The stages of building your own house

The dream of building your own house may seem nothing more than a fantasy! But if you want a house that meets all your needs it can become reality.

Of course, it isn’t just a case of finding a piece of land and ordering materials.

There are a number of stages to consider before you can move in. But with the right advice and experience, you really can have the home of your dreams.

We have more than 40 years’ experience of building houses across the North East. As well as our knowledge of construction, we can help you through all the stages.

We have helped many customers and want to share some advice if you’re considering building your own home.

Why build my own house?

While there are lots of housing estates being built across the North East and a range of pre-loved houses on the market, you may still struggle to find the perfect home.

You need to be ready to compromise when buying a house that’s already been built.

Building your own home means you can add everything you need, including future-proofing: from a spacious home office to a granny annexe! And you can use any building materials you like (subject to planning rules, of course). Check out our blog about that here

It can work out more cost effective too because any rooms you need are already there. Adding them to a ready-built house can be costly when keeping the structural integrity of the current building.

Stamp duty can also be lower in many cases because the tax is due on the cost of the land rather than the completed house.

Specialist self-build mortgage broker BuildStore reckons completed homes are 20% higher than the cost of buying land and building your own.

Don’t panic when you see the phrase self-build! It doesn’t have to mean you do it yourself. Many people like the idea of constructing their own house.

But if you try to do that without the help of a construction company it can end up taking a lot longer and being more costly in the long run if you make mistakes.

And if you’re holding down a job, it can end up wearing you out. So, always consider a building company for project management and construction.


What you need to know

1. Find a building plot

Your house needs land to be built on. Finding it doesn’t have to be difficult. Estate agents often sell land, so check them out or ask if they know anything. Also, ask local residents. Check out Plotsearch which is free to subscribe to. This helps you find available land.


2. Arrange finance

If you have the right finance in place before looking for a plot, it can help seal a deal more easily. There are dedicated self-build mortgage products available that release funds at key points in your project. Check out the rules before you start.

3. Be realistic with your budget

Set a firm and realistic figure about what you want to spend before the design stages. Speaking to a building firm or architect about material costs is essential. This will help you set a budget that isn’t pie in the sky. If you do it right it won’t become a money pit project like those you see on TV!


4. Choose a designer

You can Google ‘architects’ and ‘house designers’ if you don’t know one. You can also ask us because we have worked with many designers over the years.

Make sure you choose someone who understands your requirements. It is your house so you need to make sure it’s what you want and not the architect. But also be prepared to listen to experience should your ideas be budget-busting or structurally impossible.

5. Speak to planners

Contact your local planning authority (usually your local council) early on. They usually offer pre-application advice so you know if your ideas are acceptable. The officer will let you know what style, size and material stipulations the authority is likely to impose. This way, you stand a better chance of getting planning permission when you apply.


6. How will you build?

Some self-builders use package companies that guide them through the whole process. You can choose your own architect or builder. Some people project manage themselves while others will instruct companies like us to be the main contractor. The best thing to do is talk to us first to discuss your options.


7. Be prepared

Before you start, you need to make sure you have all the consents and permissions you need. You also need building control approvals in place as well as the right insurance policies, warranties and insurance. Again, you can speak to us if you’re unsure of what you’ll need. But make sure you do this early or it could end up delaying the process and costing you more.


Once you have everything in place, it’s time for groundworks! You can’t build without foundations and drainage in place. Don’t forget that you’ll need permissions to be attached to drainage systems and the power grid. This needs to be included in your budget.

Although there seems to be a lot to do, if you work with a construction company with experience in building bespoke properties, it will be worth it.

At the end, you will have a home of your dreams — in the right location and with all the personal touches you want.

Contact us now if you want to know more