- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 14 Dec 2017
6 steps to building your dream home
The first thing to consider is whether there is suitable land available in the area you want and for the right price. There are several ways you can search for land to buy such as plotfinder, auctions, aerial maps, local council registers, energy companies or direct enquiries to private land owners. You can even advertise what you are looking for on Need-a-Plot noticeboards and wait for interested parties to come to you.
Next you need to consider how you are going to fund your self-build project and make sure you have identified all the costs involved such as the plot of land itself, designers, contractors to do the work, cost of surveying, taxes and legal fees etc. Homebuilding and Renovating have a dedicated Build Cost Calculator which might be useful to gain a rough idea of costs involved.
The government have recently relaxed the rules on planning permissions but you should still check out what you can and can’t do without planning permission before you start. The Planning Portal website has some useful information to help guide you, but it is best to talk to the local authority.
 Designing your home
Now you are ready to start designing your dream home. The first step in achieving this is to liaise with an architect or other designer to draw up options. It’s a good idea to have a clear design brief in mind beforehand to outline your aims, budget, style, etc. Make sure your designer has the appropriate competency to undertake the design.
You will need self-build insurance to cover liability for the site and public liability. If you are managing the project yourself rather than through an architect you should consider getting employer’s liability insurance as well.
It is also worthwhile investing in a dedicated self-build structural warranty especially if there is a possibility of selling the home in the future as any mortgage lender will require this before sale.
This is the stage where you will appoint your builders/contractors to carry out the work if you are not doing this yourself. The best way to choose who you want to complete the works is to obtain references and examples of their work and where possible visit existing properties/sites and talk to the home owners. Be sure to get several quotes for comparison and agree costs and timescales in writing before work commences.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
RIBA launches a consultation on a new Plan of Work for Fire Safety.
This article offers some basic rules to follow when writing your next specification.
The iconic Mackintosh Building will definitely be rebuilt, board chairwoman confirms.
The machinery used to fashion stone has changed dramatically - and so have the products.
This type of pile provides support to the building, as well as acting as a heat source and a heat sink.
Why investors are adopting the SDGs and why civil engineering could be crucial for delivering them.
Read about all the winners from the London ceremony of CIAT's 2018 Architectural Technology Awards.
How do you find the right stone to conserve historic buildings?
Appointment agreements often include a ‘scope of services’ setting out the consultant's performance on a project.
BSRIA study shows an increase of pre-terminated fibre connectivity.
Director of PiP Architecture explores the application of biophilic design principles.