Since the Right To Build registers opened up in April of 2016, according to the National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA), more than 30,000 UK citizens have signed up. Registered individuals are obliged to receive serviced plots from their local authorities within three years of signing up, and this early bumper crop signals massive and likely-growing interest in the self-build process all over the UK. I’ve personally witnessed a sharp jump in the amount of self-build activity taking place in the past two years – but what is ultimately behind it?
Though their ideas are wildly diverse, all self-builders are united by a common passion: To build their ideal home in their ideal location according to their own desires. Starting from a blank slate, proceeding to a floor plan drawing and then the physical home itself offers you the opportunity and ability to craft a home that is top-to-bottom focused on fulfilling your family’s specific needs and desires. Self-builds are constrained only by owner’s budgets and planning approval; they might feature grass-covered roofs, underground cinemas, or anything in between. From a design standpoint, the most common thread uniting most self-build projects is an appreciation for quality design and materials. Efficient doors and windows, strong insulation, ventilation systems built with heat recovery in mind – self-builders tend to seek out the best.
Saving Energy, Protecting The Planet, And Staying Sustainable
Energy efficiency is the surprising hallmark that springs up over and over when we talk to individual self-builders. They’re interested in keeping their carbon footprints (and utility bills!) as low as possible. This is why the self-build market is full of premium cutting-edge materials and systems designed for maximum efficiencies, like triple glazing and mechanical ventilation heat recovery equipment. When you commit to a self-built home, you typically take extra pains to ensure that your material and equipment choices will foster a healthy, comfortable internal environment that’s also cheap to operate.
In many self-build homes, draught-free design principles and high-performance insulation are combined to create a building with minimal heat loss and also minimal environmental impact. A building equipped in this fashion has extremely modest heating needs, reducing utility costs dramatically. Heating requirements can be largely met with passive appliance heating and properly-captured sunlight. A self-build home can rely on supply air to handle the remaining heating needs provided that they come in below 10W per square metre. This figure is easily achievable with modern insulation materials.
Self Build Is Egalitarian
Self-builders include homeowners from every imaginable point on the property spectrum. Young couples starting on their first home rub shoulders with retirees who are prioritizing ease of maintenance. Owners who are dealing with specialized personal needs (e.g. accessibility requirements) find self-build ideal. It gives them the opportunity to create homes with features that are difficult or even impossible to find on the open market.
The self-build dream doesn’t even have a building skill requirement. There is nothing preventing you from hiring experienced contractors to execute some or all of the building work while you manage the overall project. Whether you insist on driving every nail yourself or let a turnkey service do all the construction, you’ll find a self-build plan to suit your requirements.
There are of course financial realities that set limits on what you can accomplish in building your own home, but you may find those limits surprisingly broad once you examine the matter more closely. Opportunities to economize and build in a cost-effective manner abound; you might be amazed by just how far your budget can stretch in a self-build project. The more you study the matter, the more sense it makes to see that over 30,000 homeowners have already chosen to create their own customised, energy-efficient homes.