10 Stunning Contemporary Homes for Every Budget

Want to create a light-filled modern house and looking for inspiration in your price range? Check out these diverse bespoke projects
by Andrew Hobbs
22nd November 2019

The popularity of open-plan spaces with extensive glazing is constantly on the up. It’s no surprise that the desire for light-filled designs that maximise the room available is relatable for a lot of self-builders.

For many of us, such schemes reflect our lifestyle and what we want from a bespoke home. After all, most people choose to go down the self-build route so that they can create a home that’s perfect for their needs.

While interest in contemporary projects is common, the sort of budget required to build something along the lines of the Watsons’ home, found below, is not.

That’s why we’ve created a list representing what’s achievable at a whole range of price points – from under £100,000 all the way up to almost £2m.

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Eco house on a budget

Joshua Penk's affordable hands-on self-build

A thoughtful design, some self-build determination and a hand from friends and family can produce a contemporary home on a shoestring. Joshua Penk managed to avoid the use of scaffolding, amongst countless other money saving measures, to build this affordable woodland eco home.

Build cost: £81,800

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Small sustainable self build

Timber frame sustainable self-build

Getting the most from a 63m2 footprint requires design ingenuity and clear communication between architect and client. Thankfully Makar Construction were on hand to help Barbara Manson realise her retirement self-build dream. The home is a timber construction finished in a mixture of horizontal and vertical larch cladding, crowned with a sustainable living roof.

Build cost: £140,000

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Amazing cantilevered home

SIPs cantilevered self-build

The unique looking Watershed makes inspired use of a cantilever to jut out over a nearby waterfall. Despite this striking design feature, the project came in at £1,424 per m2. Architects ATA Studio came up with clever money-saving solutions such as a pop-out fourth bedroom that keeps material costs to a minimum.

Build cost: £270,773

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Looking for an indicative cost for your self build ? The Build It Benchmark Report uses award-winning HBXL software for a quick and cost-effective way of pricing up your project.

  • Is your budget realistic?
  • Will there be money left over for your dream kitchen?
  • Amazing plans but no idea of cost?

If you are looking for a broad outline of your overall build costs before you decide which route to take, why not send us your plans and request a Benchmark Report? Find out more here

Contemporary home built on a modest budget

contemporary zinc-clad home

Architects Eilir Sheryn and Frederieke van Ellen’s new home is a striking contemporary design made all the more appealing by its simplicity and affordability. They stuck to a simple timber frame box shape, maximising interior space. The result is the kind of individual project that would be within reach of many aspiring self-builders.

Build cost: £325,000

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Bespoke house on a sloping plot

Bespoke steel frame self-build

The inspiration for the Smiths’ contemporary home was gleaned from an array of sources, including their memorable holidays to Scandinavia and Palm Springs in California, where Martin was particularly affected by sleek examples of ‘desert Modernism’. Their own interpretation is comprised of a steel frame, encased in floor-to-ceiling glass and iroko timber.

Build cost: £399,460

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Modern London eco house

Modern London Eco House

The Bakers snapped up a leafy plot in west London and built a treehouse inspired contemporary abode. The glazed ground floor drinks in the natural light, while the overhanging level above prevents overheating in summer. The house is formed of two angled, interconnecting wings, which come together at the double-height entrance hallway.

Build cost: £453,000

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Contemporary cliff-top home

Modern timber frame cliff-top home

Prioritising high ceilings, big open rooms and natural light, Dan Hatfield capitalised on his coastal site. The project’s clean straight lines are contrasted by the green roof, planted with local species to reflect the surrounding cliff-tops. This huge build came in at an impressive £1,000 per m2, including a relatively small overspend of around 10%.

Build cost: £600,000

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Contemporary home blends into landscape

Contemporary timber frame self-build

Natural, sustainable materials are a core part of the Gourlays’ house – from the locally sourced softwood timber frame, built stick-by-stick on site, to the 500 tonnes of stone gathered from the surrounding fields. This ethos tells in the end product, which, despite its bold lines, looks at home in its rural Scottish setting.

Build cost: £720,000

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Award winning contemporary self build

Contemporary home with concrete, steel and timber frame

John and Maxine Fack turned a forgotten, scrub-covered sloping plot in Cornwall into an award-winning dream home

This couple transformed a forgotten, overgrown sloping plot in Cornwall into an award winning dream home.  It boasts a stunning yet unique design, with incredible eco-credentials to boot. The design features cantilevered wings, that jut out over the valley below, offering vast views from the home, whilst remaining sympathetic to the surrounding countryside. This property was entered in the Build It 2019 awards.

Build cost: £826,120

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Bold and beautiful contemporary home

Bold contemporary home

This impressive dwelling came from the Watsons’ desire for light, open spaces and a modern, streamlined look. The design is based around two wings of living accommodation, joined by a two-storey glass link. The roof is made from structurally insulated panels, which meant there were no trusses to get in the way. This allowed architects Sense of Space to create spectacular, capacious vaulted living zones.

Build cost: £1,900,000

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For image credits please refer to the full reader home articles

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