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Self Build and Custom Build

Self-build and custom build both provide routes into home ownership for individuals and groups who want to play a role in developing their own homes.

The National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA) explains:

Self build are projects where someone directly organises the design and construction of their new home. This covers quite a wide range of projects. The most obvious example is a traditional 'DIY self-build' home, where the self-builder selects the design they want and then does much of the actual construction work themselves. But self-build also includes projects where the self-builder arranges for an architect/contractor to build their home for them; and those projects that are delivered by kit home companies (where the self-builder still has to find the plot, arrange for the slab to be installed and then has to organise the kit home company to build the property for them). Many community-led projects are defined as self builds too – as the members of the community often do all the organising and often quite a bit of the construction work. Some people have summarised self-build homes as those where people roll their sleeves up and get their hands dirty by organising or doing the physical work themselves.

Custom build homes tend to be those where you work with a specialist developer to help deliver your own home. This is usually less stressful as you'll have an 'expert' riding shotgun for you. A new breed of custom build developer has emerged over the last two years, and these organisations take on most of the gritty issues for you – everything from securing or providing a site in the first place, through to managing the construction work and even arranging the finance for you. This is more of a 'hands off' approach. It also de-risks the process for the person who is seeking to get a home built. Some people are concerned that by going to a custom build developer you'll get less of a say in the design and layout of the home you want. But this shouldn't be the case; a good custom build developer will be able to tailor it to perfectly match your requirements.

Register of Interest

We have created a register for people to express an interest in Self Build and Custom Build. Please follow this link to access the register.

In future it may be possible to offer a matching service to those with plots to sell with those wanting to self-build.

Last updated 2 June 2017

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