In the UK, Value Added Tax is a ‘consumption tax’, meaning it is passed down the supply chain to the buyer. Individuals rarely get to claim this back in any way, though the business that do the ‘adding value’ part of things generally can; if only to offset the VAT passed down to them by suppliers.
Long story short, if you are building your own house (or some conversions), you are given some of the tax benefits that are usually only available to businesses. This can mean some really hefty savings with VAT currently at 20%. (sidenote: Hungary has the highest rate in the EU at 27%).