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Dream it, build it, live it - Building your own home

​Every year, more than 13,000 people in the UK build their own home.

Self-Builders come from all walks of life, including:

  • young people keen to get onto the housing ladder;
  • families needing more space;
  • retired people wanting to downsize;
  • DIYers looking for a project to sink their teeth into.

Whatever your motivation, whether you are a total novice or someone with plenty of experience in the construction sector, self-building can be an accessible route to a new home.

Below is a useful guide for potential self-builders.

Click to expandWhat is self-build?

​Self-build is when you design, plan and build your own home. There are a number of ways you can do it. The level of involvement you have in building your home can vary depending on which way you choose. Some people will do the building work and labouring themselves, some will hire a contractor to do it for them. Self-builders may be individuals or part of a group.

Click to expandWhat are the key things to consider before building my own home?

If you are thinking of building your own home, there are a few key things to consider:

• The length of time it will take
• Budget
• Technical and advisory services needed, and where to get them
• Finding land

Click to expandWhat are the different types of self-build?

Contractor Built ‘one-off’ Home
This is the most common form of self-build. The homeowner manages the process from design through to completion. It can include hiring architects, building contractors and often doing some of the simpler tasks themselves.

Self built ‘one-off’ Home
This is the most hands on approach where the homeowner does most or all of the construction work themselves.

Kit Homes 
The owner finds the land and works with a kit home company to work up plans for the home. The company supply and erect the house in line with what has been agreed, from an empty shell through to a complete home.

Supported Community Self Build
These are schemes where a group of people come together, share their skills and work collectively to build a number of houses. Normally the group will work on everyone’s houses until completion.

Independent Community Collaboration
A group is formed to purchase a larger site that they split into smaller plots. Construction is usually on an individual and independent basis with occasional collaboration, for example to make savings through bulk buying of materials. This method is very popular in Europe.

Developer / Contractor led Custom Build
A developer finds a suitable site; sells individual plots; and acts as the contractor to build to the clients’ specifications. Variations on this include simply building a shell which clients can then finish themselves or alternatively just selling serviced plots with a design and build contract.

Click to expandWhat are the benefits of self-build?

​There are a number of advantages associated with building your home.

• You can build in your preferred location or area (subject to availability).
• You can design a home to suit your lifestyle and meet future requirements.
• You can get more for your money
• You can design a home that makes use of new, modern and innovative products.
• You can build a property more quickly than being part of a larger, phased development
• You can have an opportunity to develop construction skills
• You can experience a sense of achievement from seeing your venture develop from inception through design to completion.

Click to expandCan Leeds City Council help me to find a site to build on?

​The Council is in the process of identifying land suitable for self-build housing. Once ready for sale, details of the sites will be listed on our Land for sale page.

Click to expandDoes Leeds City Council have a self-build register?

​An online register for people interested in self-build and custom build is in the process of being created. This will allow the Council to get a better understanding of the needs of potential self-builders.

The register is due to be launched in Autumn 2015. In the meantime, if you’d like to make the Council aware of your interest in self-build, please use the ‘Contact Us’ section of the page.

Click to expandDo I have to pay Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) on self-build developments?

​Self-build projects are exempt from CIL.

However, a self-build exemption form must be completed and submitted with supporting evidence before your project starts and further form submitted within six months of completing the project. If the evidence is not submitted to the Council within 6 months, the full CIL charge becomes payable.

Click to expandHow can I find out more about self-build?

​There are a number of agencies who may be able to assist if you are thinking of building your own home as an individual or as part of a group. Links to some useful websites are included on this page. 

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