How to find building plots in London

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This week, Hugh, one of the architects on Design for Me, has offered up some top tips on finding building plots for a self-build house in London. However, much of the advice extends to other areas in the UK too.   Hugh, London based architect on Design for Me Self-build plots are notoriously difficult to find in… Read more »

VAT on house conversions

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This is a simple and concise guide to understanding VAT on house conversions. Please note that there is different guidance in relation to new builds. Be aware that all projects are unique and some projects will not be eligible for tax reductions – please consult with your architect / quantity surveyor in relation to your… Read more »

VAT on new build houses – are they exempt?

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This is a simple and concise guide to understanding VAT on new build houses. Please note that there is different guidance in relation to conversions, which are also, sometimes, eligible for a VAT refund.   New builds pictured are from architects on Design for Me. Click on the images to see their full profile and invite them for… Read more »

How to use LED lighting efficiently in your home

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Lighting design is one of the most important aspects of your home building or renovation project, but is too often an after-thought. The advantages of LED lighting are now well known and, in fact, it may be compulsory that you choose LED to meet building code standards. But it’s not just the position of the lights that… Read more »

What is an eco house?

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If you’re thinking of building your own house, you have probably thought about its green credentials. The ambition to have an ‘eco home’ is becoming increasingly popular, but what actually is an eco house!? If you are right at the initial phase of the project, the best thing you can do now is understand all the jargon that… Read more »

Prefab homes, modular homes, kit houses… what’s the difference?

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What’s the difference between modular, prefab and kit homes? If you are a novice self-builder, It’s easy to become overwhelmed with all of the industry jargon out there. ‘prefab homes’, ‘modular homes’, ‘kit houses’, ‘manufactured homes’ (etc…) are sometimes used interchangeably. However, there are subtle but important differences, and it will be critical to understand them in order… Read more »

How much does it cost to build a house?

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How much does it cost to build a house in 2017? Well, often considerably less than it costs to buy a ready-made one, so you may be on to a very good thing. In fact, according to this article by thisismoney.co.uk you could stand to make a 30% profit. (But why would you want to sell anyway? You would… Read more »

Custom build house ideas

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Custom build house ideas – inspiration for your dream home Design for Me has a community of hundreds of architects and architectural designers all across the country and we’ve complied the most inspiring custom build house designs for you. If you like the look of one, you can click on the image to see that architect’s other work… Read more »

What is a kit house and is it right for my self-build?

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What is a kit house? A kit house is pre-designed and pre-fabricated, usually bought to site flat-packed. Kit houses have become increasingly popular with self-builders, perhaps after the famous ‘Grand Designs’ episode with the German ‘Huf Haus‘. There are now many kit house companies in the UK.   What are self build kit houses made of? Most commonly… Read more »

5 ways to build a low cost house

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More and more people in the UK are considering building their own home, particularly as getting onto the housing ladder is becoming increasingly less affordable. There are new government initiatives to encourage self-building in an effort to help solve the nation’s housing crisis with bodies such as the ‘National Custom and Self Build Association’ (Nacsba) behind… Read more »