Homebuilding and Renovating Award Winners Announced

If you are considering a self-build property or perhaps buying a house with the idea of changing it into something uniquely you, then the winners of the Homebuilding and Renovating Award from the Daily Telegraph will surely be inspirational. These are people who have created unique and amazing properties – and are also set to make good profits if they sell the houses down the line.

Seafront Family Home

The overall winner of the prize was a couple called Catherine and Adas Nicholson. They bought a property in Shoreham-by-Sea in West Sussex mainly due to its amazing views out across the English Channel. Over the next ten years, they have changed the house from a modest family home into a striking, eye-catching creation that won them the award.

The couple didn’t dive straight into the work but lived in the house for five years before deciding that changes were needed. At first, the work was fairly standard – replacing windows, converting the loft. But then the first time self-builders began to expand their ideas. The result is a house that is unique and a true example of the self-build idea.

The resulting house has glass walls that overlook the sea with an exterior clad in pebbles. There are large, open play living areas while the dining room has superb sea views. The rebuilding project in total took 10 months and kept close to budget with a build cost of £320,000. The original property cost £450,000 but the valuation is now £1.5 million – though the family have no intention of selling up.

Building On Profits

Many of the winners of the various awards have experienced something similar. Chris Birakos and Kirstie Potter were also first time self-builders who took an awkward Bristol city plot costing £87,000 and spent £300,000 on the rebuilding process. Stuck on a sloping corner, the spot won them the aware for the most inspiring home and still manages not to look out of place in its surroundings. The house is now worth £700,000.

The awards also show that you don’t need to spend large amounts of cash. Architect Patrick Bradley’s house in Northern Ireland cost just £150,000 to construct and is also hugely eco-friendly. Made from shopping containers, it may not be for everyone but is a great example of what can be done – and costs just £8 a week to run. The house also offers a 360 degree view and is clad in local materials including Cor-Ten steel that blends into the rock beside the property. Inside the house is an open plan design with wood burning stove and floor to ceiling windows.


Most people who undertake self-builds are looking at something a little less revolutionary but these projects show what can be done with the right materials, the right team and a little inspiration. And the end result are properties that are unique, make the most of the natural surroundings on offer and give the homeowner exactly what they want, without having to compromise around existing structures.

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