March 2016

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


There is no likely candidate to take on a self-build. Young couples may choose to self-build to get on the property ladder quicker, others may decide to embark on a self-build later on in life so that the home can cater for their established lifestyle. Some, however, may be drawn to the idea of building their own home due to the knowledge and expertise they have acquired in their career. In this month’s issue – and purely by coincidence – all of our readers’ homes were self-built by owners in the building and architecture trades.

Architect graduates Max and Diana Aiken had a clear vision for their retirement home, however after searching the market far and wide, they could not find a property that met their needs. They felt that the only way they were going to find a home that ticked all the boxes was to build it themselves, and that’s what they did. Using their wealth of knowledge, they began their journey pre-empting planning decisions, gaining approval early on and researching the market for materials – and the result is truly phenomenal. Turn to page 18 to find out more.

Elsewhere, a consultant to a brick manufacturer, decided to take the plunge and renovate an intriguing home on a perfect plot in South Devon – however a disastrous discovery meant that Nick Oldridge and his family became fully-fledged self-builders overnight. To read to full story, turn to page 24.

Finally, in this issue’s ‘i-build’ focus, architect Boris de Swart – who spent years designing other people’s homes – finally gave into his dreams by building his own timber framed house. The brief was a light-filled home which was extremely airtight. Read how SmartPly’s VapAirTight helped achieve this on page 46.

I hope you enjoy this issue. Don’t forget, if you’re coming to the end of your self-build project and would like to offer your home as inspiration for other budding home-builders, please don’t hesitate to contact me at the usual address.