Case Study of the month - January
Achieving a Self Build Dream

Location: Bedfordshire
Land Cost: Inherited
Build Cost: £300,000 including landscaping and interior decoration
Current Value: £550,000 - £575,000

After inheriting a 1960's house on a country lane. Nick and Nikki Banfield had a decision to make. Refurbish and extend the existing property, or embark on a self build journey.

Once the couple had decided to self build, they attended Potton's 'Introduction to Self Build' seminar..

"In February 2012 we attended a seminar and visited the show houses again. My wife fancied a Gransden, whilst I still favoured a Caxton. We sought advice from  a Surveyor and an Estate Agent with regard to the best option and decided that our plot deserved a Gransden with some alterations. (and so did we)

The sales stage was smooth with sound advice from Neil Strong . The design stage went smoothly with again sound advice from Adrian Bussetil. Planning permission was granted in good time.

We used a friend with previous experience of Potton builds as a Project manager and he supplied his trusted team of builders/contractors  who worked either side of the frame building process. All were familiar with Potton Timber Frame construction.

He liaised with our contracts manager throughout.

We  got our hands dirty daily by clearing up the site regularly ,helping with some of the simpler tasks like installing some insulation prior to the floor screed. We organised the utilities, found a decorator , arranged the kitchen , sourced the bathroom equipment, arranged the alarm and arranged for the fencing and turfing.


There were a couple of blips in the process. During the design stage we scrapped the dining room fireplace in favour of two storage cupboards. The plans produced omitted  any support for the chimney stack.

Once the frame was up the situation was resolved at a site meeting. The chimney was supported by a brick pier, we planned one cupboard and a feature brick alcove with some more  exposed timber.

Those blips aside, we now live in a fantastic house which was built on time and on budget. Great credit goes to our Project manager.

We chose Potton because they were fairly local, we preferred their designs to the seemingly over timbered oak frames, and they were strongly recommended by our Project Manager. In addition we were very impressed by the Potton house our friends Angie and Jon Martin built in North Marston a few years ago."

"By self-building we achieved our dream home. The Seminar was enough to inspire me finally to self-build. (my wife had planned on a Gransden from our first visit to the show centre, even before the seminar.)

I particularly found the show houses useful as it was easy standing in a Gransden and visualising our alterations. Much better than looking at plans."





Refurb or Replace?

"To refurbish and extend was an option we looked at. Following a structural survey and some estimates this option seemed expensive, risky and the final product would have looked like a refurbished, extended 60's house even allowing for extensive work to disguise the original frontage.

Demolition and rebuilding was an alternative. My wife and I have always liked the idea of a character cottage but not the maintenance and heating issues associated with it.

My wife and some very good friends saw a Potton self build as a better option. The build cost was likely to exceed the extend refurbish cost, but the end product would be worth more and most importantly was likely to be a character cottage with all the modern conveniences that we could design to suit ourselves."


Front View  Rear View









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