Finding and buying a site
If you want to build your own home, you need to buy a site which has planning permission. You also need enough money to survey the site and finance the building work.
Finding a site
You need to survey the site and make sure it meets your requirements.
Some suggestions for finding a site are:
- get together with a group of other potential self builders and buy a bigger development plot
- contact developers and ask whether they have any individual sites they would be willing to sell
- contact the local council in case they have any sites for sale
- contact other potential land sellers - sometimes utility organisations such as water, gas and electricity companies sell surplus land
- contact local land and estate agents
- contact specialist land finding agencies and plot developers
- look out for sites with an existing low-quality or unsightly building which could be demolished
- assess the potential of building in a large back or side garden
You can search registered and unregistered property in Northern Ireland at Land & Property Services (LPS) customer information centres.
Before you buy a site, you should:
- check there is valid outline planning permission
- check any restrictive covenants which limit what you can do with the land, for example if the site lies above mineworks or old tunnels, building on the land might be expensive
- organise a site appraisal of the land to assess the suitability of the land for building on, evidence of potential problems of previous use, such as old foundations, wells or tipping operations
- consider a site that already has a derelict building and construct a replacement dwelling, the site cost might be higher than an empty plot, but you may get existing access to services such as roads, electricity, gas, mains drainage and water supply
- research all aspects of self building, the more you know, the less likely you are to slip up