Here’s A Quick Way To Understanding Self-Building

2014 Will Often Be The Year Many Will Refer To As A Significant One For Self-Building In The UK

This year the UK construction industry is booming once again as thousands and thousands of new homes are built in every part of the country, most of them on the outskirts of small towns, some will become new towns in their own right due the sheer size and scale of the developments.

We’ve been at the forefront of self-building for several years now and have big plans for adding to our ranges over the next 3-6 months to reflect the interest shown in all types of self-building as an alternative to “off the shelf” houses that have been until recently the only option for many of us.

Having successfully opened up the market place to more choices for the consumer looking to self-build their next project, we’ve put together in this week’s Newsletter a few of the best resources and recommends we have found that will help you get your project off the ground.

Feature Article:Some Useful Resources For Self-Building In The UK

"KU155""log home floor plan"Finding Plots Of Land

This is still one of the biggest stumbling blocks to self-building. Finding a plot of land is easy enough (you can use all the main houses for sale and rent like Right Move to do this.

right move search

Finding a plot of land with planning permission is relatively easy too (your local newspaper adverts are a good place to find these).

You can also filter your search on Right Move to include plots of land for sale in the commercial land options which would have more scope for planning permission.

There are also two designated “plots of land for sale” websites that we recommend to people every day (one is free, the other is a paid for option)

1.PlotSearch  (

2. Plotbrowser (

The hardest part (like finding houses) is the plot of land at the right size in the right location!

(That’s actually one of the reasons people are choosing the North of France and commuting to London)

2. Finding A House Design (In Your Budget)

gronas main image

Self-building is bigger business in the UK today than it has ever been and the UK is catching on fast to what the European and Scandinavian countries have known for years and that is building highly insulated and energy-efficient SIPS Panel Construction (structurally insulated panel systems) homes are some of the best quality homes you can build.

Self-build is not a cheap way to build .. it’s a great way to build a high quality home that suits your needs.

You can expect to pay around £1500 per square metre for a SIPS Panel Home (fully turn-key) fitted to an existing plot with services.

Or you can choose to follow the Scandinavian way of house building by selecting Log Home kit direct from Sweden or Finland and having a construction company erect it and fit it our for you.

"KU155""kuusamo log home""log home kit self-build"

With log home kits typically around £125,000 or less, log home offer the self-builder plenty of options when it comes to self-building on a medium-sized budget (which is why you see so many of them on the TV shows.)

Bear in mind that the log home kit is just the walls, floor, roof, windows and doors.

It does not include the roof covering, erection of the building, fitting it out or connections to services.

We are a long way off from what European countries enjoy which are plots of land available to buy with services connected ready to put your self-build home on!

Although George Osborne has alluded to a UK scheme recently that might be the start of a major shift in the UK.

You can read the article by clicking here.

Whichever choice you make, you will still need a plot of land to build on, planning permission and services (water, electric and sewerage) of some type. (The more energy-efficient the house, the more money you will save in the long-term).

 3. Expertise, Finance And Those All Important Foundations

As with anything “new” there is a steep learning curve (that can be a slippery slope full of terms and phrases that are sometimes used just to baffle you.)

An easy option (that is open all year round) is a visit to the National self Build & Renovation Centre in Swindon is a must do if you are serious about self-building.

They are very helpful and have in-house financial solutions for self-build mortgages too.

Other mortgage companies tend to be the “Green Mortgage” companies for self-builders although there are a few of the main high street banks now that will look at SIPS Panel Homes as more of a standard type of home than for example a log home (which they do not fully understand yet, despite their popularity around the world).

We have found the standard cost of foundations for your new home to be dramatically cheaper when you opt for a post system foundation like Swift Foundations.

We recently used them on a 120 square metre log home and helped our customer save thousands.

4. The Dreaded “P” Word When “P” Stands For Planning Permission

Local Planning Authorities are under pressure to find lots of land to build thousands and thousands of new home on. They have been told to find it by the government.

You may find that when you approach them with the suggestion of a single dwelling in your preferred location that they dismiss the idea out of hand leaving you feeling very disappointed.

The best route to planning success is to get a Planning Consultant (or the company supplying your home) to deal with the application on your behalf.

It is always advisable to submit a pre-planning application to see what the LPA recommendations are (which may not match your ideas but the goal is to get planning permission.) Without it you will go to a lot of expense and effort for nothing in return

Be flexible enough to listen to your Local Planning Authority and be prepared to make compromises to your design to align yourself with the LPA not try to win them over by arguing your point.

To your self-building success!

Pete Cossie Contemporary Log Living

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About The Author

Diane Cossie

Diane Cossie is a blogger and social media enthusiast who is the face behind our popular Facebook page, creator of our website and one of our annexe and specialists.

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