When buying a house it is extremely rare to find one that ticks all the boxes. More often than not it is necessary to compromise, whether it is on the price, location or number of rooms. One way to get the ideal home is to start from scratch, and this can be profitable too. The combined cost of land purchase, building materials and labour is typically less than buying an equivalent pre-built property. Research suggests self-built homes can be worth as much as 30 per cent more than the land and build costs the moment they are put on the market.
There are other advantages too, particularly if the new build is environmentally friendly. New zero-carbon homes worth up to £500,000 are exempt from stamp duty until 2012, and if the home generates more power than it needs the excess energy can be sold back to suppliers without incurring income tax or capital gains tax. Grants for microgenerators, central heating and insulation make the prospect even more appealing, especially with value added tax cut from 17.5 per cent to five per cent on a range of energy-saving products.
Take Advantage of Grants
Most local authorities offer grants and incentives to residents installing energy-efficient measures in their homes, such as loft insulation, cavity wall insulation or a new boiler. In addition, the biggest energy suppliers are obliged to meet targets under the Government's Energy Efficiency Commitment and typically have a range of offers as a result. Government funds provide up to £2,700 to households on certain benefits, although the eligibility criteria differ between countries. The funds are called Warm Front in England, Warm Deal and the Central Heating Programme in Scotland, Warm Homes in Northern Ireland and the Home Energy Efficiency Scheme in Wales.
Government grants of up to £2,500 per UK household are available for the installation of microgeneration technologies through the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform's Low Carbon Buildings Programme. Grants can contribute to the cost of installing a certified product by a certified installer and the technologies supported include:
Solar thermal hot water
Ground source heat pumps
Renewable CHP (combined heat and power)
Alternative grants are available in Scotland through the Scottish Community Householder Renewables Initiative, funded by the Scottish Executive. It can provide up to 30 per cent of the installation cost up to a maximum of £4,000, while in Northern Ireland the Environment and Renewable Energy Fund offers grants to householders.
There are two funds available in Scotland that can make considerable contributions to those building a new home. Rural home ownership grants are designed to fill the gap between the maximum mortgage available to the applicant and the cost of a reasonable first home. Grants can be worth up to £20,000 but will not be more than 33 per cent of the total building and land cost.
The croft house grant scheme can help crofters build new homes. Rates of grant vary depending on where the croft is located but can be up to £22,000, with high priority going to remote areas with declining populations.
Hi there, We have recently bought a house that needs a complete update. We have our plans approved to extend and renovate fully and want to make it as sustainable and carbon neutral as possible. Are there any grants I could look into for this? Many thanks in advance for your response. Charlotte
Char K - 29-Jul-22 @ 7:26 AM
We have class q planning to convert a barn into a dwelling in the countryside in Devon, are they any grants available to us???
Spence - 13-Jun-22 @ 11:32 AM
I have just completed the build of a new property I have claimed for the PV"s and Heat source pump - can I claim for all the insulation materials used in the walls roof and floors?
J - 7-Jun-22 @ 5:11 PM
Please contact me asap
Doug - 4-Jun-22 @ 5:09 PM
I am about to develop a brownfield site into 11 dwellings and wonder what grants might be available to assist me in reducing the current carbon footprint by 10% minimum.
Franco - 6-May-22 @ 4:57 PM
Hi iam hoping to be granted planning permission for a self build in November. The plot will be in a 5 acre plot on the outside our small village. I was just wondering what sorts of grants are available? We are thinking of air source heating/ground source heating ect. Also windturbine/ solar panels are also a option. Just wondering what are best options are to make the most of the grants.
Rossco - 2-Oct-21 @ 4:21 PM
Hi I have planning permission for a bungalow made out of ICF blocks, I’m trying to make the house as eco friendly as possible.
I’m in Newport South Wales is there any help with any funding or even information on advising on better ways to plan an eco build ?
Rich - 17-Jun-21 @ 9:05 AM
Hi, I'm about to embark on building an eco home in co.down, northern ireland. Are there any grants available in this area please
- - 29-Apr-21 @ 11:23 PM
In the process of building a park home to live in full time on our own land is there any grants available?
Mush - 17-Mar-21 @ 11:37 PM
We are shortly to begin our new build eco single story house in the countryside. nThis has been designed to accommodate my increasing disabilities What grants are available for solar panels and a electric car charging point? Also as both of us have disabilities is there any other financial help available?
