Make it your own: Self building.

The Yard in St. Werburghs, Bristol.
The Yard in St. Werburghs, Bristol.

Building your own home is a thought that many of us dream about on a day to day basis. The idea of having every detail of your house exactly how YOU want it, each room not only being a space to live in, but a timeless monument to your very character and history. 

The following videos feature Anna Hope, who built her own house as part of the community-led Ashley Vale Self-Build project in St.Werburghs, Bristol. Starting in 2001 the group resurrected 2.1 acres of disused land into roughly 40 sustainable houses. The site was being watched by big developers who had put in planning permission for 35 standard generic homes, the community didn’t want this and therefore took it upon themselves to build a their own new homes. The large red office block at the entrance to The Yard was converted into a mixture of flats and community space, which in 2009, won the REGEN South West Renewable Energy Award for Best Housing Scheme in 2009.

In the following video, Anna takes us on a tour around the site and discusses some of the issues that the group faced during the project.

As the self build movement grows and grows, there are still many problems facing would-be Kevin Mclouds. The latest statistics from the National Custom & Self Build Association reveal that finding suitable land for development remains to be the biggest obstacle.

Thinking of pursuing your own self build project? This interview with Anna may help to answer a few of your questions.

If you want to find out more about self build here in the UK, the National Custom & Self Build Association is a great place to start.


UK property market: New laws to encourage self-build homesBBC

Self-build pioneers: the estate pointing the friendly way out of a housing crisisThe Guardian


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