Self Build Tips – Before You Build

If you want the house of your dreams, then a self build mortgage may be right for you. You will be able to design your future space exactly as you envision!

The self build process can take anywhere from one to two years depending on certain circumstances such as planning permission and construction demand at the time.

Self Build Tips

Before you build, here are some self build tips to help keep you in the loop:

1. Choose an Architect or an Engineer Whose Work You Admire

All professionals will charge differently and best to pick one whose previous work you like, as building style is so subjective.

Some people use both an architect and an engineer, or some may use just one. You need to have at least one however, as they will provide an estimate of how much the house will cost roughly.

The engineer/architect will then draw up a sketch for you based on the requirements and designs you have requested. They will then give you a price estimate of what the house may cost.

Fees can range from €2,500, however, we feel it is not the place to cut corners as it’s so easy to end up with a building not to your taste. You will be living in this house hopefully for many years to come, so it is important that you will enjoy it!


2. Consider Using Government Grants and Schemes

A scheme self builds can take advantage of is the Help to Buy Scheme.

However, it is important to note, the approved valuation of your home must be €500,000 or less. The valuation of your self-built home will be approved by Mortgage123 or your mortgage provider. It is the valuation of the property at the time the mortgage is entered into and includes the cost of the site. You must live in the property for 5 years and you will have to pay the scheme payment back if you do not live there for five years.

Most grants for Solar Panels can be applied for only after the property is built, but you can keep them in mind. Another useful grant can be the Electric Vehicle Home Charger Grant as an charging point can come handy in future even if you don’t have an electric car now.


3. Keep the Lines of Communication Open Between Your Builder or Contractor

This is key to help your build run smoothly. Ask for updates and don’t be afraid to share your visions with them to ensure your end goal will be met or see if there will need to be additional works carried out.

Self build tips

4. Be Open Minded

Understand that there may be some changes and budgetary restrictions down the road. Sometimes projects can run overbudget due to unforeseen circumstances. Every cent counts, so try to shop around. Don’t also forget to check Marketplace or Donedeal for second hand items.


5. Don’t be Afraid to Ask Questions

Check out the the self-build community on Instagram and Facebook. There are some great accounts to follow that offer their advice. You can also ask questions and get invaluable feedback from other builders.


Self Build Social Accounts:

Here are some self build Instagram accounts that we are enjoying lately. They have great tips on their page and very useful highlights not to be missed:

passive _build





House Design Tips

Electrical Fixtures

We recently spoke to Una from house_by_luna. 

Self Build Tips

She shared some great self build tips with us that you should be aware of before you build. They are as follows:

  1. Be aware of the finished height of your kitchen worktop and if you are putting Quartz so you can raise the sockets.
  2. Consider the bed size you would like. This is so you place any light switches and any plugs beside the bed and they will not be wired behind the bed frame.
  3. Be aware of the direction your doors are opening so that you put light switches on the side of the door handle.
  4. Plan any media unit placements so you can have adequate sockets. These can include TV points, internet cable and boosters.
  5. Plan sockets for appliances in the utility or the kitchen, i.e. washing machine, dishwasher, iron and fridge.
  6. Plan outdoor lighting for display as well as for security reasons.
  7. Discuss location of isolator switches with your electrician.



Not Sure Where to Start?

If you are still unsure how much you can or can’t borrow, don’t worry! Apply online today for your free quote.

Our brokers are here to help and will provide support and advice on (061) 599990.

Mortgage Guide

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A list of the key documents you need when applying for your mortgage.

After AIP Guide

If you have Approval in Principle, this guide will help you with the next steps.