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Traditionally, prospective UK homeowners look to buy existing properties. Historically, UK buyers have tended to leave new home building to professional property developers, and look to either new-builds or long-standing properties for their new home. However, more and more families and individuals have been exploring the possibility of having a new home built to order – self build – and the unique advantages it provides.


What are the Advantages of Self-build?

There are quite a few, actually:

  • Made to Order

With a self-build property, you are the developer. You can have the home designed and built to your exact specifications, rather than the ‘most profitable standard’ developers have always favored. It’s a bit like buying a standard home, and getting a complete inside and out remodeling done for free.

  • Value for Money

Though it can be a long and challenging process, self-build can be surprisingly profitable. Many people who build their own home end up with a property worth much more than they paid for it. After all, if building homes wasn’t profitable, why would developers do it?

  • Location, Location, Location

As you (usually) have to buy the land before you can build on it, you have another opportunity to shop around. You aren’t limited to the big developments on the outskirts of town, and many home buyers would prefer to live in an established neighborhood than in a new development. However, you might struggle to find an empty lot in an ideal location, and get planning permission to build there.


A Word on New Build Insurance

One of the things you’ll need when setting out on a new-build project is new-build insurance. Many people have found out, to their detriment, that the project is covered by their contractor’s insurance cover or by a home insurance policy. The fact is that home insurance typically will not protect you if something goes horribly wrong with your new build while it is being built, and not all contractors actually carry the right kind of insurance – or enough of it – to cover the full cost of a fire, flood or other disaster.

Self-build insurance cover might include:

  • Contract Works Cover

This will pay for any damage to a home in the process of being built. Make sure you have enough cover to ‘start over’ of something goes terribly wrong.

  • Public Liability Insurance

This protects you against claims made against you for damage or harm to others.

  • Employer’s Liability Cover

This is vital if you will be employing anyone as part of the project, as it protects then should they be injured.

  • Personal Possessions and Tools Cover

These will protect you if anything is stolen form the worksite – something that is becoming more and more common.


Finding Advice and Guidance on Self-build Projects

Looking for advice on how to start your new self-build project? There are plenty of resources out there. One of the best places to start is the government’s Self Build Portal. Not only does it have a great deal of news and information, it has links to many other resources as well.


Image: @mhousedevelopment.


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