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News

Dream and plan at Grand Designs Live on 5-13 May

The hugely popuplar Grand Designs Live comes to London’s ExCel on the 5-13 May for nine days of inspiration and practical advice.

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Kickstart your dream home project at the National Self Build & Renovation Show

The National Self Build & Renovation Show, 11–13 May at the NSBRC is an essential in the show calendar, offering a wealth of information, whatever stage your Custom o....

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National Custom and Self Build Week 2018

 

Brought to you by NaCSBA, National Custom and Self Build Week 2018 takes place between 7-13 May, with events at Grand Designs Live, the NSBRC and Graven Hill

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Build your dream at Graven Hill with pilot mortgage scheme

Cherwell District Council has announced a pilot mortgage scheme offering self-builders the chance to apply for a mortgage through their local authority with just a five per cent....

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London Mayor brings on small sites for self and custom building

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has created a new website for selling  small publicly-owned sites as a pilot for providing plots for the capital’s small- and medium-enterprise....

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Case Studies

Bath Street Collective Custom Build

Bath Street Collective Custom Build

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Planning for retirement with Potton

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Beattie Passive house

Manx passive home

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Contemporary Timber Frame Home

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Passivhaus Family Farmhouse

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Steel Farm

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Merlin Haven

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Timber Frame Home, Ventnor

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Aldcliffe Yard, Lancaster

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Walthamstow Social Rent Scheme

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Prefabricated Passivhaus bungalow

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Cookham Dean, Berkshire

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Harvest House

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Bickleigh Eco Village, Devon

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Stoke-on-Trent Serviced Building Plots

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Forevergreen House

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Housing People Building Communities

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Sülzer Freunde, Cologne

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Manor Farm, Kirton

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Straw-baling, Perthshire

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Findhorn

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Almere, Holland

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Hockerton

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Top tips

Land Banking Schemes — How to Spot a Scam

Land Banking Schemes — How to Spot a Scam Read more

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Design

Design

  • The vast majority of selfbuilders hire the skills of a competent designer to help them create something within their budget and to negotiate the red tape. There are three main choices:
    1. Architect: a professional who has undergone lengthy training in design and construction and is qualified to use the protected name ‘architect.’ Qualifications can be checked at ARB.
    2. Plan drawer: A wide range of people claim to be able to prepare drawings or plans for self builders – some call themselves 'architectural designers' (which often means they are not qualified architects) but they may be experienced and some can do a reasonable job; others have no qualifications at all and are perhaps best avoided. A chartered architectural technologist is another option.
    3. Design and build, or package/kit build: selfbuilders often work with package/kit build companies who carry out the design functions for them.
  • Package/kit build options are relatively easy to understand because there are many examples and photos of completed projects, so you can judge what it is you are likely to get. Architects tend to get used for more individual jobs, often with a strong design element. Most of the more expensive selfbuilds use architects (which is not to say all architects are expensive!). Plan drawers and technologists tend to focus on cost-effective solutions, often working in more traditional styles.