Build methods

A major part of the appeal of self-build is having complete control over the construction method you use. The one you ultimately decide on will be down to a series of factors, notably design preferences, budget and your own skills.

Here are the main construction methods available to you, depending on the factors above.

Brick and block

Brick and block is the most widely-used commercial building method in the UK. It comprises an inner skin of concrete blocks and an outer skin of bricks with a layer of insulation between them.

Bricks are durable and well-insulated, and finding a bricklayer is easy (or you can learn yourself). The disadvantage is that construction can be slow and cavities can cause damp problems.

Timber frame

Timber frame homes use stud walls, heavily insulated with an exterior finish of your choice, such as bricks, render, or wood panels.

This method is popular with self-builders because it offers a wide range of design options.

Timber frames provide speed of construction, energy efficiency and are environmentally-friendly. On the flip side, there can be issues with rot and they are not as acoustically insulated as brick. However,  longevity is as good, if not better than brick and block.

Whole house kit timber

Steel frame

This self-build construction option is popular in the US but rare in the UK. The main advantages are strength and durability. It can prove expensive and may limit design choices as you will almost certainly have to buy a kit on a supply and fit basis.

Speaking to experts

The industry and technology are constantly innovating and introducing new building materials and techniques. Speaking to experts and doing research could yield a perfect build method to match your vision.

Offsite or traditional build?

The differences between offsite manufacturing and traditional build can be somewhat confusing. It’s important to know what the key differences are between the two before you make a decision. From cost to quality and design, these are all factors that can have a major impact on your build.