The Right To Build

The right to build is a new initiative to help deal with the housing crisis and encourage more residents to build their own home. Self build is where you are directly involved in organising the design and construction of your new property. Custom build usually involves working with a specialist developer. Supported by the local councils, this initiative is currently being monitored through a ‘register’ process, which comprises individuals registering their expression of interest to self build for them to ascertain a level of demand.

What do you do if you want to self build?

If you don’t have a plot of land but want to build you’re own home, then you can register your interest on the Right to Build Portal with your local council. For Trafford visit Self Building in Trafford and Cheshire East visit Self-build and custom build housing

The local authorities are now obliged to help those interested to find them land, which will come into force last October in 2016 under the Housing and Planning Act 2016. Once the demand has been identified, the local councils will recommend the suitable sites to develop.

Next step - find a professional!

Once you have your land, the next step is to commission an architectural designer. You could design and manage the self build for your home yourself, but we would recommend that you hire someone who can project manage the entire process for you from design, planning permission, sourcing contractors, ensuring the contracts and of course the actual build - such as Arc Design Services. Outsourcing the entire process means you know you’ve got years of professional expertise supporting your venture, especially if this is your first time building a house. Try not to be too limiting when you work with them, remember, this is a professional team with a lot of creative and practical skills. To help you prepare a brief for the design team you can find a advice at ASBA - the Association of Self Build Architects. It’s at this stage where you ought to consider any ‘green’ and ‘energy’ elements of your home.

Apply for planning permission

Once the design is finalised, you have to submit your application for planning permission. Hopefully your design team will have already spoken with the local council to deem what would or would not work. A usual timeframe for planning permission is 8-12 weeks. Your architectural designer will advise you on what to prepare.

Sourcing contractors

Depending on whether you went for an architectural designer to project manage the entire process or if you want to choose the contractors yourself, this is the stage where you would obtain a number of quotes with prices to build your home. Check credentials of local builders and ask for references if you’ve decided to source them yourself. Usually three or four quotes should be enough.


Once you have selected your contractors, your professional team ought to advise you on the contracts. If you want a reference to check them try The Joint Contracts Tribunal, which is a well established authority on contracts for construction and will have a number of standard documents you can review.

For more information on self build please consult with Arc Design Services at 0161 928 4433 or visit

26a Victoria Road, Hale
Altrincham, Cheshire, WA15 9AD
United Kingdom