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Osh Roberts & Sarah Campbell

For Osh Roberts, reading volumes of house building and renovation magazines, and watching hours of Grand Designs, convinced him that self build was being done by ‘ordinary people’ – and that he could do it too.

Osh RobertsOnce they’d decided to embark on a self build, Osh and his partner, Sarah Campbell, spent weeks and months considering the layout of their house and deciding what they wanted from each room – a master bedroom with sun in the morning, a living room at the back of the house for privacy, and the option to have a semi open-plan layout between the living room and kitchen. Now that they’ve moved in, and are living the dream, Osh is convinced it was time well spent: “We’re so glad now because everything is just perfect.”

The couple’s meticulous approach to planning extended to undertaking a huge amount of research to ensure that they properly understood the building processes and methods involved. As a result, Osh decided to employ a builder, preferring to “utilise other people’s experience and contacts rather than try and do it myself.” What’s more, he managed to find a builder who had already worked with their type of timber frame kit (from Polish company Dan-Wood Ltd) so they didn’t hit any major obstacles during the build. However, even Osh is the first to admit that some things can’t be planned or accurately costed too far in advance, such as foundations and utility connections – the only areas where the project went over budget.

In fact, for Osh and Sarah, the biggest hurdles were at the outset. It took 18 months to find the perfect plot, followed by a long period of
negotiation to change the existing planning for a bungalow to permission for a house. And more frustratingly, their high street lender
changed their mortgage policy for lending to self builders at the last minute. Fortunately, BuildStore came to the rescue. With inheritance
money to start them off, and funds from the sale of Osh’s flat, the couple chose a Traditional mortgage with stage payments in arrears to
see their project through. It suited their tightly planned project – and Osh’s excellent budget control – perfectly.

Now that they’re settled in their dream home, would they do it again?

Osh laughs. “Yes, I would do it again, but probably not for a very long time – we put the effort into this build knowing we were building
a home for our future family.”

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