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No surprises

With busy lives and full-time jobs, Andrew and Nicola Orr opted for a turnkey package for the delivery of their new-build farmhouse in Kinross-shire. The stress-free project has given them an enviable rural home

Andrew and Nicola Orr had a busy year in 2016. “We were planning a wedding and building a house at the same time. It was quite a handful,” says Nicola. As a result, the couple, who’ve both just turned 30, were determined that their first selfbuild experience, on the Kinross farmland that they’ve owned since 2013, would be as stress-free as they could possibly make it.

“At the outset, we discussed whether it made sense to run the scheme ourselves, which would mean saving money but would take a lot longer. The alternative was to pay for a company to manage the project and continue to work in our full-time jobs,” says Nicola. “We were renting a property nearby, which wasn’t ideal, and were just so keen to get into the finished house. So we decided we would be happy to pay the extra money to get a company on board that would offer a good service and get it done quicker.”

Going local

The couple kicked off the project to build Lomondmuir Farmhouse in a fairly unorthodox manner. “Many people start by getting an architect on board, then take the approved drawings out to tender,” says Nicola. “We didn’t know what we wanted, particularly layout-wise, so we went out to a few different builders and asked for their ideas. We didn’t have a specific architect from the start. We just got lots of different concepts and drawings from different perspectives. We then merged a lot of things we liked and worked out an overall plan.”

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About Build It

Get the advice and inspiration you need to complete your home building project on time and on budget with the March edition of Build It, including: - How to get more for your money - Is gas central heating energy efficient? - Getting sunroom extensions right - Ultimate guide to garage conversions - Do you need an architect? ... and more!