The Daily Telegraph and Homebuilding & Renovating Awards is made special by the stories behind each nomination and the passion for unique design that unites every project. From contemporary extensions and renovations to energy efficient and traditional self-builds, the 2018 Awards shortlist has been wonderfully varied.

A desire to create something truly individual is in the lifeblood of homebuilding and the passion and bravery to complete such projects is woven into the fabric of every home. This year we are not just commending the incredible architecture and designs, but celebrating the wonderful people that make building a dream home possible.

Overall Winner/Best Traditional Self Build:



Meadowmead, the Overall Winner in 2018 and also Best Traditional-Style Self Build, is a modern oak frame country home lovingly built by Merry and Ben Albright. Using skill and determination, the couple have created the quintessential self build dream that any family would covet.

Faced with challenges that any self-builder can relate to – planning permission issues on the ideal site, budget constraints and the stress and strains of designing a traditional home with the flexibility required to meet the needs of modern life – Merry and Ben have proven that building an exemplary house is more than worth the trauma.

Considered and well-planned, the design of Meadowmead is impressively relatable and homely; everything a self-build should be.

Category Winners/Highly Commended

Best Green House: A Compact Passivhaus

Compact Passivhaus
  • Location: London
  • Project: Passivhaus self build
  • Designer: RDA Architects
  • What makes the project special? Clever design has not only allowed the Passivhaus home to be completed on a relatively tight budget, but also allowed for the creation of a garage, courtyard garden and small swimming pool on the site of an old garage and garden in London.

Best Starter Home: Coastguard Tower

Coastguard Tower
  • Location: Angus, Scotland
  • Project: Conversion of an abandoned coastguard watchtower
  • Designer: Garry Adam (GAAP Architects)
  • Homeowner: Mr and Mrs Pullar
  • What makes the project special? The derelict tower was completely renovated and a contemporary single-storey extension added to contrast to the original building and give the long-abandoned tower a new lease of life.

Best Contemporary Self Build – Fijal House

Fijal House
  • Location: Cambridgeshire
  • Project: New timber frame family home
  • Designer: Mole Architects
  • What makes the project special? Sitting between two detached Edwardian houses, this contemporary home offers flexible internal spaces and showcases unusual decorative brickwork on the front elevation.

Spirit of Self Build: Hampshire Self Build

Hampshire Self Build
  • Location: Hampshire
  • Project: New traditional-style self build
  • Designer: Frank Dowling
  • Homeowner: Shelagh Krasno
  • What makes the project special? Against the odds, this first-time self builder achieved planning to build a traditional-style oak frame home in the garden of her previous house.

Best Renovation: Firkin Steading

Firkin Steading
  • Location: Argyll & Bute
  • Project: Renovation of a steading building overlooking Loch Lomond
  • Designer: Paterson Gordon Architecture
  • What makes the project special? When purchased, this site had no vehicular access, electricity, fuel, water supply or telecommunication infrastructure. The steading has been sympathetically renovated and extended, and is now suitable for 21st-century living.

Highly Commended – Best Contemporary Self Build: Field House: Devon

Field House-Devon
  • Location: South Devon
  • Project: Contemporary self build
  • Designer: Field Studio Architects
  • Homeowner: James Risebero
  • What makes the project special? Constructed almost entirely from CLT (cross-laminated timber) which is also exposed internally, this new family home features high levels of insulation and airtightness, and green technologies like solar PV, an air source heat pump and MVHR system.

Best Extension/Reader’s Choice Award: Elfort Road House

London Remodel
  • Location: London
  • Project: Renovation of a Victorian terrace
  • Designer: Amos Goldreich Architecture
  • What makes the project special? A side and roof extension, combined with an extensive internal refurbishment has transformed this dated property into a light-filled, spacious family home.

Best International Home: Casa Hualle

Casa Hualle
  • Location: Pucon, Chile (International)
  • Project: New build contemporary home
  • Designer: Ampuero Yutronic
  • What makes the project special? Great care was taken when determining how to create a home that worked with its surroundings and made the most of the incredible mountain views

Best Conversion: Gloucestershire Church Conversion

Gloucester Church Conversion
  • Location: Gloucestershire
  • Project: Conversion of a church into a family home
  • Designer/Homeowner: Azim Jasat
  • What makes the project special? Working to a tight budget, the homeowner took on the role of principal designer and project manager, managing all procurement to help keep a handle on costs. The result is a unique, eclectic family home.

Highly Commended – Best Extension: Fairview

  • Location: Devon
  • Project: Extension and renovation of a dated home
  • Designer: Roderick James Architects LLP
  • What makes the project special? An extensive renovation project and oak frame extension have completely transformed the fortunes of this once unattractive 1920s property.

Despite running for over two decades, the Daily Telegraph and Homebuilding & Renovating Awards is always full of surprises and we are still inspired by the creativity of remodellers, extenders and self-builders alike. All beautiful and well-designed, every house on the 2018 shortlist deserves to be celebrated.

Lakeland Farmhouse

Lake Farmhouse
  • Location: Lake District
  • Project: Remodel and extension
  • Designer: Architecture 519
  • What makes the project special? This extensive extension and renovation of a farmhouse celebrates the marriage of traditional and contemporary elements. Firmly rooted in the vernacular of the Lake District, the two-storey oak frame extension is set back from the original build but maximises views over the surrounding countryside.

