How to create your dream home, without having to self build

Lakes by Yoo Luxury Holiday Homes, Cotswolds

Lakes by Yoo Luxury Holiday Homes, Cotswolds - Credit: Archant

Promotional feature: For many people, designing and building their own home is a thing of dreams. But the risks, stress and time commitment associated with being a self builder can be a real deterrent. Craig Strachan at Sylva Group explains how it’s possible to create a dream home without having to build it yourself.

Domestic residential home

Domestic residential home - Credit: Archant

The popularity of self build television programmes continues to inspire demand for bespoke luxury homes. Combine this with recent Government legislation to overcome the national housing shortage by making self build more appealing, and it’s easy to see why so many people are considering the option.

Self building not only allows you to decide what your ideal home would look like, but enables you to achieve the lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of. Whether you’re choosing to live in luxury, are a family in need of a larger home or retirees wanting to relax in style, the opportunity to build your own home is the ultimate indulgence.

So imagine the best of both worlds; working with architects and designers to develop the concept of what you wish to build, deciding precisely how you’d love to live, and then leaving the build stress and project management to a highly experienced team. Fast forward then, to receiving keys to a fully insulated, watertight shell that’s ready to be completed with your choice of kitchen, bathroom and interior finish. All the stress, gone! Muddy site visits, eliminated (unless you want to come, of course). A cost-certain, time-managed build approach where the professionals take the responsibility but you still have the control. This is Sylva’s Concept to Keys® service.

Unlike many design and build companies, Sylva create homes to be absolutely individual to you. Clean lines and contemporary living, modern, traditional or period property, your home will be modelled to ensure both layout and performance suit the way you and your family live, specifying the appropriate products, systems and build approach. With a highly experienced team, Sylva offer complete control over each stage of your project.

Riverside Clubhouse, Stratford Upon Avon

Riverside Clubhouse, Stratford Upon Avon - Credit: Archant

Sylva specialise in offsite construction and this helps minimise many of the risks associated with self building. Fabricating your home in factory conditions means that we’re not subject to the ravages of the English weather and other site conditions; it’s also safer, improves quality and minimises waste. It’s much quicker than traditional methods of building, and that’s where the cost savings come from. A typical home can be manufactured in just a few days, to be constructed on site in a fraction of the time of conventional build methods.

They’re also incredibly well insulated and energy efficient places to live in, so you benefit from low energy consumption and reduced running costs too. There are a wealth of material choices and construction techniques available which affect the overall thermal efficiency of your home, even going as far as to achieve the thermal comfort and low running costs of Passivhaus standard, if you wish.

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Offsite manufacture is recognised as an integral solution of providing quality new homes. Featuring on TV’s George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces, the Sylva team designed and engineered a substantial timber frame apartment block in central London, which features a large glazed electronic skylight opening onto a rooftop terrace, and a church on the ground floor. “There needs to be a major revolution in the UK construction industry to solve the housing crisis,” George Clarke says. “And high-quality, factory-built homes have a major role to play.”

Sylva customers currently supply their own land to build on and a concept of what they wish to build, but Sylva’s long-term ambition is to develop Concept to Keys® to become a full turnkey package including the purchase of land and full interior finishing.

Proudly involved in the Cotswolds Lakes by Yoo development of luxury holiday homes, Sylva have built over half of the properties on site so far. The team are currently working on a variety of projects, including a site of 21 affordable, self-build units in Bicester.

Although passionate about self build, one of Sylva’s most interesting projects has been the Riverside clubhouse. Overlooking the river in Stratford-upon-Avon, the state of the art conference and event centre has a distinct nautical theme incorporating sails and portholes, whilst the timber construction allows it to blend into the surrounding environment. This low carbon facility was constructed with a logshell system manufactured offsite in Russia and then shipped across, presenting the interesting challenge of converting Russian engineering to be compliant with UK Building Regulations.


For more information or to discuss a potential project, please visit or call Sylva Group on 01608 819 391