Any of my followers have probably noticed that I have been quite quiet since I last posted about the research. The good news is that that is because I have been busy doing the research for the project and what an interesting time it is to be doing research on selfbuild! I have found myself getting increasingly excited about the topic and being pulled in lots of different directions all at once as you will be able to see from my a brief recap of what I have been up to:
I was really excited about National Selfbuild week and all the events that were going on all over the country to promote and mark selfbuild in the UK. I managed to make it to a few things, and also had the opportunity to interview several industry experts. It is fascinating to see the work that has gone into the promotion of selfbuild paying off in terms of recognition that selfbuild could offer something to the UK housing market. I also attended the parliamentary launch of a report by my colleagues at the Centre for Housing Policy entitled Build it yourself? Understanding the changing landscape of the UK self build market. This included a series of recommendations about what would need to be in place for the UK selfbuild market to develop further.
Attending the parliamentary launch put me in touch with quite a few self and custom build projects. Excited by finding out more about these, I approached several of them to take part in the case study element of the project. According to my timetable I was not really supposed to get onto these until later in the year, but I decided that it would be a good idea to do some preliminary work. As a result I have spent some time in June interviewing key figures within these projects to get an initial sense of what their projects plan to do/are doing with the hope that I can follow them more closely over the coming months.
I am continuing to recruit key industry professionals and other stakeholders to the project and the survey is now coming to an end (although there is still a week to run on it, so if you want to take part, click here).
Now, back to the title of the post. It is not so much that I am struggling to work through the research, but the deeper I get into it, the more I uncover. In this respect, it is slow progress, but I am learning more and more as I go along, perhaps a little bit like a selfbuild project! I feel as though I am really starting to get a good picture of how selfbuild currently operates in the UK, the directions in which it is developing (and in particular the relationship to custom build), and the hopes for the future of this industry. While I am very much still a novice, I think that I am starting to develop my knowledge and understanding, so watch this space!