Helpful resources for first time self-builders

Helpful resources for first-time self-builders

If you’re new to self-build, or thinking about embarking on your first self-build home, there is a wealth of resources out there to help you make the decisions that matter the most.

To save you hours of Google-trawling, we’ve compiled this handy list of the best sources of information to get your self-build project off on the right foot:


National Custom and Self-Build Association

The National Custom and Self-Build Association (NaCSBA) website should be the first port of call for self-build newbies and experienced builders alike. Set up to promote self-build and custom build in the UK, it also produces the Self-Build Portal  bursting with useful information for every stage of your project. 

The website also hosts a helpful discussion forum, allowing you to ask the questions playing on your mind, with responses from people who are undergoing the same process, as well as experienced professionals. Take the time to browse old threads – it’s a great way to spot things you may not have considered, while avoiding common pitfalls. You’ll need to log-in, but it’s quick and easy to set up and definitely worth your while.

Make sure you sign up to the NaCSBA email newsletter to keep up to date with news, views and case studies, and check out the NaCSBA ‘Right to Build Toolkit’  part of its campaign to build more self-build homes in the UK.


Self-Build Register

Local authorities are obligated to make sure enough land is made available for those interested in building their own home. If self-build is on the agenda for you and your family, you should register your interest with your local authority. 

While councils might not always make their own land available, signing up for the register means they have to take your need for self-build plot into account when they’re writing new planning policies.


The Planning Portal

If you’re going to build your own home, you’ll need planning permission. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the Planning Portal  where you’ll find everything you need to know about the planning process. Make sure you have a good understanding of what is likely to be given the green light by planners in your area by checking out recently approved – and declined – applications. Of course, you’ll want to speak to one of the architects or planning consultants listed with MyPlot too, as they’ll be the people ultimately responsible for securing your planning permission.



It’s fun flicking through those glossy magazines, picturing yourself inside your dream home – yet when you’re self-building, magazines are also an invaluable source of advice, tips and inspiration. The likes of Homebuilding & Renovating, Build-it and Grand Designs magazines will arm you with the confidence to take your project forward in the right direction.



Exhibitions are an excellent source of information for prospective and seasoned self-builders alike – the Homebuilding & Renovating Show holds exhibitions throughout the country, so there’s sure to be one within travelling distance. Similarly, Build-it Live! and the Self Build & Design Show are also fantastic events that you won’t want to miss out on. With helpful workshops, talks from industry experts and the chance to meet prospective suppliers all under one roof, it’s a worthwhile use of time – and a great day out!

There is a wealth of information out there to help you as your self-build dream becomes a reality – check out more of our useful advice pieces, offering tips, guidance and that all-important inspiration.


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