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A budgetfriendly new home

When they discovered an affordable model for bespoke rural Scottish houses, Dawn and Torq Allen knew they’d finally found a way to achieve their dream of self-building

readers’ homes

Left & inset: A mix of gable-end glazing, rooflights and storeyheight ground floor windows, sheltered by loose slatting, bring just the right amount of natural light into house

Sometimes simply turning the page of a book or magazine can be a life-changing event. That was certainly the case for Dawn and Torq Allen, who had long harboured a desire to build their own home in rural Aberdeenshire – but couldn’t see a way to pay for the land and construction within a realistic budget. “I’ve always loved buildings,” says Dawn. “In fact my first job was working in the office of a quantity surveyor, so I am very familiar with plans and know how to read them. However, I am also all too aware of how project costs can quickly spiral out of control.”

So for decades the couple’s self-build dreams were held in abeyance, as they made little progress beyond enthusiastically reading property magazines. That all changed back in 2013, however, when they read an article in Build It. “We came across the Model D concept,” says Torq. “This is an architect-designed kit house that’s both sustainable and aff ordable.” The project in question was a prototype owned by Bryan Stuart – who is also the owner of the building company that developed the idea.

First impressions

Bryan’s firm, Sylvan Stuart, specialises in timber frame structures. The company developed the Model D design with a view to creating an aff ordable house type that was made entirely from Scottish timber. “The name is a reference to Ford and how car types evolved from the basic to the luxurious,” says Bryan, who built the first Model D as his own home and to use as a show house for potential customers.

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About Build It

The December edition of Build It magazine is packed with practical advice and inspirational projects to help you make a success of your scheme, including: • A budget-friendly self-build home (page 20) • Underfloor heating vs radiators (page 69) • Getting lighting right (page 77) • 10 steps to self-build design success (page 81) • Does your plot have real potential? (page 96) … and more!