There is a strong tradition of self-build in Shetland. There are various ways of undertaking such a project. At one end of the scale, you might find and purchase a site with planning permission, then commission an architect and builder to undertake all the work for you. At the other end, you might do some or all of the building work yourself, though you would obviously need to have, or quickly acquire, the relevant skills.

If you’re thinking of going down the self-build route, the Council’s guide, The Shetland House, is indispensable. It explains what’s involved and is packed with useful ideas and tips.

Many people dream of renovating an older property. Indeed, many ruined or dilapidated houses across Shetland have been restored in the last thirty years or so. It’s not quick or easy, but the reward can be a home of real character and the knowledge that you’ve played a part in maintaining Shetland’s heritage. If this approach appeals to you, we recommend that you speak to the people in the Council’s heritage service on 01595 744800. They will be able to explain what’s involved and they have a useful register of buildings that are ‘at risk’ and would benefit from careful restoration.