November 2015

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


Whenever I ask self-builders what advice they would like to offer their fellow home-builders, nine times out of ten they will mention the importance of budgeting for unexpected expenses. Although it seems that the financial burden of a self-build or renovation can sometimes feel overwhelming, the end result is always worth it.

One project that faced extreme financial complications is presented in this month’s Rural Retreat. After overcoming a brain hemorrhage, Bram Vis and his wife Lisa undertook a life-affirming, luxury home-building adventure. Debt overshadowed the project, as Bram had to take out 11 loans in order to afford the £3.2m sum that it cost them. Read about how they achieved this on page 30.

If you’re worried about managing the finances of your self-build or renovation, read financial expert, BuildStore’s regular column in Viewpoint on page 18. In this issue, Group Sales Director Rachel Pyne discusses whether an interest rate rise will affect your project. Visit to read more financial advice from BuildStore.

Elsewhere in this issue, two serial renovators convert a chapel and build a striking new home for themselves beside it in this month’s Impressive Innovation, on page 44 70-year-old Colin Clarkson transforms a derelict two-bedroom 1960s bungalow into a modern four-bedroom home for life and star of the TV series ‘The Apprentice’, Ella Jade discusses launching her own interior design company and offers her advice for turning a house into a home.

As part of the original team that launched i-build two years ago, it is with sadness that I announce this is my last issue as Editor. It has been an honour to experience i-build blossom into the success it is today. I wish my fellow team-members and the new Editor all the best, and look forward to watching i-build continue to take precedence at the forefront of the self-build marketplace. Finally, I would like to thank you, the readers of i-build, for your continued support and valued feedback, especially those of you who have contacted me directly and told me about your wonderful projects. If you would like your project to appear in a future issue of i-build, please contact Hannah Frackiewicz at [email protected].