While it may be fun to read about big-budget dream homes, the majority of those undertaking self build projects have more modest targets. We want to create a bespoke home that suits our needs now and in the long term, represents good value for money and is affordable on our budgets.
When money is tight, you have to be that bit more resourceful. So self build homes at the affordable end of the spectrum can be packed with innovation and value-for-money ideas.
Your project route will also have a big bearing on the final cost of your dream home project. If you’ve got the time and skills to go DIY, for instance, you could make major savings. But bear in mind that biting off more than you can chew might lead to delays and even the cost of getting work redone properly.
Here are 14 affordable self build homes, all built for a maximum of £200,000 – many of them for much less – to inspire your own project.
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1. The Wee House: £64,660
Inspired by Scottish estate-style homes, she designed a modest home that could be delivered on the back of a single lorry.
In the true of spirit of self build, Alison & Stuart Sedgwick-Taylor took a DIY route to constructing their characterful straw bale home.
“We decided to use natural materials and to learn all the required skills as we went along”
The original budget, including a contingency fund, was set at £30,000. This proved to be a little optimistic, however, as the final costs amounted to £70,000.
But the finished house – a 25m2 property combining a central living/bedroom space with two pods for the bathroom and kitchen – represents excellent value for money.
Interested in creating an affordable natural home? Read our beginner’s guide to straw bale building.
3. Tiny House Mobile Cabin: £70,000
With only a small budget available, Freddie Pack decided to get creative with his self build.
Freddie’s background in farming gave him the idea to build a cabin on a trailer. With no need for foundations, the couple were free to select their perfect location.
Subsequently, they settled on a spot with breathtaking, rural views. Three sets of acrow props take the weight of the cabin off the trailer’s suspension.
With its spectacular beach location on the Isle of Eigg, this couple built a sustainable home on an impressive budget.
“We chose the patch of land based on the views across the sea towards the nearby island of Rum”
The property benefited from a 70% green grant from the Eigg Trust; this allowed them to install the solar thermal array, which warms the property’s water
5. Japanese-Style Eco House: £81,800
Joshua Penk delayed going to university to design and build his award-winning eco home.
The result is a striking single storey, two bedroom property built in a curve, using a post and beam system with cedar cladding and a spectacular glazed south elevation.
He completed his self build project at a cost of just £372 per m2.
Value engineering means the house features a hidden softwood timber frame, with oak used for the exposed trusses to add drama.
Above all, this gives the house a premium feel that belies a budget of just £100,000 – made possible through design choices that reduced labour and material costs.
7. Knock Down & Rebuild in Cornwall: £120,000
Natural materials such as slate and oak give the home a quality finish, while underfloor heating throughout keeps the solid surfaces feeling cosy.
To make use of their family land, John and Ann-Marie Mitchell have created a compact, high-performance haven on the coast of the Isle of Harris.
They even named their house after the place where Ann-Marie’s late grandfather was born to pay homage to him.
9. Sustainable Self Build: £140,000
She enlisted the help of an architect to build her a contemporary dwelling that would keep her mortgage free.
Indeed, their compact cottage combines a nautical theme with Scandinavian minimalism, resulting in a home that maximises space through illumination and intelligent storage.
11. Model Kit Home: £150,000
His striking new home is a prototype for affordable timber kit houses and features a novel use of Scots pine cladding. This has been heat-treated to achieve the durable, low maintenance qualities of a hardwood at a fraction of the cost.
12. Rural timber lodge: £160,000
Set on a 60m2 footprint in the Ballater conservation area, this compact timber cabin is a replacement dwelling for a cottage that was damaged by flooding.
Brown & Brown Architects kept the costs down to just £160,000, creating a spacious one-bedroom home with built-in flood resilience.
The project is a finalist in the Aberdeenshire Architectural & Landscape Design Awards.
While a per m2 cost of £3,208 might not scream value, the challenging yet enviable Henley-on-Thames island location of Peter and Marsha Myers’s New England style home mean their budget was well spent.
Hence, a significant portion of their total spend went into surveys, professional fees and engineered foundations to deal with the ground water conditions.
This stunning riverside abode, along with its private mooring, now serves as the perfect spot to relax.
14. Idyllic Self Build: £170,000
This young couple, found that the properties in their dream location were out of their reach. Purchasing even a modest house in such a picturesque rural area seemed impossible for these first time buyers, so they saved up to self build instead.
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