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Everything you need to know about self-building your own property

With property prices continuing to increase each decade and more people wanting a specific home design that works well for their family needs, we are seeing more people turning to the idea to self-building their own property.   We not only recommend this, but we encourage it.  Self-building is the easiest and cheapest way to get the perfect property for you, with your new home meeting your specifications exactly, all you need to do it move in and enjoy it.

Of course, self-building a property is a scary notion, especially if you’ve never done it before.  We’ve all seen Grand Designs, we know how easy it is to blow the budget on a house build and we’ve seen these builds take months, even years to complete.  This makes it very scary for someone who is considering self-building with the view of saving money, but someone who has little or no experience of actually building a home.

Like everything, you just need to approach your self-build in the right way, learn the process involved and read up on useful ideas, hints and tips to help you.  Here are some really handy tips for self-building your new home.


self-building your own property

Self-build schemes

In Europe almost 50% of new properties are creased by self-builders, but in the UK this is severely reduced. For this reason the government have decided to help grow the number of self-builds in the UK which is why they have started to offer a number of schemes that self-builders can benefit from. The best example of this is their Help to Build scheme, read more about that here. This is great news for self-builders as it means you will get financial support from the government to create your new home.


The costs of self-building

Most people choose to build their own property because they want to save money, whether that’s building a home for a cheaper price than you could buy it, or building a perfect home and saving on renovation costs. According to homebuilding it will cost an average of £1,000 to £3,000/m² to build a new home.  But of course, this depends on a number of factors including:

  • Location
  • Size
  • Plan/layout
  • Number of storeys
  • Bespoke/unique specifications
  • Who is involved in building the home. i.e. the more people you employ to build the home the more it will cost in wages.


Self-build mortgages

Self-built homes are often a little cheaper than other properties and usually you can sell the property on for 25% (approx.) more than what you pay for it, which is great. However, finding and securing a self-build mortgage might be more problematic than finding a ‘standard’ mortgage.  Before you choose to self-build, we recommend you look into the financial requirements to make sure you are able to secure the right kind of mortgage you need.


Other financial options

As well as self-build mortgages, there are other ways you can fund your self-build. If you have savings, you can invest this into the property.  Equally, if you have equity in another property and are able to sell this to raise funds, you have that option too.  Some people use all these options, equity from another property sale, savings and a self-build mortgage.  The option you choose will very much depend on your financial situation.


self-building your own property

Finding a plot

After you’ve secured the funding, the next thing you need to do is find a plot for you to build your property on. When you start looking for a plot to buy, consider the following:

  • Does it have planning permission and is that about to expire before you finish your build?
  • Are there any issues regarding accessing your plot?
  • Are there any services already in place?
  • Are the title deeds for the plot ‘absolute’. If they aren’t absolute and instead are ‘possessory’ you need to take this into account when it comes to the price of the plot.


How much involvement do you want?

Another thing to consider is who will manage the build?  Are you going to be project manager?  If so, do you have the time and the skillset to do that? If not, who will you choose to manage the build instead?  A professional project manger will add additional costs to the price of the build.

Building your own property is scary, but it is also very exciting and it can actually be a lot of fun, if you go about it the right way and always remain realistic.  Our advice, research and plan and be sure you can do it before you commit because once you’ve stated investing in a self-build, you can’t go back.



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