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Contest launched for £40k self-build 'starter homes'

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An ideas competition for ‘modular and ultra-flexible’ £40,000 self-build housing schemes has been launched

Open to everyone, the annual ‘Self Build on a Shoestring’ competition seeks proposals for new self-build homes which can be easily expanded or contracted during their owners’ lifetimes.

Each ‘starter home’ unit must cost less than £40,000 to construct and feature one bedroom, a living room, kitchen and bathroom.

According to the brief: ‘Typically when new households are formed they require space for just one or two people; then children come along and the family quickly needs extra rooms.

‘Later in life it is not unusual for families to downsize. And in many cultures the concept of inter-generational living is popular.’

The document continued: ‘At present these changes usually require people to sell their existing homes and find a new one. We believe there is another option – an ultra-flexible, low-cost ‘modular’ solution that can be easily built by anyone with reasonable DIY skills.

‘Or the solution could be a very cost effective modular watertight “shell” that self builders can fit and finish off themselves.’

Judges include Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud, self-build guru Geoff Stow and RIBA self-build committee chair Luke Tozer of Pitman Tozer Architects.

The winning teams will share a £5,000 prize fund and see their schemes exhibited at the Grand Designs Live exhibition in early October.

Levitt Bernstein defeated five rival teams – including Mole Architects and John Broome Architects – to win last year’s ‘Self Build on a Shoestring’ top prize.

The deadline for submissions is 18 September.

  • Kevin McCloud

    Contest launched for £40k self-build 'starter homes'

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