Self Build Homes Guide: Tips & Strategies - Granite Building Warranties

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Badly Thought Out Window Rules Look Set to be Scrapped

The poorly thought out Conservative Government Health and Safety Rules regarding shrinking the size of windows in new developments look set to be scrapped.

Michael Gove’s plans to make upstairs windows at least 1.1 metres from the floor are leading to new developments having smaller windows with dark and gloomy interiors.

It was feared that global warming would lead to more windows being opened for longer that led to the regulations being introduced. However a review is due to be published shortly and industry hope is that this strange rule will be axed.

Some critics have said new homes that have been built adhering to the new rules, have upper storey windows that appear squashed in appearance.


Options to get around the regulations cost money and lower budget properties will suffer as developers are not prepared to invest more money.

Rico Wojtulewicz, spokesperson for the National Federation of Housebuilders said the regulations are “making it difficult …. to deliver unique and beautiful homes.

Also there is confusion with Local Authorities and Building Control who fail to understand the new regulations.

The Housing Department will publish their report later this year, hopefully providing a better result for the development sector.


Granite Building Warranties are specialist independent brokers of building warranties for the construction industry and for a quote or further information please contact Ed or Kelly on Tel: 01284 365345 or email /


So you now have your planning permission for your self-build – great news! Before you get started, there are still several critical stages to complete before you give the builders the go-ahead. Read on to ensure a smooth running project and that your property is covered in its entirety.

Planning Conditions:

  • Discharging Planning Conditions will require another application to the planning department and can take up to 12 weeks to discharge.

Finding the Right Contractor:

  • Check references on their financial standing
  • Visit current and previous projects
  • Word of mouth referral is a good start
  • Do not make large upfront payments

Building Regulation Drawings:

  • You will need your architect to prepare drawings for building regulation submission and submit them to the local authority for approval.

Project Managing the Build:

  • A project manager handles the planning conditions, building regulations and ensures the work is completed on budget, on time and that all planning permissions, site insurances and warranties are in place.
  • If you take on this role yourself it can be very time-consuming and could cost you a lot more time and money.
  • A Chartered Surveyor can manage the project for you and will avoid mistakes and overspending.

Building Warranty:

Building Control:

  • Building regulations are minimum standards for design, construction and alterations and apply to every building project.
  • You will need to engage the services of Building Control. This can be the local authority or an approved inspector and they will need to inspect at the key stages, which are: Foundations, DPC, Roof plate, Roof on, First & Second fix and Completion.
  • Completions certificates are issued upon completion of the build and no sale can take place until they are issued.

Site Insurance:

  • Site insurance is essential for all developments and can be arranged in conjunction with the warranty. Site insurance will cover you against theft of tools/plant, damage/fire to the building and third-party liability.

The Way Forward:

Granite Building Warranties Ltd can assist you with all insurance requirements for your build and will take the worry and hassle out of the project.

For further information please contact Ed, Kelly & Rob on Tel: 01284 365345 or email /

New Self Build Mortgage Released

The Help to Build Equity Loan scheme is a new scheme to encourage those wanting to build their own homes to access mortgages more easily and with a smaller deposit requirement, opening up this sector to a much wider potential market.

The scheme is provided by Homes England, the government’s housing agency, and was launched on Monday 27th June with BuildStore and Darlington Building Society providing the mortgages.

Raymond Connor, CEO of BuildStore said:

“Help to Build is going to significantly boost the custom build sector, and property developers already have land earmarked for this purpose.”

“Homes England, which runs the Help to Build scheme, has a large register of people who have already expressed their interest in the scheme. Our own database consists of almost 1,000 people who want to take advantage of Help to Build.”

The scheme will allow applicants to borrow between 5% and 20% of their costs across England – and up to 40% in London. Total build costs cannot be over £600,000, or £400,000 if the land is already owned, and applicants must live in the property as a primary home.  The money is released in stages and the borrower has three years in which to build their home.  The loan is interest-free for the first five years.

