The Self Build Self Help Site Before Starting at Your Site

A one-stop shop of information for people interested in self build - whether self building a complete home or undertaking an extension, renovation or modification.


Main Structure Floor Structure Wood or laminate floor Walls Windows Stairs Roof


Reclaiming your VAT Services Before Starting Scaffolding Good Things to Have Tools for DIY & Repairs DIY Projects: 5 Top Tips Site Security

Project Management

Site Safety Hiring Contractors Buying Materials Materials Handling Waste Management

Doing Stuff

Block & Beam Floor Building a Chimney Flue Drains Fixing a Wall Plate Forming a Chimney Stack Insulating the Loft Keeping Water Out Landscaping Painting & Decorating Rendering a Gable End Replacing a Radiator Retaining Walls Roof Truss Installation Roof Windows
Before Starting at Your Site

Check for the presence of services

Unless you are absolutely sure that there are no services crossing the land, you should endeavour to locate any gas and water pipes, electricity or telecomms cables. You should contact the providers of these services and ask them where their services cross your land. If you are still in any date then you should get a survey carried out to detect them before you start any excavations. Telltale signs of the possibility of services include:


You should take out insurance that will protect :-
  1. The public
  2. Your employees
  3. The building
A typical insurance will provide cover :-
  1. Public Liability - 1 to 2 million
  2. Employee Liability - 10 million
  3. Contract Works - dependant on the value of the build
The Builders & Contractors Guild site has some useful information on why insurance is necessary for the construction industry.

View some companies that provide self-build insurance via our National Directory page.

In addition, you will need a structural warranty that will cover you for problems with the building once it has been completed. There are three main ways of getting this warranty:

  1. from a company specialising in self-build insurances
  2. from the architect
  3. from the NHBC

Site Waste Management Plans

From April 2008, any construction project in England costing over 300k will need a Site Waste Management Plan (SWMP).