Custom Build Homes

Custom Build homes offer a greater choice for people to live in the home they want. Building with wood delivers well designed, sustainable homes at affordable cost.

Facts about custom build

  • 53% of UK people would consider building their own home. The Government wants it to be a mainstream option.

  • Custom build homes are expected to be high quality, well-designed and attractive. Building with wood fulfils all these requirements.

  • 1 in 10 new builds (around 12,000 homes per year) are custom build and the Government wants this number to double by 2020.

  • The estimated custom build market value is £3.6 billion a year.

  • ‘Right to Build’ requires local authorities to ensure suitable land provision for self and custom build homes under the Self and Custom Build Act 2015.

  • Since April 2016, more than 18,000 people have signed up to local authority demand registers.

  • £3 billion is available to SMEs, custom house builders, large housebuilders and developers via the Home Building Fund. The fund provides short and long-term loans for development and infrastructure.

  • Building with wood can speed the construction process; Timber frame can be delivered to site and constructed within days. Cross laminated timber lends itself to larger scale custom build projects where offsite construction is growing in popularity.

  • For the wider market, partnerships between local authorities and contractors or off-site construction suppliers makes custom build more affordable and accessible.

  • Custom build reduces risk for builders as the house is effectively sold before build.

  • Homeowners can make significant savings by opting for custom build, often achieving a 10% saving on market value.


Download our fact sheet here.


Garden Cities - the ideal location for custom build homes?

“A garden city is a holistically planned new settlement which enhances the natural environment and offers high-quality affordable housing and locally accessible work in beautiful, healthy and sociable communities” Town and Country Planning Association

Garden cities help to meet local housing needs and make effective use of brownfield or public sector land. They provide an ideal location for custom build sites.

Building these new garden communities with wood makes good sense. Wood has excellent environmental credentials. It is linked to many health benefits, can improve air quality, has good acoustic properties and can reduce heating bills by up to 90%. It is a natural, tactile and versatile material.

Example: Bicester Garden Town

In December 2014, Bicester in Oxfordshire was declared a garden town. The UK’s largest custom build scheme, Graven Hill, is based here. With space for 2,000 homes the scheme includes shell builds and the ‘golden brick package’ which give the homeowner greater control of the interior of the house. Choosing a tailored finish gives the homeowner less control of the interior. Apartments and shared ownership units will also be available.

 A design code has been set up to have some control over what’s being built. Over the next 15 years, this will be regularly updated and refined.

Unlocking the potential of custom build

To help Local Authorities, community groups and other organisations across the UK deliver large, affordable custom and self build projects, the Right to Build Task Force was established in early 2017.

In collaboration with NaCSBA and Wood for Good the Right to Build task force is organising a series of regional events in 2017-2018. The Right to Build expo is designed to bring together all the players you need to meet to 

  • Kick start your own Right to Build success story

  • Network and share your experiences of the Right to Build so far

  • Learn about the new Right to Build Task Force and what it could do for you

  • Find out about how pioneering councils, experienced developers and landowners are capitalising on the Right to Build

  • Get expert one-to-one help and advice

To receive regular updates on these events sign up for our newsletter.

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