Budgeting for a self-build is like "how long is a piece of string?"

Self-build can cost more and take longer than expected.

It may also be the only and most affordable way to get a

simple, natural and unique home of your own.





























Consider the

Triangle of Compromise

and Sacrifice

  • Rough cost to build



    *Rough Cost

    Land / site

    Professional fees (architect, solicitor, structural engineer)

    Planning permission and building warrant

    Ground works: site cleared secured, access road

    Foundations and damp proof course

    Site servicing (electricity, water, drainage)

    The build (straw-bale, 40% own labour)

    Mortgage fees, insurance, contingencies @ 10%

    * Ball park approximate rough cost for a small scale,  40m2, 2 bedroom, straw-bale build in rural Scotland

    Approx £5000, less if shared, resourceful and use what's available

    Approx £5000, less if using freely available local and natural resources

    Approx £5000, less if shared site = shared cost

    Approx £40,000, less if buy in shared bulk, resourceful and creative

    Approx £4000

    £20,000 - £120,000, less if you share with others

    Approx £8000, less if you  can manage without an architect

    Approx £500

  • To live or not to live on site?


    Rough Cost

    Caravan purchase

    Caravan delivery

    Services to caravan

    Secure storage (including delivery) for worldly possessions

    Shed or workshop

    Travel to and from site

    To live on site

    To live off site

    Rent for storage for worldly possessions

    Rent and bills for accommodation

    Will depend on size age and standard. Rough guide for a

    used caravan: £200 to £2000

    Will depend on size and distance to deliver. Rough guide 32ft static,

    20 miles £500

    Will depend on distance and availability of services. Very rough guide £1000 to £8000

    Will depend on size, age and distance to deliver. Rough guide used, 20 miles £300

    Be creative and build your own with reused materials. £20 to £4000

    Depends on location, size, standard, availability. What are you paying now?

    Can be very costly, shop around or store with friends if possible

    Will depend on distance, frequency of travel, size and age of car etc.

  • How will I finance my build?


    Getting a mortgage for an eco-build is anything but simple!


    Could you find a source of interest free borrowing from family or friends?


    Any lifetime savings accounts?

    Trust Funds

    Any pots of finance waiting to be discovered?


    How about getting together with other self-builders to share costs, labour and provide mutual support?

    Any other way?

    Housing co-ops, shared equity opportunities, community shares, community land owners,  land owners supporting regeneration...

    Check-out The Ecology Building Society

    they lead the way we hope others will follow!

Time costs money, would you sacrifice quality and cost for speed?


Would you compromise speed and create quality and lower cost by building yourself with friends and family?

How could you achieve low cost, quality and speed?

Where does control come into the equation?

If you want a low cost build, would you compromise on quality?

How much control do you need and want?