Building their own home is a dream for many people and self builds are enjoying a surge of popularity because people are finding it increasingly difficult to buy their first home. It is very difficult to get to the housing ladder now that prices have once again risen beyond the reach of many who struggle to raise the massive deposits required to be successful in the mortgage application.

The idea of creating your own home is an  attractive one as you will usually get more for your money though lots of people still prefer to go for existing designs. They find that sometimes getting a land and house package is so straightforward there is little to gain from employing an architect and builders to create an individual building.

If you are in the process of designing your own home, here are some essential elements to include in it.

Low Running Costs

It is best to consider the running costs of a new home in the early stages. Fuel bills are higher than we have ever known, and they are never likely to come down to a reasonable level again as we approach the point of maximum extraction from the earth. You can reduce the expected consumption of a home to almost zero if you are willing to include features that have excellent heat retention properties.

Insulation is key for low energy homes and here are some of the areas you should concentrate on.

  • The loft. Loft insulation is most important. Insulate up to five feet thick where you can to ensure no precious heat escapes there. That may sound silly, but the more insulation there is, the warmer your house will be in the summer and the cooler it will be in the winter.
  • The walls. Build the walls a few inches thicker and add extra insulation to make your home will be less susceptible to heat loss through the walls.
  • Windows. Double glazing has become a standard feature in newest homes today, so include in yours. It is proven to cut down on heat loss, prevent condensation build up on the internal glass, and reduce noise levels for those inside.

Excellent insulation translates to less money spent on fuel in your home immediately, so do not underestimate the savings you will make from your investment in insulation.


When looking at land on which to build your home, remember that location is the most important factor to its value and desirability should you ever wish to sell. Land that will give your home a stunning view is likely to be more expensive than that at the bottom of a hill, but it will enrich your life and make your home a better one.


Timber framed homes are very desirable for self builds. They erect much faster than brick buildings and thanks to modern construction and wood treatments; they are guaranteed to last a lifetime. Timber is an incredibly versatile material that is also renewable, so it is an ideal choice for those with a conscience.

By building your own home, you may save a third of the price of buying an existing property. Since we are a financially driven society, that is the main reason for taking on such a project. It will be a stressful, but ultimately rewarding undertaking that will set you up for the rest of your life, so be brave and take those first tentative steps. You will never look back.