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Digital Subscriptions > Build It > December 2019 > Considered approach

Considered approach

Small steps and a measured design process helped first time self builders, Ian and Sue Richardson, create their striking oak frame home
PHOTOS ALISTAIR NICHOLLS

Ian and Sue Richardson were thrown in at the deep end when their renovation project unexpectedly turned into a self build. As they grappled to get to grips with the mysteries of house building, they turned to Build It. “It wasn’t as though we’d been planning this type of project, so the thought of creating our own abode was really daunting,” says Sue. “We knew nothing about the process, so when we found Build It, the readers’ homes were great – they were real projects by real people with real budgets. In many ways, those stories gave us courage to do this. We began thinking, what would our dream house look like?”

Starting the journey

In 2011, Ian and Sue decided to relocate from Nottinghamshire to Oxfordshire to be near Sue’s family. They came prepared with a list of must-haves for the house they wanted to buy. “We liked the idea of living in the countryside with big skies, space around us and a south-west facing garden,” says Sue. “We also wanted to be able to walk the dogs straight from the door – an ambitious list!” In June 2012, after a year of looking, a friend tipped them off about a run-down two-bedroom house on 3.5 acres of land, which hadn’t been occupied for a number of years. Fortunately for Ian and Sue, there didn’t seem to be a lot of interest in the property. “Perhaps it’s because we’re near an RAF base or because there’s a scrap metal yard nearby,” says Ian. “We weren’t put off, as the plot is surrounded by woods and we don’t hear any noise. Our thinking was that we could end up living next to a farm and that might be noisy, too.”

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About Build It

Read this issue of Build It, which is packed full of inspirational and informative readers’ homes, as well as expert advice on issues from budgets and planning to project management and design. This month: - Design Ideas for Tight Budgets - Eco-Home Renovation Mistakes to Avoid - Value-for-Money Kitchen Ideas - How to Project Manage your Self Build ...And much more!