped land of interest to you. They may be open to offers.
Here’s a checklist to help you avoid common pitfalls or factors that can be overlooked when buying a plot of land.
- Compare the market value of nearby properties to your total costs
- Is the land on a flood plain or under a flight path?
- Are there any planned developments nearby?
- Does a public right of way cross the land?
- Check crime levels on sites such as uk
- Consider how you’ll be able to access the land and get to and from work
- Look into the catchment areas of local schools
Bear in mind that stamp duty may be applied to purchases of land for residential use.
|Price of land||Stamp duty|
|Less than £125,000||0%|
|£125,001 to £250,000||2%|
|£250,001 to £925,000||5%|
|£925,001 to £1,500,000||10%|
Arranging Self Build Finance
Of course, self build dreams need some form of financial backing if they are to become a reality. There are several ways to secure the money you need, but the four most common routes are:
- Using existing savings
- Selling your current home
- Using your current home as a surety on a loan
- Arranging a self build mortgage
What Is A Self Build Mortgage?
Self build mortgages are very similar to conventional mortgages. The main difference is that payments are staggered to coincide with various stages of your project.
With the government’s renewed support for self build there are more lenders now offering these mortgages. You can expect to need at least a 20% deposit on the land and build, though in the past this has been as little as 5%.
Choosing A Building Route
With finance in place and the land purchased, it’s time to get this house built.
Here the factors at play are:
- Your level of skills and experience
- Your available time
- Your budget
- Your project management skills
Generally speaking, it’s true that the more you do, the more you save. But, on the other hand, the longer it takes.
You need to weigh up the costs you save with the potential increase in project time and with the demands on your own time.
Your main build routes are:
- Use a self build package company. This involves minimal involvement on your part but you will, of course, pay for the privilege and can be restricted in the designs.
- Use a main contractor. Here you will be more involved in the design of your property but your chosen contractor will deliver on this. Using your plans and specification, they will take control of your site and project manage the build to completion. If you are going down this route we suggest appointing your contractor early on, as their experience and advice can be useful during the design process.
- Use builders and tradesmen. This saves costs but massively increases your commitment, time and responsibilities. It involves you organising pretty much every stage of the build. You will select, coordinate and manage the builder and tradesmen, organise equipment required and purchase materials and call off as required.
- Use your own skills with subcontractors. This is pure self build: hands on and hands dirty. But beware: cost savings can quickly be swallowed up if your skills or speed are not matches for the professionals!