Top 10 Amazing Tips for Building Your Own Eco-Friendly Home

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Top 10 Amazing Tips for Building Your Own Eco-Friendly Home

In Britain, self builders are responsible for constructing 20% of new homes every year. Not only does self building give you the opportunity to live in a house which is truly yours, but the numbers of eco friendly self build homes are on the rise as more and more people decide to live sustainably. So, if you’re thinking about contacting suppliers and contractors and setting off on your own self build project, here are 10 amazing tips to get you started:

1.     Finding a Plot of Land

Finding a suitable plot of land can be a difficult task. Therefore, it’s important to be flexible; for example, if you know exactly what type of land you’re looking for, you may wish to slightly widen your search field, to give you a bit more choice.

2.     Work With an Architect

If you’ve got no design experience, you may benefit from the advice of a professional architect, particularly one who understands the requirements for a green building. They will be able to walk you through the initial planning stages, and advise you on whether or not your dreams are realistic.

3.     Use All Available Resources

Self builds can be costly, so use your resources wisely. If you have a friend who’s a conveyancer, ask them to help you purchase your land. If you know of a reclaimed timber yard selling cheap wood, pop down and have a look about.

4.     Look to the Success Stories…

Finding out what made other people’s self build projects a success will help you to understand how you can ensure yours goes off without a hitch. Some self build homeowners are happy to talk about their projects, so try getting in touch for more information and guidance. Check out the building section of this site for more eco-friendly tips.

5.     …And To the Failures

You can learn as much from failure as you can from success, so it’s equally important that you have a good idea about what can go wrong during your self build. Learning from other people’s mistakes will help you to avoid them.

6.     Know Your Building Regulations

Building regulations differ between local authorities, so always investigate them fully before you purchase your land. The same goes for planning permission. It’s advisable that you make sure you can get planning permission before spending any money.

7.     Make it Clear You’re Going Green

Eco friendly self builds are very popular, and with good reason. They’re about looking to the future and supporting sustainability, and for this reason eco friendly homes are more likely to be approved than others. Not only can they save you money in the long run – ostensibly on heating bills – but the government also offers incentives to self builders who are interested in going green.

8.     Find a Good Builder

If you don’t intend to build your home yourself, this point is of the utmost importance. Your head builder will oversee the construction of your property from start to finish, and you should be able to trust that they’ll do a good job. When in doubt, look to your friends and family for recommendations.

9.     Stay on Schedule

Most self build properties invariably go over schedule, but this doesn’t mean you should plan to still be living in a caravan after 2 years. Instead, make a schedule and stick to it, to the best of your abilities. But be prepared to flexible – after all, your plans could be interrupted at any time, for any number of reasons.

10.  Reclaim Your VAT

One of the best things about building your own home is that you get to claim back your VAT at the end! Get your claim in on time – within 3 months of your home being completed – and you could potentially get a repayment for all of the materials and tools you used during your build.


Greener Ideal is an independent environmental news and lifestyle publication that has been curating content since 2008 to further the green movement. The views expressed by contributing authors are their own and may not reflect those of Greener Ideal.

  • mcutlerwelsh

    Some good tips here. Are there any local resources you know about to find a ‘good’ builder. One who understands ‘green’?