What is the Help to Build loan?

The Help to Build loan will help people with small deposits (from just 5%) access the finance they need to build their own home.

This equity loan scheme is provided by the government to top up a standard self-build mortgage.

Following MP Richard Bacon’s review of the sector, Help to Build is one of a number measures to incentivise self-building; increasing choice, quality and accessibility.


Update June 2022 – the Help to Build loan scheme is now open to applications.


Featured image above – self build by Matthew, architect in Bristol. See more and shortlist them for your self build home here.

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Here at Design for Me, we’ve helped thousands of homeowners all over the UK to find the best architect or designer for their project.

✓ Get matched within minutes and see who’s interested.
✓ Get no obligation quotes.
✓ It’s completely free.

What’s the difference between custom build and self build?

Help to Build is for both custom build and self build new homes.

  • Custom build – a professional homebuilder manages the entire process with you. Custom build homes are usually part of a wider development but built with design flexibility so you can be involved with key design decisions and your new home will be built to your specification.
  • Self build – you organise each stage of the project yourself e.g. buying the land, and engaging design professionals and contractors.



How much deposit will we need with Help to Build?

A standard self build mortgage deposit typically requires at least 15% deposit. The Help to Build loan can significantly reduce this to around 5%.

It does this by providing a government-backed loan of up to 20% of your estimated costs (including buying the plot), or up to 40% in London. 

However, the total construction budget must not exceed £400,000 and the total budget (including the land) must not exceed £600,000.


When can you apply for a help to build loan?

Help to Build will be open to applications from this winter 2021. It’s due to run for four years, however if demand is higher than anticipated it may end sooner. You will usually need to have outline planning permission in place before the approved lenders will consider your application.


How does the Help to Build loan work?

The Help to Build scheme is not a replacement for the traditional self build mortgage. Rather, it works alongside it.

You do not apply to the government directly. Instead, you should contact one of the Help to Build registered lenders.


How long does the help to build process take?

Once you have accepted the equity loan you have three years to complete the build.


How and when is the Help to Buy loan repaid?

From the Help to Build Prospectus:

  • The equity loan is not interest free. We do not charge interest for the first 5 years, but you will start to pay it from year 6.
  • The total amount you repay is linked to the value of your home at the time, and not the amount you originally borrowed.
  • You must repay your equity loan at the end of the term (normally 25 years), when you sell your home, pay off your mortgage, or you can repay at any time before.
  • You’ll pay a £1 monthly management fee for the life of the equity loan.
  • When you apply for the equity loan, your self build mortgage must be provided by a lender registered with Help to Build. Once your build is complete, the self build mortgage will automatically switch to a repayment mortgage which must be in place for the duration of the equity loan.


Here is a useful diagram from the Help to Build prospectus, how the build is financed between you, the government Help to Build equity loan, and the self-build mortgage.

Help to Build Loan

For more detailed information on Help to Buy, please refer to the Help to Build Prospectus.


Finding the best architect for your self build…

Design for Me is a free platform to help you quickly find the right design professional for your home project. My name is Emily Barnes and as a residential architect myself, I started Design for Me after finding that talented and innovative smaller firms and individuals, who are perfectly placed to design new homes, extensions and renovations, can often get buried under the online profiles of large commercial companies.

Before Design for Me, the right architect was very difficult to find!

Once you register your project, we’ll match it with 100s of top architects or interior designers in your area and beyond, and you can see who may be available and eager to work on your project straight away.

  • quickly see who’s interested in your job
  • create a shortlist
  • invite up to three for a no-obligation consultation


Emily  Design for Me

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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…



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