4 Things To Sort Out Before Your Self-Build in Ireland

I’ve been doing a bit of research on self-builds lately and it’s no surprise that there’s a minefield of things that you need to get sorted before you even lay a brick. If you’re dreaming of a self-build in Ireland, here are 4 big items to get cracking on asap…

1. Fall in love with a site

If you’re lucky, you’ll have grown up on a farm with loads of land or your in-laws will have a random field that they’re willing to give you for free.

Otherwise you’ll have to find your own site. We’ve already ruled out this 5 acre site in Wexford because it’s too sloped, but we’re still considering this 8 acres of forest.

A few bits to consider when hunting for a site: views, privacy, slope, planned developments nearby, drainage, proximity to what’s important (e.g. schools, public transport, family etc.), local clauses (e.g. do you need to a be local to build in the area? Do need to thatch the roof?)

2. Become an adult and get a mortgage

First thing’s first, you can’t buy the bricks and mortar (or Finish logs, at it will be in my case) without dough. The goal posts are always changing when it comes to mortgages in Ireland so it’s best to get the info directly from the banks. Here’s self-build info from Permanent TSB, EBS, Ulster Bank  and Bank of Ireland. AIB don’t have a web page about self-build mortgages for some reason.

First time buyers should also look into the Help to Buy Scheme, which covers self-builds.

3. Jump through Ireland’s planning permission hoops

This is an obvious one, but where do you start? I strongly encourage you to do a pre-planning meeting with your county council. It’s free! We did one and the planner gave us loads of information about planning permission in our local area.

Read the general overview of planning permission in Ireland  on the Citizen’s Information website and then approach your local County Council directly for information specific to your area.

4. Important! Get insurance

Super boring, but super important is the topic of insurance. So far, I’ve established that there are lots of different types of insurance that you should look into for a self-build like:

  1. Self-build insurance – This insurance covers injury or death caused during construction, or damage to construction materials kept onsite. There are various levels of cover, so make sure you’re covered if idiot trespassers injure themselves or a brick flies out of the sky and clocks your electrician on the head.
  2. Structural Defects Insurance –  Also known as home bonds insurance, this provides cover in the event of an inherent defect in the design, workmanship or materials that becomes apparent for up to 10 years after completion. CRL are the guys to ask for this one and they have a Dublin office.

You’ll be delighted to learn that once the house is built, you need to get even more insurance, like house insurance and life insurance. You’re best asking a financial advisor about this one. I actually know a really good one – if you want his number, pm me on Facebook and I’ll send it to you.

The Self-build Planner

Homebuilding.co.uk have a really handy self-build checklist that you can download and print. It gives you a comprehensive breakdown of what you need to do before and during the build.

If you have any tips about self-builds in Ireland, please let me know in the comments below!

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