Self-build by Lucy, Architect on Design for Me

Did you know that 80% of new homes in Austria are self built? In France its 60%. We are rather lagging behind at a measly 10%! Yet, 1 in 2 people would consider building their own home if they felt they could, according to a 2011 BSA survey! Last year, the government announced an initiative to encourage self-building with the aim of doubling the self-build market. So here are some reasons to start feeling like you could, and should, seriously consider it:


1. According to a government report the average cost of a 3-4 bedroom self-build home is £150K. Yet we are prepared to spend, on average, £230K on a new developer-built home. A handsome cut for the developers. hmm…

2. …and with a developer-built home, you’ll likely get something identikit, cheaply constructed, with low ceilings and small space standards. Self-building offers an incredible opportunity to have a home that is bespoke to your own family’s needs and specification.

3. An opportunity for sustainable design. Developer-built homes will usually only meet the minimum statutory requirements for sustainability. Self-building allows you go beyond regulations, all the way to carbon neutral. It’s also much cheaper and effective to introduce sustainable principles and techniques at the early design stages of a project than adding on retrospectively.

4. Self build mortgages are becoming more accessible. It has been suggested that mortgages available to self-builders will rise by 141%. Here are a few on the market at the moment on the site. The Self Builder also has a handy self-build mortgage calculator

5. As of November last year, Self-Builders and renovators are now exempt from planning contributions under “Section 106”. A Section 106 allows the local authority to charge a fee as a condition on your planning permission. It is estimated that this exemption could save self builders an average of around £15,000 per home according to Build it Magazine.


Before you start sharpening your pencils and rolling up your sleeves… self-build doesn’t mean that you have to take on all (or any!) of the design or construction yourself. In fact, you would probably be exposing yourself to a gruelling process which may end up being more time consuming and costly. Not to mention having to navigate yourself through a maze of red tape and legal obligations. If you find a good architect, who in turn can help you find a good contractor, the process can be cost effective and hugely rewarding.


Finding the right architect

The key to a successful self-build is good research and planning and it’s wise to get your architect involved as early as possible to help with this. Choosing the right architect for your self-build is a critical first step,  but we know that finding the right one can be a bit of a minefield. This is exactly why I set up this website in the first place! Register your project below and we’ll help you to find the right person for your project in no time…


Emily  Design for Me


Follow Design for Me’s board New Build Ideas on Pinterest.

Find your perfect design pro within minutes…

Here at Design for Me we match you with the right design professional, from thousands all over the UK. Get quotes & arrange up to three no obligation consultations. And it’s all completely free! Find out more here or get started below…


Comments are closed.