Self build projects are rarely straightforward. Everything, by definition, is unique, being done for the first time. It’s tailored expertise drawing on years of experience culminating in a bespoke, accomplished set of solutions — or making it up as you go along, depending on your point of view. This is viewed in ever sharper relief when the self builder in question is someone with more years of experience, more contacts, and more access to these solutions than pretty much anyone else.

Charlie Luxton has followed dozens of self build projects for his many television programmes over a decade or so presenting (and advising the featured self builders) and, through his architectural design practice Charlie Luxton Design has designed and managed the builds on behalf of dozens more — that’s all useful stuff, but difficult to apply to the individual circumstances self builders find themselves in.

And Charlie’s project is unique in many ways. The site, of course, is unique (and beautiful – a one acre site at the bottom of a light valley, stream running through the middle, mildly to heavily sloping, unclear access, not linked physically to the cottage in which he lives, but which the land came with as part of the original purchase).

a stable conversion project on a sloping site in Oxfordshire

The stable sits next to Charlie’s family home (the thatched cottage that can just be seen behind)

Charlie’s access to architectural time is fairly unique — for a self builder to buy all the hours of design fannying around that Charlie had enjoyed gratis through his business would have been crippling.

But let’s be clear in two other ways that this is absolutely not unique: Charlie’s position as a TV ‘personality’ has been of absolutely no use when it comes to dealing with planners or solving design and build problems; and his amazing energy, enthusiasm and dedication for solving the puzzle of building a bespoke home, never done before and probably never again in just this way, is completely replicable and a hallmark of the more successful self builders that have been the subject of Homebuilding & Renovating case studies over the years.

Join Charlie on his Self Build Journey

Over the coming months Homebuilding & Renovating will be following Charlie’s project as it goes through the conceptual design stages through to starting on site and completion.

We believe that no other building project has been featured in such depth. We’re not looking to do a light, TV-style series. You can find them on TV. We’re looking to follow a self build project to bring out the key decisions, uncover new solutions, explain the anatomy of a project in detail.

If you’re serious about building your own home some day, then this will (we hope) be an essential part of your learning process. Nowhere else will give you a better understanding of the decisions you will have to make and the hurdles you’ll have to jump over. You’ll find some new ideas, of course, and we’ll be giving you an up-close perspective on what it’s like to build your own home at a level of depth far beyond that you might see elsewhere.

Back to Charlie Luxton Builds a House

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