Best Home 2014

Vote for the Best Self Build or Renovation Project of 2014 in this year's Build It Awards
Articles by Build It magazine
by Build It
3rd September 2014

Vote for the UK’s best home in the Build It Awards 2014. We need you to help us crown the nation’s favourite dream home!

We’ve shortlisted the six most inspiring projects featured in Build It magazine over the past 12 months, and now’s your chance to vote on which of the fabulous homes deserves to be crowned Best Self Build or Renovation 2014!

Check out the six shortlisted projects below (shown in alphabetical order) and be sure take a look at the full story for each home.

Voting for this year’s awards has now closed. The winner was announced at the Build It Awards ceremony on 23rd October 2014. Scroll down to find out more about the projects and discover who won this year’s accolade or check out the voting for the 2015 award here.

The Bayman's Edinburgh Shop Conversion

The shop conversion: Tim & Lizzie Bayman

  • This super stylish home in Edinburgh used to be a tired old shop unit at the end of a Victorian terrace, and the conversion cost just £73,557.
  • The design and details are formidable, with the layout and design conceived by Tim (who’s an architect) and one of his colleagues. The property makes best – and inspiring – use of a formerly dark and cramped space, which is now open plan and flooded with natural light.
  • The conversion is true to the industrial history of the property and uses a mixture of glass and steel throughout to give a stunning and unique finish.
  • Low-cost materials have been used in the development to keep the scheme on budget, but they have been cleverly utilised and incorporated to achieve a high quality finish.


The Jenkins Riverside Self Build Home

The riverside home: Bill & Angie Jenkins

  • An energy efficient affordable home (£253,262) overlooking the Thames in Surrey
  • The pretty design for the 1.5 storey development responds perfectly to the location, it blends in with vernacular through the use of materials and allows the owners to take in stunning views of the water.
  • The home was built using SIPs to ensure the property’s fabric is thermally efficient, which is perfect for the low energy heating system (air source heat pump) and to offset the large swathes of glazing.
  • Bill took a hands on approach to the projected and laboured on site everyday alongside the tradesmen – helping to achieve a super-fast 26 week build programme, despite delays caused by bad weather


The Jones' Characterful Low-Cost Self Build

The characterful low cost cottage: Hannah Jones & Theo Hodnett

  • Pretty timber frame cottage in the Shropshire countryside built for just £122,000. The couple were involved in an affordable homes development scheme run by Shropshire council and is a flagship property that will inspire others to embark on a self build
  • The small property is perfectly formed and the inclusion of interesting features – exposed beams inside and a traditional oak porch outside – proves that affordable homes can be beautifully finished.
  • Theo and Hannah did much of the work on the home themselves including fitting the windows and all the internal carpentry
  • The home is energy efficient – it boasts a high specification of insulation and is heated using a ground source heat pump


The MacMillans' Accessible Home

The ramp house: Thea & Ian McMillan

  • This contemporary and Scandinavian-inspired Edinburgh home has been designed with inclusion and accessibility in mind.
  • Although ultra-modern in its architecture, the property sits perfectly with the local vernacular thanks to the use of local materials – Caithness paving and red cedar shingles.
  • The home is packed with clever design features, most notably the ramp that enables the couple’s daughter Greta – who suffers from cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair – to move throughout the house unobstructed. Over 30% of the home is circulation space that has been cleverly merged with the open plan layout.
  • The scheme was a real community affair – local residents wrote letters of support for the development to the council and also donned tools to helped complete the build on time.


The Nosworthys' contemporary extension

The contemporary extension: Tim & Kitty Nosworthy

  • Double-storey full width extension that’s a sleek contemporary addition to an Edwardian house in south London.
  • The overall design is a perfect merger of the old and new, which is often difficult to achieve in similar situations. The designer completely rethought the conventional interior arrangement to create a utility and laundry upstairs, an ensuite bedroom with a glass balcony and an open plan zone that merges together the home and garden.
  • Internal spaces allow for open plan living and have completely transformed the way the family interact/spend time together.
  • Innovative and well thought out design that has enabled the family to stay in their home rather than having to move – the footprint has been increased by 60m2.


The Searles' vernacular self build home

The picturesque traditional dwelling: Rob & Sandra Searles

  • A heritage-style self build in the heart of Cambridgeshire that’s sympathetic to the local vernacular.
  • The Searles took on the project management role and organised as much of the development themselves as possible.
  • The house has been designed, and materials selected, to ensure it blends into the location. The architect specialises in East Anglian homes and the mixture of external timber cladding, brick and render is authentic to the area.
  • The timber frame property is sustainable and energy efficient – the Searles have included insulation over Building Regulations standards, an MVHR unit, triple glazed windows and solar electric panels, meaning that they live an almost self-sufficient lifestyle.


Voting for the Build It Awards 2014 has now closed; thanks to all those who helped pick a winner!

The winner of Best Self Build or Renovation Project 2014, sponsored by Brandon Hire, was voted for by readers and website users and announced at the Build It Awards 2014 ceremony in October.

In a first for the Build It Awards, there was a tie for the winner; so the judges decided to split the category and recognise two projects this year.

Best Self Build Home 2014: Hannah Jones & Theo Hodnett

Best Renovation Project 2014: Tim & Lizzie Bayman

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