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.

The Build It Live Bicester programme is below. Further details will be announced nearer the time.

Beautiful Self Build Barn

Brian and Loveday Ellis had known for years that upon retirement they would move away from London to a peaceful rural setting. Yet it wasn’t until Brian started reading self build magazines that the couple became convinced that creating their own dream home from scratch was the way forward. The couple found their plot, in a quiet Hampshire village, after a six month hunt. Their 0.85 acres featured a tired 1970s bungalow and lapsed planning permission for a two-storey dwelling. This wasn’t what the Ellises had their hearts set on though. The couple had fallen in love with Potton’s Wickhambrook Barn design – a four-bedroom property combining contemporary interiors with a traditional barn-style exterior.

Key features:

  • The Ellises started with a mirror image of Potton’s Wickhambrook show home and then moved walls around to suit their needs.
  • Natural illumination and a sense of volume emanates from the vaulted hall and internal bridge, which is framed in Douglas fir and features glazed balustrading
  • Rather than trying to negotiate their own way through the planning process, Brian and Loveday employed Potton to represent them – securing permission within five months
  • Illness made it impossible for Brian to take on the role of Project Manager as planned, but regular Tuesday morning meetings with the builders kept him involved in progress on-site.
  • The couple faced an initial delay in the demolition of the pre-existing bungalow, when their local authority requested a bat survey be carried out
  • Building work took 12 months to complete.