The Government is pushing new measures to make building your own home a more mainstream option. This is because as a nation we still lag well behind our European neighbours – given that only 10% of the UK's new homes are self-builds, compared with around 50% in other European countries. However, this gap could soon close with plans to make self-builders exempt from a tax that used to apply to all buildings over a certain size.
If you are considering building your own home, then it goes without saying that you will need a sizeable amount of cash to get started; although the number of lenders has shrunk, self-build mortgages are still available from high street lenders. Then you will need to find the right plot and go through the appropriate planning process. For help you should get in touch with estate agents and landowners directly, or have a look through online portals. Specialist agencies can also be a good source of help in finding out what land is available and at what price. It can also be worthwhile considering existing smaller properties if they are on a large plot of land – as this gives you the option to demolish and start again.
When it comes to the build, it can also be worthwhile talking to your local builders’ merchant. Not just for the trade professional – you can get expertise and advice from an un-biased source, which can be incredibly valuable. Jewson can offer assistance through their Self-build Consultation Service, which can offer essential guidance throughout the project from foundations to completion.
Local branches can offer dedicated support, specialist services - sustainable materials, tool hire, kitchen and bathroom showrooms, landscaping centres, timber mills - as well as access to an even wider specialist product range. It can also be useful to have a self build advisor visit your site to discuss anything from bricks and blocks to renewable technologies such as solar PV systems, rainwater harvesting and ground source heat pumps.
In addition to advice on tools, products and methods, some small amount of training can be invaluable, particularly on innovations such as sustainable product solutions and renewable technologies. Builders merchants can help with where to find this hands-on experience that isn’t just useful for your build, but in all your DIY projects, big or small.
The important point to remember is that self-building isn’t for everyone but if you’ve got the right amount of passion and enough guidance behind you – it can be an incredibly rewarding experience and one that will ultimately result in your dream home.