What Regulations Apply to Self-Build Properties?

So you have designed the perfect home, or had an architect do it for you.  The planning permissions is in place and you are ready to get started.  But this isn’t the end of the regulations that you need to be aware of when building your own home because there are the building regulations that need to be complied with.  But what are they and what do they affect? Building Regulations Building regulations are a series of rules that apply to the different elements of a house.  They also apply to an extension be added to an existing property, underpinning of a house and even some changes in use, such as converting a barn to a home.  The only things that building regulations don’t apply to are single storey buildings less than 15 sq. metres in length that have no sleeping accommodation or to a … [Read more...]

Great news as self builders exempt from CIL tax

In what is a huge boost for people looking to build their own home, the government today has finally announced that the dreaded Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL tax) has been scrapped for self builders. With this news it is thought some 3000 homes in the UK that were in limbo, will now go ahead. This is a extremely positive move to help people looking to have a self build or custom build house in future. The CIL tax - which stands for community infrastructure levy, has been a thorn in the backside of self builders for the past few years. For example, if a self builder had wished to build a 4 bedroom house of 200 square metres, it would have cost them £20,000 should a council have imposed a £100 per square metre levy on residential developments. The relief from the community … [Read more...]

Could Builder Robot Termites Be The Future?

This is not strictly about self-build or custom build, but is quite remarkable nonetheless. Engineers at Harvard University have performed an exciting demonstration with small robots that act like termites. These robot termites can build structures without the aid of humans, with no predefined plan, by following simple rules of self-organisation. Individually, these robot termites are not the brightest, understanding a few simple rules - when to pick up a brick, put down a brick, climb up a structure or turn around. However together these wee robots can work in conjunction, capable of completing a predefined structure. Already these robots have built impressive metres-high structures. At the AAAS event, Justin Werfel of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering … [Read more...]

Ed Miliband wants Custom Build Revolution in UK

ED MILIBAND is to call for a “self-build” (custom build) revolution to help solve the housing shortage and double the number of new homes being built. The Labour leader will point to France which, despite its troubled economy, builds nearly three times as many homes a year as Britain. More than half of new French homes are constructed by their owners, who employ local builders to do the work or sometimes carry it out themselves.In Britain the figure is less than one in 10. Miliband plans to put the housing shortage at the centre of his 2015 election campaign. Tomorrow he will launch a review led by Sir Michael Lyons, former chairman of the BBC Trust, to report by 2014. Read more on this custom build article at The Sunday Times. … [Read more...]

More government support for self-build surge

More people looking to start a building project, including affordable homes for their local community, are to receive support. Self-build is an important element of the government’s housing strategy, and supports action to help new house building firms and get empty and redundant buildings back into productive use. The measures announced today (17 September 2013) will complement steps the government has already taken to dismantle barriers that hold back self-build projects: limited land availability and reluctance by lenders to provide finance and red tape. Communities Minister Don Foster announced a series of measures to ensure the self-build market is opened up to those on lower incomes. These include: Providing new grant funding for community self-builders For the first time … [Read more...]