An Arts and Crafts designed Building situated in a former Orchard

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

We wanted to downsize as we already had 5 acres and 5 bed house with an orchard. We realised that if we could obtain planning permission in our orchard we had the perfect plot. It also meant that we were able to watch our new home being built step by step right before us.

What was your financing route?

Pension fund, and savings. Financially it was a terrific win as we had potentially free land, no VAT on a new build, no stamp duty to pay as there was nothing to buy or sell.

How did you find the design process with CB Homes?

We already had an architect in place who provided us with 2 sets of plans – one traditional Cheshire brick house and another which was a more modern design. We chose the traditional and then went to 3 builders (one of which was CB Homes). We found CB Homes to be a more professional outfit and felt much more comfortable using them to build our home.

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

We wanted the house to fit into the village and surrounding locale, and to look aesthetically pleasing. We also have our local church as our neighbour, before we built our home the church looked into our orchard so we wanted the church to keep this outlook and be able to look into our garden instead of a new house blocking their view. There were also a few changes made as we went along like adding a new stained-glass window into the kitchen.

We had CB Homes staff on hand whether on site or in their office to answer any queries we had throughout the project which we found invaluable

What was the planning process like for you?

Very straight forward. The architect had a good relationship with CWAC. There was a stipulation that we had to re plant trees which we were more than happy to adhere to.

How did you find the build process with CB Homes?

We had regular project management meetings with CB Homes keeping us up to date with all matters including running costs and program which we found to be invaluable, practical and extremely professional. The site manager was also around on site all the time to let us know what was going on and answer any questions which was invaluable especially as we were living on site.

The only concern was regarding site clearance as there was a vast amount to move off-site and it was very wet due to it being winter. It was suggested to move all this into the field and removed at a later date as this would save us money, but in hindsight we would have preferred to have moved it earlier as it made a bit of a mess of our field and gravel drive.

How involved did you get in the build process?

We got involved with every decision along the way in regards to colours, materials and positionings which meant we were getting everything just the way we wanted. Also, the regular meetings kept us focused on the changes required at key times and gave us plenty of advanced notice.

What were your high and low points of your project?

The high point was the financial side and having a beautiful home that we always wanted that fits in with not only our lifestyle but our surroundings and local community. The low point was the site clearance at the start of the project.

What are the best features of your home?

The arts and crafts aesthetics of the property, and the double garage which include an office and a car port for storage.

We found CB Homes to be a more professional outfit and felt much more comfortable using them to build our home

What was the best buy on your self-build project?

Definitely the underfloor heating which was not on the original plans but an extra that was suggested throughout the project. Also the fitted bedroom furniture and our lovely kitchen.

What was your biggest extravagance?

Our AGA – Which is great!

What are your home running costs like?

Even with the underfloor heating the costs are very low.

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

Find a good builder – look for professionalism and experience which we found with CB Homes. Also look at how resourced your chosen builder is. We had CB Homes staff on hand whether on site or in their office to answer any queries we had throughout the project which we found invaluable especially given how much input we had.

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

For this project we found the architect first but if we were to self-build again, we would just deal directly with CB Homes as we never knew they had their own design team.

Key project facts

Linden Cottage

An Arts and Crafts designed Building situated in a former Orchard

Location

Kingsley, Cheshire

Land Source

Former Garden/Orchard

Floor Area

1944 sq.ft / 180m2

Funding

Self-Funded

Completion Date

2017

Build Time

6 months

Build Route

Build Contract Only

Interested in Self-build?

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