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For decades the British have bought new homes as standard speculatively built products from national and regional house builders. In most cases you have to take what the builder offers, meaning there is always compromise. Add to this the high value of land and developers’ obligations to their shareholders and the buyer has generally got a pretty poor deal.

Self-build is a credible and viable alternative. Although a self-build project may appear a major undertaking, with the right planning, help and support it can be enjoyable and very satisfying. Whilst some knowledge of, or other connection with, the construction industry may be an advantage, there are plenty of examples of people doing it with no previous experience – so don’t be deterred.

It could be said the term self-build is a bit of a misnomer. Essentially, a self-builder is defined as someone who builds a house on land which is already in their ownership. In reality, there are not many self-builders who actually build the house themselves. Some project manage their build and employ a builder or individual trades to undertake the work. Others simply pass the whole project over to a builder.

What Are The Benefits?

  • It usually works out cheaper – saving typically 20-40%.
  • You get what you want – location, layout, appearance.
  • Your know the building inside-out and are sure it has been well built.

There are many forms of construction which the self builder may adopt but by far the easiest and most common is timber frame.

What Are The Reasons?

  • It is simple and relatively risk free.
  • It is fairly simple to get a home built this way.
  • It is usually one of the fastest ways of getting a home built.
  • Some kit homes are quite modestly priced.

Both UK and Scottish Governments are actively seeking growth in the self build sector and a number of initiatives of a practical and financial nature have been launched in recent times. For further information go to our Links page. Here you’ll also find independent advice on how to go about finding a plot, arranging finance and so on.

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