What Is Custom Build


What Is Custom Build


has a lot in common with a


however, it differs in two major ways:


Self-build doesn’t come completely without its risks, and if you’ve ever seen an episode of Grand Designs, you’ll know the kind of problems that many self-builders face. That’s why we have moved away from helping self-builders to becoming a custom build developer.

Self Build vs Custom Build

Self Build vs Custom Build

What's the difference between self-build and custom build?

A self-builder could get the greatest return, but has to take on all the potential risks and problems of the project; including (but not limited to) buying the right site (or overcoming the problems a site has), planning refusals, builder issues, cost over-runs, costs of delays and managing the delivery team. In return, the self-builder can get their dream home exactly the way they want it (within the constraints of time, building control, planning and budget) and, if things go well, will get the highest reward.

Custom build is beneficial as you have a professional developer to manage the build and to take on the risk on your behalf. It takes away the problems of self-build and yet still gives you ample choices, such as choosing layouts, finishes and specifications. The custom build developer does all the time-consuming and risky bits like finding the plot, negotiating the legals and the planning permissions, digging the foundations and liaising with the utility companies. If things don’t go according to plan, you won’t be the one to take the phone call and have to sort it out and you won’t have to suffer the worry of finding the money if you go over budget. 

Custom Build at Inhabit Homes

Custom Build at Inhabit Homes

There are several stages at which you can buy a custom build home from Inhabit Homes. You may want to buy a serviced plot to build your own home on, or you may prefer buying a watertight shell and then fit it out yourself or you may just prefer us to build it all and have it designed around you and your needs. The more of the build you take on, the more money off the finished price you can expect to get.

At Inhabit Homes, we think that the best value option is for customers to buy the ‘watertight shell’ (self finish) is the best value option we offer. This means that we have already done a lot of the hard work; secured a site, got planning permission, dealt with gas, electric and water companies, worked out how the homes will get through building regulations, made sure that the construction is sound and of good quality and thought about design possibilities. It leaves you, the customer, with all the fun stuff to do; design the layout of your home to suit your needs exactly, source cool vintage light fittings or research the best value floors. Spend the money where you want great quality, and budget where you don’t mind so much.


What Is A Shell?

What Is A Shell?

If it's hard to understand what a shell means in practice - then consider it similar to buying a period home which has been stripped back to the structure.

 There are two advantages to a shell. 

Firstly, there are no nasty surprises; walls are 'true', the structure is sound and the building comes with a 10 year guarantee. You won't find rotten joists, hidden damp, or holes that need patching up. 

Secondly, unlike a normal refurb, it is still considered a 'new-build' so you will be able to reclaim all VAT on building work, plus the fixtures or fittings you install. This gives a saving of 20% on the entire fit-out budget. 

Buying a shell still involves you doing work or project management which increases your risk – but it is a choice many people make, and  it can result in significant savings.

To save even more money, you can buy a shell at what we call Golden Brick. 

This means that you buy the land and the shell that sits on it separately, this still gives you the fixed price certainty, but gives you a significant saving because

(a) you save on stamp duty (as you’re paying on the price of the land rather than the home) and

(b) you get an extra discount because we don’t have to raise money to build the shell. 

For both shell options, you are able to raise a self-build mortgage in the normal way. We can put you in touch with a specialist broker to help secure the finance. Whichever route you take, the one thing you can take for granted is that you will get a quality watertight shell for much less money than you would pay for a new build which gives you great value for money


Learn about our current Custom Build opportunities