Building your own home - self-build and custom housebuilding

The terms ‘self-build’ and ‘custom housebuilding’ are used to describe instances where individuals or groups are involved in creating and/or building their own home. The amount of personal involvement will vary.

For example, some self-builders build all or part of a home themselves. At the other end of the spectrum, a developer may find a site and then seek a number of custom housebuilding clients and build homes for them to their specification under a contract.

Self-build: What is it?

Self-build describes projects where the people involved play a very significant part in the process and help organise the project, commission an architect or builder, or may be do some of the construction or finishing off work too.

Self-building does not necessarily mean picking up bricks and actually doing the work, many self-builders will be involved in the creative side of the process.

Custom housebuilding: What is it?

Custom housebuilding describes a more ‘hands off’ approach, where a specialist developer co-ordinates the whole process for the people involved.

The emerging term 'custom-build' is beginning to be associated with a new concept of custom housebuilding, whereby developers create a number of individual serviced plots with planning permission and encourage individuals to specify their own design and build on them.

You can find out more information about what self-build and custom house building is by visiting the Self Build Portal

Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015

The Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 obtained Royal Assent in March 2015.

The Secretary of State has published Regulations that state from 1 April 2016 the provisions made under the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 will come into force.

Solihull MBC is required under the Act to keep a Register (referred to as self-build and custom housebuilding register) of all individuals and associations of individuals who are seeking to acquire serviced plots of land in Solihull and who wish to build homes for themselves to occupy as their main residence.

The Council will have a duty to have due regard to this register when carrying out our housing and planning functions.

The Housing and Planning Act 2016 received Royal Ascent in May 2016 and introduces a concept of ‘Right to Build’. This Act is taking forward the requirements of the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 further, requiring local planning authorities to support those registered on Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Registers by identifying enough suitable plots of land to meet local demand through their Local Plan.

However this ‘Right to Build’ is subject to Government Ministerial Regulations and enactment. The Council will respond promptly and positively to these Ministerial Regulations when they are introduced.

Apply to join the Solihull Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Register

If you have any queries or need help or advice in completing the registration form , please contact Solihull Council by emailing