Owning your own home is a significant milestone in life, and for many, building their own home represents the ultimate expression of this dream. To create your very own self build success story though it’s necessary to prepare well and to enlist the help of quality, qualified tradespeople – Master Builder Build My Home Ltd shows us how it’s done in this award-winning Brighton project.

Project by Build My Home Ltd

Build My Home Ltd picked up a national Master Builder Award for their work on this property in Brighton.

Self build help to get you started

The first step towards building your own home is to locate a suitable plot of land and secure the necessary planning permissions. There’s a lot to consider here, so for guidance on finance, search areas, legal matters and more check out our guide to finding land to build your dream home.

Project by Build My Home Ltd

Build My Home Ltd's transparency and communication were key factors in their client's decision to hire them for the project.

You will also need to find a builder – and this is worth spending some time on to get right. Aim to source at least 3 detailed quotes, and to find someone you are comfortable discussing your self build aspirations in very clear detail – after all, they will be your partner in making them a reality!

We contacted several house builders but none of them ticked our boxes until a friend recommended us to contact Michael from Build My Home and from the first meeting, he was up front and direct about the process from start to finish. We knew this was the company we wanted to work with to build our “Grand Design” home.”

Mr & Mrs Kaye

For more self build help, check out our ultimate guide to building a house with input from award-winning Master Builders Dan Rich and Mark Bettles.

A challenging custom build brief

Project by Build My Home Ltd

A subterranean basement adds more space to the property, accessible via this specially designed staircase.

Mr & Mrs Kaye secured a plot of land containing 8 garages, initially with planning permission for a single-story home to be created on the site. Their dream custom build home was an altogether grander affair though, so they re-applied for more permissions to add a subterranean basement and more space.

The brief for Build My Home Ltd then was to create a 2-storey, 3-bedroom dwelling on a site with tight planning restrictions, and neighbours anxious about the impact of the project on their own homes.

The team also had to observe a Tree Protect Order (TPO) for the two elm trees that stood at opposite ends of the site. They engaged the services of a local arboriculturist to ensure they remained undisturbed by the significant works they needed to carry out.

Understanding Tree Protection Orders (TPOs)

Tree Protection Orders are used to safeguard significant trees and woodlands. Before finalising your plot, check for TPOs on the land, as these can significantly impact your building plans.

If your plot has trees, you may need to consider getting a TPO to protect trees from being cut down, lopped, uprooted, or damaged. If you plan to remove or alter trees on your plot, you will need to apply for a TPO exemption.

Consult with a local arborist or tree specialist to assess the impact of TPOs on your project. They can provide insights into navigating the regulations while preserving the natural beauty of the landscape.

Finally, the team were also building close to an ancient boundary wall that has listed status. This wall that had practically no foundations had to be retained and underpinned to a depth of 5 metres as the new home’s basement would undermine what little foundations there were.

Managing neighbour relationships

Project by Build My Home Ltd

With neighbours on all four sides of the building site, regular meetings and progress updates were important in maintaining positive relations.

When you move into a new neighbourhood and build your own home, it’s important to establish a good relationship with your new neighbours – the last thing you want is for your self build project to adversely affect their properties.

Build My Home Ltd had to remain conscious of the fact that their client had adjacent homeowners on all 4 sides of the property, all of whom initially expressed concerns about being in close proximity to a building site. This Master Builder spent time with all of them, remaining transparent throughout the project as to what was going on and what they should expect during the course of regular progress updates.

We were very impressed with the team and quality of workmanship from the very start to the final result. Excellent communication, great attention to detail, and they don’t cut corners. A first-class quality house builder that you can trust!”

Mr & Mrs Kaye

Crafting a self build success story

Build My Home Ltd’s craftmanship and communication skills were key to delivering this tricky project, which has resulted in a beautiful, modern dwelling bathed in plenty of light – despite half of it being underground.

Project by Build My Home Ltd

Attention to detail on the part of the builder impressed the judges at the 2023 Master Builder Awards.

The new home is highly insulated to help energy efficiency, and also features a green roof which sits well with the surrounding vegetation and contributes towards local biodiversity.

The build saw the builder win the national House Builder Award at the 2023 Master Builder Awards, heading off stiff competition from hundreds of incredible projects completed across the UK.

One of the national judges commented:

I think this was a real winner for us because it was a tricky build, but it resulted in a very subtle, unobtrusive dwelling that was really, truly interesting, and something that really jumped out at me was that the client was effusive in their praise.”

Melissa York, The Times and The Sunday Times

Ready to start your very own self build success story?

If you’ve secured your self build plot, drawn up detailed plans and negotiated the necessary finance, it’s time to find a Master Builder to build your very own home. Use our free find a builder service to find independently inspected, professionally vetted house builders near you:

Find a Master Builder

A good builder can support you through the process, whatever option you choose, and you should find someone with experience of similar projects. Our Find a Builder service can help you to find the right person for the job.

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