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Fresh start


Keen to plan ahead for future family life, Will and Donna Lawrence decided to take the plunge and create their own dream home. Parents to two young daughters, the couple wanted to design a space that would suit their lifestyle for years to come. Having never taken on a big building project before, Will in particular was inspired by lots of the contemporary projects he’d seen in magazines and on television. As a result, he craved a property with a striking architectural identity that could operate as a low-energy dwelling.

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View Issues
Build It
Nov 2017

Altri articoli in questo numero

Editor's letter
What a difference a month makes. Last issue, I was
A country escape
The Milnes hadn’t contemplated selfbuilding before – but taking the plunge has given them the idyllic rural village lifestyle they craved
The best of both worlds
Stephen Campbell and Laura Hilton have successfully transformed a rundown Victorian property in London into a contemporary family abode
Second time lucky
Rob and Jo Glew beat the odds and converted their oak frame barn into a glorious family home
Perfectly formed
A plot on the family farm with stunning marshland views was the ideal spot for Freddie Pack and Katie McNie to build their new tiny house – a cabin on wheels
Why build with oak?
Oak frame offers a natural appeal and characterful allure, but is it right for your self-build? Emily Smith looks at the main benefits of this construction method
Inspiring oak homes
This diverse range of homes proves that oak frame is suitable for any house style, whether traditional, contemporary or somewhere in between
Rooflights for renovators
Overhead glazing is a key element of most renovations, whether on a loft conversion, extension or a reconfiguration of existing space. Emily Brooks explains how to boost daylight on these projects
Subscribe to Build It today!
Fantastic Inspiration & expert advice for each
Rainwater goods: repair or replace?
Chris Bates gives his top tips on how to make sure
Creating a healthy home
Establishing a living space that supports your family’s wellbeing should be an essential ingredient of any renovation project. Nigel Griffiths explains how you can integrate a healthy approach
Design details: Stonework
Stone is currently experiencing a renaissance in contemporary architecture. Emily Brooks reveals how to use it in your project
Creating a multigenerational house
With first-time buyers struggling to get onto the housing ladder and the UK population continuing to get older, many self-builders are looking to provide accommodation for grandparents and adult children in their new homes. Julian Owen reveals how your property could suit everyone’s needs
Troubleshooting your groundworks
From clay soils to high water tables, there’s a raft of issues that could impact the early stages of your project. Mike Hardwick reveals what you Need to know to overcome them
The pros and cons of open-plan design
If it’s designed correctly, this type of layout can be visually appealing and will establish a sociable space for occupants to enjoy. Architect Opinder Liddar weighs up the essential factors to bear in mind when planning this aspect of your scheme
Dealing with bats
Of all the protected species that could influence your self-build project, bats are the most common. Mike Dade explains what to do if you encounter these creatures
Planning your electrics
Tim Doherty shares his top tips for ensuring your new house has a suitable electrical supply
This striking new home is the outcome of a knock-down
Bungalow remodel
This chalet-style bungalow has been transformed into
NaCSBA task force to grow custom build
Councillors Jeremy Christophers and Barry Wood, of
Alok Sharma MP attends plot shop launch
Housing and planning minister Alok Sharma MP recently
Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) overhaul caps payments
Government changes to the RHI scheme come into force
Need to know
I recently had cause to speak at a planning committee
Product news
Great shopping ideas for your custom home project
Interiors notebook
It’s never too early to start looking for the finishing touches for your self-build
Your views:
Got a funny story, a gripe or some superb self-build advice? Write to us at or the address below for your chance to win a prize
Ask the experts
Essential advice on your problems with building, budgeting, DIY & planning from the most experienced names in the self-build industry
Self-build mortgages
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
Smart solution
Peter and Joan Foster want to erect a mobile home in their property’s garden for their daughter and her partner to live in – but would this require planning permission? Mike Dade investigates
It’s FREE to subscribe to PlotSearch – the UK’s premier land finding resource with over 8,000 genuine building opportunities, all with planning permission guaranteed. The plots collated here are a hand-picked selection, but you can find plenty more in the online database. To find out more and to subscribe call 0345 223 4499 or visit the website at
Focus on:
We catch up with Harvey Fremlin, managing director of the National Self Build & Renovation Centre (NSBRC) about why the venue is such a valuable resource for people tackling a major project
Next month…
December issue on sale 25th October