Build stage

Building or renovating your homes is the most expensive, risky and fun stage of any project

Although we call this stage 'build', there are a few different ways that groups can acquire homes:

  • Build new homes from scratch.
  • Buy existing homes.
  • Renovate empty homes.
  • Convert a non-residential building into homes.

Your options will obviously depend on where you are. Some parts of the country are plagued by whole streets of empty homes, or poor quality homes let by absentee landlords. In other parts, these options are few and far between and new build is the only way to go.

Building new homes

Assuming you have secured a site and your planning permission, there are a few ways you can build out the homes, some of which are explained below. There is no 'correct' option - choose whatever suits you best.

Photo of Broadhempston self builders

Self build

Members of the group work onsite (often alongside experienced builders) to build the homes themselves. Local councils now have duties to provide self-build plots to individuals and groups.

Case study - Broadhempston CLT
Photo of Bristol self finishers

Self finish

After builders do most of the work, residents are trained to finish off tasks like fitting kitchens and decorating. As well as learning new skills, they can gain some sweat equity or a discount off their rent in return.

Case study - Bristol CLT
Bishops Castle homes

Use a contractor

Groups can commission their own builder and contractors to build out their homes, taking on as much project management as their time and skills allow.

Case study - Bishops Castle CLT
OWCH group

A partner developer

You can work with a housing association or private developer to manage and finance the build stage for you. Sometimes the housing association may go on to manage the homes once built.

Case study - New Ground Cohousing