Modern rendered house with apex glaxing, Potton Self Build Kit Home

John & Christina Horan

John & Christina Horan

Totally Bespoke

John and Christina Horan's bespoke home was designed to resemble a modest bungalow at the front to match the other properties, with a contemporary, highly glazed rear facade.

"It had always been our dream to design and build our own home and so when the opportunity came to buy a piece of land, with what we later found to be an asbestos built bungalow which we later demolished, we jumped at the chance."

Christina had a very clear idea of what she wanted from the house and the couple knew that this was a one-off opportunity to build something that would see them through the next 20 odd years.

Land Cost:
Build Cost:
Floor Area:
1722 sq ft
“Other people in the road had replaced or extended their homes, so there was a precedent, although no planning permission was in place when we bought the bungalow in 2011” Christina explains. “The planners would only grant permission for a new house if the front appeared single storey, to match in with other properties on the street.”

The Horans moved into the bungalow – which was originally built in 1927 as a holiday chalet – and lived there for what they hoped would be a three month period, but which eventually stretched to six because of planning issues.

Choosing Potton

John and Christina knew from the start that they wanted to build a timber frame house after several visits to Scotland where timber frame building is extremely popular. Impressed by the ability to create a watertight shell relatively quickly, the couple investigated several timber frame companies before choosing Potton for their project.

Christina gave up work to manage the project and having obtained planning permission, the couple contacted Potton and were put in touch with Sean Adams.

"His professionalism, advice, support, ideas and reassurance enabled us to go forward with confidence. Sean was always at the end of the phone, responded promptly to emails and was a delight to work with."
As featured in SB&D - Horan

As featured in

John and Christina's self build was featured in SelfBuild & Design magazine.

Read the feature here

Project Management

Project management involved finding the right sub-contractors locally including ground workers, bricklayers, roofers, plasterers, painters, window suppliers, carpenters, kitchen suppliers, as well as negotiating with suppliers.

"Christina undertook that role without any prior experience and it worked for us. Without exception every single person who helped to construct our home could not have been more helpful, friendly or professional" explains John.

"The weather in Gloucestershire between June and December 2012 was grim and there were moments when we thought we must be crazy. But looking back at it now from our home which gives us so much pleasure, it was worth it."
We wanted to build a home for retirement that would virtually pay for itself in terms of running costs, and after the first year of living here, the photovoltaics produced £630 of electricity while our usage was just £380.

It’s a warm, comfortable, energy efficient house and the whole build took just six months to complete, which was one of the reasons we chose timber frame. I would happily build again, but I think John has now decided that we’ll be staying here for quite a while because he absolutely loves this house.


White house with bi fold doors and large window


Potton Head Office

Eltisley Road

Great Gransden


SG19 3AR

441767 676400

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