Self-Builders’ Own Stories is an opportunity to hear from people who have already completed a self-build project. Build It magazine always features readers’ homes, and now Build It Live does too! Hear real self-builders talking about how they went about creating the home of their dreams. Learn from their mistakes, hear their top tips and ask them questions about their experience. At the Bicester show, there will be a daily presentation in the Workshop Theatre.
This year we look at a real life project successfully completed by Paul and Nikki Blunden & Paul and Belinda Wilson.
When Paul and Nikki Blunden embarked on transforming an uninspiring detached property in Berkshire, they realised there might be a few obstacles. With the plot size and location that initially attracted them, lapd architects helped to realise their dream home.
With unforeseen rot and soakaways adding to their initial budget, as well as the risk of the shell of the house collapsing to accomplish their open-plan living vision, there was plenty of room for error. Despite the challenges and inevitable stress, The Blundens achieved their goal facilitated with the construction of steelworks. The brick, block and steel frame model retains the period character of the property while the inside vision is light and spacious, giving it a contemporary & classy feel.
Their key objective was to create the WOW factor when people first entered the house. With high ceilings and an open hallway that leads all the way through to the garden, as well as the stunning oak, steel & glass feature staircase, there’s no doubt they succeeded.
Paul and Belinda Wilson built their ideal Passivhaus home in Bedfordshire, with the help of MBC Timber Frame, after their planning application was initially refused. They wanted to create a special, energy-efficient house that preserved the view of their stunning acre garden.
Having bought their home 9 years ago, it was the perfect location to start afresh. One issue that self-builders face is the uncertainty of cost. Therefore there was no surprise when frustration arose when The Wilson’s couldn’t find a company who would stand by a lump sum price and take responsibility for building to Passivhaus standards.
With 35 years of construction experience, Paul decided to put together a package of contractors himself. This allowed him to closely overlook the whole operation and stick to schedule & budget. Remarkably, the timber frame structure took only 4 days to erect and fits in beautiful with its surroundings. Today they live in a modern, light & spacious home that has a cosy feel.
*Winner of the Bedfordshire Design and Craftsmanship Awards 2017 – Sustainability Category