So, you’ve always wanted to build the home of your dreams. Here’s how GPH Builders Merchants can help.

We are a nation of DIY lovers and with programmes such as Grand Designs which has been running for over a decade, more people are becoming inspired to tackle one of the biggest DIY projects possible and build the bespoke home of their dreams.

You might not be aware that the Scottish Government offer a Challenge Fund (CF) designed to support the development of projects that demonstrate and promote the value of self and custom build housing as an alternative mainstream housing delivery model. Following a recent and very successful pilot in the Highlands, a new £4 million self-build loan fund will be made available from Autumn 2018 to support people throughout Scotland over the next three years.

The fund is open to everyone and applications are welcomed from projects which demonstrate an innovative approach to the delivery of homes, from small-scale and individual, to community projects and ideas to support the scaling-up of the custom build sector.

How can GPH help you?

So where do you go to buy supplies for building a house? A builders merchants of course and GPH Builders Merchants have been regularly supporting the self build market by providing materials for projects such as this. In fact, it’s a huge part of their business and they can offer everything you need to build a house under one roof plus the specialist advice you may require to make some big decisions.

Expansion has established GPH as the leading independent builders’ merchant in the North-east, with a vast range of products from brand-leading manufacturers encompassing building supplies, timber and joinery, roof materials, landscape and garden, decorating and plastering, plumbing and drainage, clothing and PPE, ironmongery and tools (for hire as well as for sale).

Managing Director, Grant Shewan said: ‘Once you have planning approval for your house, we’re happy for you to bring your plans to us and we can provide quotes for high-value items such as concrete, blocks, timber,  roofing and all internal finishings. We offer a wide range of materials at highly competitive prices.

We know customers find it easier to make decisions if they can see the product being used for themselves. That’s why we have invested in all of our branches to create hard landscaping areas to demonstrate block paving and patios so that customers can see how it actually looks on the ground.

We’ve also just introduced areas in all our branches that showcases a selection of doors and laminate flooring. We understand this is a growing market and our staff are happy to help in any way they can’.

What is a self build and what are the advantages of going down this route?

The term ‘self-build’ refers to someone who is not buying their home second-hand or from a housebuilder in the usual way. It could be more accurately described as procuring your own home.

People normally think of self build as buying a plot of land in order to build a new home from scratch, however, the same principles apply to buying a derelict empty property which needs significant work. An existing property often has the advantage of existing road, water, sewerage, electricity and potentially gas connections to the site already being connected. In this case, you may be able either to demolish the property and start afresh or substantially renovate and/or extend the existing property.

There are a number of advantages of self build over buying homes. One huge advantage is obviously the choice and control you have – you can specify exactly what you want for your home. Self build can also save costs; in most cases, it costs less to buy a plot of land and fund the construction costs yourself than to buy an equivalent type of property on the open market (although this can vary according to location, house design and specification and how tightly construction costs are controlled).

With the value of the self build and custom market forecast to grow by 41% by 2020, the Government has identified the importance of this sector in meeting its housebuilding targets in a way that creates choice and quality for the wider public.

More information on the self and custom build challenge fund is available online.