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Digital Subscriptions > Build It > Nov 2017 > Fresh start

Fresh start

With a focus on contemporary family living and energy efficiency, Will and Donna Lawrence took on their first ever major project in the suburbs of Sheffield


Keen to plan ahead for future family life, Will and Donna Lawrence decided to take the plunge and create their own dream home. Parents to two young daughters, the couple wanted to design a space that would suit their lifestyle for years to come. Having never taken on a big building project before, Will in particular was inspired by lots of the contemporary projects he’d seen in magazines and on television. As a result, he craved a property with a striking architectural identity that could operate as a low-energy dwelling.

Finding the right location to carry out their scheme took the Lawrences nearly two years, before they discovered a site in Sheffield that captured their interest. “At first, we’d planned to build from scratch, but we found it difficult to identify the right piece of land,” says Will. “We didn’t know Sheffield particularly well, but we’d done our research and were confident that the area had a good reputation, so we started to view homes that had renovation potential.”

Having looked at six houses over the course of half a year, the pair spotted a 1950s property and quickly fell in love with the farreaching views from the rear. But while it ticked all the boxes when it came to location, in terms of functionality and longevity it wasn’t well-suited to the Lawrences’ lifestyle. In fact, the existing layout needed a dramatic overhaul to make it work for the family.

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About Build It

The November edition of Build It magazine brings you all the inspiration & practical advice you need to complete your home building project on time and on budget, including: • A self-built first home for just £47,000 (page 48) • Why build with oak? (page 64) • Rainwater goods: repair or replace? (page 67) • 5 renovation tips for a healthy home (page 81) • Is open plan living right for you (page 103) • Expert guide to lighting and electrics (page 112) … and more!