DON’T UNDERESTIMATE the amount of time needed to prepare your plot for the build – even with the package route. In particular, make sure you apply for services such as water and electricity as soon as you purchase the site, as these take a long time to go through.
WATCH OUT for the CIL (community infrastructure levy), which is a planning charge some local authorities impose to help develop the local area. Self builds are exempt, but you need to submit the right forms at the right times in advance of the work to show you’re not liable, and afterwards to demonstrate compliance.
IT’S WORTH RENTING close to the site so that you’re easily available to deal with any queries and maintain lines of communication with your contractors. Although there is a downside to this: we moved house three times in 17 months. It’s also important to plan for any language differences that might arise.
APPLY FOR THE RHI as soon as your renewable heating system is installed. The cashback is paid over a period of seven years, but you only have 12 months to apply after the tech is commissioned.
KEEP GOOD RECORDS of your VAT invoices. You’re only allowed to make one submission for the self build reclaim, and this must be done within three months of building control sign off. We’d suggest speaking to a VAT consultant for advice on exactly what can and cannot be reclaimed.