Finance & Fees
Obtaining finance to undertake a self build home can be challenging as it is considered a specialist area of lending, with a limited number of lenders operating in the Scottish market. Only two can be accessed directly, with the remaining lenders only accessible via a mortgage broker or independent financial advisor. Even then, each lender takes their own approach to lending and what works for one will not necessarily work for the others. Your own personal circumstances can affect who will be prepared to lend as will your proposed construction type. It is worth noting that if your build deviates from the perceived construction norm, i.e. cavity block or timber frame/block your choice of lender and building insurer may be restricted.
Where you have been unable to source self build finance the Scottish Government have provided a Self Build Loan Fund to assist people seeking to get on the property ladder through the self build process and subject to meeting various criteria. The fund is administered by the Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust on behalf of the Scottish Government. Further details on the fund can be found at: www.hscht.co.uk/scotland-self-build-loan-fund
Each lender will differ in how payments are issued to the borrower, some will lend in advance, however most will lend in arears, which means that you will need to be very careful when preparing your cash flow to ensure that you do not run out of capital during the course of the build.
More information on financing your self build can be found in our Funding Options.
Land and Building Transaction Tax
Any plot purchase may be subject to the Land and Building Transaction Tax. This replaced Stamp Duty in Scotland on the 1 April 2015 and is administered by Revenue Scotland. Further details can be found on their website: Land and Building Transaction Tax
Planning Application Fees
You must apply for planning permission before you progress your project. You can check your planning permission requirements here: Scottish Government Planning Permission Guides
You should however contact your own Local Authority (Council) to determine the specific planning requirements and to submit a planning application. Fees vary by Local Authority.
Building Warranty Fees
In Scotland it is an offence to start building without a warrant. An overview of the Building Warrant process can be found here: Scottish Government Building Warrant Guide
You should however contact your own Local Authority (Council) to determine the specific building warrant requirements and to submit a building warrant application. Fees vary by Local Authority.
VAT can be reclaimed on any new build. Where a self builder uses a single contractor, they will not be charged VAT. There may be additional costs which can be reclaimed.
Where the self builder undertakes the whole project the VAT can be reclaimed in arears. It may not be immediately apparent what is eligible for a VAT refund. To find out what is eligible to reclaim, please go to:
Please note, VAT cannot be reclaimed on professional services fees e.g. Architect, Engineer, Surveyor, etc.