Self-building simplified in latest RIBA guide book

A new edition of this self-build guide from RIBA helps demystify the process of designing your own home

By Paisley Tedder | 13 October 2021

Designing your own home should be for the many, not the few. If you dream of building your own home like those on Grand Designs but don’t know where to start, the new jargon-free self-build guide from RIBA should help.

Self-Build, 2nd Edition, follows the successful Self-Build: How to Design and Build Your Own Home, published in 2004. The latest in a line of similarly practical reads from Julian Owen, an architect with over 25 years’ experience and an MBE for services to architecture, the updated tome reflects the evolution of the self-build market. Offering thoughtful insights and an easy-to-understand guide, it encourages people to realise their dreams of building their own home.

Self build guide book by RIBA with Julian Owen

Photo: RIBA Books

Self-build is becoming increasingly popular, yet the recently published review of custom and self-build by Richard Bacon MP identifies it as a ‘missing market’. The review identifies the potential to deliver between 30,000 and 40,000 self-build homes a year by developing ‘a plan for a major scaling-up of self-commissioned new homes’, providing a major boost to the government’s target of building 300,000 homes a year.

‘This book is the essential companion for aspiring self-builders and anyone about to begin their project,’ says Julian. ‘It distils all the practical information needed to build a dream home and is accompanied by some inspirational images of well-designed buildings. Readers will be able to reduce the risk of problems arising as this step-by-step guide highlights potential pitfalls and explains how to avoid them.’

Self-build home with slated sloping roof and wooden panelled exterior on a hill

Roderick James Architects self-build house in South Hams features in the book. Photo: RIBA Books

The book is packed with hints, tips and watch-points, as well as more than 200 colour photos, diagrams, plans and case studies to help self-builders get off to the right start. It also features the work of well-known architectural practices including Baca Architects and Barefoot Architects, and demystifies processes such as budgeting, planning permission, procurement, building contracts and more.

Order Self Build: How to design and build your own home (2nd Edition, RRP £45) online from RIBA. For more self-build inspiration, read your free copy of Grand Designs magazine here.