I’m often asked what it takes to create a great home on a modest budget, and my answer comes back to the same key areas time and time again: keep the design simple; negotiate hard; run a tight schedule; and don’t assume going DIY is going to cost you less.
Here at Build It we’re all about helping you complete your project on time and on schedule, however much you have to spend. And there’s no doubt that self-build is an affordable way to create your dream home.
More often than not, picking up an empty plot and developing it will cost much less than buying an equivalent second-hand property. And with house prices again rising inexorably, many people are turning to self-build as an affordable way to climb the housing ladder – or even get that first foot on the rung.
You’ll find plenty of useful tips on how to approach your project if you scroll down to the dos and don’ts of budget builds, but first let’s take a look at some fantastic examples of low-cost homes.
Savvy design helped Lynda Williams and her two sons to create this characterful home in Powys for just £105,000. Welsh Oak Frame suggested combining a softwood timber structure with decorative oak beamwork to keep costs down.
This hands-on build just goes to show what you can achieve with a little tenacity. Joshua Penk’s grounding in architecture helped him put the hard graft into designing and realising this spectacular, budget-friendly eco house – which you voted the winner of Best Self-Build 2013 in the Build It Awards.
Costing just £120,000 to build and with an energy bill of only £700 per year, the Collins’ charming new-build cottage is a fabulous example of how compact living (the house is just 120m2) doesn’t have to feel cramped. The kitchen-diner at the top of this feature is one of the spacious zones in this home.
This brick-clad home was built by young couple Hannah Jones & Theo Hodnett under Shropshire council’s innovative ‘build your own affordable home’ scheme, which relaxes planning restrictions for local people to self-build (provided the dwelling offers floorspace of no more than 100m2 and is formally designated as affordable housing). The build cost was just £122,500 – an amazing result but still the most expensive house here!
You’ll find plenty more advice throughout this website that will help you stick to your self-build budget. And check out some of the TV shows, such as Charlie Luxton’s Building The Dream, that are championing ‘Austerity Designs’ over Grand Designs.
Kieran Long and Piers Taylor, the boys from BBC Two’s The House That 100K Built, are full of ideas for how to create an unique, individual home on a budget, too. Their next project will be focussing on people who want to transform their existing homes – email them here if you’re interested in getting involved.