Calculating the size of the UK’s Custom and Self Build sector

The National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA) is running a survey of Self Builders who have reclaimed Value Added Tax (VAT) on their project. It is calling for anyone who has built or commissioned their own home in the last five years to fill in the survey, anonymously, as gathering this data helps it establish the size of the sector.

This data, together with other information, such as the number of single dwellings created per year, this gives us an estimate of the number of self builders in the country.

Please fill in our VAT survey.

Knowing how many people are self building in the UK is vital for NaCSBA, as it shares these figures with the wider industry, and more importantly, with Government, helping fuel the conversation about creating more Custom and Self Build opportunities for more people across the UK. The more people that are building, the more new opportunities will come on the market.

From 2019 calculating the size of the sector will be easier, as there is now a question on the form that you must submit for planning permission (1APP), that will help gather this data. However, for earlier years we need to compile this data retrospectively – which you can help with.

One minute of your time

Please help others who want to self build by filling in the survey, or by sharing it with friends and associates. If you have self built, custom built, commissioned a new home or converted a building into a home, then we want to know how you reclaimed your VAT.

The survey is anonymous – it’s just nine questions, but it makes a huge difference to the work we do as an organisation, helping us to make custom build and self build more of a mainstream choice for more people.


Share this link with anyone who has self built recently:


Thank you!


Image: DHayes

Self and Custom Builders building in Scotland have a new resource in the recently launched Scotland Self and Custom Build Portal. Like NaCSBA’s Self Build Portal, the site provides advice, guidance and support for anyone wanting to build in Scotland.

The Portal was created thanks to the Self and Custom Build Housing Pilot Challenge Fund, which was launched by Scottish Government to test new models for growing the sector north of the border. Specifically, the Challenge Fund aimed to support new routes and models for anyone wanting to Self Build in Scotland, including alternative finance options, which would also create more opportunities for the companies servicing the sector, such as small building firms.

The Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust (HSCHT) submitted an application for the Challenge Fund with its idea of creating a new dedicated portal for Scotland, to offer support and advice around the Scottish context for Custom and Self Builders. The HSCHT have previously supported a range of Self Build projects and created new finance models to make Self Build more accessible.

Local support

Like NaCSBA’s Self Build Portal, the Scottish portal offers support and advice tailored to Scotland’s devolved laws, giving insight into the local situation, including legislation, finance and Scottish plots. An interactive ‘Getting Started’ tool also gives would-be-builders a ready reckoner of costs depending on the amount of work they’re prepared to do themselves.

Its plot service offers a route to land for anyone looking to build, as well as a service for landowners to advertise their land in Scotland.