Self-build myths busting with Kevin McCloud

Busting self-build myths with Kevin McCloud

Kevin explains why you should never be put off from taking on your own self-build project

By Becca Green |

Taking on a self-build is a daunting process, however there is lots of help and guidance out there. We spoke to Kevin McCloud at Grand Designs Live Birmingham to bust some self-build myths.

1. I won’t get planning permission

That’s a rubbish myth. People get planning permission all the time. People end up saying: ‘Well they got planning permission so why cant I get it for my build?’ That’s where the myth emerges.

The genuine reason this myth emerges is because planning is a difficult process. It does involve councillors, it can seem unfair and it can take longer than expected. However, with a great planning application and an architect, you are almost certain to get a good result.

2. It’s a very lengthy process

It can be. Often people have spent 3-4 years planning their project before we actually start filming. Nobody should worry about taking time. It doesn’t mean to say that the design process should be short – you should consider, reflect and not rush into it.

kevin mccloud gdl birmingham - busting self-build myths with Kevin McCloud - Kevin McCloud

Photo: Gary Summers from SMD Photography

3. Self-build is costly and high risk

Grand Designs promotes that the process can take forever, that there are lots of risks and that it is extremely costly. However, we film people that push the boundaries and are willing to take risks.

Actually, people who take on more ordinary and humble self-builds normally achieve everything quickly, on time and within budget. It depends how much risk you want to take.

4. There are no plots available

Go to Graven Hill – it is releasing plots to let people design their homes their way. Also, you must look at your local authority website and find out what they have available.

Every local authority is obliged by law to register available plots. They may not be the most beautiful or perfect plots, but lots of people have managed to create beauty out of ugliness, so it’s important to get inspired by them. I would also say buy a bicycle and cycle round the area you love!