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Welcome

One of the best parts of visiting readers’ houses for the magazine and attending the various self build and renovation shows across the country – including our own Build It Live events – is seeing the different design and practical solutions that go into making dream homes happen. They may be underpinned by the same learnings and commonsense approaches, but no two projects are ever quite the same.

A case in point is the number of people who take on old bungalows that are reaching the end of their natural lifespan. There are two schools of thought on this one: knock down and start from scratch so you can reap the rewards of a VAT-free self build; or get stuck into a total renovation. Head over to www.self-build.co.uk/crookshank and www.self-build.co.uk/wignall to see two of my favourite examples, which take competing approaches. We may have a new pretender to the throne this month, though – Amanda and Steven Ivil’s near-complete overhaul of a rundown 1960s bungalow (page 20) is a fantastic example of what can be achieved when you combine determined, forward-thinking renovators with a great architect.

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Build It
May 2017
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Other Articles in this Issue


READERS’ HOMES
Out with the old
Amanda and Steven Ivil’s can-do attitude helped them transform what was a rundown 1960s bungalow into a contemporary family home
The high life
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
Against the odds
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
Climbing the rockface
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
Lucky find
Cassie and Calvin Hill have successfully transformed their traditional Victorian cottage into a stylish family home
RENOVATION & BUILDING
Beginner's guide to choosing a build system
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
Design details: Glazed gables
Emily Smith reveals how this clever design trick could help you draw maximum daylight into your home and boost its kerb appeal
Specifying sustainable materials
Want to reduce your project’s environmental impact? Nigel Griffiths explains what you need to know when selecting eco-friendly products
Contemporary front doors
Looking for a statement entrance door that will set your home apart? Chris Bates finds out how you can get it right
Renewables for renovators
Rebecca Foster delves into some of the essential considerations when it comes to installing renewable technology as part of your home improvement scheme
Complete guide to loft conversions
Converting your home’s attic can be one of the most
EXPERT HELP
Lighting design for self builders
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
Lighting inspiration
Make use of the plethora of light fitting options available to illuminate different spaces in your home
Building on a tricky plot
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
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Dealing with damp
Period property expert Alan Tierney reveals how to properly identify and treat damp and condensation issues in a heritage home
What you need to know about planning obligations
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
Beginner’s guide to structural warranties
Tim Doherty investigates what this kind of policy will cover and why it’s so important to have one for your self build project
Plot watch: Urban opportunity
Could this shared garage site provide the ideal spot for the Spalls to create their dream home? Mike Dade examines their options
REGULARS
Inspiration
Contemporary creation
Project of the month
Ridge Cottage
News round up
A development in East Kingskerwell, Devon, will provide
What’s on?
Need to know
Even the experts can get it wrong
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 buildit@castlemedia.co.uk 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
Land for sale
It’s FREE to subscribe to Plot Search – the UK’s premier
Next month…
June issue on sale 26th April
Focus on:
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