How to get started on your self build project

The idea of designing and building your own home is an exciting concept. It's all about creating the home you want, where you want it, giving you all the control. Rest easy in the knowledge that thousands of self builds are successfully completed each year in the UK.

The first challenge is finding the right plot for you. Register for free with This is a really useful tool, as you can save your criteria and be notified each time a relevant site comes up. Keep an open mind and remember; persistence is key.

Sign up to the Right to Build register with your local authority by visiting By indicating that you are interesting in building in the area, the council is now obligated to take this demand into account by making more plots available.

Be aware of the difference between planning consents. Outline permission isn't as detailed, and once granted, further approval must be sought for the nitty gritty details. If you're building in a Conservation Area or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, extra planning controls will apply. 

Nowadays, numerous banks and lenders offer mortgages specifically tailored to self build. Self build mortgages differ to their normal counterpart, with the money released in stages as the build progresses. One of the major players on the market is Buildstore, so make sure you check out its website for valuable advice. Whatever your financial situation, don't worry, as there are people out there wanting to help.

Whether you are starting from scratch or converting a derelict barn into something awe inspiring, learn how to prioritise and negotiate to get the most out of the build without delaying the process. Stick to your budget as best you can, but don't panic if you come across hidden costs. These are normal in such a big project, and it will be worth it in the end. 

So if you're considering a self build, why not visit the SelfBuild & Design South West Show on 8-9 September 2018 at Westpoint, Exeter? It's an inspiring show for anyone contemplating a new build, renovation, conversion or major extension, with a valuable selection of free seminars and masterclasses, Q&A sessions, and ask an expert one-to-ones with a range of industry specialists. Discover products and services covering all aspects of self build and find all the advice and inspiration you need to start your journey.

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