To Buy or to Build?

A home is the single largest investment a person will make in their lifetime, spending time, money and energy searching for that ‘perfect home’.  Location, price, décor and the condition of the property are also factored in, and each buyer will have a specific need or certain criteria that needs to be met when purchasing their new home.

It’s not surprising that more people are wanting to take control and build their own property.   New figures show the demand to build homes has increased, with over 33,000 signed up to Right to Build registers.   This is an 80% rise compared to this time last year according to research from the National Custom & Self Build Association (NaCSBA).    The Government are trying to make it more accessible to make this an option. Councils must help people secure plots and mortgage lenders are being encouraged to provide specialist deals for self-build projects.

What are the benefits of building your own home?

  • From choosing the land, design and structural layout of the property, with advice and input from architects, construction and project managers. You ultimately get to make the choice.  Ever found the perfect property but it’s not in an area you desired or keen on an area but not the right property?   Building your own home takes away any of these issues.  You make the decision on fixtures and fittings, flooring, bathroom, kitchen and any other additional extras you want to add in such as technology.
  • A new home will be more efficient, complying with current regulations on energy efficiency and health & safety.  Environmental concerns?  Installing solar panels into roofs or cavity wall insulation could help and this could save you money on energy bills.
  • A new home will be made with all new materials, you’ll not have to worry about toxic materials such as asbestos or lead paint.
  • Building your own home comes in considerably cheaper than buying an already built property or buying a property from a developer. If you budget correctly your home could also be worth more than 20% than its combined land and build cost.   Stamp duty will also be charged on the cost of land rather than the value of the finished home.
  • The level of satisfaction of being part of your home build project from start to finish.

What should you be prepared for?

  • Finding the right plot can be challenging even with government help and relaxed planning restrictions.  Although the price of land can be affordable, not always.
  • While your new home is under construction you may have the additional cost and inconvenience of trying to find another home to live in while your new home is being built. You could find yourself paying for two properties for quite some time.
  • Managing a project can be stressful and time-consuming, problems can come up unexpectedly, you will need to work with various contractors at the same time. Cash flow could also become an issue, whether this be due to mortgage lenders only releasing their funds in stages of the projects to unexpected costs of materials or work.  Having some savings to fall back on can always help.

Choosing the right builders will always make the process much more simple.  Up to Plate, always make sure our customers have a project and cost plan which includes all construction costs.  Covering all stages of the project and we use as a reference throughout the process.  We understand how stressful it can be and we take time to build our relationship with you, making sure the process as smooth as possible.  For more information on our new build properties you can find in the New Build section in our website.

Step by Step Guide & Tips to Improve Your Home

City AM reported that house prices in London dropped by 1.4 per cent in August, growing at a lower level than last year.  London also fuelled the drop as the capital suffered the UK’s biggest annual fall and the south east house prices were 0.6 per cent.

Brexit adds further instability and uncertainty, but what does that mean for those who are thinking of moving home.  It may not be financially secure decision at this time, but there are other alternatives to consider.  So whether it is for pleasure or for the purpose of adding value, we have shared with you some tips for home improvements.   Taking into consideration budget and as little disruption as possible.  Without forgetting that some of the more expensive jobs could add more value, saving money in the long run, avoiding more expensive problems and making more economical sense.


Any good home and property starts with a good foundation.  Making sure your property is in sound and good structural shape is always important.  Although, structural work can be the most expensive, at the same time it could add the most value.  Fixing roofs, taking care of subsistence, dampness, dealing with any structural cracks are some of the works you could consider.  The upside of increasing your expenditure, this could save you money in the long run, avoiding structural issues becoming more problematic.

Renovations and home improvements can make your home feeling like a brand new without all the hassle of having to move property.


Loft conversions could be a cheaper alternative to a house extension and can be around half the cost.  Maybe, you have a new addition to your family and need an extra room, this could be a great alternative to moving.  Or maybe you want the extra space for an office, games room or an additional bedroom for guests.  A few points to remember, it needs to add more accommodation than it takes away, so make sure there is room for a staircase which will not take up too much of your existing space.  A recent survey by, showed adding a loft conversion can increase the value of your home by an average of 23,754.57 GBP.  Although planning permission is not required for loft conversions since you are using existing space, if you do decide to add dormer windows, planning permission could be required.  Small additions like windows, roof lights will create a light and open space to your loft conversion.


Kitchens can be the most social part of the house, if you have enough space, this can be very attractive to buyers.  Extending your kitchen or removing any walls to make the space look more spacious, making use and having additional storage space.  Small, modest renovations to your kitchen can also make a difference, so if a brand new kitchen is not in your budget, you can always replace doors, worktops, floors and make sure you have good lighting to improve the look and feel of your home.

For bathroom improvements, renewing your shower, check your plumbing system first and make sure you buy the correct shower for the system you have.  Re-grouting the walls can be a cheaper option, making sure your bathroom looks bright and clean.  Flooring should be clean and hygienic, tiled floors are always a good option.  Mirrors can also make a small bathroom look more spacious, adding an extractor fan can help with ventilation also.


So once you have looked at the indoors of the home, there are also options and plans that can make your outdoor space more attractive.  Adding a conservatory can be a good investment, again adding more value to your property than the cost.  However, this will only be the case if the conservatory is integrated into the house in the correct way and styled correctly.   Putting in a poorly constructed conservatory will could decrease value from your home.  Most conservatories will not require planning permission, but you do need to make sure you comply with Building Regulations.

If parking is an issue in your street, this could be a question for potential buyers at some time, having any groundwork done can always be a bonus, such as adding a driveway to your property, giving neat garden look, with less work to do in the garden, not forgetting the added bonus of potentially bringing down your car insurance.

Renovations and home improvements can make your home feeling like a brand new without all the hassle of having to move property.

If you are considering having any works done, Up to Plate builders are always available to answer any questions you may have.