Selfbuild guide to building and extending in Ireland


Know all the elements that will put you out of pocket, estimate how much it will cost and what your financing options are – the situation is different in NI and ROI.

Remember the need for insurance and warranties.

Grants and Tax Breaks are available but these are mostly for renovations, not new builds. New builds in NI are VAT exempt.


Finding a plot to build on could be your first hurdle; stamp duty is the tax paid on the land (ROI and NI).

In the case of an extension there are also pitfalls to consider.

Planning permission is required for all new builds and some extensions. The situation in NI and ROI is different.


Success will depend on how good your plan is. Choosing the right designer is the first step.

The design must be developed for the location – the views but also prevailing winds, shading from vegetation as well as sun paths.

Your choice of building method, alongside your energy efficiency strategy including heating, will impact on indoor air quality and running costs.


All self-builds and extensions must follow the rules laid out in the Building Regulations and within Health & Safety legislation. Building Control is different in NI and ROI. You must choose who will project manage the build.

The building stages are roughly the same for new builds and extensions but each project is unique.


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Written by Astrid Madsen

Astrid Madsen is the editor of the SelfBuild magazine. Email


Contemporary Co Down Build