Modular self build homes: what’s the process?

High quality, sustainable, design-led prefab houses are more popular than ever. An architect tells us the secrets of the Baufritz approach.

By Jennifer Turner | 27 September 2020

Architect Anthony Cooper of Baufritz’s House Designers talks through the process of creating a modern prefab self build home with a client.


Individual, aesthetically gorgeous prefab homes are the modern way to create a stunning house that’s perfect to live in.

Anthony Cooper, architect at the House Designers, walks us through the creation of a modern classic…

A giant jigsaw puzzle

prefabricated house with swimming pool hot tub and gardens

Image: Baufritz

“When clients start their self build project by deciding on a prefabricated timber frame house, the process is very similar to any self build project. The key differences are that the builder is already known, they are an integral part of the project from the very start, and the house elements are manufactured in our factory using modern manufacturing methods to create prefabricated modules.

These modules are transported to the client site and erected. It should be seen as a giant jigsaw puzzle, where all the pieces fit together perfectly to reveal the completed house.”

Working to a budget

“Our architectural process will be recognised by most experienced self builders. We start with an initial feasibility study in order to understand the viability of the project. Here cost implications are understood which means alternative design approaches may be necessary. We then create the outline proposal where we can work through the client’s ideas.

Once the design is chosen and initial cost analysis completed, the house price is agreed before the plans are submitted to planning so that there are no nasty surprises in terms of build costs, once planning consent has been granted. This is where most traditional build projects start to go wrong. As we have an agreed price, the client can proceed, with the assurance that their overall budget will not be exceeded.”