Welcome to the preview edition of i-build in advance of the inaugural issue. The following pages provide an example of what to expect from our new self build magazine series. As with any specification process, research is integral to the success of the final result and this issue explores many solutions for creating a home, whatever the budget, location or plot size. i-build guides you through self building, from planning to final touches, with interesting case studies and product highlights as well as the latest news and events.
According to Brian Berry, the Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders, 10 percent of all new homes built in the UK are self builds. This may seem large, but when compared with other European countries - such as Austria, who boast 80 percent, and Germany and Ireland where the figure is 50 percent – it begs the question as to why the UK is so far behind our neighbouring countries.
At a time when the average age of first time buyers seems to be ever on the rise, new measures to help increase choice and affordability in the housing market are also growing. These measures, as announced by Don Foster, the Communities Minister, at last months Liberal Democrat Conference, are designed to encourage take-up in the self-build sector, and include guidance for planning authorities to better identify local demand for self-build. As Brian Berry said: “When more and more people are trying to get onto the housing ladder, any attempt to get the self build market moving is a positive step forward.”
Some communities are recognising the importance of self builds – turn to page 12 to see the result of a community in Bristol who formed an action group to prevent volume developments. Also in this issue, i-build explores inventive ways to approach planning permission problems, modern interpretations of historical architectural styles and self builds that make the most of their surrounding landscape.