Things to consider when planning a self-build

A year like no other has seen many of us spend more time and money on DIY projects in and around our homes. Figures form the Office of National Statistics Construction Output Data showed an increase of 36% for the 3 month period prior to August 2020. With people spending more time at home they have had more time to either take on small repair projects or even turn their hands to more substantial renovation work.

This period of time has also for many of us made us think about where we are living and our lifestyles. If you are one of the few who are now thinking about building your own home here are a few things for you to consider before taking the plunge.

Location
house design on location
Land does come on the market regularly so make sure you check specialist land finding companies to see what plots are coming onto the market. If you are moving to a new area make sure you do your research and drive around the area you are considering so that you get a good feel for the location before committing.

Services

If the plot of land you are considering buying doesn’t have services on it already connections will have to be made. This can not only be a costly process but also a timely one. Electric and gas may not be essential early in the build, but water will be, so make sure you investigate this thoroughly before buying.

Planning

Before steaming ahead and putting an offer in, its best to check what planning consent has already been granted and when the expiry date is. You will be responsible for obtaining the correct planning permissions and adhering to any conditions attached. If you do not adhere to the conditions you could invalidate the consent which means your building work will be illegal.

Building Regulations
house in construction
No matter if you are building a new home or making substantial alterations to your property, any work you carry out will need to conform to building regulations. To ensure that you adhere to the regulations make sure you thoroughly research work areas like foundations, drainage solutions, damp proof course etc. Depending on whether you are project managing the build or someone else is on your behalf you will need to get a building inspector out to sign off the building works at certain stages. Visit the government website for more details: https://www.gov.uk/housing-local-and-community/building-regulation

Financing

You will need to fund the purchase of the land using savings, existing property equity, or applying for a self-build mortgage. Many high street banks do not provide facilities for self-build mortgages so if you need to borrow money then you will need to approach a specialist self-build mortgage provider. Self-build mortgages are different to normal mortgages as funds are released at stages of the build rather than at the purchase. This can either be in arrears, where funds are released once a certain stage of the build has been completed or in advance, so the funds are released at the beginning of a building stage. For more information visit the MoneySuperMarket website: https://www.moneysupermarket.com/mortgages/self-build/

There’s plenty of other elements for you to consider but we hope this gives you a good starting point.