A beautiful, modern home built in the owners’ garden.

What was your main reason for wanting to self-build?

We wanted to downsize really, we love the location where we are now, the fact it is convenient, and near to all the local amenities. We had a large rear garden so enquired whether it was feasible to build there.

How did you manage to find your self-build plot? (Length of time, route of purchase)

It was our rear garden, so the fact we were able to build our new home in it was a great asset.

What was your financing route (private funds? Self-build Mortgage)

Unfortunately, we were unable to go down the mortgage route due to our age. CB Homes recommended a self-build mortgage advisor and we were able to complete the build using 50% of our savings and 50% Bridging Loan.

The turn key option was the best solution for us. The relationship between CB Homes and ourselves was excellent and the fact that they project manage everything in house worked exceptionally well for us.

How did you find the design process with CB Homes? (how was the design led, architect, budget, client ideas?)

We used CB Homes’ full turn key service. The relationship between CB Homes and the fact they have their own architect worked perfectly. Our idea started off as a bungalow as we wanted to age proof it, but it eventually evolved into a one and a half storey build for the main reason of the re-saleability and kerb appeal when we eventually come to sell.

Did you have any specific design requirements, if so, how were these met?

We approached the build as a blank canvas, CB Homes showed us one of their signature designs plans that best suited our plot and our budget, we then ended up adapting it to suit our own personal requirements, the main adaptions were to make the garage detached rather than integral and to create a larger utility room.

Ideally, we would have liked to accommodate a lift into the property however the height of the building restricted this, therefore, the staircase has been future proofed for a stair lift if required.

What was the planning process like for you?

We had slight concerns about the likely approval as our new home’s drive would be shared with our existing house and this enters onto a busy intersection. However, the planning was prepared and managed by CB Homes and all went through smoothly and exceptionally easy.

How did you find the build process with CB Homes?

We were extremely happy with the build process, very efficient and organised. Andy the site manager was very informative, helpful and always at hand. We found the monthly meetings with the project management team invaluable.

We did not include the external works into our Self-Build Package and instructed these independently. We used CB Homes approved contractors and were disappointed not with the quality but with the time taken to start the work which ultimately delayed moving in. We perhaps would consider including this in the package if we are lucky enough to self-build again.

How involved did you get in the build process?

We must admit we were naïve in realising how many decisions actually had to be made such as types of brick, roof tiles, doors, where to put the plugs etc. Where some people would relish choosing everything, we found it rather stressful. CB Homes managed the decision making process so as not to over burden the number of decision and to only involve us on the more important decisions required.

What were your high and low points of your project?

The high points were when we reached different stages of the build, like getting to roof level and seeing our site progressing, it was extremely exciting seeing our homes designs come to life. The low point was the time the contractors took to do the drive as the build was all going to program and we were all ready to move in.

What are the best features of your home?

The insulation and warmth of the property along with the light from the multiple Velux windows set in the sloping ceilings of the first floor. Also, the wood burning stove which we have always wanted and will be perfect for those winter nights.

What was your biggest extravagance?

Apart from the driveway, the fitted wardrobes in the bedroom we had installed and the wood burning stove which we have wanted for a long time.

What are your home running costs like?

Fantastic. Especially regarding the use of our underfloor heating being on all the time we thought it would use vast amounts of energy but it is costing just under £2 a day for heating and hot water.

We were extremely happy with the build process, very efficient and organised.

What are your ‘Top Tips’ for Self-Builders?

We would recommend writing down everything you want so you don’t forget anything during the build process. Also, when planning the internal electric points think very carefully and take your time to imagine future furniture and appliances to ensure that all the points are effectively used.

Would you self-build again, if so, do you still feel a Turn Key option is the best solution?

Yes, the turn key option was the best solution for us. The relationship between CB Homes and ourselves was excellent and the fact that they project manage everything in house worked exceptionally well for us.

Key project facts

Chapel Cottage

A beautiful, modern home built in the owners’ garden.

Location

Hartford, Northwich

Land Source

Rear Garden of Existing House

Estimated Current Value

£450,000

Floor Area

133 m2 / 1435 sq. ft

Funding

Savings and Bridging Loan

Completion date

August 2018

Build Time

6 Months

Build Route

Full Turn Key Service

Interested in Self-build?

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