What do I need to consider when thinking about a self-build project?
Self-build projects account for 7-10 per cent of new housing in England each year (around 12,000 homes) and research shows that more than half of the population would like to build their own home at some stage in their lives. It is a large undertaking, that requires time and dedication but will result in a home that is perfectly suited to your needs and your lifestyle.
Self-build homes have become very popular over recent years, resulting in increased commercial services and support for a self-builders.
Some of the benefits of building your own home include choosing a specific location, you can decide on the size and layout of the house and you can specify the design and build style of the house.
There are an abundance of choices when it comes to building your home, Self-build homes can be in the form of a single home; a custom made home, fully designed by you with the services of an architect perhaps, or a ‘kit home’ which is where packages of materials are supplied for a specific house size for you to build and finish.
There are also different construction methods to consider. You may opt for the traditional 'block and brick' method or a modular home, also known as prefab or one-piece.
In addition to this, you can choose how involved you wish to be in the build. You can work with an architect to design and plan your home, hire tradespeople to construct the house and add essential services and utilities and even decorators to finish the house. Alternatively, you can have the shell constructed, leaving you to do the rest.
There is a lot of flexibility in a self-build project and you can do as much or as little of the work as you like - budget permitting.
There are many points to consider through the project planning and build phases, such as:
A website providing a wealth of information on all aspects of self-build is available, the site is the result of a joint initiative between government and the custom build housing industry. It provides encouragement and impartial advice to people who want to build their own home to suit their family’s needs. It forms part of the government’s Housing Strategy to bring about a custom build housing revolution.
The site includes an interactive guide to self build, where you can key in details of your own situation (your budget, the location and the size of house) and the guide will automatically calculate whether it’s feasible. If not you can adjust preferences until you can generate a realistic result and start your project.
The site also has practical information about the different types of construction methods you can use, developer projects and the legalities of building your own home.