Have you built your own home? Enter the Homebuilding and Renovating awards - New Build Inspections
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Have you built your own home? Enter the Homebuilding and Renovating awards

Have you done an extraordinary extension, an amazing conversion or built a truly original home? The Daily Telegraph Homebuilding and Renovating Awards want to hear from you. Jasat’s new home won the award for best conversion in last year’s competition.

Categories range from green home, custom-build, self-build in traditional and contemporary styles, and “best spirit of self-build” – one that happened against the odds or for great value for money. The best of all those entered will win the coveted “home of the year” prize.

The deadline for entries is May 17; go to homebuilding.co.uk/awards for the full details and instructions on how to enter. Good luck!

Take a crumbling church in Gloucestershire and add a 3D mapping tool, a mechanical engineer, a huge amount of ambition, and what do you get? A family home that is filled with light and packed with idiosyncratic features.

From the outside, it appears that nothing has changed in this former Methodist church in Stroud. But inside, it has been given a new lease of life by Az Jasat, who acted as contractor, designer and project manager – as well as the client.

Az Jasat, who won the award for best conversion in last year’s Homebuilding and Renovating Awards

 Simon Maxwell

Jasat and a colleague laser-scanned the building to create a 3D model, in order to work out a design and draw out partitions that would create rooms within. He also had to change the use to residential, which meant conforming to strict building regulations, including adding certain kinds of insulation.

“I had strong ideas of what I wanted,” says Jasat. “So I developed the concept into planning and detailed construction drawings; I wanted to challenge all the obstacles thrown my way and work out ways of doing things that didn’t ­initially conform. I didn’t want just a standard specification.”

It took careful planning, such as adding in a first floor while keeping the church’s high ceilings and not slicing through the windows. He solved this by using huge steel beams to support the upper storey, putting one of the four bedrooms downstairs and the other three at the back of the house. The living room has double-height ceilings, and rooflights flood the bedrooms with light. The kitchen sits in a large single-storey structure at the back of the building, and its bifold doors open out on to a patio.

It’s not just the proportions of the church that provide a reminder of its former life: the old organ is displayed proudly in the living room, framing the television. It has a playful side, with ­orange accents on walls and in the ­furniture and art that provide bursts of colour throughout the house.

“My professional life centres on technology in the construction industry and applying building ­information modelling (BIM), cloud computing and prefabrication techniques to reduce project risk,” says Jasat. “I’ve had to relax those principles with the chapel and take a more organic approach, sympathetic to this quirky, old building.”

The plot, including the damp, disused church, cost £93,000, and Jasat spent £180,000 on the build. The property is now worth £500,000.