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You dream of Kevin McLoud walking through your new build, admiring the clean lines and neo-classical design, whilst discussing the merits of open plan living and the carbon footprint the building materials left .

BUT before you call Channel 4, if you are thinking of purchasing a site for your own self build there are a number of factors you need to consider.


Some things are obvious to consider such as the cost of the site, architect and planning fees, legal fees and fitting out.  However, you will need to consider how you will finance the build and whether any mortgage lender will be involved. 

Mortgages for such self builds are not as straight forward as standard lending and will involve stage payments as and when certain stages of construction have been met.  Payments can be in arrears or in advance but if in arrears you will in essence be fronting up the payments to the builders before the funds are released to you. 

You will also need to consider the costs of any services to be brought to the site if same is off the beaten track.


Once you have selected the site, it is imperative that you meet with a solicitor to review the title, the boundaries and any planning permission in place.  Vital matters to consider are availability of sight lines, services and access to ensure that none of these will require rights over third party lands.  You will also need to ensure that there are no third party rights affecting the land that would limit your plans for the land.

The history of the site is important too and it will be necessary to have the land surveyed to ensure that the topography is suitable for your needs or if there are any environmental issues that need to be addressed.


Use reputable architects and builders.  Ensure that you have contractual agreements in place with all your experts and these have been reviewed by your solicitor.  Check references and ensure that all insurances are in place.  Your architect will be the main driver in the project and will issue those certificates of completion of the various stages as the build progresses which enable you to draw down funds from your lender.

Check whether your builder is National House Building Council registered and what level of warranty you will be obtaining ie NHBC 10 year cover or an architect’s certificate.  It will be important to ensure that you receive collateral warranties from any of the builder’s sub-contractors who may also be involved in the build.

So if you are intent on building your own home with Grand Designs speak to a member of our Property Team.

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