What is the difference between self-build and custom-build?

What is the difference between self-build and custom-build?

You may have set your heart on building your own home and there are two ways to go about this —a self-build or a custom-build project. But how do these two differ? The main difference is how involved you’ll be with the project. We’ll explain this as well as the type of mortgage you need in more detail below.

What is self-build?

Choosing the self-build route allows you to have a much more hands-on approach with increased flexibility and full control. You are responsible for finding a suitable plot, obtaining planning permission, insuring the project, buying the construction materials, hiring contractors and designing your home. If you’re not experienced in this type of project, you can hire a team to do the work for you, such as an architect, builders and other contractors, while you oversee the project. If you’re experienced and want to be more involved, you may prefer to carry out some of the work yourself.

As you are responsible for the entire project, there’s more risk involved when opting for the self-build route. However, every detail of the project will be completed to meet your exact specifications, resulting in the creation of your dream home.

What is custom-build?

A custom-build project is less overwhelming compared with the self-build route. This can be a better option if you’re less experienced in this field or simply don’t have the time to deal with everything that’s involved with a self-build project. You work closely with a developer and they deal with most of the project. For example, they can find the plot of land, arrange the planning permission, hire the contractors, deal with the utility connections and handle the day-to-day management of the construction work. You can liaise with the developer on the design aspect, such as the layout and the internal and external designs.

Custom-build options

Custom-build homes can be completed much faster than self-build homes, depending on the specifications. There are different options to consider, such as buying a serviced plot or a custom-build shell from a developer or choosing a turnkey option.

  • Serviced plot: A serviced plot is a shovel-ready plot of land. This means that the utility connections are already in place as well as access to the roads. The plot will either have outline planning permission or full planning permission. With this option, you can then arrange for an architect to design your home and the developer to handle the rest of the project.
  • Custom-build shell: This option is a step further on from securing a serviced plot from a developer. They will already have built the shell for your home, which will be a completely empty watertight structure. You then liaise with them about the internal aspects of your home, such as choosing a layout and your preferred fixtures and fittings.
  • Turnkey approach: With a turnkey option, you select everything you want for your custom-build home from the developer’s range of services. The developer will then deliver a home that’s ready for you to move into and includes your preferred layout, features and personal touches.

Can you get mortgages for self-build and custom-build homes?

When building your own home rather than buying an existing property, you need a different type of mortgage from a standard residential one. A self-build mortgage provides the funds you need whether choosing the self-build or custom-build route. With this type of mortgage, the funds are released to you in stages throughout the project. This ensures that you stay on track with the construction and remain within your budget.

You can receive the funds in advance or in arrears. This means that they’ll either be released to you at the start or the end of each construction phase. Not all lenders provide advance funding and those that do may retain a percentage of the loan amount until you’ve received your property’s completion certificate.

Which one is better — a self-build or custom-build home?

Whether one type of project is better for you than the other depends on various factors. You take on full responsibility and a higher level of risk with a self-build project. However, everything will be completed to meet your specifications. With a custom-build project, there’s less scope to personalise your home compared with a self-build home. However, there’s a lot less risk involved than with a self-build project.

As well as considering the risk for each type, you need to weigh up your experience and capabilities, the time you have to spend on the project and whether you’re prepared to have full control over it or prefer to hand this over to someone else.

Whichever route you prefer to take, we can arrange your self-build mortgage and project insurance. Just get in touch with our mortgage and protection brokers on 01322 907 000. If you need a financial boost for your self-build or custom-build project, we can also advise you on the help available, such as the government’s Help to Build scheme.