Self Build Planning

Detailed planning of a self build home

Q - We are considering self-building and have £180,000 in equity on our house and have been offered a mortgage of £140,000. Is this enough to cover land and construction costs?

A - It depends on how much you pay for the land and the size of the house you wish to build.

House, say 150 square metres @ £1,000 =  150,000
Drains, fencing, paths, drives, etc          =  10,000
Contingencies, fees etc                        =  15,000
Total                                                 =  175,000

£320,000 less £175,000 leaves £145,000 for the land and this should be enough depending where you want to live. Building a larger house, of course, would mean that you would have less to spend on the land.

Self Build Budget

Q - We are preparing a budget for our future self-build project and it would be helpful if you could give us an approximate percentage breakdown of the elements involved.

A - All jobs are different but the following is a guide.


 Element %
 Site clearance and foundations 8
 External walls  16
 Roof timbers and coverings 14
 Floors  10
Windows and external doors 6
Internal walls and partitions 6
Internal doors 3
Plumbing and heating 12
Floor, wall and ceiling finishes 6
Kitchen fittings 7
Electrical work 8
Painting and decorating 4

You should also make an allowance for drains, paths, fencing etc and a sum of £10,000 should be included for this work for a three-bedroom detached house.

Self Build Plans

Q - We have been looking at house plans online and would like to use one of them. Are we allowed to show them to an architect to work from because it is exactly what we would like ourselves? And how much would we have pay to employ an architect?

A - An architect would probably copy the general style of the plans that you choose but you may find that he/she would be unwilling to copy another architect's design in full in case there was an infringement the laws of copyright. A full service from an architect (drawing up plans, obtaining permissions and supervising the construction work) should cost between 10% and 12% of the construction costs for their fees but only half of that for pre-contract services only. Alternatively, if you are clear about the design you want, you could use an architectural draughtsman who would probably charge £18 to £22 per hour for his time look in your local free paper under ‘Plans Drawn.

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