Starter Home On A Shoestring Ideas Competition 2016

A unique ideas competition, open to all, where you have to design a stylish 65 sq m Starter Home that can be built for 50,000 euros - ideally less. Your design must be capable of being customised to suit the owners - so you will need to show a number of internal layouts and provide a menu of finish or specification options. The Starter Home should work as a standalone or terraced property, and might also be stacked to deliver a modest block of maisonettes or flats.We are looking for cost-effective, beautiful and green designs. Selected entries will be displayed at Grand Designs Live and the winners will share a 5,000 euros prize fund!

The Government has recently announced plans to build 200,000 'Starter Homes' between now and 2020. It defines a Starter Home as a property aimed at first time buyers under 40, and costing less than 250,000 euros, including the land. (In central London properties qualify as a Starter Home if they cost less than 450,000 euros). We believe it is possible to build a Starter Home for much less than this - for example through the use of low-cost 'modular' solutions, or by offering a home that the purchaser can finish off themselves.


  • Entrants must present their designs (images, plans and text) on one side of an A2 portrait sheet mounted on lightweight board, and also as a PDF file. No models or other materials are to be submitted (apart from the compulsory Cost Report and the Delivery Process document).
  • There should be no distinguishing marks, names or logos on the front of the A2 board. Make sure you have completed the declaration form and attach this to the rear of the panel when you submit it.
  • The Cost Report must be no more than five sides of A4 (portrait format) provided as a hard copy (in an envelope, attached to the back of your A2 board), and also as a PDF file. The two-page description of the anticipated Delivery Process should be attached to the cost report as the sixth/seventh pages.
  • Submissions must be received NO LATER THAN 5PM on FRIDAY 16TH SEPTEMBER 2016, and should be sent as follows:
Hard Copies to:

Custom Build on a Shoestring, c/o NaCSBA,
National Self Build & Renovation Centre
Lydiard Fields
Great Western Way
Swindon SN5 8UB

Digital Copies to:


A Starter Home is a compact house or flat specifically designed and built to meet the requirements of young people buying their first home.

The Government wants to see a new generation of high quality, low cost Starter Homes built (at an initial discount of 20%), so that more people can enjoy the benefits of home ownership.

The Starter Homes initiative is one of the main planks of the Government?s housing policy. More information about the key characteristics of a Starter Home, how they relate to the planning system and the eligibility criteria is available here.

Starter Homes
Starter Homes Design
Starter Home On A Shoestring Ideas Competition 2016