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Digital Subscriptions > Build It > September 2018 > Build cost basics: The hidden costs of self building

Build cost basics: The hidden costs of self building

Get your budget on track and nip potential cash-draining issues in the bud before you buy a plot with these cost planning tips from the Build It Estimating Service’s Adrian Wild

If you’re in the early stages of planning a self build project, you’re probably focused on one thing: finding and buying the ideal plot of land at the best price you can. Creating your own home from scratch comes with many budgeting benefits, including the fact you won’t have to pay VAT on most of the materials and labour. Yet there are some fees and costs that first-timers, especially, may not be aware of – and which could have an impact on the success of your scheme. Here, I’m highlighting some of the most significant hidden fees that can creep up on you before you’ve even got your home building project out of the ground.

1 Plot appraisal

When you’re hunting for land, you need to think about how suitable it is for the kind of house you want to build. You may well have a designer on board already who can help you make some top-level assessments; but at the very least you should consider the general ground conditions.

Clay soils, trees (especially protected examples – see point three), sloping sites and the presence of any nearby mining/ extraction activities could all add to the cost of groundworks and foundations, for instance. Distance to services may also be a factor (generally, the further away the connection is the more you’ll need to pay; and in some circumstances it may be better to switch to renewables). That said, the figures will often still stack up in terms of overall plot and build cost versus the value of the finished house.

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About Build It

Build It magazine's new September 2018 issue is packed full of ideas and practical advice to help you successfully create your dream home. Here's our pick of some of the top features this issue: - Top tips to save you £10,000s on your home building project - How to get real value for money from your builder - Are SIPs sustainable? - Design ideas for a better, healthier home - Make your home water efficient - Choosing the right windows for a heritage property ... and more!