Vote for Britain’s Best Self Build Home or Renovation 2019

by Lucy Aplin
21st September 2019

Build It magazine’s editorial team and the Build It Awards judges have looked over the best projects featured in 2019 and selected six inspiring homes, all worthy of being crowned the best self build or renovation of 2019!

The winner of the Best Self Build or Renovation Project category, sponsored by Self Build Zone, was chosen 100% by you, Build It magazine’s readers and announced at the Build It Awards

The winner was announced on 29th November 2019 at the Build It Awards ceremony, but be sure to explore these extraordinary homes and the inspiring stories behind them in the shortlist below.

The winners

More Build It Awards voting categories: Best Self Build Architect or Designer 2019 and Best Architect or Designer for a Renovation or Extension Project 2019.

Best Self Build or Renovation Project 2019: The Shortlist

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

Eco home packed wow factor

John and Maxine Fack found potential where no one else could see it in an overgrown plot on the Cornish coast.

Although they faced a variety of issues related to the ground conditions and structural load, the couple managed to create a magnificent two-storey home with cantilevered wings hovering over the adjoining valley. The design, which incorporates a variety of green features, is striking, yet sits subtly within its surroundings.

OWNERS: John & Maxine Fack
PROJECT: Self Build
LOCATION: Cornwall
SIZE: 236m2
PROJECT COST: £826,120
DESIGNER: Matt Williams

Some highlights of this project:

  • Hovering cantilevered wings
  • Sedum roof and energy efficient features
  • Striking design that blends with surroundings
  • Overcame structural issues


Kutchenhaus kitchen

Michael Hammill pulled out all the stops to turn a dilapidated former mechanical garage into a fabulous urban home

Dramatic industrial conversion

When the Hammills first purchased this space it was a disused commercial garage, dark and full of damp.

Since buying the dilapidated building they have managed to convert it into an expansive three-storey home with an open-plan layout and outside terrace. You wouldn’t know it from the modest frontage, but the striking interior has an incredible, industrial-inspired design, packed with wow-factor and impressive heritage features.

OWNERS: Erica & Michael Hammill
PROJECT: Conversion
SIZE: 465m2
PROJECT COST: £600,000

Some highlights of this project:

  • Stunning industrial design
  • Heritage features retained
  • Expansive floor plan hidden from road
  • Thorough conversion project


Victorian home with modern extension

Julia and Nick Keem almost doubled the size of their home, adding a curving extension to their rural period property

Striking extension to a period property

Julia and Nick Keem decided to take a risk and create something extraordinary for their traditional red-brick property.

Alongside architect Richard Gill, the couple overcame the inevitable issues associated with period restorations to create a striking larch-clad extension. In doing so, they managed to transform the property’s jarring floor plan into a streamlined layout; marrying traditional features with a highly modern design.

OWNERS: Julia & Nick Keem
PROJECT: Extension & renovation
SIZE: 280m2
PROJECT COST: £406,100
DESIGNER: Richard Gill Architects

Some highlights of this project:

  • Stunning and unique larch-clad extension
  • Fusion of traditional and modern design
  • Successful restoration of old property
  • Streamlined layout


Renovated barn

Lou and Shaun Renwick have spent over seven years bringing this Northumberland farmstead, on the edge of the historic Cragside estate, back to life by turning it into a unique family home

Hands on heritage renovation

When Lou and Shaun Renwick first started this challenging renovation project, they had no clue that the venture would take them seven years to complete.

Over the course of the restoration, the couple had to comply with 20 planning conditions. Although they both had full time jobs and a family to juggle, they still managed to refurbish the historic farmhouse by carefully restoring many of the property’s heritage features; the end result is a welcoming family home packed with traditional charm.

OWNERS: Lou and Shaun Renwick
PROJECT: Conversion & renovation
LOCATION: Northumberland
SIZE: 687m2
PROJECT COST: £560,600

Some highlights of this project:

  • Worked with extensive planning conditions
  • Restored heritage features
  • Juggled project alongside full-time careers
  • Modern renovation


House exterior with glazed roof terrace in Bolsterstone

Simon and Nicola Wells overcame the odds to self build an award-winning new country home that makes the most of its breathtaking setting

Stunning new home on sloping plot

Simon and Nicola Wells jumped at the rare opportunity to purchase a sloped plot with stunning panoramic views.

Despite encountering a plethora of issues related to suppliers and builders, the couple managed to receive compensation and complete their project. The end result is a light-filled contemporary home which incorporates renewable tech for excellent energy efficiency.

OWNERS: Simon and Nicola Wells
PROJECT: Self Build
LOCATION: Sheffield
SIZE: 150m2
PROJECT COST: £350,000
DESIGNER: Robin Ashley Architects

Some highlights of this project:

  • Energy efficient home
  • Stunning open-plan layout with panoramic views
  • Underwent major excavation project
  • Solved serious disputes with trades


Lee & Amber Wilmot at their timber frame home in West Sussex

Amber and Lee Wilmot jumped at the chance to build their dream property in the back garden of Amber’s childhood home in West Sussex

Traditional home with modern twist

Amber and Lee Wilmot managed to obtain planning permission on this peaceful garden plot through careful negotiations.

They employed timber frame self build specialists Scandia-Hus to help design the traditional brick-clad home. Despite initial planning speed bumps, the project ran fairly smoothly and the couple now enjoy their bright and airy open-plan space with their new family.

OWNERS: Lee & Amber Wilmot
PROJECT: Self Build
LOCATION: West Sussex
SIZE: 215m2
PROJECT COST: £391,914
DESIGNER: Scandia-Hus

Some highlights of this project:

  • Self-project managed
  • Great support from package home supplier
  • Overcame planning challenges
  • Classic heritage look with modern timber frame


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