Custom Build Homes

Helping design and deliver
a digital service which tackles
Britain’s housing crisis

branding | web design | build | animation

Helping design and deliver a digital service which tackles Britain’s housing crisis

For many years the majority of housing in the UK has been delivered almost exclusively by the larger, national and local house-builders. However, a very limited choice of design and plot size and virtually no input from the house buyer into their finished home has led to a new burgeoning industry, termed “Custom Build”.

BuildStore, with its expertise in self-build, has moved quickly to establish a logical dominant position in this industry.

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tda! is working with BuildStore to:

  • educate the public and to communicate the concept of Custom Build;
  • to develop a Custom Build digital service offering;
  • to design and build a central service allowing people to register their demand with relevant local councils in England and Wales;


The concept of custom build is well recognised in many countries, but not in the UK. As a concept it is poorly defined and is understood differently by various groups in the industry. Desk research and a landscape review of information helped us identify the context of Custom Build and how it is perceived.

We investigated differing approaches and methodologies with the industry body NaCSBA (National Custom & Self Build Association) and BuildStore through workshops. The output of the workshops allowed us to suggest five main approaches to custom build.

User research with house buyers provided insights into the frustrations with the current housing market. This, combined with tangible benefits of the custom build approach to housing, allowed us to structure a compelling story, which communicated our concept.

The concept has a lot of information to impart. We felt that the volume of information and the important points to be made would be missed in a page of dense text. Equally, some of the benefits could be best communicated in a visual format.


We made the decision to create an animation, with a voiceover talking through the story whilst the animation represented the script in a compelling way. This holds the reader’s attention and leads them through the main points of the story, along with to a strong call-to-action.

Developing a Custom Build
digital service offering

User research and focus groups undertaken in the discovery phase of the project helped identify practical services required when deciding to custom build (planning permission, site selection, mortgage advice etc.). It helped identify softer influences (design inspiration, layout plans and materials selection). And, thirdly, we were able to incorporate reasons to pursue custom build as a viable alternative to traditional house-buying.

Insights from user research were grouped and prioritised. Content modelling then took place, and content creation was then commissioned around each of these areas.

Information architecture created a structure for the web platform. Design concepts were agreed and a strong information and visual hierarchy was created from which to communicate and sell the service.


The web platform brings together all of the services a customer needs to create their custom build home – from identifying suitable locations, choosing a plot, arranging finances and providing professional support.

Custom Build Homes has fundamentally changed the way in which custom build developments are brought to market. Custom Build is demand-led, so naturally we start with people – potential custom builders – and a thorough understanding of what they really want, and what they need to know. As a result, Custom Build Homes is now the leading provider of custom build marketing and sales services to UK landowners and developers.

Custom build sites

individual plots
being sold through
the CBH platform

people registered
interest in custom build
with their local council

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