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9 Amazing Online Resources for Self-Builders

With a range of new laws encouraging the development of self-build homes and renovations, the sector is seeing an influx of first-timers.

However, even if you've got a day job as a builder – it's impossible to go it completely alone. To help out new self-builders, we've scoured the web to find some of the best resources available.

NaCSBA

The National Custom & Self Build Association (NaCSBA) is the official association of self-builders in the UK and has the avowed aim of supporting and encouraging those undertaking self-build projects.

It's got a range of fantastic resources for those in the initial phases of self-build and can provide guidance on practically any issue – from finding a plot to local Right to Build registers.

NaCSBA also offers inspiration to prospective self-builders, running regular competitions for things like designing the most flexible starter homes and ideas for self-build homes that can be built on a shoestring budget.

The Self-Build portal

NaCSBA also runs the government-endorsed Self-Build Portal, which caters for self-builders carrying out one-off projects, taking part in a group build or converting an existing property.

It offers a range of case studies on various types of project, to give those considering self-build an idea of the work that they'll have to put in and you can use its interactive guide to find out the best route for you and whether your plans are feasible with the budget you've got.

The website's forum is also highly active and after a no-fuss registration, you can ask questions of experienced self-builders, who will be more than happy to share their two cents and help you avoid common pitfalls they may have fallen foul of.

Build It

Billed as the UK's longest-running magazine devoted to the topic of self-build – Build It boasts both online and print versions. It's a must-read for budding self-builders, with its website and physical issues packed full to the brim of expert advice and inspirational real-life stories.

Build It also explores cutting-edge construction systems and detailed project guides on key issues from wet rooms and attic conversions to extensions and basements.

Homebuilding & Renovating

Another cracking magazine for self-builders, Homebuilding & Renovating is a one-stop-shop for reams of advice on practically every aspect of self-building.

Both its online and print editions are crammed full of expert advice that'll be invaluable to first-timers and experienced self-builders alike.

You can also register for free to join the Homebuilding & Renovating Community and get complimentary tickets to upcoming Homebuilding shows.

 

Specialists in Structural Defects

The Self Build Guide

This free resource offers a wealth of expert advice from veteran self-builders on traditional self-build projects, conversions and specialist eco homes.

In addition to hosting a plethora of guides on everything from materials and tools to warranties and planning concerns – the Self Build Guide is an excellent resource for virtually any type of self-build project.

It's also got a great roundup of some of the best books, magazines, DVDs, software, courses and upcoming shows for self-builders and renovators, so be sure to check it out.

Selfbuild & Design

Running since 1997, this fantastic website and print magazine combination contains an array of practical advice, guidance and ideas for hands-on self-builders, project managers and those looking for custom-designed houses.

It's brimming with case studies from successful projects and hosts a veritable encyclopaedia of information for first-timers in its Getting Started guides.

You can also utilise its PlotBrowser platform to search for the perfect self-build plot in your county, whether you're looking for a single building plot, conversion, multiple plots or renovations.

ebuild

While static resources are all well and good, sometimes you need to talk to someone who's gone through it. For those looking to access the collective intelligence of a vocal and active self-build community, the ebuild forum is the perfect place.

Buildstore

With its range of tools and calculators, as well as its PlotSearch facility – Buildstore is a fantastic practical resource for self-builders. You can also sign up to its Trade Card facility, which enables you to purchase a myriad of trade services and products at discounted prices, as well as several other special benefits.

Collective Custom Build

A must-have resource for those looking to get into a group custom-build project, Collective Custom Build (CCB) is a joint effort from the University of Sheffield's School of Architecture, Ash Sakula Architects and Design for Homes.

Head over to its website to create a custom list from its trove of resources, or simply follow @CoCuBuild on Twitter to keep your finger on the pulse of the latest updates.

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