Building your own home

Ever thought that it would be so much better if you could build your ideal home yourself?

This is a major undertaking as you need to find suitable land where you can get planning permission for a house. How easy this is depends on what part of the country you live in and what kind of property you want to build.

A 1 bedroom cottage will be cheaper to build than a 4 bedroom family home though by building yourself you can always start small and leave your options open to extend later.

Finally you have to decide how you want to go about building your new home. Do you have the skills to do the work yourself or will you need to employ people to do this for you?


The budget for a self build home can be divided into 4 parts: land, fees and miscellaneous costs, materials and labour.

Land, materials and labour are self-explanatory and how much you will need to budget for these depends on what, where and how you are building your home.

Be very realistic about what you can achieve yourself. Your time and health have a value and trying to spread yourself too thinly could be a struggle if not disaster.

For an accurate budget, you will need to be prepared for various fees and miscellaneous costs that are encountered along the way. Like buying a house, buying a plot of land may require the help of a solicitor. You may also require 3rd-party insurance during the build process and there may be connection fees for utilities and other services.


The good news is that building a home can work out much cheaper than buying the equivalent property ready-built but the bad news is that self build mortgages are a specialist market. We will cover them in a separate blog.

The fewer people require self build mortgages the less incentive for lenders to offer them. There is even less incentive for them to offer the wide range of options and deals available for mortgages on ready-built properties.

In practical terms, most self-build mortgages work along broadly similar lines to mortgages for ready-built homes. The buyer pays the costs up-front and then recovers the money from the lender in stages. This means that people building their own home need to have sufficient funds to hand to cover each phase of the build process until they are refunded.

It may be possible to find a self-build mortgage which pays the money for each building phase up front but prospective builders should look carefully at the cost of these mortgages. The convenience may be outweighed by extra charges.

On the subject of extra charges, self build mortgages are likely to be more expensive than traditional mortgages. This is partly because lenders see them as more risky and partly because there is less competition in the self-build market.


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