Self Build Timeline

We've Reserved a Plot at Graven Hill

We’ve Reserved a Plot at Graven Hill!

So after a year or so of keenly following the Graven Hill project and trying to get ourselves into a position where we could actually buy a plot – we’ve finally taken the first real step! Yes, we’ve put pen to paper and reserved a plot for a 3 bedroom detached house in the first phase

September 27, 2016
Hugo's First Day Out

Hugo’s First Day Out

It’s tempting with a newborn to just stay at home – it’s much easier that way. But it also has the danger of driving you absolutely nuts, so probably good to get out and meet other humans.

August 6, 2016

NSBRC Summer Show

Back in the spring we visited the National Self Build and Renovation Centre in Swindon for a Graven Hill presentation, and bumped into Harvey Fremlin, the MD of the NSBRC. He asked if we’d be willing to act as a case study at their summer show, which sounded like fun. Then we realised we’d have

June 19, 2016
Built It Live in Bicester

Build It Live Show in Bicester

We keep thinking that plots at Graven Hill will become available ‘soon’. It’s driving us slightly crazy, but on a soggy Sunday in June, we went to an old airfield in Bicester to see how soon.

June 12, 2016

Our First Self Build Costing Meeting with Tom and Mike

Now that we’ve agreed a design in principle with Tom Gresford, we’ve been able to get some draft costings formulated to see where we stand relative to our budget. So today we spoke with Tom and Mike at The Old Water Tower in Chievely.

May 18, 2016

Join the Graven Hill Discussion on Facebook!

Why not join us on Facebook – it could be a nice way to meet like-minded self builders who are interested in Graven Hill. It would be great to get some discussion going and share any news, tips and perhaps just vent your frustration!

May 4, 2016
Visiting Bungalow in Upper Heyford

Advertising for a Plot of Land

  It’s not all been about Graven Hill around here – we’ve also been contemplating whether there might be other plots available nearby. So we put an advert in the local newsletter (Steeple Aston Life), asking if anyone had a plot of land for sale.

May 1, 2016

Draft House Plans from Tom Gresford

Today we finally got to look at some actual drawings of a house, which is pretty exciting. Following our visit to Tom Gresford’s office a couple of weeks ago, he’s put together a concept that could work for us.

April 22, 2016
Buying a Self Build Plot at Graven Hill

Buying a Self Build Plot at Graven Hill

We recently attended a presentation by Phil Hulme, who is the sales and marketing director for the Graven Hill Village Development Company. This all took place at the National Self Build and Renovation Centre (NSBRC) on a sunny afternoon in Swindon.

April 18, 2016

Second Meeting with Architect Tom Gresford

Having spoken to Tom Gresford and Charlie Luxton, we’ve had a good think and decided to meet again with Tom. Because of the potentially tight schedule with Graven Hill, we didn’t feel we had as much time to weigh it all up as we’d have liked, but in the end because Tom would be working

April 7, 2016

Meeting with Charlie Luxton Design

In this vlog, we’re off to see Charlie Luxton Design in north Oxfordshire. At the time of recording this we expect the plot details at Graven Hill to be released in May, so we only have 5-6 weeks to get ourselves ready to apply for a plot.

March 24, 2016

Dean and Hannah’s Self Build Vlog #4: The Old Water Tower

Every year, the Passivhaus Trust organise a series of open days, showing off a range of buildings. As part of this event, and as we continue to research our options and get inspiration for our self-build project, we met architect Tom Gresford at his newly constructed house in Chieveley, Berkshire.

February 27, 2016

Tour of Steeple Aston

Seeing as it was such a sunny morning, and we needed milk, I thought I’d take a quick walk to the shop and show a lap of Steeple Aston.

February 27, 2016
Dean and Hannah attend the Homebuilding and Renovating Show 2015 at the Excel in London

Homebuilding and Renovating Show 2015 for Self Build Beginners

We’ve been to two self build shows over the last couple of years – the Grand Designs Show and the Homebuilding and Renovating Show at the NEC. At the time we weren’t fully committed to the idea of self-building. We were effectively ‘just browsing’, which feels like a fairly pointless exercise until you know what

October 9, 2015
Our collection of self build magazines

Starting Your Self Build Project

How to Start Your Self Build Project When does a self build project begin? Is it when you start looking for a plot? Or perhaps when you actually buy a plot and visit an architect? For us, both of those events seem a little way off yet. So what can we do straight away to

September 16, 2015

Should We Rent, Buy or Self-Build?

Hannah and I have been thinking of self-building for as long as I can remember, but only in the sense of “we would definitely like to self-build one day”, followed by consuming all the usual TV shows. We would critique the latest Grand Design, with all the benefits of hindsight. Funnily enough, that was all

September 12, 2015
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