The Help to Build Mortgage offers advance stage payments which means borrowers receive funds before the start of each stage of their project.

Borrowers can pay back the equity loan at any time after the build is finished but it must be repaid by the end of the mortgage term or when they sell their home.

The amount repayable is based on the property’s value at the time the equity loan is redeemed, not the amount that was initially borrowed.  So, if the value of the property goes up the amount to pay off the equity loan will go up, and if it goes down in value, the amount to pay off the equity loan will be less than originally borrowed.

Remember once its built

For more information, please contact Ed or Kelly on 01284 365345 or email /


Have you ever dreamed of building your perfect house?  Many people do and there seems to be an increase in those taking a step closer to following their dream.

People registering an interest with their local authority for a self-build plot was up 31% on the same period last year.

Government legislation for Right to Build and an equity scheme aimed at helping self-builders, Help to Build, are initiatives designed to support those wishing to custom build their own homes.

However, local authorities are failing to provide the planning permission to enable the self-builders to move their projects forwards.

The number of plots given planning permission by English councils was 32% behind the number of registrations from people wanting to build.  The Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities figures showed 12,263 individuals registered to custom or self-build in the year to October 2021 but only 8,309 permissions were given in the same period.

According to the National Custom & Self-Build Association, councils are favouring larger sites and those within their target local plans over the smaller plots when looking at planning permission. Because councils often don’t have land to give permission on for the self-builders, they have to acquire land and this is difficult to come by especially with the current situation where local authority resources are already stretched.

The Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 is currently under review from the Government and consequences for authorities who fail to give permission to self build plots should encourage local authorities to be more supportive of this type of building.

The Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities has voiced their support for self and custom build housing and wants to encourage councils to grant planning permission for these types of buildings. “Our Help to Build scheme will help increase the supply of self and custom build while making it a realistic and affordable option for people looking to get on the housing ladder.”

If you are looking to build your own home don’t forget the need for a self build warranty.

For further information, please contact Ed or Kelly on 01284 365345 or email /


Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)

What is CIL?

According to the Government website, “the Community Infrastructure Levy (the ‘levy’) is a charge which can be levied by local authorities on new development in their area. It is an important tool for local authorities to use to help them deliver the infrastructure needed to support development in their area.

Most new development which creates net additional floor space of 100 square metres or more, or creates a new dwelling, is potentially liable for the levy.”


How does CIL Affect my Self Build?

What is CIL?


For some types of build, including self-build, relief or exemption from the levy may be available.

A self-build housing exemption is available to anyone who builds or commissions their own home for their own occupation. On completion, they must provide the requested supporting evidence. The property must also remain their principal residence for a minimum of 3 years.

According to the Government guidance, there is a set process which requires 4 steps. These must be undertaken within the required timescales in order to gain a self-build exemption.

Step 1

The applicant must assume the liability to pay the levy by completing an Assumption of Liability form and submit this to the collecting authority.

Step 2

The applicant must certify that the scheme will meet the criteria to qualify as a ‘self-build’ development and complete a Self-Build Exemption Claim Form and submit to the collecting Authority.

Step 3

A commencement notice must be received by the collecting authority prior to the commencement of the development (start of works on site). This must state the date on which the development will commence; failure to submit the commencement notice will be subject to a surcharge.

Step 4

Following completion of the build, the Self-Build Exemption Claim Form – Part 2 must be submitted to the collecting authority, along with the additional supporting evidence, within 6 months of the date of the compliance certificate.  Acceptable supporting information includes:

  • Proof of the date of completion
  • Proof of ownership – (freehold or leasehold)
  • Proof of occupation as the applicant’s principal residence

In addition to the above, applicants must also provide a copy of one of the following:


For further information on Self-Build Warranties please contact Ed, Kelly or Rob on tel: 01284 365345 or email / /


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