The appeal of self-build

Ron Beattie, Beattie Passive

Ron Beattie, Beattie Passive - Credit: Archant


If you've ever watched the ultimate self-build projects transform an owner's dream to splendid reality on 'Grand Designs' wishing you had the opportunity to do the same, then there's never been a better time to take that step. RON BEATTIE, of Beattie Passive, tells us more.

Here in East Anglia, the region has long been a pioneer and promoter of self and custom builds. Thanks to key figures, including our local MP Richard Bacon, taking the matter to the higher echelons of power and the ongoing work by The National Custom and Self-Build Association (NaCSBA), support is ever-growing with self and custom build homes now being included in the government's National Planning Policy Framework for the first time. It remains to be seen whether this will significantly change the attitudes towards land supply, however it is certainly a step in the right direction.

The beauty of self-build

According to NaCSBA there are six million people across the UK who want to build their own home, with one million having already started the planning process. The reasons behind why people choose to self-build are numerous; some focus on the practical side, while others emulate from a more personal level, but which all drive the unique outcome to the process.

n total flexibility

n bespoke design

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n sustainable living

n budgeting and affordability

n long-term savings

Up there as many people's top reason to self-build is the 'total flexibility' that such a personal project allows. Not only can you individually tailor your initial designs, incorporating the very latest in design styles, fixture and fittings (which usually involves the latest in high tech 'Bond' gadgetry), but, and equally important, is the choice of construction as well as how involved you want to be in the overall process.

Other key drivers for self-builders include sustainability and energy efficiency which feature prominently across the design spectrum, from cosy country cottages to imposing sea-view villas. With fuel bills only ever going in one direction, many self-builders are looking to take advantage of the dramatic improvements in building construction methods and materials, such as Passivhaus, to ensure their high quality home performs super efficiently yet still retains all the bespoke elements they desire.

We are hosting a Self Build Day at Hethel Innovation Centre on May 5, where Richard Bacon MP will be opening the event. There will be presentations, an exhibition, workshops and one to one advice on all elements of the self build journey.

For more information or to book your place please contact or go to