When people think of building their own home, they tend to imagine it's going to be excruciatingly expensive. However, self-build is usually a lot cheaper than you'd think. When you throw in the amount of money people normally spend on bringing an existing home up to scratch, custom or self-build can prove to be a surprisingly economical choice (though the cost of land – which we aren’t able to include in our breakdown – varies from region to region).

Below, we've showcased some of our winners from the 2017 Master Builder Awards. You may be surprised how much bang for your buck you can get going it alone... and if you fancy giving building your own home a go why not find a Master Builder to help?

Northern Ireland

Area: Newtownards

Builder: Setanta Ltd

Project value: £180,000

Bedrooms: 3


Special features: The spaces in this home are unusual and angular. Due to planning restrictions the house could not easily be built on the site in a way that maximises the light, therefore many of the walls are pulled in or pushed out to trick light inside. A number of interesting materials were used throughout the build including untreated cedar cladding, dark grey fibre cement corrugate and plywood panelling.

Eastern Counties

Area: Loughton, Essex

Builder: P H E Ward

Project value: £397,000

Bedrooms: 3


Special features: This project was built on the site of a derelict bungalow, replacing it with a modern energy efficient home that fits sympathetically between existing properties. The open plan living area is located on the first floor, incorporating large expanses of glass and balconies to maximise the views across London. Incredibly, stone which was found on site was examined by archaeologists and found to be a column from the original Houses of Parliament!

Northern Counties

Area: Newcastle upon Tyne

Builder: J D Joinery & Building Services Ltd

Project value: £435,750

Bedrooms: 3


Special features: This home originally dated back to the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth century and is part of the historic setting of the Jesmond Mansion House built in 1986. Although two walls of the original building were retained, the project was essentially a new build home. The main aim was for a high quality individual dwelling in a conservation area to be created retaining period features. Not only did J D Joinery & Building Services fulfil this aim and create a wonderful new home, the new build sections of the property were designed to meet Passivhaus standards with insulation and the structure all exceeding standard building regulations!

Southern Counties


Area: Beaconsfield

Builder: Care Building Services Ltd

Project value: £290,000

Bedrooms: 5

Special features: A single storey bungalow was demolished to make way for this new five bedroom family home. The construction site is significantly sloped, which allowed the architect to design a home over three levels, two as viewed from the front, three from the back. A thoughtful, well designed layout allowed level changes across the home to accommodate the multiple rooms desired by the client. Beam and block floor construction formed the ground and first floor with timber joists constructing the second. A mechanical system provides constant controlled ventilation without increasing heat loss.

South West


Area: Taunton

Builder: Slade Construction (South West) Ltd

Project value: £280,000

Bedrooms: 3

Special features: This new eco-home was built in the homeowner’s back garden. Working on a physically restricted site it was, at times, easier to man-handle materials from the public road onto the site. High quality Western Red Cedar was used to clad the building and ‘secret gutters’ hide under a natural slate roof carrying an array of 18Kw solar panels. Slade Construction (South West) Ltd would also like to credit the architect, David Drummond RIBA RIAS of Reed Holland Associates Ltd for the project.