And that’s exactly what they’ve achieved at the aptly named Glasshouse – a home that took them 15 months to build – in Dalgety Bay, on the banks of the Firth of Forth in Fife. But it came at the end of a very long search.

Alan and Lucy, who have twin daughters called Chloe and Amy, had looked at more than 50 properties in the area without finding one that ticked all the “forever home” boxes. Their journey to self-building came by chance. While out walking their dog one day they spotted a for sale sign next to a patch of overgrown woodland that overlooked the Forth Bridges. Alan phoned a local estate agent who said it was going to a closing date in two days so the couple quickly put in an offer of just over £31,000, which was accepted.

Taking advantage of incredible views

Embarking on the self-build route was a “big risk” as the land did not have planning permission. Alan explains: “We talked to our architect who advised us to spend time with him designing our dream home before applying for full permission on an architect-designed property. It worked as our local planning department accepted it straight away.”

The house was built between December 2015 and January 2017 and has a classic ‘upside down’ layout. Four double bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms are downstairs and an open plan kitchen/dining/living area is upstairs, taking full advantage of the incredible views over the Firth of Forth and Edinburgh and to allow more privacy from passerby walking along the nearby Fife coastal path route.

Main benefits of getting VELUX roof windows

  1. 15-20% more daylight: They asked their builders to install eleven VELUX roof windows, to match the dream home's large footprint ensuring the perfect amount of daylight.

  2. Comfort in the cold:  Alan said: “We moved into our house a week before Christmas so although it was cold outside and we had the heating on and windows closed, the VELUX INTEGRA® automatic roof windows allows fresh air to circulate throughout the house. It also has special sensors that will close your windows automatically if it rains, which it often is because of our exposed location to the elements."

  3. Comfort in the warmth: "On the flip side, we’ve also had some beautifully sunny days but the roof windows helps to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature without needing to adjust anything ourselves."
Solar-powered smart living

An abundance of natural daylight floods through the home from 11 VELUX® roof windows and glazed exterior walls. A unique and stylish glass panel measuring four square meters on the first floor allows light to stream into the hallway below with recessed LED lighting making it a striking feature after dark.

Alan wanted to install a large number of VELUX roof windows to ensure high quality living conditions, with lots of daylight and fresh air, for his family. He had three roof windows installed above the open plan kitchen (one VELUX INTEGRA® solar powered roof window to allow for maximum ventilation and two manual roof windows).

The living room benefits from an abundance of daylight created by two VELUX INTEGRA® solar powered roof windows and two manual roof windows with solar blackout blinds.

"The roof windows in the living room turned out exactly as we wanted and is my favourite part of the house."
- Alan, homeowner
Views that never tire

“So although it’s been a long journey, and at times stressful with the odd hiccup here and there, we’re absolutely thrilled with the end result and love the look and feel of our home. The VELUX roof windows and skylights have helped transform this house and I don’t think we’ll ever get bored of looking out over the Firth of Forth to the iconic Forth Rail Bridge.”

"I had an early vision of us sitting on the couch in the living room in front of the log fire looking up at the sky watching the stars or the snow falling on the windows during winter. It’s a view we’ll never get bored of."
- Alan, homeowner