Frog Castle

Frog Castle
  • Location: Cheshire
  • Project: Remodel and glass box extension
  • Designer: Scott Donald Architecture
  • What makes the project special? This highly contemporary ‘glass box’ extension sits comfortably within the context of the traditional house.

The Dovecote

  • Location: Cheshire
  • Project: Conversion of a group of agricultural brick buildings in a large family home
  • Designer: Hayes & Partners
  • What makes the project special? This project features contemporary elements while retaining the rural, agricultural character of the original buildings.

Field House: Wiltshire

Field House - Wiltshire
  • Location: Wiltshire
  • Project: Conversion of an agricultural building into a family home
  • Homeowner: Joanna and Simon Kitching
  • Designer: Elkins Architects
  • What makes the project special? This derelict model farm has been transformed into a modern family home, complete with ground source heat pump and striking curved green roof.

The Deerings

The Deerings
  • Location: Hertfordshire
  • Project: Passivhaus self build
  • Homeowners: Daniel Luhde-Thompson and Sarah MacLaren
  • Designer: Gresford Architects
  • What makes the project special? A brave addition to a traditional suburban street scene, built with a fabric first-approach and characterful touches including a colourful kitchen, handmade by a family member.

Sycamore Hall

Sycamore Hall
  • Location: Sheffield
  • Project: Transformation of a dark and dated bungalow
  • Designer: Paul Testa Architecture
  • Homeowners: John and Jean Bloxam
  • What makes the project special? Total energy bills have been cut to just £780 per year following this renovation. The project also saw the creation of three incredible picture windows which capture valley views.

Aisling House

Aisling House
  • Location: Essex
  • Project: Traditional-style self build
  • Designer: Matthew Girling
  • Homeowners: Adrian and Sandra Girling
  • What makes the project special? The combination of red brick, render and timber cladding work together to create a traditional-style home that not only reflects the local surroundings, but is also suited to modern family life.

Victorian Remix

Victorian Remix
  • Location: London
  • Project: Extension and remodel of a Victorian terrace in a conservation area
  • Designer: Guarnieri Architects
  • What makes the project special? This project shows the imaginative results of mixing old and new, and combining sensitive restoration work with innovative design ideas.

Hackney Backhouse

Hackney Backhouse
  • Location: London
  • Project: Contemporary self build
  • Designer: Guttfield Architecture
  • What makes the project special? This striking, Corten louvred home replaced a run-down workshop and provides a model for new family homes on tight urban plots.

Cliff House

Cliff House
  • Location: Cornwall
  • Project: Extension to an existing cottage
  • Designer: Stan Bolt: Architect
  • What makes the project special? This new extension promotes the connection between the house and its dramatic coastal location, with terraces and courtyards becoming additional living spaces.

Andover Remodel

Andover Remodel
  • Location: Hampshire
  • Project: Remodel and extension of an existing house
  • Designer: The Classic Architecture Company
  • Homeowner: Joy Cousins
  • What makes the project special? This project was designed specifically with old age in mind, with special attention paid to the carer suite and installation of a lift. Homeowner Joy, who is in her 80s, took a keen role in the project.

East Sussex Renovation

East Sussex Renovation
  • Location: East Sussex
  • Project: Renovation and extension of an existing house
  • Designer: fiftypointeight Architecture + Pascoe Interiors
  • Homeowner: Bronwen Wright
  • What makes the project special? This loft conversion and remodel project has turned an ordinary home into an extraordinary one, taking advantage of its enviable views towards Lewes Castle.

Oxfordshire Remodel

Oxfordshire remodel
  • Location: Witney
  • Project: Complete remodel and extension of dated home
  • Designer: Woodfield Brady Architects
  • What makes the project special? A two-storey extension, remodelling project and complete facelift that has transformed a tired, old property into contemporary home fit for family living.

Photography credits: Jeremy Phillips; Simon Maxwell; Nigel Rigden; Rory Gardiner. Main image: shortlisted projects were chosen at random to create this collage.

Categories and Sponsors

Best Contemporary Self Build

The judges are looking for the very best contemporary self build in the UK.

Sponsored by ecoHaus

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Best Traditional-Style Self Build

Is your home built in a period style, perhaps using natural materials and demonstrating fine craftsmanship?

Sponsored by Clearview Stoves

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Best Extension

We’re looking for outstanding extension projects that works brilliantly with your home, while allowing you to enjoy much-needed additional space.

Sponsored by IDSystems

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Best Renovation

Entries are invited for previously unloved homes saved through restoration, or homes imaginatively remodelled and/or renovated.

Sponsored by Icynene

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Best Conversion

A category for the very best homes created from barns, schools, churches and other buildings not originally built as homes.

Sponsored by Frame Technologies

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Best Green Home

We are seeking self builds that combine architectural merit with the very highest sustainable standards.

Sponsored by Hanse Haus

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Best International House

Judges are looking for the very best self build or renovation project across the globe (including the UK).

Sponsored by Folding Doors 2 U

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Spirit of Self Build

Does your project embody the pioneering spirit of self build? Perhaps it’s a home delivered against all the odds, or one that represents exceptional value for money, or a new home that has significantly improved the lives of its occupants.

Sponsored by Kloeber

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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 Fleming Homes

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