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Need to know

With the self build exhibition season getting into full swing, it’s a busy time of year for me. First up was the January show at the National Self Build & Renovation Centre (NSBRC) in Swindon, which was a great success. Next were Build It Live’s events in the south east and north west, which attracted almost 12,000 visitors across two weekends. In June, Build It Live will be returning to Bicester to develop the success of last year’s launch event.

It’s a real pleasure to be able to help readers and visitors with their queries at these events. It’s also quite a responsibility for us experts, as people rely on our advice and can often make important choices based on what we say. Every day is a fresh learning experience in the world of self build and renovation, and rarely a day passes when I don’t acquire knowledge of something new. Occasionally, I find out something that totally changes my understanding of a process or product, and I find myself giving different advice based on the new info I’ve gleaned. As a result, I realise that we’re not infallible and that even experts can get it wrong, albeit with the best intentions. In fact, it makes me recall an incident that occurred during my own build.

I moved into my self built home when the plaster was still wet in March 2002. The completion certificate was issued by building control in May that year. Between those two dates a new Building Regulation (Part M) was introduced covering inclusive access. It called for level thresholds, ramps up to the front door and a clear, level approach from the point of entry to the highway.

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About Build It

The May 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 stunning light-filled contemporary bungalow transformation (page 20) • Discover the right build system for your project (page 60) • Choose a modern front door (page 71) • A complete guide to loft conversions (page 80) • Top tips for your lighting design (page 90) • Common plot issues and how to overcome them (page 97) • Dealing with damp (page 103) … and more!

Other Articles in this Issue


EDITOR'S LETTER
One of the best parts of visiting readers’ houses for
READERS’ HOMES
Amanda and Steven Ivil’s can-do attitude helped them transform what was a rundown 1960s bungalow into a contemporary family home
Discover how Martin Sherring and Penny Edwards have self built an ultra-efficient, lowbills Passivhaus for retirement that supports their eco principles as much as their love of traditional craftsmanship and the great outdoors
Having struggled to find a suitable plot in their ideal location, Sue and Fred Dow realised that the best solution was to purchase a house, knock it down and rebuild their dream home in its place
Keith and Mairi O’Connor’s new build home, inspired by Japanese pavilions and the surrounding Scottish landscape, is all about creating a place where they can enjoy the beautiful Lochaber sea views
Cassie and Calvin Hill have successfully transformed their traditional Victorian cottage into a stylish family home
RENOVATION & BUILDING
Your ideal choice of construction method will depend on a huge amount of variables. From costs and build speeds to how each system might match up to the performance goals you’ve set, Emily Smith investigates the pros and cons of the main options
Emily Smith reveals how this clever design trick could help you draw maximum daylight into your home and boost its kerb appeal
Want to reduce your project’s environmental impact? Nigel Griffiths explains what you need to know when selecting eco-friendly products
Looking for a statement entrance door that will set your home apart? Chris Bates finds out how you can get it right
Rebecca Foster delves into some of the essential considerations when it comes to installing renewable technology as part of your home improvement scheme
Converting your home’s attic can be one of the most
EXPERT HELP
A good artificial illumination setup will help you make the most of your home’s unique features – both functionally and in terms of its aesthetic appeal, says architect Julian Owen
Make use of the plethora of light fitting options available to illuminate different spaces in your home
Mike Hardwick looks at the top 10 issues that might aff ect the site you’ve got your eye on – and explains how to know whether to press ahead or walk away
12 issues delivered to your door for only £28* PLUS
Period property expert Alan Tierney reveals how to properly identify and treat damp and condensation issues in a heritage home
What are they and how do they work? Mike Dade looks into when planning obligations can be helpful and when they can become a project burden
Tim Doherty investigates what this kind of policy will cover and why it’s so important to have one for your self build project
Could this shared garage site provide the ideal spot for the Spalls to create their dream home? Mike Dade examines their options
REGULARS
Contemporary creation
Ridge Cottage
A development in East Kingskerwell, Devon, will provide
Even the experts can get it wrong
Great shopping ideas for your custom home project
It’s never too early to start looking for the finishing touches for your self build
Got a funny story, a gripe or some superb self build advice? Write to us at buildit@castlemedia.co.uk or the address below for your chance to win a prize
Essential advice on your problems with building, budgeting, DIY & planning from the most experienced names in the self build industry
Looking for funding for your self build project? Each month we round up the best deals from leading lenders – and update you on what you need to know about securing the right finance
It’s FREE to subscribe to Plot Search – the UK’s premier
June issue on sale 26th April
We catch up with Jon Sawyer, head of custom build housing at Igloo and chair of the National Custom & Self Build Association’s (NaCSBA) new Right to Build task force