Fran - 8-Feb-21 @ 4:25 PM
Planning to convert a run down small stone barn into a cozy one-room stone cottage. It's in Devon. Planning to insulate, use double glazing and will be off grid, so using solar panels. Any advice on possible grants/financial incentives for installing solar and insulation gratefully received! Thanks. Reg
Reg - 29-Nov-20 @ 7:04 PM
Hi, I have found land and in motion of purchasing without planning (high risk high reward I know) I would like some information to put forward to planning that would help me grant planning, it’s staying low in height which I believe is always a bonus, also it set in country so I would be interested to keep natural cladding look, if eco properties helps my planning application I would defiantly be interested in adding this into my application,
South - East Kent ????
Spence - 29-Nov-20 @ 6:32 PM
I am just about to purchase a building plot and I’m going to build an oak timber frame bungalow,are there any grants available which I can claim to help me achieve the high eco standards that the government have set ?
Pat - 29-Nov-20 @ 6:29 PM
We are presently in the process of starting to build our own house.We have completed full planning permission and drawings now going to engineers.Is there any grants for self build in Argyll & Bute
Wee Mo - 3-Oct-20 @ 4:55 PM
I've recently purchased a plot of land with planning permission. We are in the process of amending the plans which includes a system that powers an air source heat pump through solar panels.
Is there currently any funding available for self-build eco projects?
charlie - 29-Sep-20 @ 3:49 AM
Hi ,we are in the process ofbuying aplot of land in a rural village in scotland , have acquiredoutline planning permission fora bungalowalready, we werewondering ifthere were any Grant's available,eitherfor the build or the heating system,
Bennett - 28-Sep-20 @ 10:28 AM
Hi, we are doing a self-build, we are looking for information and advice on what grants are available for renewable energy in Lancashire. Thanks
donna - 25-Sep-20 @ 1:44 PM
We are doing a self build house and annex building which is a small lodge.
We are considering ground source heat pumps and wondered if their is funding available.
Mick - 22-Sep-20 @ 7:37 PM
My rugby club are about to progress the redevelopment of our 18 acre Freehold site. There will be significant scope & space for both wind & solar energy sources. Advice & direction sought re grants & opportunities? Thanks, PM Hon. Secretary.
Mitch - 24-Aug-20 @ 7:42 AM
Hi! We are in the process of building a brand new sips home and I am interested in any funding or grants that may be available to help us in the insulation, heating or supplying energy for our new build?
Lisa and Nick
Iceman - 24-May-20 @ 10:45 AM
Hi I’m wondering if someone can help me. I’m looking to see if there are any grants available to help with building a few different self efficient log cabins. Thanks
Evo3 - 20-Feb-20 @ 2:03 PM
hi i am building my own house it is going to be a farm house can you tell me if there are any eco grants out there to help me go green thanks julie
JULIE - 5-Feb-20 @ 10:47 AM
I am building a new self build does anyone know grants I could be entitled to it’s in North Yorkshire in a village with no gas ?
Cookie - 22-Sep-19 @ 4:45 PM
I was wondering if anyone has any info on any available grants for a new build home incardiff
saj - 26-Apr-18 @ 6:20 PM
I was wondering if anyone has any info on any available grants for a new build home in paisley.
James - 24-Sep-17 @ 11:49 AM
I have a new build and would like to no what grants are available
Willi - 26-Feb-17 @ 11:15 AM
hi. my names sean and grew up on a farm in armagh. its not a farm anymore unfortunately, although i have land in the most bueatiful place. i have lived in melbourne Australia foralmost 20 years now and my daughter is almost ready to fly the coup. i want to go home and live simply and frugally in ireland building a eco friendly sustainable home nothing flashjust livable unfortunatly i know nothing about it, hence this piece of writing im just asking and willing to listen to any advice on procedure grants etc to get started .if anyone could help in any way with info i would be very greatful. thank you. sean
seany - 31-Jan-16 @ 7:49 PM
Robbie - Your Question:
I am building a new eco friendly home by the coast in west wales.I intend to install as many eco features as possibleCan you advise what grants are available.
Unfortunately, due to changes in Government policy in July 2015, there is no longer Green Deal funding available. I'm afraid you would have to do your own research to see if there was any eco funding available which is tailored to your needs.
EcoFinancing - 13-Aug-15 @ 11:41 AM
I am building a new eco friendly home by the coast in west wales.I intend to install as many eco features as possibleCan you advise what grants are available
Robbie - 11-Aug-15 @ 4:03 AM
I am a kenya citizen and i am interested in getting a grant for puting up an ideal home.I have a plot where to put, but unfortunately i dont have the funds to start the construction.so please i will really be grateful if my request is positively answered