Case study

Self-build case study: Nick & Cath Cheetham


Why is this project special?

This project is the culmination of 15 years of searching for the plot, location, availability and timescale. We have built our dream home in a superb location.

The stars aligned when this 1945 unloved property became available just around the corner from where we originally lived in Macclesfield. The plot is beautiful, it overlooks the fields and a lake to the north, the edge of the Peak District Hills to the east and mature woodland to the south.

We bought the property and moved in exactly one week before Christmas 2017. We immediately started the search for architects and submission of planning. The process was accelerated by my having refreshed my civil engineering drafting skills (unused for 20 years) and the purchase of a 3D planning tool (3D Architect Home Design software) to generate option the discussion with architects and builders.

It quickly became apparent that we were not only engaging on an extension project but a complete refurbishment of this property to bring it up to modern standards of insulation, safety and design.

Several iterations of planning, cost optimisation and search building partners followed. Structural engineering support was essential given the large open span space we were creating.

Good builders are always busy – after a competitive tender we waited until September 2018 for our builder to start work. This was a collaborative effort with a small, well recommended, local firm. I provided overall project management as well as procurement, estimation (and general labouring support and tiling to the bathrooms).

Roll the clock forward to September 2019 and we finished having lived in the property throughout construction. Roofing is done, windows replaced, kitchen and bathrooms replaced, insulation and electrics upgraded, wood-burning stoves installed.

What we have built now is a house which suits our lifestyle as we enter retirement. A large open plan living room extending to 15 m across the whole width of the house. A stylish kitchen with catering quality stainless steel worktops. A beautiful bright trapezoidal room for a study. Several large bedrooms for visitors and my violin playing.

Read the full case study.pdf

Cheetham house

Cheetham house


Would you like to share your success story?

Whether you have completed a self-build, house extension or loft conversion, we like to motivate others by sharing your success story. We would love to hear from any of our customers who have successfully had their planning application approved and built or currently in the process of being built. If you would like to share your story then please email us at 3darchitect@arcon-cad.de