How To Build Your Own Home: Where To Even Start

how to build a home - house under construction

While many homeowners dream of building their own house, not many actually do it because they’re not confident to carry their ambition forward. Understandably building your own house can feel like a big risk but as long as you do your research and prepare, you’re halfway to building your own home.

From Start To Finish: How To Build Your Own Home

To help simplify your project, here are the key steps you must follow.

Predict The Costs Of Your House Build

Before you start anything, predict the costs. A common mistake made by many self builders is they start buying and building without fully understanding what the final cost will be. You don’t want to pause your construction at 75% because your funds have dried up.

When it comes to house building, you will need to consider the costs of:

  • Land purchase
  • Planning permission
  • Building materials
  • Hiring an architect (if you need one)
  • Paying builders
  • Paying electricians and interior decorators
  • Any delays or unforeseen problems

Ideally, you want to have enough for all the above mentioned expenses, and more, so you have the choice to make any building changes and you’re prepared for any additional bills.

Be aware that most self-build projects do overspend by at least 10-20%. The common reason many self builders overspend on their budget is due to the interior decoration of the house. Bricks, tiles, concrete and other exterior building materials usually remain at a fixed price so estimating a cost is easy but the finishing touches on the interior can vary enormously in price. As it's natural to choose the highest quality materials and fixtures in your new home, make sure you give yourself plenty of wiggle room in your budget so you don't have to settle for the cheaper option.

Purchase Some Land

Before you can start building, you need some land. As land is in high demand in the UK, you need to be prepared to dedicate plenty of time to your search.

To help you narrow your search, determine what type of land you want, where you want the land to be located and what type of services and transport links you want nearby.

For many self builders they are restricted when it comes to finding land for sale. A lot of land finds are done through word-of-mouth and you really should be in frequent contact with the area you want to buy land in to give you a headstart when land becomes available.  

One of the best and easiest things you can do when looking for land you want to build on is to sign up to Land Trader. Our platform is used by land buyers and sellers throughout the UK; you’ll be immediately notified when land becomes available for sale.

Once you’ve found the perfect plot of land, make sure you check all the necessary paperwork. Can you build on the land? Does it have building restrictions? Is there planning permission already available?

If you need some advice and guidance, hiring a land agent could be very beneficial.

If You Don’t Have Any - Apply For Planning Permission

You must have planning permission before you can start any building work. Sometimes you can buy land that already has permission but in most cases, you’ll have to apply via the local council.

Don’t risk building without planning permission; your building authority has the right to tear it down.

Decide Your Approach

There are different options for you here. If you want to be heavily involved in every aspect of the design and build, this is commonly known as a self build home. A contractor build means you will give a contractor your design and they will work in your name. Or you can choose a developer build/approach where a developer will use their design and take care of everything for you.    

For any approach you take, do your research. Taking the self build route requires you to be heavily involved in the process. You will need to communicate with builders, building suppliers and architects. You will be responsible for the build.

If you decide to take the contractor or developer route, you will need to research to find the best company for your needs. You’re building your own home and if you’re choosing someone else to have responsibility, they need to be trusted.

Find Different Quotes For Builders and Check Reviews

There are many builders out there. As a self builder, you will be responsible for hiring your own team. If you are going down the contractor or developer approach, it’s likely you won’t need to speak to any builders because the contractor/developer will do that.

While you may be tempted to hire a family friend or a team you’ve been recommended, explore your options first. Speak to several previous customers and, if possible, look at the builder’s previous jobs to see what the final construction looks like.

Then sit back and watch the builders construct your dream home.

Ready To Build Your Own Home? Start By Looking At Land For Sale

Need help choosing the right plot of land? Our free guide highlights all the golden rules you should follow when buying a profitable land site.

How to make money buying land download guide