Building a home in your garden: what you need to know

Considering building a new house on your home's existing land? Architect Harry Thorpe explains some key considerations.

By Hugh Metcalf | 18 March 2020

If you’ve got grand designs for a self-build on your existing property, take heed of this expert advice for getting the most from the process.

footprint architects dentist house photo: alex campbell - grand designs

Image: Dentist’s House, Footprint Architects. Photo: Alex Campbell 

Finding, financing and getting planning permission on a plot of land can be a long and daunting process for aspiring self-builders, but if you’ve got a generously-sized garden, you could have the perfect self build land to build a house on.

Whether you’re looking to house guests or a relative, rent it out, or move into it yourself, it can also be a smart financial investment.

Harry Thorpe, of Footprint Architects, explains some of the most important factors you’ll need to know before tackling a self-build in your home’s garden.

The perfect site

“The ideal building site has frontage on an existing road, and as little as 30ft to the side of your house can provide enough land for a new property,” explains Harry.  You need to question whether your new build will have a detrimental effect on your existing property’s value – aim for the overall plot to be at least 3 times the building’s footprint as a rule of thumb.