Five things to think about over Christmas as a future Graven Hill Self-Builder

lapd Architects - Opinder Liddar
lapd Architects’ Opinder Liddar
Opinder Liddar, one of the directors at lapd Architects, talks us through five key topics that you should be thinking about over Christmas if you are embarking on a self-build project in the New Year.
  1. Think lifestyle first

Great design is rooted in how you live on the day to day. As you think about your dream self-build, it is important to think about your future home from the inside out. Rather than thinking about how it could look from the outside, or getting preoccupied with certain key features, start by thinking about how you would interact and live in your new space.

How does your day, or your family’s day, actually work? What rooms will you actually be spending most time in, and how will they function? Do you all eat together or at different times? Is the kitchen or the living room the hub of your home? Are you avid BBQ-hosters in the summer? Lifestyle is the most important place to start, because self-build offers the ability to design a home completely around your life.

lapd Architects - Client Conversation

  1. Think unique

Your unique personality should be woven in to the designs you end up with. The difficult thing is making sure that throughout the whole process your personality remains intact, and you don’t end up with an off the shelf design. Your self-build should be all about you.

You need to be thinking about how you can explain your personality to the professionals that will be helping you to realise your dream home. At lapd, we normally encourage our self-build clients to create a scrap book filled with likes and dislikes: bits from magazines and Pinterest, pictures from past holidays, bold aspirations as well as day-to-day realities – anything that can help us to really understand you.

Graven Hill Self-Build Image - lapd Architects

  1. Think plot context

Begin to think about where your home would actually be built. You may have a plot in mind, or you may not be there quite yet. Start looking at the possibilities on offer, because each plot has its own character and context.

  • Typography — Does your plot slope and will this affect your build?
  • Sun path — Where will the sun rise and where will it set? How can you make the most of this natural daylight?
  • Exposure — Are you nestled between houses or will windy days particularly affect you?
  • Surroundings — What kind of plots surround you? Where might your neighbours’ builds sit in relation to yours? Where are your nicest focus points/ features for a view?

  1. Think ‘must haves’ and ‘would likes’

It is important to order all these ideas. By this point you will have a lot going around in your head, which is a good place to be, but these thoughts need organising. An easy way to prioritise your ideas is to make a list that separates them into ‘must haves’ and ‘would likes’ for your build. Think about how realistic something is, as well as how important it is to your vision for your dream home. It also is important to think about features that might be a little removed from lifestyle or aesthetics, for example: sustainable aspects of your build, home technologies and special items of furniture/artwork.

When we have our initial design meeting we talk through these lists and often find that people’s ‘would likes’ are a lot more doable than they think, or there might be a good reason that a ‘must have’ might not work. That is an important part of the process.

lapd Architects - Client Conversation - Kitchen

  1. Think about who could understand you

You need to make sure the architect you work with understands you. Your architect should be your guide through the whole process, making sure your dream home, the one you have spent time thinking about, is delivered on time and on budget.

At lapd Architects, we listen to you before we do anything else in order to understand your dream home. We bring ideas and solutions to the table that you might not have thought of but which deliver exactly what you need. We are realistic but also make sure your home will be designed around your life.

If you would like to meet with us in the New Year to talk about how we can guide you along your journey to your dream self-build home, then do not hesitate to get in touch with us over the Christmas break. We are booking in free initial consultations throughout January with our directors for Graven Hill self-builders. Call us on 01865 407 722, or email us on [email protected].

To find out more about lapd Architects, find them on our Trade Directory or visit their website,

If you’re thinking about taking on a Self-Build project at Graven Hill in the New Year, get in touch with our Sales team on 01869 396 070 or email on [email protected] to get a list of the latest available plots and find out more about our winter incentives.