As a leading provider of self build and renovation mortgages, we’ve helped many people realise their ambition to build their own dream home. We understand the entire self build process from start to finish, so you can rely on the Melton to help. This page will give you a valuable insight into the key steps involved.
The Melton Building Society is a member of the National Custom & Self Build Association
In areas of high house prices, it may be worthwhile purchasing a poor quality house and then demolishing it to create a building plot.
For example, some areas have poorly built bungalows on fairly large plots surrounded by larger houses. However it’s always worth speaking to the local planning office to guage their attitude to this type of development.
It’s advisable to obtain a survey of the land. Your solicitor will be able to report on any issues concerning the suitability of the land for purchase including:
Many development plots are sold via auction where a 10 per cent deposit will be required on the day of sale with the balance due within 28 days. Therefore, finance must be in place before the auction. Not all lenders will lend to buy the land so it’s important to check – some building societies, such as the Melton, do lend to acquire land.
If the cost of the building plot does not exceed £125,000 Stamp Duty is not applicable.
Design is one of the most crucial elements in building your home and time should be taken to learn the various options that you have in terms of style, materials, heating, insulation etc. in order that you can incorporate as many of your own ideas into the plans as possible, bearing in mind your budget, the feasibility of your ideas and the wishes of the local planning authority.
Most self builders will want to appoint a qualified and experienced architect to follow their brief and design the house.
An architect can support the whole project, handling statutory requirements such as planning permission and building regulations.
The costs of architectural services will vary according to the level of involvement, and you should negotiate a fee at the very beginning and have the fee and what it covers confirmed in writing.
Some Architects are members of the Royal Institute of British Architects (R.I.B.A.), but all working in the UK must be registered with the Architects’ Registration Board (www.arb.org.uk). Qualified Architectural Technologists also provide services in helping with house design, contact the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (www.ciat.org.uk) for further details.
These companies usually offer customisable standard houses as well as a bespoke design option. Other self builders prefer to use an architect and main contractor or professional project manager. Many like to project manage the build themselves, with a view to saving money by keeping a close eye on labour and materials.
Some lenders may only consider certain construction types, so it’s important to check with your lender.
Timber frame buildings are very popular with self builders and growing in market share among commercial developers in England and Wales. Oakwrights is one of the leading providers of oak frame buildings, Visit www.oakwrights.co.uk for further information.
The most conventional commercial building method in the UK, with an inner skin of concrete blocks, an outer skin of facing bricks and a layer of insulation between the two.
This self-build construction option is popular in the US but rare in the UK. This option will almost certainly require you to purchase a kit on a supply and fit basis and your choice of design will be limited to those offered from the kit manufacturer.
These include Beco, Styrostone, Structured Insulated Panels (SIPs) and timber clad. Environmentally Friendly Incorporating energy efficient features is often a priority for self builders. Some mortgage providers, such as the Melton, offer a self build mortgage with a special discounted rate which recognises investment in energy efficiency. The Melton’s Eco Mortgage is available for self build projects, renovations and conversions.
When you locate a suitable plot of land make sure you have obtained Outline Planning Permission (OPP) before committing to the purchase. OPP is simply permission for the principle of development on a site. This means that the details of the size, dimensions, materials and access can be decided at a later date. If a plot is granted OPP, you will still need to make a supplementary application for full planning permission at a later date and no building work can be undertaken on OPP alone. OPP status is usually valid for three years at which point re-application will need to be made.
Next you will need to lodge the plans with your local authority planning department to obtain detailed planning permission and building regulation approvals. Your local authority will charge for these services as they will need to send out an inspector to view the plot to assess the suitability as well as release details of your application so that objections can be lodged. The details of the planning charges and the separate building inspection charges can be obtained from your local council.
A fee calculator is available on the Government’s online planning and building regulation resource, www.planningportal.gov.uk.
The council should decide on your application within 8 weeks.
Detailed Planning Permission/Full Planning Permission (FPP) outlines exactly what is going to be built including dimensions, room layouts and building materials. As soon as FPP is granted building work may commence. Sometimes conditions of approval will be attached and these must be complied with during the project.
Detailed planning permission is valid for three years. In most instances a simple planning application never goes to a planning committee and instead is decided at officer level. This is followed by a period of public consultation about the application. The extent of this will depend on the impact of the development and the type of area but it will always include local neighbours. This process normally lasts 3 weeks.
Once the local authority has received all the necessary responses, the planning officer will assess the proposal against the local authority planning policies. The planning officer will then make a decision regarding the application or a recommendation for the planning committee.
