An ultra-efficient contemporary self-build barn built using the foundations of the old house

The project involved assisting self-build clients to replace an existing bungalow into a two-storey dwelling including a separate garage and office with the Wylye Valley and AONB. The project involved building in thin-joint blockwork system as part of the overall environmental credentials of the design which also included air source heating, heat recovery and solar panels. Part of this environmental strategy included in the brief for the design was to re-use the existing foundations and improvement works to the landscape and stream to help biodiversity. The clients were keen to create a dwelling to reflect the rural character in both style, materials and scale, which featured as the editorial column in Build-it magazine in 2015.

We have worked on several self-build projects and are able to tailor our commission to suit the individual client aspirations. While the majority of the clients have self-managed we have also undertaken the site inspections and assisted with the on-site detailing and cost control. We seek to work with the self-building clients to create a unique and personalised home that has considered the site as well as the accommodation needs.

6 key areas to consider for self-build projects
  • The sites constraints and opportunities including the orientation, access and local characteristics.
  • The primary objective of the build, is it to become mortgage free, environmental agenda or a long desire to build your own home. This may affect the budget, style and design detailing.
  • The building method in both materials, construction system and procurement method. These are discussed at a very early stage although not always fully concluded.
  • Make the planning submission selling the scheme with drawings and sketches to help create a positive representation. We often find our CGI’s and / or cardboard development models are invaluable during the build to help show the end result, particularly during those hard moments.
  • Have detailed and well considered construction drawings. The value of these cannot be underestimated and saves huge problems and stress when on site.
  • Create a realistic programme with continencies. All our clients have reported back to us that the projects have been successful, enjoyable and rewarding. It is an amazing achievement to build your own home.