Hi, I was wondering how important it is to get progress certificates and a completion certificate from an architect on self build projects. Someone has mentioned you need them to get a mortgage against the property. If we were to build a house without one and sell it within 10 years people will struggle to get a mortgage on it. Could anyone advise?


  • Mark Brinkley

    Most mortgage companies require evidence of some professional competence to cover selfbuilds. The commonest method is to use a warranty, an insurance product offered by the likes of the NHBC, Premier Guarantee, LABC or SelfBuild Zone. Architects certificates represent an alternative route, though they are not the same thing as a warranty. If there is any later issue with your selfbuild, you have to sue the architect rather than pursue an insurance claim.

  • Anonymous

    Just my personal four penneth (though Mark is obviously 100% correct, he’s the expert)….the major warranty companies are expensive (i.e thousands) and architect warranties are usually much much cheaper. If you have any issue with the build on your house you’ll have problems no matter what and no matter which warranty you pay for. I’ve heard of shockers on both sides (certainly if you ever watch watchdog you’ll see what I mean – just ask them or do a search). Ask most builders what they think of warranty providers and you’ll get a story or two or a wry, knowing smile. The words caveat emptor (or in this case self-builder beware!) are the most important words you can ever hear. Don’t ever trust anyone, watch the build like a hawk and stop problems from happening in the first place. Fore-armed is fore-warned and all that. One thing for sure is if problems do happen, no matter what warranty/insurance you have, it is YOU that will have the stress and YOU that will probably end up having to pay lawyers to get things moving anyway. So, as with most insurances, if this is likely to be the end game anyway, why pay more when you can pay less? The main fact is you HAVE to have one to get a mortgage within the first two years after completion (i.e it’s ok if you don’t need finance to own it but if you want to sell to someone who does need finance then you’ll need to have had an architect or NHBC etc warranty), which one you choose and why is up to you. All the best.

    KR, Dave (a self-builder!)

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