The first images of a pioneering custom-build scheme which could be rolled out across the country have been unveiled
Joint venture developer Carillion Igloo has assembled six architect-led ‘home manufacturers’ to build 54 made-to-order houses at a site at Trevenson Park South in Pool, Cornwall.
Prospective home owners will be able to choose kit-of-parts homes by Mae with prefabrication specialists Riko; AOC with Cathedral Builders; Ash Sakula with Easebuild and FrameUK; Dwelle; HTA Design with Potton; or White Design with Modcell and Cadfan.
All the plots will costs around £50,000, irrespective of whether the custom builder is intending to develop a two, three or four-bedroom home. An entry-level house will have a price tag of roughly £120,000.
The first plots will be available for sale in spring 2015 and the development is due to be completed by the end of 2017.
Based on the Dutch model of Homeruskwartier, in Almere, the scheme is expected to be rolled out in London, Leeds, Nottingham, Sunderland and Glasgow. Competitions will be held to find ‘home manufacturers’ for each location.
Chris Brown, chief executive, Igloo
Custom build is radically different from self-build. It removes the hassle of finding a site, instructing an architect, getting planning permission and a specialist mortgage, and dealing with builders. It leaves the customer with the fun bit – being the client for the design of their special home.
Our approach is an adaption of a Dutch model with the customer at its heart. We start by providing the customer with support to finance the project and then, on a first come, first served basis, they choose their plot and, like buying a car, select from a number of home manufacturers, pick their model and customise it.
There’s a lot of science in this. We’ve to consider the home manufacturing economics, the potential for customers to experience paradox of choice while also requiring variety and understanding the market research on the proportion of customers who want different levels of customisation.
Design quality is important to custom builders, most of whom would not want to buy a speculatively built home from a volume housebuilder. Custom build widens the choice in the market and increases sales rates, numbers of new homes built per head of population, the energy efficiency of new homes and design quality.
This is likely to influence volume housebuilders to raise the quality of their offers, although there will probably always be a place, sadly, for the cheap-as-chips, undesigned, standard house type.