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Adam Lawrence

Adam Lawrence completed his modern self build during October 2020 in the West-Midlands. He enlisted the help of a project manager, using NSBRC partner CLPM, to ensure the project ran smoothly.

Could you tell us any interesting facts or remarkable features about your project?

Back garden infill plot – EPC 97 (A), no gas, MVHR, Solar PV, ASHP & underfloor heating downstairs. There's also floating stairs, a front-to-back view from the front door, a large family room, and the property is six bed and five bathrooms. We did have planning permission for a basement but the cost made it unviable!

Ground floor plans

First floor plans

Second floor plans


Adam's Experience at the National Self Build & Renovation Centre

How many times have you visited The National Self Build and Renovation Centre before? Five times.

What would you say is the most helpful feature or resource at the NSBRC? The experts.

Did you use any exhibitors at the NSBRC? If so, who? CLPM, Earth Save Products & Internorm.

What did you enjoy most about your visit to the NSBRC? The amount of information on hand!

Would you recommend the NSBRC to a friend, and if so, what aspects of the Centre would you recommend and why? I’ve recommended both the Centre and the NSBRC training courses to many!

Adam's Self Build Journey

What first inspired you to undertake project – what did you hope to achieve? An ideal house that we had designed.


What was the cost & size of the land? 300k & 0.05 hectares.


How did you find the land? Do you have any tips for others currently searching for a plot? I was contacted by a distant relative – it was a fluke. Searching for 2 years before that with no joy…..sorry.


Did you have any issues getting your planning permission granted or with building control? Building control, no – Planning permission, yes.


If so – why was this? The local residents strongly opposed to infill developments in the area.


Why did you choose your method of construction? Due to the speed, efficiency, space saving & energy performance / sustainability.


Did you use a project manager, or did you choose to self project manage? We used a project manager, Mario from CLPM.


What was your budget and were you able to stick to it? 450k, and no.


If you didn’t stick to your budget, what was the main reason for the overspend? We managed to get more head height on the top storey, and also upgraded our finishes – also planning requirements meant a larger spend on the outside than was wanted. Also inflation!


What is the value of the property now? The value is 1.3m.


Did you reclaim the VAT, and if so, how much were you able to reclaim? Yes, c.10k.


What aspects of the process did you find stressful – and do you have any tips on how to avoid the pitfalls you encountered? The selection of finishes – and the selection of contractors! Use a Project Manager, take your time, and do not rush.


What did you find most enjoyable about working on your project? The fulfilment we felt when it was finished.


What is one of your favourite features about your project? Our ensuite bathroom with full rain shower. Glorious!


How did you tailor your home to suit your lifestyle? We included a large family room, the ability to walk out onto the deck with a hot tub, kitchen with lounge / diner is just perfect. Also by having individual bathrooms.


Is there a possibility you would ever undertake another project in the future? Definitely.


If so, is there anything you would do differently? Would consider a design and build contract.


What would your top tip be for other NSBRC Visitors about to embark on their first self build or home improvement journey? Make several visits, educate yourselves and speak to the experts for sure. It’s also helpful to speak to other people who’ve already completed a project.