If there is a problem with your application, the Planning Officer may contact you to try and resolve it. If it is refused, you will need to re-submit an amended proposal or appeal against the decision.
Most building projects have to comply with building regulations. For example, you will need to comply if you put up a new building, extend or significantly alter an existing one (eg converting a loft space into a living space). You may also need to comply if you want to install services or fittings in a building, such as replacement windows, toilets, sinks, or hot “complying with building regulations is a separate matter from getting planning permission” water cylinders, or if you change the use of a building, since the new use may mean it does not comply with the appropriate regulations.
If you are unsure whether the work you want to do needs to comply, contact the building regulations department of your local council.
The primary responsibility for complying with the regulations belongs to the person carrying out the building work. So if you are carrying out the work personally the responsibility will be yours. If you are employing a builder the responsibility will usually be that firm’s, but make sure you confirm this position at the very beginning. If you are the owner of the building, it is ultimately you who may be served with an enforcement notice if the work does not comply with the regulations.
“Complying with building regulations is a separate matter from getting planning permission for your work. In the same way, receiving any planning permission is not the same as taking action to ensure that it complies with building regulations.”
Useful information about planning and building regulations can be found on the Government Planning Portal website,
Most build projects can be broken down into 6 key stages:
A typical example of a cashflow budget (for illustrative purposes only):
|Purchase of land||£130,000|
|Initial site clearance costs and laying foundations||£35,000|
|Construction to wall plate (& timber frame)||£40,000|
|Wind & watertight||£20,000|
|First fix and plastering||£15,000|
|Second fix to completion||£48,000|
In addition, there are also the following costs to take into consideration:
|Architect & project management fees||£25,000|
|Survey, planning, finance and other associated fees||£5,000|
|Buildings warranty insurance||£1,250|
|Total budget (including plot)||£352,250|
Many self builders use their own savings to help finance their project, so in this example if the self-builder is using £75,000 of their own money and the estimated value of the final project once completed is £500,000, the funding requirement in this example will be £352,250 – £75,000 = £277,250, representing 55.45% loan to value (LTV against the final value).
The Melton Self Build Advance Mortgage will provide self-build mortgage funding up to:
Based on the example, a Self Build Advance Mortgage application for £277,250 is acceptable as it represents 55.45% of the value of the finished property (subject to the Melton’s affordability and eligibility requirements).
Self builders can have their mortgage on an interest only basis during the build period – this is particularly helpful if you are living in a rented property during the build. On completion of the build the borrower must convert to a repayment mortgage and may transfer existing borrowing to another mortgage product with the Society without incurring any early repayment charges (subject to eligibility).
The Melton charges an application fee of £500 and a completion fee of 0.5% of the loan amount for self build mortgages. Other terms and conditions apply.
When submitting a mortgage application to the Melton, borrowers will be required to provide:
Once a mortgage application has been approved, the Melton will agree a schedule of payment drawdowns with the borrower.
The Melton’s Self Build Advance mortgage releases money in advance of each stage, including the cost of purchasing the land – this can be extremely helpful for cashflow. The Melton instructs a local valuer to inspect the building work at each build and payment release stage until the building is complete.
Outline Planning Permission must have been obtained before we can consider your application and before we can release the initial funds to help you buy your plot of land (Self Build Advance). Detailed Planning Permission must have been granted and approved by the Society before any stage releases can be made.
Building Regulation Approval must have been issued and approved by the Society before building work starts and before any stage releases can be made.
Site insurance must be in place.
Mortgage lenders will conduct a survey and valuation of your land for their own records and, even though they charge you for this you will normally find that this valuation is not passed on to you. You may therefore also wish to have an independent valuation carried out by a professional surveyor for your own use and purposes.
Mortgage lenders will normally also charge you for each reinspection and valuation as the different stage payment points are reached. As there can be quite large variations between different lender’s charges, you should seek information about these before deciding which mortgage may be mostsuitable.
“It’s important to arrange adequate insurance”
You should expect to pay fees for drawings and plans prepared by architects or other professionals. You will also have to pay the normal council charges for planning permission, and for building regulations approval and inspections.
These costs can be obtained on request from the local council.
It is important to ensure you are adequately insured. Self build insurance policies are available and can provide cover for:
“Make sure you keep receipts for all your purchases as you will need these to make your claim.”
Choosing a mortgage provider is one of the biggest financial decisions most people are likely to make. With so many mortgages available, how do you choose the right product and the right lender for you? We’ve put together some tips to consider: