July 2015

Welcome to the July edition of i-build magazine! This issue is packed with inspirational projects and products as well as useful advice for your self-build.


The concept of a perfect location for self-building might conjure up images of rural plots amidst rolling hills, but in reality, nearly any location can undergo a self-build or renovation – from a central-city property to a severely neglected and derelict suburban plot. This issue is full of examples of successful home-building projects in the city.

An overlooked and unattractive infill site in Hammersmith, London, has undergone an inspirational transformation. Previously a contaminated taxi garage, the space is surrounded by 11 party walls and overlooked by 24 surrounding properties. Architectural practice vPPR took on the challenge of building a four-bedroom home on this difficult site – read about how they achieved this on page 42.

This month’s Impressive Innovation – page 28 – is another new London home that has an interesting design, specifically tailored to function within its plot. The sloping site offered the opportunity for an unusual floorplan, as well as extensive glazing, a skillful cantilevering storey and a breathtaking double-height ceiling.

One of the first hurdles of self-building is finding a suitable plot and gaining planning permission. On page 18 insurance expert Steve Mansour provides guidance on navigating planning permission, and in this month’s Viewpoint self-build finance expert Raymond Conner explains why the recent General Election and subsequent Queen’s Speech was good news for the self-build community.

Included in his response, he says: “The Government re-affirming its commitment to continue to provide self-build and custom-build opportunities and deliver aspirational home ownership under its Right to Build policy is welcome news. Whilst encouraging for those who have strived to find a suitable self-build plot, these measures also create new, affordable home ownership opportunities.” Read about this further on page 16.

As always, we hope you enjoy this issue as much as we’ve enjoyed putting it together. If you are coming to the end of your self-build journey and would like to offer your home as an inspiration for other budding home-builders, please contact me on the usual address with a brief overview of your project.