What is Self-Build? This is where you build a house for your own occupation and is a variation on property development. Self-build has many advantages – it can provide an opportunity to design a house to one’s exact requirements in terms of style and finish and results in a house that is significantly cheaper than buying an equivalent new build from a developer.  Self-builders are able to claim back VAT at 20% on all materials at  the end of a project. Together with VAT and other savings, self-building can be lucrative. There are many variations on how it can be done from managing the entire build employing subcontractors yourself through to handing off the entire job to a building contractor – this is the most expensive approach since the contractor will have overheads to pay for and be looking to make a profit on the project.

Many people have successfully self-built several properties and cleared their mortgage early in so doing. Build three and the fourth one’s free. That’s a very rough rule of thumb but shows What is achievable with determination.

Build quality in new houses from large developers is questionable, we’ve all heard stories of poor construction. Many national developers employ sub-contractors on very low rates – they may be given dozens of kitchens to install but on a discount. Top quality is not going to be their main consideration, they are not accountable to the real customer – you. The developer may never even see the work done. With self-build you are the customer and you get to specify, inspect and pay only when you get exactly what you want. There is every opportunity to get top quality work.

Choosing a design is a pleasurable challenge – there are so many to consider. With national developers knocking out characterless boxes, self-build offers a wonderful opportunity to build something exciting, contemporary and unique. Why compromise when you can build something special for the same money.

Paul Jordan has successfully completed a self-build – see his Facebook group here.

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