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Tip of the week

Get involved with everything – break the project down into components and become as knowledgable as you can about each and every element. It’s the only way to stay fully in control.

Ken Martin, who has built a spectacular energy-efficient home in Sydenham Park Conservation Area. Case study A Home Among the Trees

November 2017 - on sale from 29 September

Our 20th Anniversary bumper issue comes with our FREE 36-page Beginners Guide to Self Build and in our special feature in the magazine itself we bring together some of our favourite newbuild projects from the past 20 years. 

They have been chosen for a variety of reasons: some for the sheer quality of the design and build, but more often it is for the story behind the project. The selection includes a wide range of styles and budgets to reflect the sheer diversity of self build. Collectively they prove that a self build lies within the realms of possibility for most of us.  

It has been quite a journey going back through 20 years of back issues to select our favourites. Tastes and trends may well have changed over the years but one thing remains constant – the enthusiasm of the owners shines through on every page. We hope you enjoy them.

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Scaling New Heights

Martin and Michiko Blum’s stunning new cliffside home in Cornwall was built on an innaccessible coastal plot for just £220,000. Designed to use the existing stepped site levels, very little landscaping was needed. The new house has a steel ground floor and a timber-framed upper level. Pad foundations avoided the need for extensive excavation, and these were shuttered and tied to the existing rock, much of which is exposed. “We just had to dig until we hit solid rock, which meant there was no need to pour a concrete slab,” explains Martin.

Foundations for a New Life

The new timber frame barn-style home of Christine Anderson replaced the bungalow on her former smallholding and has built-in in future-proofing, which will enable her to remain there as she grows older. The house integrates an air-source heat pump, 10kW photovoltaic array and a Solar iBoost that heats hot water with surplus energy from the PV panels.

Taking Control

After a straightforward planning process to replace a chalet bungalow with a flat-roofed, reverse-level home with views to the coast, their build suddenly became extremely stressful for first-time selfbuilders Elaine and Andy Brook – their builder went bankrupt and they were unexpectedly forced to take over the running of the project and to employ  subcontractors directly.

Glazed Expression

Mark and Sue Carey have designed and built a highly energy-efficient, reverse-level home which looks out to sea through walls of glass. A great deal of care was taken during construction to avoid air leakage. “This was an experiment to see if we could build using normal masonry construction and then create an airtight building,” says Mark. “Everything was designed using the ‘keep it simple’ approach. Our inspiration came from a photo of a library with a ladder. The whole living space was developed from that.” 

Special Feature - Our Favourite Projects from the Past 20 Years

To celebrate our 20th anniversary issue, our 40-page special feature looks back on some of our favourite projects, from ground-breaking iconic masterpieces, to budget family homes often managed or built by the owners themselves.

Interview - Amanda Lamb

Debbie Jeffery talks to one of the UK's most recognised lifestyle and property TV presenters Amanda Lamb (Selling Houses with Manada Lamb, A Place in the Sun, Beat My Build) about her own home, becoming a TV presenter and Amanda offers some tips for homebuilders and renovators.

Spotlight on Radiators - The Heat Is On

Specifying the right radiators for your home can make all the difference to a room — and your heating bills.

Interiors - Going Minimal

Barbara Genda's contemporary minimalist refurbishment of a Bedfordshire property provided  the owners with a stylish home with much-needed storage.  

Topping Out

On its 20th anniversary, Gerald Cole recalls the birth of SelfBuild & Design.  

Expert Advice

Robert Matthews looks back on the self build scene since the publication of the first issue of SelfBuild & Design magazine 20 years ago.

Legal advice: property law specialist Guy Elyahou, explores the legal aspects of a new extension to a terraced house. 

Plot Doctor, Roy Speer explores whether a separate parcel of garden land on the edge of town could be the place for a new house.


In addition to these features, the magazine also brings you the latest news from the world of self build, new product information, guides, advice on planning,Top Tips for your SelfBuild and much more.

You can buy the November 2017 magazine by clicking here

Or with our introductory subscriber offer you can have the next 12 issues delivered to your door for just £12 as soon as they are published


As a subscriber you then have free access to all the Case Studies and on this website