Self Builds

Planning your own Grand Design? Make sure your self build project runs as smoothly as possible with our expert guides and advice, plus take inspiration from our new build case studies. From choosing a plot to funding and finding the right architect, you can ensure your own self build is a success.

10-things-you-need-to-know-before-building-your-own-home
Self Builds

10 things you need to know before building your own home

There’s a lot to consider when you take on a bespoke project. We reveal the secrets to completing your dream home on time, to budget...
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Self Builds

Case study: Seamless en suite space

The clean lines of Corian bring refined bespoke luxury to a Cotswolds en suite.
eco-friendly-new-build-on-grand-designs-australia
Self Builds

Eco-friendly new-build on Grand Designs Australia

For eco-conscious Grand Designs Australia builders Nigel and Nina Eberhardt, a prized gum tree became the star of their project.
compact-single-storey-new-build-in-east-dulwich-london
Self Builds

Compact single-storey new build in East Dulwich, London

Built with a limited budget, Stephen and Cecilia Blowers’ imaginatively designed, light-filled home makes the most of its tight city location.
charlie-luxton-s-self-build-holiday-home-in-tregona-north-cornwall
Self Builds

Charlie Luxton's self build holiday home in Tregona, north Cornwall

Timing, planning and patience were key to the success of TV architectural designer Charlie Luxton’s holiday home.

Kevin McCloud on the connection between buildings and place

Our editor-at-large ponders the relationship between buildings and site, and how it affects our love of them.
kevin-mccloud-on-the-connection-between-buildings-and-place
curved-house-on-lake-zuerich
Self Builds

Curved house on Lake Zürich, Switzerland

Stefan Camenzind had to think outside the box - literally - to create his remarkable curved home on Lake Zürich.
contemporary-retirement-bungalow-in-dorset
Self Builds

Contemporary retirement bungalow in Dorset

Contemporary design probably doesn’t spring to mind when you think of retirement bungalows.
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Self Builds

How to build a low-energy home

Here are some of the best routes to take if your considering building a low-energy home.
top-10-eco-homes
Self Builds

Top 10 Eco Homes

The top 10 "Eco Homes" that come in all shapes and sizes from all across the globe.
amazing-homes-for-under-200-000
Self Builds

Amazing homes for under £200,000

Affordable projects that prove you don't need a huge budget to build your dream home.
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Self Builds

New build barn in Poland

Polish architect Ola Wołczyk, designed her perfect family home as an ultra modern barn.

Research has shown that approximately one million people in the United Kingdom are taking part in their own building projects, be that self build homes, extensions, garden rooms, conversions or property renovation.

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Normally a building project is undertaken to increase living space for family or entertaining requirements or to increase the value of a property. Sometimes, it’s because of the builder’s desire to create an outstanding piece of architecture that is appealing and different, whether it’s constructed on an empty plot of land, or to extend an existing property.

The key to a successful self build is finding the right plot. Once a plot of land has been found, before starting a project, planning permission is required for building. While starting a self build project might sound an interesting challenge, be aware of the financial implications. Establishing a budget, and staying on budget can be a huge challenge in itself, and so it is important to get these in place from the beginning.

Finding the right architect for your self build will mean that you are able to create a brief to design the perfect family home, the spacious kitchen or the exciting tree house that you’ve always wanted.

The average self build can take up to a year just at the pre-planning stage, and then another year to complete on site, or sometimes more. It’s important to not rush the pre-planning process, as rushing at the early stage of any building project could cause architectural or other problems in the future. Prioritise external areas of the building to be completed first; interior installations, improvements and decorative touches can be pushed back to after the build completion.