We believe Custom and Self-Build achieves higher quality and more sustainable homes.

Building a Custom or Self‑Build home gives buyers the unique freedom to create a home that perfectly suits their needs.

Custom and Self-Build is not a new idea, in fact it is the way the majority of homes were built before we started to mass produce homes in the 20th century. Its re‑emergence is a response to the current speculative model where developers build something generic in the hope that someone buys it: a model that is often criticised for uniform designs that lack quality and character and rarely meet the particular needs of the occupier.

Custom and Self-Build challenges this model by being demand-led and homeowners are directly involved in setting their own priorities for where money is spent.

Because Custom and Self-Builders are building homes as places to live themselves, logically they build the best, most sustainable, most healthy, most future-proofed homes they can. They are the only ones incentivised to keep bills and maintenance costs low.

Custom and Self‑Builders are not necessarily the pioneers you see on Grand Designs (although they can be). They are typically people who just want to create a home for their long‑term future and are willing to invest time and effort into making their home, neighbourhood, and community better.

This is why we believe Custom and Self‑Build homes are higher quality and more sustainable, delivering greater benefits for the homeowners and the wider community they are part of.

What’s in it for me as someone considering Custom or Self-Build?

It’s all about choice. Your choice.

Building a Custom or Self-Build home, you have the unique freedom to create a home that suits your particular needs. You can be as involved as you want to be in the process, from designing and managing the process entirely yourself, to employing expert designers and builders to lead the way.

You set priorities for where you invest your money. This might be maximising floor space, making the most sustainable home possible, installing state-of-the-art technology, or having a bit of everything.

This greater level of control over the design and layout, materials and finishes means that your home will likely be of a higher quality than one ‘off-the-shelf’ from a typical developer. And certainly better suited to your needs.

And finally, there’s the financial choices you have: do you concentrate on building the same specification as the equivalent developer-built home for less, or do you invest the same and get a better home. Either way, Custom and Self-Build delivers better value for money.

Did you know?

In the 18th century, Bath’s iconic Royal Crescent was custom‑built. One architect designed the frontage, whilst each plot owner commissioned their own architect to design a bespoke home behind.

There is a housing crisis in the UK because not enough homes are being built. Government see Custom and Self-Build housing as a way to diversify the housing market and increase delivery. It is being actively encouraged via the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015. As a result, every council must hold a register of people who would like to build their own home. Councils have a duty to supply sufficient serviced plots for all the people on the list. However, there is a shortage of plots to meet demand.

53% of people surveyed state they are interested in Custom and Self-Build homes.

The Custom and Self-Build market in the UK is constantly growing. 10% of UK houses are built this way, up from 5% just five years ago (compared to 80% in Austria and 50% in Germany).

New legislation makes it much easier for purchasers to access Custom and Self-Build mortgages, and a new Help to Build equity loan scheme for Custom and Self-Build housing was launched by Government in November 2021.

Profit is maximised for all parties with Custom and Self-Build, as it’s shared between the landowner and homeowner, cutting out the middleman (the developer).

What’s in it for the local community?

Investing in a Custom or Self-Build home is also an investment in the local community.

Research has shown that when people invest the time and energy to design and build their own homes, they become much more invested in the area and are more likely to live in their home for much longer than people that buy from a developer.

In addition, the investment of building their dream home means new residents develop stronger ties to the local area and participate more often in local life, becoming active members of the local community, using and contributing to local services.

And finally, these close ties to the local area help provide further benefits during the build period itself, as the smaller scale lends itself well to using local tradespeople and suppliers, boosting the local economy.

What’s in it for me as a landowner?

Custom and Self-Build neighbourhoods are about building communities, not just profits.

Developing your land for Custom and Self-Build offers the potential to leave a positive legacy of a high-quality, popular place that is well managed. It can also generate greater financial returns than if the site was sold in one go to a developer.

As a landowner who cares about their local community, you are able to influence the design process and help create an inspiring new place with a real sense of identity. Your input into the creation of a design code for the development ensures that the Custom and Self-Build homes that get built have the look and feel that you and other stakeholders aspire to, and that your community is not compromised by poor, inappropriate design.

Government recognise the benefits and is actively promoting Custom and Self-Build through the Self‑Build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015, requiring local authorities to hold a Custom and Self‑Build register, to proactively support Custom and Self‑Build schemes, and to make available suitable building plots to service the need.

Custom and Self-Build is a growth area, delivering 10% of all new homes per year, but with the capacity for much more: 50% of all new homes are built this way in Germany and 80% in Austria.

Do get in touch to discuss how we might work with you to deliver a lasting legacy for your assets.

We’re helping boost the Custom and Self-Build sector as a member of NaCSBA,
the National Custom and Self-Build Association.