130,000 new homes could be built in London

Posted 8 February 2016 by Helen Christie

According to the latest research by the London Land Commission (LLC), there are 130,000 plots available in the capital city at the moment.

Michael Holmes, spokesperson for The National Homebuilding & Renovating Show, and chair of the National Custom & Self Build Association (NaCSBA), says: “We should call for more homes to be built on public land, and given the government’s commitment to double the size of the Custom and Self Build Market it would make sense for them to encourage The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) to make more land available for these projects.”

If you’re interested in purchasing a plot of land to build your home from scratch, Michael Holmes provides his tips on how to save up to 50% on your build costs:

Concentrate on the basics when it comes to specification

Most people have a preconceived idea that the cost of material, labour and appliances will be really expensive. However, when on a tight budget, simple methods and materials that house builders have been using for years are usually the best option. For instance, a four-bedroom detached house may need 15,000 bricks but by opting for the cheaply priced ones you could save yourself £10,500 in the process.

Corners add costs

A simple four-corner house is cheaper to build than a six-corner house because every time you add a corner you increase the build cost per square metre. The simple ‘up-and-down’ roof required for a four-corner house also makes it cheaper to build and allows you the option of opening up a third floor which can increase your floor area by 40%. This will save you tens of thousands of pounds in build cost on your project.

Other ways to save money

Utilise the attic space

Utilise the attic spaceIf you make use of your attic you can increase your useable floor area and value by up to 40% at a minimal extra cost. If there is enough space it can be transformed into an office or lounge or can become a study or an extra bedroom.

Roof tiles

By opting for large-format concrete tiles you will end up saving more than if you purchase small, handmade tiles or those from natural materials when the prices will be significantly more.

Don’t include a chimney

Chimneys are costly to build and modern houses don’t need them. They stick out from the side wall and can significantly reduce the floor area of your house. By not including one in your self-build home, you can save around £2,000-£8,000.

Exclude bay windows

They require more work underground to form the foundations and you will also need special corner bricks and lintels and, usually, an insulated, tiled roof and internal ceiling for this. The lead flashings and cavity trays have to be handmade and fitted making this more expensive. As a result there is usually an extra cost of around £2,000-£4,000 per bay.

Keep landscaping simple and turf the garden

An average garden area can be transformed for less than £500. To turf all your garden areas by yourself just level, rake to remove stones then roll and get the turf ordered.


To make your driveway and pathway look better there are many types and colours of gravel to choose from and they can be mixed and matched to good effect.  Always aim to order full loads rather than the tonne bags as this will save you money.


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