For over two decades, The Daily Telegraph Homebuilding & Renovating Awards has sought out Britain’s very best self build, extension and renovation projects. The premier search for the best new homes in the UK, this is the perfect opportunity to showcase your project, as well as show others starting out on self build and renovation projects what they can achieve — gaining recognition for your designers, builders and suppliers into the bargain.
The categories highlight the broad range of projects we love to see — anything from simple, well-designed extensions to barn conversions, eco homes and large self builds of any style.
And the Overall Winner (and winner of Best Starter Home) is…
An Energy-Efficient House on a Small Budget
Clare Williamson and Oscar Baldry
Design: CandO Design
This project – the conversion and extension of a derelict newsagents in Shropshire – is outstanding in several ways. First, there’s the bravery needed to take on an old retail outlet that others had failed to secure planning permission on — helped by a proposal to retain much of the fabric of the building and the striking mix of white painted brickwork with black painted timber cladding above, a pleasing echo of the ‘black and white’ Tudor buildings found nearby.
There is many a building ripe for conversion in our urban areas, and this project is a shining example of how to do it well. Then there’s the cost: the couple managed to work within a tiny build budget of £35,000 while applying Passivhaus design principles to create a truly energy-efficient home. As you might expect with such a small budget, this was a hands-on build; Clare and Oscar estimate that they took on around 90 per cent of the building work themselves. Finally, there is the size.
Says architect and judge Darren Bray: “This is a glowing example of how we should all be looking to maximise what space is available. It’s not about having the largest site or budget, it’s about how creative you are in adding value to something that no one else would take on.”
Best Contemporary Self Build – Andrea and Clive Silver
Design: Hyde + Hyde Architects
An outstanding contemporary new home positioned on top of a limestone cliff in south Wales, this year’s winner in the Best Contemporary Self Build category has been described by judge Darren Bray as being a “masterclass in crafted architecture, with detailing of the highest quality”.
World’s Most Amazing Home – Pennie and Charles Denton
Design: Strom Architects
Winner of the 2017 World’s Most Amazing Home, this elegant self build designed by Strom Architects in Dorset could also win an award for being the best bungalow in Britain. Thanks to its single-storey, airtight and open plan design, Pennie and Charles Denton now have the forever home they craved — complete with a dramatic cantilevered west wing.
Best Custom Build and Spirit of Self Build – Adam Street
Design: Peter Barber Architects, Mark Fairhurst Architects
One of the most inspiring projects the judges have ever come across, Adam Street’s bold idea to convince his neighbours to knock down their 1950s council block and rebuild their homes to be double the size, along with eight new flats to sell and finance the works, makes this a worthy winner of Best Custom Build and also Spirit of Self Build.
Best Passivhaus – Jon Martin and Noreen Jaafar
Design: Millar + Howard Workshop
Sitting between a supermarket and a church in Dursley, this years Best Passivhaus winner is not your typical self build project — the timber-clad, cantilevered structure sits among the treetops some 12m above ground. Designed by Millar + Howard Workshop and built on a DIY basis, the couple have overcome a number of obstacles to create this imaginative, low-energy home.
Best Traditional-Style Self Build – Helen and Richard Anderson
Design: Anderson Orr
Replacing a 1950s bungalow on a quiet site in Oxfordshire, homeowner/architects Helen and Richard have created a beautiful new family home which takes its cue from Arts & Crafts architecture and is a masterclass in building a traditional-style home that looks like it’s been standing for centuries.
Best Conversion – James Davies
Design: Paper House Project
A London warehouse landlocked on all sides wasn’t enough to put off architect/homeowner James Davies who, in the face of complex planning negotiations, difficult site access and neighbourhood disruption, has gone on to convert one of the capital’s historic buildings into a striking, minimalist home complete with courtyard garden.
Best Traditional Renovation – Dan and Clare Stewart
Design: ADG Bespoke
This year’s award for Best Traditional Renovation goes to Dan and Clare Stewart who, over the course of five years. Have transformed a run-down terraced house in Plymouth into a bright and beautiful home which successfully blends old with new.
Best Contemporary Renovation/Extension – Jonathan and Zahra Chambers
Design: Adam Knibb Architects
Thanks to Adam Knibb Architects, homeowners Jonathan and Zahra have added a striking timber-clad extension to their Grade II-listed barn conversion in Hampshire which has reorientated the house to face the garden, as well as offering the couple with a new kitchen/dining/living space.
Spirit of Self Build – Justin and Linda Tyers
A true representation of self builders taking on a DIY, ‘can-do’ approach, Justin and Linda Tyers have not just self-designed their own home within Exmoor National Park, but they have built it themselves too. On a budget of just £67,000 it embodies what the Spirit of Self Build award stands for.
Traditional Renovation – Graham Ebbs
Design: Oakwrights, Nicholas Tye Architects, ARC Design
A collection of run-down farm buildings have been lovingly restored and linked via a glazed corridor to create a characterful family home in Bedfordshire.
Passivhaus (Highly Commended) – Phil and Yvonne Garnett
Design: Ecoarc and Oakwrights
After knocking down an old 1930s bungalow in Yorkshire, Phil and Yvonne Garnett have gone on to build a unique, high-spec home which has become the first oak frame Passivhaus-certified home in the UK — and rightly deserves to be highly commended.
