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A new way to self-build

The Combes were among the UK’s first custom builders – working alongside a specialist developer to take some of the stress and risk out of creating their new home. Could their journey inspire your project?

Nicola and Jim Combe had lived in and appreciated the qualities of new-build developments for many years. So when they started their search for their dream home and saw the brand new Aldcliffe Yard canal-side development in Lancaster advertised in a local newspaper, they jumped at the chance to find out more about the opportunity.

“We initially considered tackling a traditional self-build, but thought it would be too difficult,” says Nicola. “When we set up a meeting with housing developers H20 we didn’t even know there was a custom build route available. However, after learning more about the scheme we realised that it would be a good compromise between running your own project and buying off-plan.”

FACT FILE

NAMES Jim & Nicola Combe

OCCUPATIONS Self-employed consultants

LOCATION Lancaster

TYPE OF PROJECT Custom build

STYLE Contemporary

CONSTRUCTION METHOD Timber frame

PROJECT ROUTE Developer-enabled custom build

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About Build It

In the May edition of Build It magazine, you'll find a wealth of inspiration and advice for your self-build, renovation or extension project, including: - Cover house: A traditional-style new home on a garden plot (p20) - Kitchen design ideas (p72) - Does solar battery storage make sense? (p74) - Driveway design ideas (p80) - Complete guide to loft conversions (p 84) - Modern glazed extensions (p98) - How to keep your project on budget (p110)