Robert’s passion for design and construction started over 30 years ago, when he became a woodworking apprentice.

Over the years, Robert went on to achieve degrees in both interior design and architecture, before becoming a RIBA chartered architect and the director of his own architecture firm.

robert outside his home

Self-building had been a dream of Robert’s since he was young, but the opportunity to do so always seemed just out of reach.

After 11 years of working and living in Dubai, Robert decided it was time to move back to the UK and put his self-building plans into action. His search led him to Graven Hill, where he now lives in a three-bedroom detached home, built almost entirely with his own hands.


A DIY destination

“My career background means I have the knowledge and the trade skillsets to design and build my own home – so why not?

The next step was to find a suitable plot. As soon as I found Graven Hill, I knew it was the perfect option. Its unique ethos intrigued me, and I loved the sense of individuality that radiated from the site.”


A simpler way to self-build

“Connecting utilities to the house can often be a pain point when building a home but Graven Hill’s serviced plots meant I didn’t have to worry about this. Given the number of considerations you have to make when self-building, it was a relief to tick one off the list before I’d even started the project.

self build home external

“In terms of the design process, being an architect enabled me to do it all myself, ensuring the home reflected my needs perfectly. Graven Hill’s Plot Passports were particularly helpful, acting as a clear guide for the main construction elements of my home.

“I knew that as long as I followed the requirements of the Plot Passport, getting planning permission wouldn’t be a problem either, with each Passport having been pre-agreed with the local council.”


A hands-on home

“In the end, I carried out about 95% of the construction myself. This helped to keep costs down, although it was physically demanding. Laying the first few ICF blocks was an exciting moment for me, as it signaled the beginning of a lifelong dream coming true.”


robert's living room

Making a statement

“Natural light and plenty of space were my priorities when designing my home. A large open plan living and kitchen area, with high ceilings and cove lighting, has given the downstairs of the house an airy and contemporary feel that I love.

“However, the most striking part of my home has to be the double height entrance hall with handmade oak staircase. It certainly makes a statement when you walk in.

“I believe that interior architecture makes a home. After all, that’s where we spend most of our time.”

For more information on the homes on offer at Graven Hill, get in touch.