Self-build and custom housebuilding covers a wide spectrum, from projects where individuals are involved in building or managing the construction of their home from beginning to end, to projects where individuals commission their home, making key decisions and layout decisions, but the home is built ready for occupation.
The amount of personal involvement will vary. For example, some self-builders physically build all or part of a home themselves, or a developer may have a site and then find a number of self-build clients and build their homes to their specification under a contract. Community-led projects can also be defined as self-build.
Self build homes
Self build describes projects where the people involved play a very significant part in the process. They may help organise the project, commission an architect or builder, or do some of the construction or finishing off work too.
Custom build homes
Custom build describes a more hands-off approach where a specialist developer co-ordinates the whole process for the people involved and may help find the plot as well as manage the construction.
The Self-Build and Custom Housing building Act 2015 (as amended by the Housing and Planning Act 2016) (The Act) provides the legal definition of ‘self-build and custom housebuilding’.
What you need to consider
If you are interested in building your own home you will need to consider:
- How long it will take.
- Your budget.
- Whether land is available in the area you want to build.
- What professional help you need and where to find it.
Buying a parcel of land to build a home on that does not benefit from planning permission for housing is a very big financial risk. Purchasing a plot of land with an existing planning permission for housing will be more expensive because the price reflects the development potential of the land.