Tom Allen and Zoe Godbold
The £100k Build

• DEPARTMENT / POSITION: Self Build Consultant (Potton)
• AREA BUILT: Cambridgeshire
• YEAR BUILT: 2013

Realising that their budget of £90,000 to buy a new home wouldn’t get them far in Cambridgeshire, Tom Allen 35 and Zoe Godbold 32 decided to draw on their savings and with the help of a BuildStore mortgage, set out to look for a plot of land and to try their hand at self-build.

Tom had started his career at Potton 17 years ago as a technician in the drawing office so his experience in working on other people’s designs and modifications was immense.

Nowadays Tom is firmly established as a key member of the Potton team of self-build experts and having worked with over  100 clients, felt very excited about the possibility of building with Zoe who had a natural eye for interior design, finishes and layouts.

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After a relatively short time spent looking around locally the couple were able to secure a plot with planning already approved for a modest detached home. By opting not to change the approved footprint of the house they would be able to minimize the time frame and get the house built as quickly as was possible.  

Zoe and Tom then focused their attentions on how the interior of their new home would best fit their lifestyles, how the internal open plan space that Tom had created would give extra light and become a visual statement that reflects both their creative personalities.



'The house that £100k built.'

Zoe transformed the interior into a fun and inspirational living space, applying her creative flair on conventional design.  By careful planning and by investing a lot of time researching, she has achieved a unique, quirky yet functional living space.

With a vibrant palette and considered detailing, each room has a different twist; the lively interior design makes this build very different from the average starter home for two.

Whilst interior design was their key factor, Tom and Zoe were conscious that their budget should work hard for them and worked round the clock to obtain a look and feel that was inspirational yet achievable.  Taking a ‘hands on’ approach, the couple did a lot of work themselves with Tom working evenings and weekends to complete the bathroom and kitchen tiling.

Tom also self-managed the main trades throughout the build, the couple had chosen a mix of Potton approved contractors and local contacts that Tom knew. His other main role was to source materials that were of good quality, sustainable and most of all cost effective.






Built on a corner plot of approximately 1/8th of an acre and completed in just eight months, the property demonstrates what can be done with a limited budget and a lot of creativity and flair.  Recognising Tom and Zoe’s achievement, the property was featured in the first series of BBC2’s ‘The House That £100K Built’.

To quote Tom from the TV show…  “I thought….why not self-build?   With my knowledge and Zoe’s flair plus professional support and advice from my Potton colleagues and contacts, we can make our ideas and requirements become a reality, and build the house we have always wanted but never thought we would own.

What you see when you walk through the door isn’t what you’d expect when you see the property from the outside.  It blends in with the rest of the street but once you walk in, the vibrant colours and quirky design elements show the house in a completely different light” 

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