Self build checklist - Grand Designs Magazine

Step-by-step self-build guide

Get your project off to the best possible start with this nine-step checklist

Promotional Feature By Victoria Jane Smith |

Building a house from scratch is a hugely rewarding process, but it can certainly be challenging. To ensure your project goes smoothly, it’s imperative to equip yourself with the right knowledge and support, so start with a self-build checklist.

Before you get started, here’s everything you need to know about getting your self-build project off the ground.

1. Get ahead of the game

Be in the know, do your research and get the best advice. Make sure you know what you need to ask to achieve your end goal and understand the intricacies and processes your builder will go through.

And read the small print – be aware of building regulations and what’s changing before you commit to a plan.

architects drawings of a new house build

Photo: Jewson

2. Calculate costs

One of the most important parts of any project is budgeting, so make sure this is on your self-build checklist. Factor in hidden costs that you may not have considered such as site set-up, tool hire, portaloos, and the possible cost implications of your project overrunning.

The Jewson Self Build team, which has been supporting self-builders for years, can support you with its Build Aviator service to help you estimate budget costs. Simply upload your plans and the team will schedule and deliver your fully-costed proposal complete with material breakdown and work schedule.

calculating the costs of a self-build

Photo: Jewson

3. Sustainability first

Consider sustainable choices when it comes to deciding which materials you are going to use. Jewson is on a mission to support tradespeople and self-builders on their journey to create more sustainable home builds with its Making Better Homes product range.

4. Start a self-build account

Apply for a Jewson Self-Build Account for access to specialist services including personalised prices, exclusive special offers, tool hire, up to £20,000 credit, a dedicated self-build support manager and more, so don’t forget to add that to your self-build checklist!

Jewson customer services assisting with opening a self-build account

Photo: Jewson

5. Be realistic about timeframes

Map out realistic timeframes and add in flexibility. To make sure the project doesn’t come unstuck, think about when your builders are going to need materials by and what your buffer is.

Build Aviator, in partnership with Jewson, can help by providing a full work schedule, so you know exactly what materials are required and at what stage of the project they will be delivered. This element of pre-planning not only takes a huge weight off your shoulders, it can also help minimise the impact of product shortages.

6. Look at the calendar

Consider the seasons and be prepared by planning well in advance – spring is the best time for laying foundations and landscaping, while in winter your builder will want to be putting walls in and looking after internals.

architecture drawings

Photo: Jewson

7. Be tax aware

It’s possible to claim back VAT on your self-build (unless you plan to use the property for a business purpose), so make sure you investigate this if you think it applies to your project.

It’s also worth being aware that there are multiple different grants available depending on the scale and size of your project, so be sure to ask questions up-front about this. Your Jewson self-build support manager can help you unpick the options, to ensure you find the most suitable grant for your build.

8. Test test test!

Don’t forget to add testing to your self-build checklist. Consider optics, acoustics and anything else that will impact your day-to-day experience of living in the finished property.

self-build checklist: call the Jewson self-build team for expert help with your house build

Photo: Jewson

9. Get talking

Share ideas with other self-builders and don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice.

Once you’ve opened your self-build account with Jewson, you will unlock a plethora of added-value benefits. The Jewson team will provide you with a dedicated self-build account manager as standard to help guide you through every step of your project and answer any questions, no matter how small.

About Jewson

The Jewson Self Build team supports self-builders through the process from start to finish. Access their expertise from a network of more than 450 branches nationwide. For further support and advice, visit or follow @jewsonuk on Instagram and Facebook, and @Jewson on Twitter.