How to plan for a self build

If you’re planning a self build it may not be as difficult as you think.  Since the 31st October 2016 a new legislation came into force giving you the Right to Build your own home and councils now have a duty to grant planning permission for sufficient plots of land to meet this demand.  It’s hoped that the scheme will increase the number of self and custom build homes in the UK to 20,000 per year, and each authority should publicise its Right to Build register.

How to find that plot of land… One way is to drive around the area you’re looking to build your new home.  Alternatively search online for directories with plotfinding services (like

Then it’s onto the finances.  At the start of a self build project, keeping an eye on your budget is key.  You’ll need to be aware of the following factors that may send your build costs sky high.

Location:  Depending where you’re looking to build will depend on the cost of the land, prices can vary considerably from county to county.

Size:  The bigger the house the more expensive as you would imagine, if you can be economical on the scale with careful design it’s worth considering.

Plan, shape and layout:  A square floor plan is the simplest and most cost effective, but square isn’t very imaginative when designing your own living space.

Number of storeys: you can make better use of the land and reduce roof and foundation costs with multiple storeys.

Specification and finish: the more premium the products you want, the higher the cost.  This is an area where you can get carried away.

Get involved: the more you can do yourself, the lower the total cost will be.  Can you learn a new trade, plumb in a bathroom suite, lay some slabs maybe.

On average, a self build costs anywhere between £1000 and £3000 / m².

For anybody planning a self build, the world wide web is an invaluable resource giving help and advice on each stage of the project.  Do your research, seek professional advice where necessary, don’t rush and get involved.


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