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Our editor-in-large Kevin McCloud shares his top self build tips to make sure your own grand designs house is a success

Kevin McCloud in a kitchen

Image: Theo Cohen

Ahead of Grand Designs Live at Birmingham's NEC, our Editor-at-Large Kevin McCloud shares his self build wisdom with us to ensure your self build goes up without a hitch.

Over to you Kevin.

Consider your contacts wisely

white modern house with black frame windows by snug architects

Image: Snug Architects

'Hire a good architect and the fees will pay for themselves. They will be able to let you know what works in a home and, more importantly, what doesn’t.'

Leave the details to the experts

watervilla on weesperzijde by +31 architects


'Appoint an experienced project manager. They will know about important issues, such as negotiating with utility companies regarding pipes and cabling, and will keep the build on schedule.'

Leave room in the budget

Madrona Passive House, designed by SHED Architecture & Design and built by Hammer and Hand, photo Mark Woods photography

Image: Mark Woods Photography

'Add around 20 per cent to your budget to cover any unforeseen costs that almost always crop up.'

Hire a professional

exterior of an urban infill house in one of London's terraced streets

Image: Jefferson Smith

'Get the build costed by a professional quantity surveyor. Never rely on figures produced by your builder or architect.'

Check references 

Bifolding Doors and Aluminium Casement Window IQ Glass at a house on Hatcham Park Road by IQ Glass

Image: IQ Glass

'Professional trades are key – they do this for a living, so use recommendations and always check for references.'

Be eco-friendly

eco grand designs house with garden in greenwich by facit homes

Image: Facit Homes 

'Go green – the build stage is the best time to cut long-term costs, add insulation and solar panels.'

Make your new house a home

modern kitchen extension by granit architecture

Image: Andrew Beasley

'Don’t just go for the latest trends – incorporate elements that you know will make you happy and add value to your life in your new home; it’s not just about boosting the asking price.'

See Kevin McCloud at next week's Grand Designs Live at Birmingham's NEC, where he'll be talking all things self build with 2018's Grand Designers and a host of industry experts.


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What are you most excited about seeing at Grand Designs Live 2018? Tweet us @granddesignsmag or post a comment on our Facebook page.



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