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Finance options for self builders

Unsure how to pay for a self build project, or what expenses are involved? You know that you need funding for it, but it can be hard to know how to allocate money. We’ve had our fair share of experience working with self builders so we know our way around your average project. Of course, you should always seek professional financial advice but this can get your checklist started.

When it comes to buying your materials & supplies, you can apply for a Self Build Account at Gibbs & Dandy. Our Self Build Account offers up to £20,000 of credit on 60 day terms. When applying for your account, discuss your specific requirements with expert colleagues at your local branch. Download our Self Build Account application form to get started.

Remember, it’s completely usual for self builders to borrow about 75-85% of the overall project price. This is a short list of how much funding to allocate to necessary expenses:

  • Land plots can account for 60% 
  • Building materials could use up 20%
  • Labour can make up 25%

Other fees to consider: 


Planning fees

You’ll need to pay for drawings and plans provided by architects and other professionals. Plus, you’ll have to pay the council charges for planning permission, building regulations approval and any inspections.

Valuation fees

Mortgage lenders carry out valuation of land for their records. They will charge you for this but not actually pass it onto you, so you might need to have a separate valuation done for your own use.


You’re responsible for paying Stamp Duty, and completing the land transaction return. Your solicitor or licensed conveyancer might handle this with HMRC for you. 


If your land plot doesn’t already have mains services (gas, electricity and water), you’ll need to pay for this to be provided. It’s a good idea to establish this early on in the project as these can be quite pricey.

What kind of mortgage do I need?

There are plenty of lenders for self build projects out there, and it can be hard to choose the best one. You might like to get a range of quotes and assess which one works best for your project requirements. It’s crucial to make sure there is sufficient funding to pay for each stage of the project. 

Some finance options provide stage payment schemes to stagger the amount of money released to you in line with the different stages of the project, and you only pay interest on the parts you use.

Other options pay in advance using the land value, which can be useful if you need a large sum to get you started.

Just to reiterate, it’s really important to get quotes direct from banks and building societies to get a good view of the market prices and make your own comparisons.


What insurance should I get? 

To protect yourself, your build and anyone work on it, make sure you’re appropriately insured. To make life a little easier, there are some special self build insurance policies out there to help you out with:

  • Public Liability Insurance
  • Employer’s Liability Insurance
  • Contract Works Insurance 
  • Special additional cover, such as when specialist services are provided on site by third parties


What else can impact the cost?


The location of your build will affect land and labour costs. This is affected by your geographical region, and the physical plot you plan to build on


Size will absolutely affect your cost. Remember the bigger the build, the more money you’ll need

Multiple storeys

If you build upwards, instead of taking up more land, this will reduce foundation and roof costs

Layout and shape

If you have a complex layout and shape plan, this will cost more than a simpler alternative


Specifications of products and services can cost more. There are places you can cut costs without sacrificing quality

Your involvement

It’s up to you how much you physically do, but the more labour you outsource, the money you’ll pay 


Note: this page is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute financial advice.