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Property know-how with George

Photo Lizzie Orme

Throughout the UK around 13,000 people self-build their own home every year. This might sound like a large number, but it equates to only around 7% of all homes built annually nationwide. Britain is also close to the bottom of the league table for the number of self-built homes per capita in the developed world. The United States, Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia and large parts of Europe proportionally self-build far more homes than we do in the UK.

I find this slightly depressing to be honest. Building your own home can be a more affordable way of home ownership as you can reduce labour costs, spend more time finding better value materials and you don’t have the substantial overheads of a big house builder and you also aren’t necessarily looking to make a profit; you’re looking to build a good quality home. It is also common knowledge that self-builders are often looking to build something more innovative and exciting and they are thinking long term when it comes to sustainability and efficient running costs. There is no doubt that a self-built home has a lot more love in it than one that is speculatively built for profit.

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With summer in full swing, no doubt you’ll want to spend more time outdoors rather than inside decorating. So we’ve come up with eight pages of fantastic super-quick updates to make your home look gorgeous in a flash, so you can spend more time having fun in the sun (p.36). And if you enjoy having friends round for garden parties during the summer, then why not treat them to some of the scrummy outdoor entertaining recipes we’ve put together for you on page 100? Our craft projects have an outdoor theme this month too, including a stylish garden storage bench upcycling project (p.62) and some creative planter ideas on page 60. If you’re lucky enough to be heading off on holiday this month you may be worried about your garden drying out while you’re away, but fear not. On page 114 we’ve got lots of clever ideas for keeping your plants well watered. Those of you who love camping holidays should turn to page 54 where we look at some of the latest clever bits of kit that will make your nights under canvas even more enjoyable. With the Rio Olympics taking place, we’ve been inspired by all things tropical for this month’s Trend Alert. After all, who wouldn’t want a funky flamingo bringing an element of fiesta-filled fun to their décor? However you plan to spend this month, whether it’s indoors decorating or out enjoying the garden, I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the sun shines for you!

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Other Articles in this Issue

Editor’s Letter
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Al Fresco Mediterranean platter, £13.95; Al Fresco Radish large oval
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When you think about all the things you own outside
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We’re heading out into the garden this month with a
There’s more to gardening than potted plants and raised beds
We’d bought this wooden storage trunk from Ikea many moons
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Q: I’d love a real granite sink for my new
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Celebrate British design and craftsmanship with the new, limited edition
If there is ever a month to embrace a tropical
Updating your home doesn’t have to take weeks and weeks,
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When Emma and Stuart Charlton moved to Gloucestershire in 2011
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If you love the relaxed look of Mediterranean style, why
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Q: I’d love to change the white bathroom tiles in
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Selling their salmon farming business, Paula and John King had
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Mealy’s Fine Art and Antiques Auctioneers 00 353 56 444
Redecorating your home doesn’t often feel like the most environmentally