Every year, around 10,000 people in Britain take the plunge and build their own home. After all, why should you settle for a developer-built box, when it's possible to build a better quality property for less money?

You can do as little or as much hands-on building work as you want. In fact, as long as you help design and organise the project, you still count as a self-builder. But where exactly do you start?



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Insulation thickness calculator


The Haynes Self-Build Manual is a comprehensive step-by-step guide that takes you through the entire process from finding a suitable plot and design to completion and snagging.  This website provides lots of back-up information, contacts and specialist links for readers of the Haynes Self-Build Manual - things like tables and technical data that are too lengthy to publish in book form.

Here you will also find some FREE sample specifications and documents,  invaluable when you're putting together a new construction project.   Plus there’s some additional technical info for some more complex designs.


   FIND  the right local  


EPC quotes






Some useful sources of independent advice

National Custom & Self Build Association

National Self Build & Renovation Centre



Extra  background information

                     and useful links...

 for readers of the Haynes Self-Build manual   


Chapter 2        extra!      Funding  and budgeting

SelfBuild costs - before you draw up your budget, check out this list


Travis Perkins’ project cost estimator


Chapters 3 & 4    extra!   The Plot

Buying land and property in Scotland

 What exactly are you building on?

   Find out with UK Geological maps


Chapter 5     extra!        Design


CAD design software     Solid edge    Cadstd

SelfBuild associations

Community Self-Build Agency


Calculating floor spans

Calculating  roof spans

Calculating foundations


National SelfBuild Association




 Timber -its properties & uses

Timber I-joists

Concrete mixes

Push-fit plastic plumbing    

Chapter 6      extra!         Green targets

Software to calculate SAP ratings (Standard Assessment Procedure)

Sample SAP form

The Code for sustainable homes

Non-conventional construction - cob, straw, hemp

Green Materials

Green Roofs

Home energy sources - electricity, gas, oil,
Wind turbines
How to save water
How to save energy

Insulating with hemp  


Chapter 7    extra!        Planning

Permitted Development Rights – PDRs

Conservation Area design guide

Sample Planning application forms  - and how to fill them in


Chapter 8   extra!         Building Regs

Building Regs - Competent persons schemes                                      

Building Regs helpful guidance for Part M

Disabled access

Building Regs - room ventilation
More room ventilation regs
Window insulation & U-values - Part L

More about windows


Chapters 9 & 10     extra!         Builders & Project Management    

Trades - see exactly which tasks each trade does

See lists of contractors and trades by postcode and trade, monitored and rated:- 

Download a FREE Building Contract

Sample specification and contract documents

Package deal firms
How to handle disputes with builders
Staying alive - say no to serious injuries and death on site!

The Party Wall Act


Chapter 11     extra!                 Groundwork & drainage

Minimum widths of strip foundations

Private Drainage

Drainage - pipe materials

Chapters 12-14        extra!             The Build 

Checking brickwork
Fireplace construction

Calculate the volume of concrete required in cubic metres (and type).

‘multiconverter’ programme on website

Paving and driveways




Check current tax rates

for purchasing land and property


Architect's Certificate providers for New Build or Conversion 




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