Self Build and Custom Build

By Ian Bracey | March 20, 2018

Benefits of CLT

One of the benefits of a CLT is that it has a lot wider options that technical “affordable” development. It can look at lots of other options, including self and custom build.

What is self-build

Self build is often a very good partner for CLT development because it helps to keep the cost down.

Self build is where the person who wants a home does some of the work themselves, this can involve the actual manual work, like building walls etc, or could include time managing the site and organising trades etc. Anything that a builder would usually do.

There are different levels of self build, from doing everything yourself, to getting a builder to create a weather tight shell for you and finishing the interior to getting a build to do the work, but getting to have input into the design. The last option is referred to as Custom Build.

Self Build and CLT

These two work well together because self build can help to keep the costs down because you are actually doing the work. It also means you are more likely to get what you want from a home and feel a sense of achievement from the project. Self build homes also generally have more original design so the community benefits from better development.

You can even undertake self build in groups which really fosters the sense of community and builds on the community led part of a CLT.

A good example of a Self Build CLT is the Fishponds development in Bristol. These 12 homes were self finished for affordable rent and shared ownership. The group were able to put in their own “sweat equity”, benefiting from the fact that they worked on the project.

Graven Hill

There was a recent article in The Guardian about the Graven Hill development near Bicester. An old RAF base has been purchased by the local council and is being converted into a garden village, however it is being done largely by self and custom build. People can buy the individual serviced plots and then build their own homes.

There are design guides to help so that there are general themes, but you have lots of freedom to make the home you want. I think this is a great idea as it encourages hign quality design and people get homes that they love.

I really want to look at doing something like this for a CLT.

Waterbeach CLT

There are many different options a CLT could look at, but self build is a really good partner for a CLT that we might want to explore for Waterbeach.

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