Building the dream

How often have you quietly wished that you could just pull down your lovely, but slightly crumbling home and just start all over again?

You could build something that suits you exactly: utility room – check, zero heating bills – check; lots of floor to ceiling windows – check. I certainly have, many times…A downstairs guest room, with it’s own bathroom, away from the family bedrooms – yes please!Actually, financially and in terms of stress and challenge, building from scratch is not a bad idea. It can honestly be more straightforward, with all the modern self building technologies available, than buying a  period house that is not properly insulated, with dated decor and a layout that simply does not work for the stage you are at with your family.Knocking down walls and retrospectively insulating is much trickier than starting again.The result of doing a self build is a blank canvas that you can decorate exactly to your taste – as bold and funky or as simple and soothing as you like.Am I talking myself into this? This self build in Arbroath that we shot for Ideal Home magazine is basically my dream. Designed by the late Heinz Vogt, director of the brilliant Voigt Partnership. Heinz sadly passed away at the end of 2017, but his busy practice continues to thrive, he was such a great director, the staff left are fully able to continue his ever innovative work.If you are at all interested in the possibility of self building you must get yourself to one of the regular Home Building & Renovating shows that are held all over the country every year. The Scottish Homebuilding & Renovating Show Returns to the SEC, Glasgow 16 – 17 June 2018. I go every year and love meeting the inspiring professionals who exhibit regularly and listening to the brilliant talks. There are 8 daily seminars where experts will share their experiences and tips to help visitors progress their project and avoid expensive mistakes. Subjects include Beginner’s Guide to self-build, Budgeting and Extension Design Ideas.Masterclasses, where exhibitors will provide practical advice on their area of expertise, will be plentiful. Topics will include Eco Homebuilding, Design Ideas and Energy Efficiency.The Advice Centre visitors can bring their plans, outline drawings or ideas and speak pop in to Ask the Builder, Ask the Expert or The Planning Clinic and speak to experts including building expert Bob Branscombe, self-build expert Allan Corfield, eco expert Tim Pullen and TV presenter and leading property expert Michael Holmes – and save £1,000s on consultancy fees. Anyone building or renovating in the next few years will find their visit invaluable.

To claim 2 free tickets worth £24* visit

*Saving based on two standard door price tickets.

Children 16 and under go free.


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