January 2023

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

The New Year will see many spades hitting the ground for the first time, countless back and forthing regarding plans with planning departments and many of life's little luxuries given up in favour of the sought-after self-build dream. For some self-builders and renovators, these sacrifices may include economising in everyday purchases, selling previously prized possessions, waving goodbye to all-inclusive holidays and trading in evening outings spent indulging in mouth-watering meals for writing up detailed planning appeals.

However glamorous they may seem, self-building and home renovating require many homeowners to sell their favourite possessions and turn their backs on time-consuming activities like hobbies and, in some extreme cases, even full- and part-time jobs. With practically everything at risk, such sacrifices naturally form added pressure for homebuilders and renovators, which was the case for Rob Hunt when he took on the mammoth task of renovating a run-down water tower. Selling his three rental properties, as well as his own house and even quitting his job, where he'd worked for the past 17 years, Rob quite literally threw everything he had at the water tower. I've followed Rob's water tower conversion for quite some time. So, unsurprisingly, when he informed me that his build was completed in September last year, I was elated to see the result. Turn to page 12 to be blown away!

Meanwhile, on page 30, we introduce you to the ultimate cabin lifestyle. Having visited a couple of pared-back, off-grid cabins for short-term stays, I can vouch for the wellbeing-related benefits of this way of life; not to mention the acute awareness it conveys regarding the typical energy and water usage and wastage when living in an 'on-grid building'. From the harvested water and solar-powered electricity to the compostable toilet, the foundations of Unplugged cabins – which are produced by U-Build – are a great example of how to get going with an off-grid, cabin-style build. Here, Unplugged and U-Build run us through the benefits of the off-grid life and highlight important details of modular cabin design.

I hope you enjoy this issue. Don’t forget, if you’re coming to the end of your self-build and would like us to feature your home as inspiration for other budding house-builders, then please do not hesitate to get in touch. Alternatively, if you’re about to embark on your self-build journey and would be keen for us to document your progress, do get in contact.

Rebecca Kemp

[email protected]