This guide is for anyone who is thinking of getting involved in 'self build', but has never built their own home before. We use the term ' self build' in this guide to cover anyone not buying their home second-hand or from a housebuilder in the standard way. But in most cases taking on a self build does not mean you have to do all, or even any, of the building work yourself so you do not have to have construction skills in order to self build. The process for most self builders can be more accurately described as procuring your own home because the household is involved in the design of their home and engaging contractors, but if they employ someone to project manage the build themselves then they may not need to have much involvement in the build project.
While self build can take time and more work than buying a completed home, there are a number of advantages of self build over buying homes in other ways. In particular, self build can offer more choice in terms of the specifications for your home. This makes it particularly popular in areas where there may not be many homes available for sale, such as rural areas, and also for households who have particular needs or aspirations for the design of their home. Self build can also save costs; in most cases, it costs less to buy a plot of land and fund the construction costs yourself than to buy an equivalent type of property on the open market (although this can vary according to location, house design and specification and how tightly construction costs are controlled).
While people normally think of self build as building a new home from scratch on a plot of land and this gives you the most flexibility, the same principles apply to buying a derelict empty property which needs significant work. An existing property often has the advantage of existing road, water, sewerage, electricity and potentially gas connections to the site already being connected. In this case, you may be able either to demolish the property and start afresh or substantially renovate and/or extend the existing property.
This guide gives anyone considering self build in Scotland for the first time an idea of the issues, costs and possibilities that need to be considered. As every build project is different, this guide gives you an idea of who to contact for more specialist advice about your own build project.
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