Self-Builders’ Own Stories

Self-Builders’ Own Stories

Self-Builders’ Own Stories is one of our most popular and essential features. Come and listen to actual Build It readers talking about the ups and downs of their real life projects and how they went about creating the home of their dreams.  Learn from their mistakes, hear their top tips and ask them the questions that are weighing on your mind. Sessions take place each day in the Workshop Theatre.

This year at Build It Live South East 2018, we look at two new real life projects, by Thompson and Lewis.


  • Transformed a tired 1970s bungalow into a contemporary home on a tight budget
  • Used Architects Atelier to achieve modern design; reconfigured original rooms and added a vaulted extension with open-plan living space
  • Added features such as New England style cladding and a cathedral-like roof that overhangs a decked space
  • Recommend talking to builders’ previous clients – specifically homeowners if possible
  • Learned to insist on a frequent review with contractors to prevent misunderstandings







  • Knocked down a bungalow on a rural plot with stunning views: recommend planning landscaping in detail to allow for things like the earth shifting
  • Worked closely with planning officer to get scheme approved: recommend having meetings with the planning officer and maintaining open communications with them
  • Chose Oakwrights to build their bespoke oak frame home with arched ceilings and exposed beams
  • Suggest that co-ordinating trades effectively is key so they each have the big picture and don’t have clashes in work schedule
  • Learned that research is key: Build It magazine, self-build shows, books are all important sources of information to help you be informed about your project