Self-Builders’ Own Stories

Self-Builders’ Own Stories

Self-Builders’ Own Stories is an opportunity to hear from people who have already completed a self-build or renovation project. Hear real self-builders and renovators 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. Take a look at the projects that were discussed at Build It Live South East and North West 2019! Presentations available each day in the Workshop Theatre.

Self Builders at South East

“We designed a traditional family home with a modern interior”

Chris and Christina Hughes spent six months searching in an extensive 150-mile radius to find the perfect redevelopment opportunity. The couple made an offer of £440,000 for a plot in Kent, which, after some false starts and delays, was finally accepted by the owner in 2015. The 1.4 acre plot had a temporary building on it and had been improved for a 450-square-metre house, which the couple didn’t think suit the space. The surrounding land was very idyllic, with a large garden and a beautiful pond, so the couple wanted to keep the exterior fairly traditional. The interior was designed with a more contemporary feel; the open plan layout gives the house light and space, but also uses vaulted ceilings to create drama. After just over a year of work, the Hughes’s were able to move into their dream home in June 2016.

“We created a contemporary new build in beautiful Kent”

Adam Luckhurst, a general manager from Kent, and his wife Leanne, a teaching assistant, finished their first self build project in December 2018. Unlike most self builders, the couple didn’t have to look too far for a plot – the land was right next door! Despite it being easy to find, the Luckhursts did encounter issues when it came to planning permission, which was only secured after two rejections and 18 months of deliberations with neighbours. Luckily, this delay gave Adam and Leanne plenty of time to meticulously plan construction, which they found relatively hassle-free. Now the Luckhursts are able to host friends and family in their contemporary new home, and impress with their beautiful resin-bound flooring.


Self Builders at North West

“We built a light-filled, five-bedroom home”

After living in a number of Victorian and Edwardian houses, Louise and Nigel Papworth were ready to build a house with a more modern style. Set on finding the perfect plot, the couple spent five years searching for a piece of land that met all of their requirements. The plot already had detailed planning permission for a five-bed detached house and a detached garage. The house was designed with the aim of making the most of the spectacular view from the rear. However, the orientation of the plot meant that the back would be filled with sunlight for most of the day, which can create issues! Taking this into consideration, the couple included deep roof overhangs to protect the interiors from the direct rays. Now, Nigel and Louise live in their newly built modern home, which boasts plenty of living and circulation space!


“I built an energy efficient home to meet Passivhaus standards”

After gaining experience managing multi-million dollar projects, certified Passivhaus Designer and architect, Richard Spencer, managed and designed a contemporary four-bedroom family home in Leeds – with the help of Green Building Store. Set on creating an energy efficient house that would comply with Passivhaus regulations, Richard came across some obstacles. The house had a challenging form, due to the timber beams in the roof, which were used to minimise heat loss. Richard was able to source windows that fitted the roof, and wouldn’t compromise on design! Now his house is spacious, light and highly energy efficient.