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12 Characterful Traditional-Style Homes

Rural Traditional-Style Self Build
(Image credit: Jody Stewart)

Traditional buildings seem to have lost their time in the spotlight following the popularity of ‘Grand Designs’-style TV shows where contemporary architecture reigns supreme. It is these more humble buildings, however, which make up the majority of the UK housing stock, and their simple nature can take many charming forms.

For those who prefer roof pitches to flat roofs, casement windows to structural glazing, and local building materials as opposed to white render and shards of glass, this selection of homes is sure to inspire.

1. A Traditional Coach House

A charming barn-style self build home in the Cotswolds

(Image credit: Simon Maxwell)

Built to look like it’s been stood for centuries, this traditional Cotswolds home has been constructed using the local stone to look like an old coach house which has been added to over the years.

  • Build cost: £500,000
  • Location: Gloucestershire

2. A Traditional Cotswolds Self Build

Timber frame Cotswold stone home in Wiltshire

(Image credit: Simon Maxwell)

This traditional home has been constructed using timber frame and clad in Cotswold stone to look like a Georgian farmhouse.

  • Build cost: £316,000
  • Location: Wiltshire

3. An American-Style Home

American-Style Self Build Home

(Image credit: Simon Maxwell)

This project in the south of England has been built using traditional methods in a Cape Cod style, complete with dormer windows, low eaves and a wrap-around veranda.

  • Build cost: £273,000
  • Location: East Sussex

4. An Arts and Crafts-Style Home

arts and crafts style self build with dormer windows

(Image credit: Simon Maxwell)

Tall chimneys, a steep roof pitch, gables and dormer windows all help to achieve the Arts and Crafts aesthetic in this new traditional-style home built by Snell David Architect.

  • Build cost: £800,000
  • Location: Cambridgeshire

5. An Energy-Efficient Cottage

Energy Efficient Traditional-Style Cottage

(Image credit: Jeremy Phillips)

Constructed in a Conservation Area and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this traditional-style cottage has been built to mirror the form and materials typical of this part of the Dales. Thanks to its ultra energy-efficient insulation materials and building techniques, the home just missed Passivhaus certification.

  • Build cost: £180,000
  • Location: County Durham

6. A Period-Style New Build

Arts & Crafts style self build with sash windows

(Image credit: Simon Maxwell)

Built using brick and flint, with nods to both the Georgian and Arts and Crafts movement, this self build oozes character and looks as if it’s been standing for years.

  • Build cost: unknown
  • Location: Wiltshire

7. A Traditional Timber Frame Home

Timber frame traditional style self build in the Lake District

(Image credit: Jeremy Phillips)

This beautiful timber frame holiday home just 200 yards from the lake in the Lake District combines traditional building materials with contemporary aesthetics.

  • Build cost: £565,000 (incl. £35,000 for the garage and £40,000 for landscaping)
  • Location: Lake District

8. A Georgian-Style Home on a Budget

Jason Orme self-build project

(Image credit: Jeremy Phillips)

This Georgian-style timber frame self build with symmetrical façade and sash windows came in on a tight budget thanks to taking on elements of the project on a DIY basis.

  • Build cost: £145,000
  • Location: Worcestershire

9. A Charming Thatched Cottage

Thatched roof covering on cottage

(Image credit: Jeremy Phillips)

This cottage in Cambridgeshire has been built to look every bit the period home, complete with a combination of a Norfolk reed thatch roof and dutch herringbone patterned brick.

  • Build cost: £250,000
  • Location: Cambridgeshire

10. A Low-Cost Self Build

Low Cost Cotswold Stone Home

(Image credit: Brett Charles)

By learning the basics of a few trades, and taking on the role of project manager, the owner of this home in the Cotswolds was able to build his dream home for around half the price of the average detached home in the area.

  • Build cost: £135,000
  • Location: Wiltshire

11. Low Maintenance Home in a Pretty Rural Setting

Rural Traditional-Style Self Build

(Image credit: Jody Stewart)

Anne and Rob Skinner found a prime plot in west Sussex which was occupied by a pre-war bungalow that was ripe for demolition. In its place, they built a traditional-style home where energy efficiency and low maintenance were key criteria of the design.

  • Build cost: £418,000
  • Location: West Sussex

12. Flint-Clad Home on Idyllic Woodland Plot

Traditional Flint-clad Home

(Image credit: Jeremy Phillips)

Behind the façade of this traditional, vernacular-style self build is a highly sustainable home, built on a tight budget. Costs were kept low by homeowner Geoffrey and his family undertaking all the decoration, painting the kitchen cabinets, insulating the loft and fitting out the garage.

  • Build cost: £140,000
  • Location: Norfolk