Can you get more for less by building your own house?

How Cost Effective Is Building Your Own Home? | Middletons

A survey carried out by the National Self Build Association suggests that there are more than seven million people in the UK who are considering building their own property, but how realistic is this dream, what challenges does it bring and more importantly, how cost effective is it?

Self build is undoubtedly challenging, however there are varying degrees of self build.

The most common one is where you do everything yourself and you literally build your house from scratch. You purchase a suitable piece of land, obtain planning permission, source and purchase all the materials and find a contractor to do the bits you cannot.
For most of us this is not an option we could consider due to the constraints of a full time job, family and lack of funds. This does offer the most freedom to produce a property that is a ‘forever home’ that is perfect for you in every way.

You may consider a ‘kit house’, where you can purchase a house constructed off site and transported onto site. There was an episode of ‘Grand Designs’ on Channel 4 that highlighted a German kit house which was quite costly, but there are some other alternatives which cost a whole lot less than a ‘Huf Haus’.

Another option to consider is to actually find a developer that will manage the build for you but allow you to customise your home to suit your requirements. As the government is now offering incentives to provide 10,000 new plots for custom built homes, this option may be more of a reality going forward.

But how do the figures stack up? You will make a saving on stamp duty as you will only pay this on the plot of land you purchase and not on the property itself. You will also benefit from the reimbursement of any VAT paid on the materials you purchase for the build as long as you keep any receipts.

A mortgage on a self build works differently from a mortgage on a standard home, with the funds being released at different stages of the build but your mortgage may not cover the cost of the land and may rely on you having planning permission in place before the purchase which could restrict you.

In short, self build may be a good option to consider, but you should speak to a solicitor before entering into any contractual obligations to ensure you know where you stand, exactly what it could cost and what could go wrong.

If you have any property questions, please call Sarah Gratton on Jo Ayrton in our Warminster office on 01985 214444 or Sandra Smith and Ian Rhodes in Westbury on 01373 865577, or email sgratton@mulaw.co.uk and we will be delighted to help you (there is no charge for initial telephone discussions).