Well, for a start, it’s the year that we’ll begin to see the benefits of a piece of legislation that, for once, can literally be described as groundbreaking. For 2020 marks three years since the introduction of the Right to Build into law.

In case you don’t know, it’s a law that requires local authorities to keep a register of people in their community who want to build their own home. But that’s not what is brilliant about the law – the kicker is that it requires local authorities within three years to then release land for the same number of people to build their own home, either on publicly allocated land or, more likely, through granting sufficient approvals on private land. It’s a game changer for plot availability in the UK.

So 2020 is the year that will see a significant surge in self build activity as, once appeal decisions become merged into common practice influencing planning decisions, all these plots come onto the market.

But it’s not just land. We are seeing a quickening of the breaking down of all the other barriers that for too long have stopped people realising the life-changing dream of building their own home too. Our biggest self build mortgage enabler, BuildStore, is constantly creating new products at ever lower rates needing ever lower deposits, with innovations to enable people to get started without needing huge amounts of cash upfront. Our construction companies are providing smarter, cheaper and quicker solutions, too. 

Year of Self Build

The Year of Self Build. We’re seeing a quickening of the breaking down of barriers that have stopped people building their own home

What can we expect?

Look out for loads of announcements during the year as more land comes on stream; more policies to help become enacted, and much more besides. It’s the year that self build will finally come of age as a mainstream housing solution.

At Homebuilding & Renovating we’d like to think we’ve got a role to play too. Over the years, as Britain’s leading website, magazine and events programme for self builders, we’ve inspired, encouraged and advised 100,000s of people to go on this life changing journey. And in 2020 we’re celebrating our 30th anniversary. I’ve been working on Homebuilding & Renovating for over 20 of those years and I’ve personally met hundreds of people for whom building and renovating their own home  has transformed their lives. It certainly has done for me – which is why I’m so passionate about more people doing it.

So, to celebrate the Year of Self Build, I’ll be blogging for this site during the year. I’ll be sharing my best tips on everything from design to dealing with builders. I’ll also be sharing some of our better moments and biggest mistakes for you to learn from. Why don’t you make 2020 the year that you build your own home too?


This year marks the very special 30th anniversary of Homebuilding & Renovating. Over the next 12 months, we’ll be sharing some of our favourite memories and bringing you special content to mark the occasion. Thank you for celebrating with us.

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