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News

Right To Build Task Force South West Expo for self-build and custom

NaCSBA's Right To Build Task Force is hosting an expo near Exeter on the 8 March, sharing updates and information on the local picture of Right To Build progress for local autho....

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New Housing Minister Raab joins elevated housing department

Dominic Raab has been appointed as Housing Minister, joining the newly elevated Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government under Secretary of State for Housing Sajid ....

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Could the Right To Build be a route to homes for key-workers?

Richard Bacon asks the question: could the Right To Build be used to create homes to attract key-workers to areas struggling to recruit and retain core staff?

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New Homes England agency to focus on more land for custom and self-build

Government has announced that the Homes and Communities Agency has been rebranded as Homes England in a move that will see more land being brought forward for development.

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Huge 80% increase in people signed up to create their own home

 Recent research by the National Custom and Self-Build Association (NaCSBA) shows that 33,000 people have now signed up to the Right To Build registers.

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Case Studies

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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Berlin - 'Building Groups'

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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

Red Tape

Red Tape Read more

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Findhorn

Background:

  • A terrace of three eco self-builds (two couples and one single person) at The Park, Findhorn, Moray.
  • The three houses were built as part of a 44-unit housing development where most of the homes were self built by individuals.
  • This development is the most recent stage in an evolving eco village, the first houses of which were built in the late 80s and early 90s.

Delivery:

  • The homes are timber-framed, two-storey houses. Some fire-proof cladding has been applied on external party walls and walls facing adjoining properties.
  • The three home are modestly sized – one is 92 m2; one is 105 m2; and the third provides 115 m2.
  • All three homes are timber-framed (200 mm walls, 300 mm roofs),timber-clad, steel roofed, and use recycled cellulose insulation. They have solar thermal panels with oversized (300 litre) thermal stores, and a district heating system powered by wood pellet boiler.
  • One of the owners did quite a bit of the construction work and managed various subcontractors; another project managed the subcontractors and the third used a main contractor. One of the individuals was already a carpenter/joiner with project management experience and he project managed the overall project.
  • The homes are very eco friendly and have provided a much better lifestyle for the owners.

Finance:

  • The land – it was originally set out as two plots - was purchased for £ 36,000. Typical plots in the area would have been about the same. The plots were bought several years before the build began. One of the owners managed to secure a 95% mortgage.
  • The budget was based on previous experience of building eco houses at Findhorn and the build costs were approx. £ 1,200 per square meter.
  • The owners monitored the budget closely as the project progressed. Two of the homes were completed quite quickly; the owner of the third took four more years to complete his house himself once it was wind and weather tight, insulated, and plasterboarded.
  • One of the homes was sold in early 2011 for £210,000 and another is up for sale for £295,000.

Timescale:

  • Purchased: 2002.
  • Planning granted: October 2004.
  • Building work started: 21 March 2005.
  • Completed : Two in 2006, one in 2010.

Learning Points:

  • Building three houses together allowed economies of scale to kick in, so the owners got good discounts on many materials, and saved money on scaffolding, shipping costs, etc.
  • Don’t commit the classic “Grand Designs error” of having someone without experience project manage the project. This is a demanding job, and it pays to hire someone who knows what he/she is doing.
  • Get a copy of Architect’s Pocket Book by Charlotte Baden-Powell; it’s great on details, esp.how to size rooms, furniture, etc.

Related Links:

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Findhorn Ecovillage

 

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