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News

Dutch Custom and Self-build shows off the range of possibilities

The Netherlands has been leading the way in innovation for Custom and Self-build homes, so take a look at some of the variety of routes it uses to give people a tailor-made home....

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RUSS training day: From proposal to Planning

RUSS is running a one-day workshop for community-led groups, the second module in its education programme. 

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Could your grand design be built in a flying factory?

A flying factory is way of building a Self- or Custom Build home with all the benefits offered by building in a precision-factory environment, but on site.

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Can you solve the housing crisis and win £50,000!

The Richard Koch BreakThrough Prize is this year offering anyone the chance of winning £50,000 for an essay on creating a popular policy to rejuvenate our property-owning democ....

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Teignbridge District Council brings on a range of Custom and Self-build opportunities

Thanks to its percentage rule for serviced plots, Teignbridge District Council is permissioning a range of opportunities for Custom and Self-builders in the South West.

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Community groups should take up learnings from free Right to Build Expos

The Right to Build Task Force has announced four more Expos fo....

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Oakwrights brings on nine custom build plots in Herefordshire

Timber-frame manufacturer Oakwrights is bringing nine Custom Build plots to market in H....

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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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Bakers Shaw

Bakers Shaw mixed build-method Passivhaus

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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

Design

Design Read more

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.