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Self Build Homes – the Architect for your build

Self Build Homes are Hunter Architects speciality and passion.

Since our inception in 2007, we have created numerous self build homes across the UK, with a range of scales from 1,000 to 10,000 sq ft.

We have obtained many self build homes planning permissions, utilising out in-house planning expertise and our projects incorporate backland, brownfield, green belt, Greenfield, infill, replacementopen countryside and Paragraph 55/ 79 self build homes among others.

We also have first-hand experience of self-build homes, having created our own sustainable house for our growing family and therefore understand and appreciate the issues, efforts and emotions involved with creating your own home.

Self Build Homes – our story

Finding affordable land is extremely difficult but when a piece of land, with problematic planning history, came to market, in 2005, we jumped at the chance to try and develop our own self build home. The site owners had tried unsuccessfully to achieve planning permission over a number of years and appointed numerous professionals to assist them. Ultimately planning policy and planning appeals went against each attempt. At our first attempt, albeit via the appeal process, we achieved planning permission for a contemporary family home, which ultimately started our business creating self build homes for others.

Following this self build homes planning approval, detailed designs were undertaken to develop the house to achieve a Code for Sustainable Homes rating. We decided that building self build homes to higher than building regulations would put us in the best position to advise our clients as well as creating a high-quality sustainable environment. We were also keen to incorporate Secure by Design and Lifetime Homes accreditation into the house. The lifetime homes accreditation ensures that the property can be enjoyed by a wide range of people at differing times of life, including ensuring the property is robust but fun for our young children.

The property was developed to achieve a 25% betterment on current building regulations energy use requirements. This has been done by increasing the efficiency of the wall, floor and roof insulation, installing high-performance glazing in the windows, and installing a specialist self build homes solar hot water heating system end energy efficient boiler to supply the underfloor heating system. A reduced water consumption has been achieved, including the use of rainwater harvesting to flush the toilets and feed the washing machine. Other keys aspects (that we now incorporate into our self build homes projects) include good daylighting, defensible space around the property, generous internal and external storage areas, and defined space for refuse and recycling without comprising on the design or enjoyment of the property. This illustrates our understanding of what makes a house a home and how contemporary self build homes can create usable, functional but interesting buildings. Whilst these features seem fairly common sense, they are often overlooked, especially when considering typical house-builder offerings.

The following projects are all examples of self build homes.

Please see our Case Studies page as well as our range of new build homes for more projects.

Environmental Elegance in Altrincham

Located in near Timperley village, this environmentally friendly family self build home nestles behind a number of traditional…

Contemporary Twists in Traditional Flintshire

An old cottage in Flintshire open countryside was the stage for one of our self build homes projects…

Perfecting the Plot in Prestbury

Sitting in an enviable position within the affluent village of Prestbury, creating infill self build homes …

From Inception to Completion – The process for Self Build Homes

Whilst this stage can only be a brief resume of the various aspects to the project, it highlights the need for high-quality professional advice and assistance from the earliest stages of the project. We have a wide range of expertise and capabilities, relating to self build homes, and can help you through each stage of the project.

Site finding

The earliest and potentially one of the most unpredictable parts of self build homes projects. Finding a suitable site (be it a vacant or previously developed plot, a building for conversion or a house for renovation/ remodelling), where an appropriate home can be designed (and crucially receive planning approval) is a difficult and challenging aspect. Contacting an Architect & Planner at the earliest stage in the process to create self build homes, can be very beneficial to unlock a site’s potential and minimise time and cost issues.

Funding for self build homes

Even more complicated since the credit crunch, finding suitable development finance can be a difficult hurdle. We have experience and knowledge of a range of funding options to facilitate self build homes.

Detailed Design (and Building Regulations)

Following planning approval, developing the detailed design aspects, including large-scale details makes a huge difference to self build homes projects. The integration of the wide range of elements, rules and regulations that go into modern houses, especially higher standards are required, is essential to the success of self build homes. As the famous saying goes “the devil is in the details”.

Construction of Self Build Homes

The realisation of the project. It is very important to retain professional input and monitoring during the construction stages of self build homes to ensure satisfactory construction and the integration of all of the various aspects of the project. We can also ensure that any queries that are raised during the construction process are dealt with promptly and efficiently to avoid any potential delays or additional costs.


Part of the continued development of our business is to obtain objective and constructive feedback into the project covering a wide range of aspects to ensure future self build homes clients can benefit from a continually evolving service.

There are other issues and processes to consider, including Health and Safety (CDM), the Party Wall Act, Site Waste Management, Ecological and other site-specific issues. Whilst these can sound daunting initially, it is important to understand each aspect, but these only need to be at the appropriate time. We can assist and guide you through the entire project.

Please contact us for more information

Developing your brief and initial concepts

Initial meetings and early discussions are critical to develop a brief which sets out your requirements, aspirations and design ideas. Initial sketches are developed to hone these discussions. At this stage we encourage and facilitate the use of design journals, magazines, photographs to enable us to understand your thoughts. Often it is difficult for clients to put these thoughts into words and our unique approach helps with this. We also have a wide range of material we can let you use to assist with these matters as well as pointing you in the right direction for your needs.

Planning Permission

the planning system is now a very complex process with numerous factors, including flood, ecology, planning policy, affordable housing, section 106 or other financial contributions and energy efficiency aspects that play a major part in the development of a home. Successful negotiation of this aspect can save a large amount of time and money as well as increasing the potential of the project. As Architects and Planning consultants, we are uniquely positioned to provide you with a cost effective service.

Tender and Contracts

finding a suitable contractor, and entering into a proper contract, is vital to ensuring a high-quality finished project which is completed on time and on budget. We work with a range of professional builders who have created a large number of homes from small starter homes to substantial family homes with the latest features and fashions, and can advise you on the most appropriate contact for you and your builder to use.

Fit out/ Interior Design

depending upon clients requirements, we can assist with a wide range of services in relation to the “look” of the finished home, including assistance with a wide range of internal finishing’s, furniture and ideas. These services can include the design and development of bespoke pieces of furniture or products.

The following projects are all examples of self build homes.

Please see our Case Studies page as well as our range of new build homes for more projects.

Reverence for a Reverend in Retirement

Keith and Norma approached Hunter Architects & Planners with a brief to construct a bespoke self build home for their retirement in…

Outstanding Innovation in Open Countryside

Planning Approval granted for this “innovative design” of bespoke carbon neutral Self Build Homes, contrary to Planning…

Stunning Straw Sustainability in Suffolk

NPPF Paragraph 55 replacement self build homes Grade II listed Farmhouse. Listed Building Consent

If you are looking to create your own self build home, please contact us to discuss how we can assist to build your dream.

Get Started

This is personal, so we recommend meeting face-to-face for a head-to-heart discussion. We want to grasp exactly what you’re looking for while understanding more about what is achievable in time, space and budget.

A phone call sets everything in motion. Call us on 0161 926 9039 today.