How to get started
Like any house purchase, preparation and research is key. As there are many more elements to self-build, it’s worth putting in some time and effort finding out as much as you can before you embark on a project.
Assess whether it’s cheaper to buy
You may want to self-build because you enjoy the challenge or because you think that there isn’t an equivalent property on the open market, but it’s worth checking what’s out there before you start.
There may be a property that almost meets your specifications and, with some work, could be the home you want. This way means you’ll spend less time and effort getting the property that works for you.
However, you may find somewhere that meets all your specifications but you would be able to replicate it for a fraction of the price, in which case it’s worth taking the challenge of self-build.
Work out your budget
Just as you would if buying an existing property, the first thing when considering a self-build is to work out your budget.
|Cost consideration||More details|
|The cost of land, architect’s fees, builders, specialist tradespeople, materials, fixtures and fittings and everything else you need to build a property from scratch.||You may opt for a DIY route where you do most of the building work yourself, using professional trades such as plumbers and electricians when you need to, or you can oversee the process and employ a surveyor, architect and tradesmen to do all the work for you. Alternatively, you can arrange for a contractor to manage the whole project for you. Each will carry their own costs.|
|Your finances||What you are committed to spending each month and what your income is.|
|Ongoing costs||Such as paying rent or a mortgage on your existing home while your new home is built.|
Your First Mortgage advisor can look at your finances and what capacity you have to take on other financial commitments before you apply for a self-build mortgage.
Find land to build a home on
Land to self-build on is becoming increasingly harder to find in some areas of the country. However, there are some excellent guides to finding land (see links below) and estate agents, land agencies, planning departments and builders can point you in the right direction.
In England, the Government is doing more to help people build their own homes with the launch of Right to Build in 2016. This obliges councils to assess their provision of land and make sure they have plots available for self-builders. Most of these plots will be serviced, with utilities and planning permission already in place.