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A Small Self Build on a Tiny Budget
April 22, 2018 – 08:45 am
A Small Self Build on a Tiny Budget | Homebuilding & Renovating

Fortunately there was an available plot of land adjoining Jennifer’s parents’ rural property in Ayrshire, Scotland. As the small home had been designed to exceed regulatory standards, it was eligible for mortgage lending, and easily passed through the planning process.

The Brief

Jennifer and Mark wanted to build a home that was highly energy efficient, and affordable. The answer was to design a scaled-down house which Jennifer did with the help of her father and some input from Ben Pentreath, the architect involved in Knockroon.

The small house is naturally well-lit thanks to thoughtful window positioning and French doors

Space Saving Design

Given the size of the floorplan, the interiors feel surprisingly spacious, with a kitchen and living area separated from the bedroom and bathroom by a small area of circulation space. It’s here that the property’s one, albeit good-sized, cupboard is located. Due to the home’s limited space, designing in creative storage solutions was a must. “We had to be innovative to fit enough bedroom storage in for two people, so I designed two wardrobes either side of the bed that also incorporate bedside tables. The joiners who were working on the house were more than happy to build them for us from MDF, which also meant they were very cost-effective, ” explains Jennifer.

A built-in storage seat positioned in the entrance porch is another clever idea, which Jennifer again commissioned the joiners to craft. Finished with a high-level shelf and a row of coat hooks, it makes the small space both practical and welcoming. Internally, the Wee House has been injected with character thanks to a considered interior scheme. Traditional deep-moulded skirting boards, four-panelled doors, and walls lined with painted vertical beaded MDF board that look like tongue-and-groove.

The bespoke wardrobes were made by the couple’s joiners and feature built-in bedside tables to make use of every inch of space

Budget and Eco

As well as sticking to a minimum size that would keep costs down, Jennifer and Mark made sure they decided on all of their fixtures, finishes and suppliers before they started to build. That way, they kept a firm grasp on their budget and there were no surprises.

They also made a saving on the roof by opting for an easily transportable Prelaq Nova roof (by Dobel Nova), over slate or tile. This is a modern pre-painted steel that can be used for wall cladding as well as for roofs. It has a 30-year guarantee and costs just £9/m². On top of this the product also has green credentials as it uses no potentially toxic CFC gases and is fully recyclable.

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