July 2020

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.


It's come to light over recent weeks, that many are unsatisfied with their current homes. Now, for those who have recently moved into their newly built or renovated homes and made alterations to their property, this obviously won’t be the case. Home renovations and self-building are allowing the nation to mould homes around everyday needs. As we develop through more advanced self-building and home renovating, we’re paying more attention to detail with regards to our habits and what makes our homes convenient for modern living. And, it’s this tailored concept that’s appealing to other homeowners across the UK.

Self-building and home renovating has generated a whole new breed of house-hunters who are looking at getting more out homeownership. And, as a result, the housing market is now striving to keep up with these made-to-order demands. One instance is Graven Hill in Bicester. The UK’s largest custom- and self-build community, this site has switched on to needs sought by soon-to-be homeowners and changed the property search scape for the better with custom-build homes. In this issue, we talk to Karen Curtin, Managing Director of Graven Hill, about how people’s priorities and property requirements are changing. Turn to page 16 to read the full article.

Elsewhere, for home builders who have just received planning permission, we have also talked to Laurence Holder, Head of Octagon Bespoke – a company that designs, builds and extensively renovates luxury homes in London and the Home Counties. Here, he offers advice on how you can prepare for a home-building project. Turn to page 12 to read his top tips.

Last but by no means least, this month we’ve travelled to the Star Wars shooting ground of Cork, Ireland, where the O’Leary family built a single-storey architectural statement 10 years ago. Here, we find out – a decade on – how the project was conceived and take a tour around the stunning retreat. Turn to page 18 to have a look around.

Rebecca Kemp