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Trevor & Rachel Bridgwood

Trevor & Rachel Bridgwood's finished self build project

Trevor and Rachel completed their self build project back in 2013, a timber-frame with an array of eco features. It is A rated and one of the first in Lincolnshire.

Floor Plans

What is the floor area of your project in sq ft or sq m?

Approximately 190m2

Trevor & Rachel - Floor Plans.jpg

TR Elevations.jpg

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

The bungalow that we purchased in 2004 had a serious damp issue, so we decided to knock it down and start again as we liked the village and had a descent sized plot to build on. The new house is A rated, has a balcony overlooking the garden and we opted for a Structural Engineers Certificate rather than NHBC.

Experience at the Centre

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

We visited NSBRC once prior to starting the build.

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

Having everything under one roof. The NSBRC covers every aspect of your project from plot finding to finance and all types of construction. You can easily move backwards and forwards through the whole process so if advice in one area affects another element of the project you can just go over to that area and update your advice.

Did you use any exhibitors at the NSBRC?

Yes, we took advice on selecting the best timber frame suppliers for our project.

What did you enjoy most about your visit to the NSBRC?

Being able to compare all the different aspects of the project all at the same time.

Would you recommend the NSBRC to a friend, and if so, what aspects of the Centre would you recommend?

Definitely, having all aspects of your project in one place. Of particular use was the comparison and evaluation of the quotations from the timber frame companies. Also the sourcing of self-build finance.

Trevor & Rachel’s Self Build Journey

What first inspired you to undertake project – what did you hope to achieve?

We discovered a major damp issue with the 1960s bungalow we had purchased. After settling with the surveyor who had prepared the report at the time of purchase we decided that the best option would be to demolish and build new.


What was the cost & size of the land?

1/3 acre with existing 1960s 3 bedroom bungalow on it. £184,000.


How did you find the land?

Purchased as a dwelling.


Did you have any issues getting your planning permission granted or with building control? If so – why was this?

The initial design was traditional and in keeping with the existing street scene, with a more modern rear aspect to the rear. However, the preplanning submission was returned with the planning officers comments indicating that she preferred the rear aspect and would like the front aspect to be more like the rear. This was easily amended and the planning application went through easily. Building Control was also no problem especially with the use of the structural engineer to certificate the stages.


Why did you choose your method of construction?

Cost effective and quick build.


Did you use a project manager, or did you choose to self project manage?

Self project managed.


What was your budget and were you able to stick to it?

At the NSBRC it was suggested that the build would be approx. £200,000. We set a budget of £150,000 and went over by about £10,000.


If you didn’t stick to your budget, what was the main reason for the overspend?

Our contingency fund was used in the foundation as the structural engineer insisted that the traditional footings be changed to block and beam with an increase in depth to 2m. We also had the opportunity to install solar PV, which hadn’t initially been planned.


What is the value of the property now?



Did you reclaim the VAT, and if so, how much were you able to reclaim?

Yes. £17,407.93


What aspects of the process did you find stressful?

Redundancy three months into the build. Working, project managing and living on site in a mobile home with two young boys.


What did you find most enjoyable about working on your project?

The sense of achievement and seeing your ideas come to fruition.


What is one of your favourite features about your project?

The balcony and rear aspect of the property.


How did you tailor your home to suit your lifestyle?

We created an open plan living area but also separate personal space.


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

Yes, if we decided to downsize.


If so, is there anything you would do differently?

Probably not.


What would your top tip be for other NSBRC Visitors about to embark on their first self build or home improvement journey?

Research and attend as many self build shows as possible.