20 Characterful Traditional-Style Homes

Image for 20 Characterful Traditional-Style Homes
(Image credit: Jeremy Phillips)

Offering a glimpse into the past but with the efficiencies and conveniences of modern homes, traditional-style self-builds pack just as much punch as their more contemporary counterparts. 

From graceful roof pitches and sash windows to a beautiful heritage brick, designing a home in a period style can be incredibly tricky to get right, but when it is done well they can stand proud among the most beautiful buildings in the UK. 

Take a look below at some inspiration new builds that look like that have stood for centuries. 

1. A Brick and Flint Home Built for £150K

(Image credit: Alistair Nicholls)

This charming home was inspired by the barns of Norfolk, with beautiful flint and brick elevations and generous proportions. 

  • Build cost: £150,000
  • Location: Hampshire

2. An Oak Home with Modern Interior

(Image credit: Jody Stewart)

This self-build was born from the design for it's homeowners to live in a cottage with character but without the low ceilings and dark rooms. Traditional materials, in particular oak and exterior brick, clad a more contemporary interior layout. 

(MORE: Reclaimed Bricks)

  • Build cost: £300,000
  • Location: Kent

3. A Self-built Farmhouse

(Image credit: Jeremy Phillips)

This new farmhouse pays homage to the original property which once stood on the plot. Handmade, red Cheshire bricks are softened by locally-inspired inky-grey timber windows fitted with brick arch lintels, inspired by a design seen throughout the local area. 

  • Build cost: £555,000
  • Location: Cheshire

4. A New England-style Home

(Image credit: Mark Brocklebank)

Inspired by homes across the pond, this home features an elegant eyebrow dormer window and interesting roof lines, of which the proportions were essential to get right. 

  • Build cost: £1million
  • Location: Hampshire

5. A Traditional Cottage Reborn

(Image credit: Jeremy Phillips)

The charming traditional exterior of this house has been achieved by a combining a dwarf brick wall with timber cladding and a creamy through-coloured render, as well as clay roof tiles. The dormer windows and oak framed porch further add to the character of the new house. 

  • Build cost: £465,000
  • Location: Undisclosed

6. A Georgian-inspired Beach House

(Image credit: James Ram of Chetwode Charles)

This classic design nods to both Georgian architecture as well as classic beachside homes in the Hamptons through beautiful sash windows that frame the sea beyond. 

  • Build cost: £650,000
  • Location: Cornwall

7. A Period-inspired Oak Home

(Image credit: Nikhilesh Haval)

This home's exterior features a cream-coloured render as a gentle nod to nearby Tudor houses. Attention to detail, such as the decorative edges on the roof gables' bargeboard, set this characterful home apart from the rest. 

(MORE: House Rendering)

8. A New Manor House

(Image credit: Jeremy Phillips)

This home was adapted from Border Oak's 'off-the-shelf' manor house designs, with a weatherboarded 'annexe' which is used for the house's office and utility spaces. The main house is more traditional in appearance, using a characterful exposed oak frame with lime rendered infill panels and a brick-clad ground floor. 

9. 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

10. 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

11. 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

12. 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

13. 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

14. 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

15. 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

16. 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

17. 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

18. 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.

(MORE: Could Your Project Manage Your Building Project?)

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

19. 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

20. 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
Amy Reeves

Assistant Editor Amy began working for Homebuilding & Renovating in 2018. She has an interest in sustainable building methods and always has her eye on the latest design ideas. Amy has interviewed countless self builders, renovators and extenders about their experiences for Homebuilding & Renovating magazine. She is currently renovating a mid-century home, together with her partner, on a DIY basis, and has recently fitted her own kitchen.