People seeking to build their own home in Wales can take advantage of the new Self Build Wales scheme, which provides funded custom homes for eligible participants.

The scheme lists pre-selected sites put forward by local authorities and housing associations and makes plots available to prospective self-builders. The set-up is similar to the Right to Build register which operates in England only, but adds a further funding option through the Development Bank of Wales.

Sites will operate similarly to custom-build developments in England, such as Graven Hill. Plots will come with outline or full planning permission already granted and services available, but will be subject to a “pre-agreed design guide.” Builders and contractors must be registered with TrustMark.

Self Build scheme puts sites forward for funded custom builds in Wales

How it works for homeowner applicants

Site plots are available to anyone to apply. Prospective homeowners can apply for up to five sites and their application will be reviewed and approved by the plot provider, either the local authority or housing association, who will also set the design criteria.

After confirming the final design, costs and chosen builder with Self Build Wales, the applicant puts down a 25% deposit on the cost of the plot. Qualifying applicants will receive a self-build development loan to cover the balance of the plot (the remaining 75%), and the full cost of building the property.

Applicants are responsible for overseeing the self-build project and the loan becomes repayable when the project is completed. Typically, the loan would be repaid via a mortgage and the application process requires that applicants receive a mortgage agreement in principle before work starts.

The obvious benefit of this approach to the homeowner is that it makes it possible to start the self-build project while living in an existing home, as well as removing initial uncertainties around finance.

To qualify for the loan, applicants are not allowed to sell or rent the home for a minimum of five years from the completion date, and the completed project must be the applicant’s only home. Applicants do not have to live in Wales currently but the plot will be in the country at one of the available sites.

Applicants can search for available plots on the Self Build Wales website.


How the scheme works for builders and contractors

The major stipulation for builders and contractors is that they must be registered with TrustMark. As the build is funded, the scheme will pay the builder from the fund in stages, likely to coincide with preliminary costs and foundations, wall plate level, wind and watertight stage, first fix and plastering and completion.

All construction must meet current Building Regulations and a further requirement of the scheme is that the project must be covered by a structural warranty, such as LABC Warranty’s dedicated self-build product.

More information for participating building and contractors can be found here.

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Please Note: Every care was taken to ensure the information in this article was correct at the time of publication. Any written guidance provided does not replace the reader’s professional judgement and any construction project should comply with the relevant Building Regulations or applicable technical standards. However, for the most up to date LABC Warranty technical guidance please refer to your Risk Management Surveyor and the latest version of the LABC Warranty Technical Manual.

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