Contemporary Self Build (Highly Commended) – Tom Allen and Natalie Scroggie
Design: ta Architecture
Designed by architect/homeowner Tom Allen of ta Architecture, this contemporary new home has been highly commended for its striking cantilevered first floor and built for just £165,000.
Contemporary Self Build – Patrick Michell
Arranged as three bays overlooking a lake in the Norfolk Broads, this contemporary self build by Platform5 has been designed to echo the boat sheds nearby.
Traditional Renovation – Henry Hudson and Holly Johnson
First-time buyers Henry and Holly have carried out a sympathetic renovation to a Victorian home on a room-by-room DIY basis for just £45,000.
Traditional Self Build – Jo and Andy Houghton
Design: Snell David Architects
Fourth-time self builders Jo and Andy have replaced a 1930s chalet bungalow in Cambridgshire with an exceptional period-style farmhouse designed by Snell David Architects which looks like it’s been standing for centuries.
Contemporary Self Build – Kast Architects
Perched above the dramatic Cornish coastline with nothing but unobstructed sea views in front, this Modernist self-build by Kast Architects oozes minimalist style, and provides the homeowners with the perfect holiday retreat.
Conversion – Jeremy Witt and Hannah Smith
Design: David Nossiter Architects
This ambitious conversion on the Essex/Suffolk border sees a timber and brick barn transformed into a light-filled contemporary home that retains the building’s cathedral-like proportions.
Contemporary Renovation/Extension – Eleanor and David Parsons
Design: Selencky Parsons
Thanks to a loft conversion, two-storey extension and complete remodel, architects/owners Eleanor and David have transformed a three-bed London semi into a four-bed family home — complete with a mezzanine snug for the kids.
Contemporary Renovation/Extension – Hamish & Lyons
This 170m² Japanese-style extension housing a living space and guest suite has been designed by Hamish & Lyons, and is set on a steel deck and stilts over a man-made lake at the rear of a traditional-style home.
Contemporary Self Build – Jane and Tim Meggitt
Design: Nick Wilson Architects
Homeowners Jane and Tim Meggitt have built a light-filled, sustainable contemporary home on a nine-acre site in rural West Sussex, which showcases how energy-efficient homes don’t have to compromise on excellent design.
Contemporary Renovation/Extension – Oliver and Julia Jackson
Design: AAvA Architects
The stunning cedar-clad home in Kent that Oliver and Julia Jackson now call home is worlds away from the dark, run-down 1970s shack they originally bought. Thanks to clever design, the existing footprint has been reworked with a new first floor to create a contemporary home to suit their needs.
Contemporary Self Build – Darren and Lucy Henderson
Design: Dot architecture
Overlooking a leafy park just a stone’s throw from Bournemouth beach, Darren and Lucy Henderson have transformed a former garage block into a beautiful family home for themselves and their two children which makes best use of the tight plot.
Contemporary Renovation – Sheryl and Andrew Wilson
Design: PAD Studio
Located within the New Forest, this four-storey water tower has been the subject of an impressive renovation to become the guest wing of Sheryl and Andrew Wilson’s home (the adjoining cottage).
Conversion – Mike and Rebecca Fairhurst
Design: Guy Taylor Associates
Mike and Rebecca Fairhurst have successfully converted a Grade II-listed townhouse in Cheshire from an office into a contemporary home thanks to a glazed infill extension and complete internal refurbishment.
Contemporary Self Build – Roger Zogolovitch
Design: Mole Architects
For practice Mole Architects, it was an honour to have architect Roger Zogolovitch – who has been responsible for some of London’s most exciting developments – enlist their expertise to help create his new family holiday home in Dorset which has been designed to evoke the hull of a ship.
Contemporary Self Build – Anne and Tony Pender
Design: Dan Kerr of MawsonKerr
Thanks to an inspired design by Dan Kerr, and their son Richard who completed most of the build himself, Anne and Tony Pender have been provided with the low-maintenance home they were after for their retirement, designed with Passivhaus principles in mind. The result is a family-led project that deserves its highly commended status.
The Sponsors and Categories
Best Contemporary Self Build
The judges are looking for the very best contemporary self builds in the UK.
Sponsored by Klöeber
Best Traditional-Style Self Build
Is your home built in a period style, perhaps using natural materials and demonstrating fine craftsmanship?
Sponsored by Jewson
Best Traditional Renovation
Entries are invited for old homes saved through restoration, or existing homes remodelled and/or renovated to combine original features with modern.
Sponsored by Contura
Best Contemporary Renovation
The judges are seeking homes transformed through an imaginative extension or remodel schemes.
Sponsored by IDSystems
A category for the very best homes that have been created from barns, schools, churches and other such buildings.
Sponsored by Icynene
Best Custom Build
This category is open to custom build schemes that have been built or are in the process of being built.
Sponsored by Durisol
We are seeking Passivhaus self builds that combine architectural merit and the highest sustainable standards — and most of all, represent a dream home for their occupants.
Sponsored by Hanse Haus
World’s Most Amazing Home
This category is open to both UK and international self build and renovation projects.
Sponsored by Brett Landscaping
Spirit of Self Build
Does your new home embody the true pioneering spirit of self build? Perhaps it’s a project delivered against all odds, a new home that represents exceptional value for money, or a new home that has significantly improved the lives of its occupants.
Sponsored by JG Speed
Best Self Build Starter Home
We’re looking for first-time homeowners or those under the age of 40 who have stepped onto the property ladder with their self build or renovation project.
Sponsored by Hörmann