Tips for building a house in the UK

Building a house in the UK can, on the face of it, seem out of the reach to most of us. However, well over 10,000 people do it every year so it’s certainly possible! 

Of course, you can’t just pick a plot and start building your dream home, there are a number of steps along the way that must be addressed before you begin.

Firstly, you need to decide where you want to build your house and then secure the plot. When searching for a suitable plot of land, there are a number of places to look – some estate agents will deal with land and local authorities are also worth speaking to.  There’s also a wealth of information online that can be very useful and developers usually have an in-depth knowledge of the area and any building plots that may be on the market. Ultimately, it’s about being pro-active and really understanding your criteria.

Purchasing the land itself can be a tricky process and funding the entire project may not always be easy.  Whilst there are a number of specific self-build mortgages available, they can take time to be approved before you can access the money.

One way to get things moving more quickly is with a bridging loan.  These are short-term loans, which give you access to money much more quickly than long-term loans such as mortgages.  Although they typically attract a higher rate of interest than a long-term loan, they have other advantages in the sense that they allow you to access the money much more quickly.  This can be incredibly useful if you are already spending money on temporary accommodation or need to move fast in order to secure a deal on a plot.

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Once you have the plot, have allocated a designer, and have spoken to the local authorities about your plans, you can then move on to instructing contractors to begin their roles. Typically, this will start with ground works to prepare the site for construction of the new house – this stage can be quite labour intensive but essential.

When the ground works are complete, it is then a matter of coordinating and project managing the project as the contractors complete the building process.  Usually, this will commence with the actual foundations for the house and then move on to the roof, windows and doors.

From there, the house will start to look like a house and the initial structural carpentry can begin, followed by plastering and decoration.  The length of the project can vary hugely depending on many factors, but if you do your research properly before you even begin, the process will be as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Building a house in the UK can be time consuming and hard work, but the results are extremely rewarding, allowing you to construct a property that has been built to your exact requirements. In some cases, building your own property can also provide a significant return on investment should you sell the house in the future.

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