Building a harboured dream

For many years, Mick and Isobel Jennion had harboured a dream to build their own sustainable home and when, in 1981 they visited a new eco-efficient housing development in Milton Keynes with a fully built, fully furnished Potton show home on the site, the Potton seed was laid.

However, it wasn’t until some 30 years later, when their children had flown the nest that the dream of building their own home could come to life.

So, in January 2010 Mick and Isobel began the journey to turn their dreams into reality and set about gathering as much knowledge on building your own home, as possible.

Visiting Potton show homes
By visiting national and regional self-build exhibitions, including Homebuilding and Renovating Show at Birmingham NEC, The National Self Build Centre in Swindon, where Potton has its ‘Ruskin’ show house and Potton’s Self-Build Centre in St Neots (which was less than 10 miles from their home), they began to understand the process more and more.

“We visited the show centre in St Neots on a number of occasions, sat in on local Potton seminars and then attended the one day Introduction to Self-Build event at the Potton head office in Great Gransden. The day included a full factory tour and enabled us to see what we could achieve by building our own home and… we saw ‘attic trusses’ for the first time” said Mick.

The biggest challenge
Their biggest challenge was finding a suitable piece of land, but after two years of searching they found their perfect plot in a village outside Bedford. The couple had already made the decision to build a Potton home based on their extensive research and couldn’t wait to get started!

After so many years of waiting for their new home, the couple decided they would make the journey as ‘enjoyable’ as possible.

“Using the Potton design, planning and building regulations package was a really good decision. The Potton experts provided an excellent service, did what needed to be done, when it needed to be done, one could not ask for anything more.”

Project Management

Keeping the build on track

“The selection of Shaun O’Connor of Forge Projects, a recommended Potton project manager who we felt we could work alongside, was key to the success of our build. He told us exactly what we needed to do and when to do it.

“He kept the project to time, and most importantly to budget. He also assisted us in choosing some really first class trades people from the Potton Approved Contractors list.

“Shaun did a fantastic job from start to finish and ensured that the experience was relatively stress free and enjoyable throughout. He even brought us back to reality when we tried to go too far off piste!

“The timber frame erection team were brilliant, especially when we reflect that four inches of snow fell on the morning that the frame was delivered and the temperature barely rose above freezing the whole time they were onsite” said Mick.

Isobel and Mick love their new home which is a good balance of high tech products and high quality finishes which can only be achieved if you build your own home.

When asked why self-build?

“Because one can fulfil a dream and you can really build a home that looks like you want it to look, has the right features to suit your lifestyle and has most of the things you want in it.”

Isobel and Mick paid £195,000 for their building plot plus a total build cost of £295,000 the current market value is unknown

Would they do it again?

“We loved building our new home and we would definitely do it again, but it may be just a little late in our lifetime. We will be encouraging all our friends and family who are thinking about it to do it.”

To read Mick and Isobels testimonial – click here

  • Location: Bedfordshire
  • Land Cost: £195,000
  • Build Cost: £295,000
  • Current Value: Unknown