Discover this New England-Style Self Build in Cornwall

view of open plan kitchen diner from living room area
(Image credit: Dan Duchars)

Self builders are a keen tribe, none more so than young couple Ash and Jess Alken, who even wove plans for their future dream home into their wedding vows. Remarkably, Ash had already self built two houses while still in his thirties, and Jess was keen to build a family home with Ash near to her own family and childhood roots in Cornwall.

So when a 1930s seaside bungalow plot with scope for redevelopment came onto the market – the very same house, owned by her grandmother, that Jess had grown up in – neither hesitated. 

Alison Wall

Alison Wall is an experienced homes journalist, and former chief sub editor of Homebuilding & Renovating. She has interviewed countless self-builders and renovators regarding their projects, and has a special interest in eco builds. She is also renovating her 1970s home and garden, and has a particular interest in making her own home greener, having recently added solar panels, an EV chargepoint and a solar battery system.

With contributions from