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Self Build With AC Architects



After making the bold decision to build your own home, realising your dream can be a difficult process – especially if you lack experience in the construction sector. Finding the right people to help you design and construct your Self Build is hugely important, as you want to know your new home will develop just as you imagined.


A usual place for most Self Builders to start is with an injection of their own cash savings. Building societies such as Nationwide advise that personal savings can be a useful way of offsetting some of the Self Build Costs – such as paying rent for temporary accommodation during the build process. However, this advice is only relevant if you choose to sell your current home before embarking on your Self Build.

Personal savings and any equity raised from the sale of your home (if you have chosen to sell) are good starting positions. However, more often than not Self Builders will need to acquire a Self Build mortgage to finance their project. It is best to speak to a few mortgage providers to work out which one can offer the optimum Self Build mortgage option for your financial circumstances and your design plans. Unlike buying a home, a Self Build project requires a series of payments in accordance with the different build stages.

At Allan Corfield Architects Limited (ACA), we provide a tailored service to suit our clients’ needs. As each client has their own individual requirements, it is paramount we develop a close working relationship with our clients – in order to successfully achieve their Self Build dream.

This relationship begins with a free initial ACA consultation, as we feel it is important to meet with all potential clients, and develop an impression of what their dream home consists of.

In understanding the way our clients live, ACA can deliver a bespoke proposal to match your specific wishes.

However, at ACA we also understand the difficulties faced by the first time Self Builder. We endeavour to guide them through each stage of their project – offering a service that goes well beyond the initial design process. From the traditional parts of the architect’s role – such as the planning, building control and technical drawings for the Self Build – right through to developing a build schedule and engaging with sub-contractors, ACA assist and educate the Self Builder throughout the build process.

Since 2012, ACA’s services have been evolving to support and educate Self Builders. We find working closely with Self Builders great fun, and we enjoy overcoming the challenges the Self Build process brings. The close relationship that develops throughout each project is hugely satisfying too – wherever that project might be. Based in Scotland, but working throughout the UK, ACA’s personal approach is never compromised – with a large portion of our projects being delivered in the South of England.

Utilising the best 3D drawing software available – ArchiCAD by Graphisoft – at ACA we can show our clients the proposed designs in a standalone 3D model. This is a user-friendly, digital walk-through service, which our clients can access easily via computer, TV, or mobile device. This BIMx model evolves throughout the project, and for our clients who are further afield this is a great modern tool for visualising the ‘Grand Design’.

Unlike most architectural practices operating on a percentage-of-construction cost, ACA’s fee proposal is based on a fixed and itemised cost – meaning Self Builders know from the beginning how much to expect to pay at particular stages of the project, and can therefore budget accordingly. The RIBA as a guide suggest that a full service for a new build home is approx. 8% of the total construction cost.

The typical stages involved in ACA’s Self Build service may include the following:

  • Initial Design Options (usually 2 or 3)
  • Planning Permission Application
  • Building Warrant Application
  • Preparation of Technical Drawings and Specifications
  • On-site Supervision and Certification (Building control & finance)

Shortlisted in 2014 for BuildIt Magazine’s ‘Best Self Build Architect’ and ‘Best Eco Home’ awards, ACA take great satisfaction in providing Self Builders with a home design which is not only stunning aesthetically, but also extremely energy efficient.


With the design standard for residential properties moving towards the ‘Passive House’ design principle in 2016, ACA have become a leader throughout the UK in providing energy efficient, low-cost housing.

With this commitment to promoting environmental and sustainable design principles in each and every project undertaken, ACA are also a specialist practice in the design and technical delivery of Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) homes. ACA have delivered a vast number of projects throughout the UK built using SIPs, and we are also a member of the Structural Timber Association.

The ACA team has the skills, knowledge and experience to take on a vast variety of Self Build designs. Our services have been honed to benefit the Self Builder, with the aim of providing them with the necessary skills to have a real involvement in the day-to-day management of their project.

So – how can ACA help you with your dream Self Build home?