A guide to buying a plot

Do you get the plot? Plots have long been a talking point in the property buying community. “Let’s build our dream home” or “…let’s custom design our abode” and “let’s live in a home that’s never been lived in” are all conversation starters many of us launch into when deciding on making the next step up the property ladder.

This may resonate with a lot of our readers, but buying a plot and building your own home doesn’t have to be a farfetched day dream. There are many plots of all sizes available and a number of companies and service providers can help deliver on your aspirations of building your own home.


Expert advice

Here Aidan Ruthven, resident ESPC expert and Architect for Concept Completed, offers his advice on getting the plot.

Things like the location, setting and size of a plot are all subjective and will influence its price.  Here are a few things to consider when deciding whether to buy a plot or not.

Keep protected

Whether a plot yet has planning permission or not will also affect its price - a plot without planning permission for residential use will generally be cheaper.  But the most important thing in the purchase of a plot is to keep you protected!



You could find yourself in a difficult position if you commit to a purchase without first carrying out all the necessary due diligence or if you don't make your offer to purchase conditional on your satisfaction with the necessary consents and checks.

At the very least you should be appointing your own surveyor to inspect the plot and confirm its value but your ESPC solicitor should be able to outline any additional necessary checks and direct you to the professionals required.



Once all diligence, consents, contract information and building contract are completed, a site should generally be made safe, cleared and stripped of all vegetation prior to construction; this will likely fall into the contractor's remit under the terms of the building contract.

Making a site safe will generally involve securing the boundary of the site, erecting site signage and stopping-off any services.

Thereafter, the machines will be moved in to carry out any necessary demolitions or groundwork’s.  Depending on ground conditions there may be additional work required prior to 'construction' such as the export or capping of any contaminated soil or the consolidation of the ground by piling.


Benefits of building your own home

When you're building your own home from scratch you can tailor the design to your specific lifestyle and circumstances.

You can also specify to your particular tastes - be it floor finishes, paint colours, whatever.  Unless you over-personalise or over-specify, you should find the cost of building a house is significantly less than its completed value.

Depending on the purchase price and all other costs, there is therefore often the opportunity to build in profit or equity.

Aidan RuthvenNeed more advice?

Aidan Ruthven is the owner and main architect at Concept Completed, an Edinburgh based multi-discipline property consultancy.

Concept Completed is a one-stop-shop if you're considering property alterations or development.

To get more advice from Aidan email info@conceptcompleted.com or phone 0796 6671644.

Come into one of our ESPC Showrooms in either Edinburgh or Dunfermline to get expert advice on plots or finding your dream property.

Search the term ‘plot’ on espc.com from your desktop, mobile or table device for a list of the finest plots on offer through ESPC.