Highlands Hideaway


Julie and Steven Williams built their steel-framed eco home on stilts to enjoy breathtaking views across white sands to the Inner Hebrides. “It was imperative that we could see the views from the back of the house,” explains Julie. Askival, which features a striking curving zinc roof, was designed by architect Colin Smith of CASA, and has been voted one of the top 100 architect-designed houses of the last 20 years.

Building a Future


First time selfbuilders Adrian and Sara James have constructed an imposing timber-framed home in Reigate, designed for their retirement. Opting for a Potton build, the new house replaced a run down 1960s bungalow. The Georgian-style exterior features sash windows, an entrance portico, clay roof tiles and rendered walls. “Our build was a steep learning curve,” reflects Adrian. “We had our fair share of ups and downs.”

The Look Out


A tired 1930s house in Devon has been extended on two levels by John and Billy Pook, resulting in a light, spacious interior with fine estuary views. Replacing the old single-storey extension with a glazed two-storey build added space to both floors, almost doubling the footprint of the original house. The extension and house were re-roofed in slate and a new slate terrace created, with aluminium bifolds and windows chosen to withstand the marine environment.

Topping it Off


Building upwards to create a whole new storey has given Daisy and Oliver Bourne a home cinema with far-reaching views across London. The new floor was achieved by slicing off the existing leaking roof, resulting in a new flat roof, and enough space for a square bathroom at the top of the house to serve as an en suite. “We couldn’t be happier with the house, and converting the loft definitely made sense,” says Oliver.

Green by Nature


Staying true to their name, Louise and James Green built a five-bedroom Passivhaus family home in Kent. Timber-framed and clad in render, the house scores highly for energy efficiency. Louise and James planned the design of their home for two months in order to stick to the budget and schedule. “We spent money on the details that you touch day-to-day, and less on the stuff you don’t notice.”

Advice - Loft Conversions


Our guide to converting your loft, including planning permission, Building Regulations and other considerations. We take a look at the award-winning renovation of a shingle-clad Victorian family home in London; a project taken on in order to create an attic haven for the couple’s four young daughters.

This Guide is one of our series of Beginners Guides: Next Steps - available online to SelfBuild & Design subscribers

See all Beginners Guides: Next Steps »


Interiors - Playing with Space


In this stylish Little Venice apartment, clever techniques have been employed by designer Shanade McAllister-Fisher to create the illusion of space. Colours and patterns form zones, allowing each room to have its own identity and mood.

Interview with Sophie Morgan


Since being left paralysed from the chest down in a car crash at the age of 18, Sophie Morgan has established a successful career portfolio as a television presenter, artist and entrepreneur. As well as being the director of a property development and investment company, she is a patron of disability charity Scope and an avid campaigner for improving disability representation.

Spotlight on Wooden Flooring


Timber is one of the most popular flooring options, and our love affair with wooden floors shows no sign of abating. Eco-friendly and long lasting, wooden flooring provides a pleasing focal point to any room. We take a look at a selection of warm and wonderful options to enrich your interiors.

Expert Advice


Legal advice: property law specialist Guy Elyahou looks at options for resolving disputes with contractors.

PlotDoctor Roy Speer looks at the future development potential for a side garden.