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One in Two Self Builders Include Sustainable Heat Sources, New Report Finds

Michael Gove and Richard Bacon
(Image credit: NaCSBA)

Over half of self builders use Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) and one in two includes a sustainable heat source such as a heat pump in their project, new research shows.

The findings are from the National Custom and Self Build Association’s (NaCSBA) first annual Custom and Self Build Market Report, the most comprehensive assessment of the state of the self build sector to date.

NaCSBA says the results, which come from a survey of self builders who completed their projects in the last five years, makes the self build sector “a trailblazer for these two important areas of construction”. 

The 100-page report also showed that the main reason people choose to custom or self build was the ability to have greater choice and control in their home.

Highlighting the high percentages of self builders who preferred to build with MMC and include sustainable heating, NaCSBA says this “demonstrates that, for many people, their choices contribute to creating better-built and greener homes”.

Finding a Plot Remains a Challenge

The report also identified, however, that the number one barrier to self builders remains finding a plot, despite the government’s recent findings that in 2020-21,12,263 new individuals joined the Right to Build registers - which helps aspiring custom and self builders to find self build plots to build on - an increase of 31% from the same period a year prior. 

Planning was the second largest barrier to self build growth, NaCSBA said, despite the National Planning Policy Framework’s requirement for Local Plans to bring forward at least 10% of their housing requirement on small sites.

The report was launched this week at a reception at the House of Parliament, hosted by Richard Bacon MP, an ambassador for the Right to Build Task Force, with speakers including Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

Mr Gove said at the event: “If we move all of the incentives in the right way; if you have a plan-led system that is responsive to the need to ensure that there are smaller plots, which are suitable and made available for custom and self builders; if we look at how we can support those with the initiative and the wherewithal to back Modern Methods of Construction; if we create circumstances in every part of the landscape that incentivise self and custom build, then we can transform the housing market, and transform it for good.”

Jack has worked in journalism for 11 years and is the News Editor for Homebuilding & Renovating, a role he has had since 2019. He strives to break the most relevant and beneficial stories for self builders, extenders and renovators, including the latest news on the construction materials shortage and hydrogen heating. In 2021 he appeared on BBC's The World at One to discuss the government's planning reforms. 


He enjoys testing new tools and gadgets, and having bought his first home in 2013, he has renovated every room and recently finished a garden renovation.