Property - do-it-yourself

If you’ve watched one episode of Grand Designs too many and have been bitten by the self-build bug, be prepared for a bumpy ride.

Sunday, 19th May 2013, 5:00 pm
Undated Handout Photo of Maximus bath, £4,750, BC Designs, See PA Feature INTERIORS Museum. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Handout. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature INTERIORS Museum.

While you’ll (hopefully) build the home of your dreams, it can be a long, stressful and expensive process and there are lots of things to consider before the building work can begin.

Unless you’re able to section off part of your garden and get planning permission to build on it, you’ll obviously need a plot of land.

Finding a plot that already has detailed planning permission for a house will remove much of the risk, but, of course, it’s unlikely to be the house you want.

Unless the plans can be changed, you may prefer to take a risk on a plot without planning permission, or with outline planning permission – this grants permission on the principle that the land can be developed, while detailed planning specifies the design of the building.

Finding a suitable plot can be a struggle, especially in big cities. You can search for land on property websites, where it’s for sale through estate agents.

Local newspapers and property magazines may contain ads for land for sale, or you could place a ‘land wanted’ ad.

You could even drive or cycle around your search area, looking for land that’s for sale or may be suitable as a building plot.

Don’t discount derelict buildings – knocking something down and starting again can be a good way to get a great plot, and sometimes the property doesn’t have to be derelict for the numbers to stack up. Consider the value of the land (to you) and how you can get services and vehicles to it.