About self-build and custom-build homes

Self-build and custom-build projects provide an opportunity for individuals or groups. Self-build and custom-build housing offer an alternative to standard housing options enabling the builder to design and tailor their own home to their specific needs.

Homes built this way can offer a unique alternative to standard market housing that may not meet your household’s wants and needs. Self and custom-build homes can be built to an individual’s specification, subject to both planning guidance regulations and building regulations compliance. Anyone, from first time buyers to current home owners, have the opportunity to create innovative, greener and more affordable homes than currently offered through standard housing options.

Self-build projects

Self-build projects are defined as those where someone directly organises the design and construction of their own home. This covers a wide range of projects from a traditional DIY self-build home to projects where the self-builder employs someone to build their home for them. Community-led projects can also be defined as self-build.

Self-build individual plot

An individual buys a plot of land and builds a house. They can manage the construction process and build the house themselves or they can employ a builder, architect and project manager etc., who would manage the build for them.

Custom-build homes

Custom-build homes are where you work with a developer as an individual or a group to help deliver your own home. The developer may help to find a plot, manage the construction and arrange the finance for your new home. This is more of a hands-off approach but your home will be tailored to match your individual requirements.

Collective custom build

Groups constitute themselves as an organisation to design and develop a custom build housing development which they then live in. They may build this themselves or with help from a developer to manage the project.


Community-led housing projects enable a group of people to build homes together, either individually or in cooperation with a builder or housing provider. A community-led approach could be worth looking into if you wish to work with other people to develop homes together.

See Community Housing Fund for funding for groups afford to help them build.


A co-housing project involves a constituted group of people creating their own neighbourhood of homes with shared facilities, such as a communal house. A community ethos is at the heart of this type of housing.

Developer-led build

Developers with large sites divide them into single plots and offer a design-and-build service. This gives people a chance to customise existing house designs to suit their needs, sometimes being offered the chance to finish the interior of the house themselves.

Self-build, custom-build and community-led housing in Eden

Read about Eden's self-build and custom-build housing Register.


Any landowners with serviced plots of land, which are available to purchase for self or custom build projects should contact Planning Policy. They should provide details of the sites including location, size and services.

By providing this information you are agreeing to the sharing of this data by Eden District Council with prospective buyers of self and custom build plots.

Building plots available

Use the following website to search for potential self and custom build plots in the UK:

Go to Plot browser website for a national online plot finding service.

Building funding options

Find out more about funding for community-led, self or custom-build projects, we have £938,640 to help support local community-led projects in Eden.

For other UK funding options see below:

Further self-build guidance

Last updated: Wednesday, 24 April, 2024.