From idea to completion


Transforming your self-build dreams into a reality!


Peter Kite, Achiltibuie, Summer Isles. July 2017. Extension to create - Sun lounge, wall and pathway.

“We went out to tender for the addition of an architect designed solid roof sun lounge for our second home in the far north west of Scotland. Whilst this process was managed by our architect, we met John Muir, owner of Lapwings, in a café in Poolewe to discuss the plans. Whilst he was not the cheapest quotation, we were impressed with him as an individual and the way he performed at the meeting, so decided to go with him, as we thought we could trust him to do a good job for us.

As our main home was 460 miles from the location, it was important that things went to an agreed time schedule as one of us had to be there for the 12 weeks of the build. They started on the agreed date and finished on time, more or less sticking to the plan throughout. There were one or two hiccups along the way as was to be expected, but these were dealt with well between us, without the stress we have experienced with builders before.

The quality of the work was excellent, and his regular men were helpful and user friendly, albeit they did get through a lot of sandwiches and apple pies which we provided for their lunches as the location was quite remote. John himself was very personable at all times, unlike the guys who originally built the house for us 8 years previously.

We would not hesitate to use them again and have recommended them to others.”

Michael Leng - July 2017

“Larag Sgleat” Scottish Gaelic for Larch Slate, is the wonderful end to an initial act of impulsive romance. We had holidayed in Wester Ross for 20 years and put an offer in to buy a scruffy parcel of land which had no planning permission, knowing that there had been a dwelling on the plot a few decades earlier.
Lapwings were the first developer recommended to us and from the first meeting onwards that recommendation was worth its weight in gold. Essentially this is about trust – having a home built 500 miles from where you live is fraught with risks and whilst contracts and other legal safeguards are important trust is the true foundation of a successful build. John had a portfolio of previous developments which he encouraged us to contact, he had a network of professionals with which he had a long history of working with on previous developments. From the start John brought a tremendously positive attitude without me ever feeling that I was being in anyway led or hurried.
The design phase is critical – get this wrong and your budget and dreams can drain away like water in a sieve – I wish I’d involved John more as issues which needed correcting later could have been avoided. The build phase is always exciting -seeing your drawings come to life – but is also a step into the unknown as breaking ground can bring surprises and the weather is unpredictable. The 500 mile distance put a lot of pressure on communication being effective and John was regularly in touch keeping me up to speed with progress, sending photos and most importantly discussing solutions to issues which made sense on paper but not in reality.
This latter point is of great importance many developers will just build what is on the plans what John offered was an opportunity to discuss issues and the possible solutions resulting in a home which is much better to live in – if you are 500 miles away this is a gift of a service.

Completion is always a pinch point in any development; keeping a calm head and communicating clearly and frequently is what’s needed and this is just what John offered. Our finished home looked fantastic as well as being what we wanted. Everyone who has visited since has commented on the quality of the build and the finish. I work in housing and I know what a nightmare remedial works can be but the very small amount of minor issues which we had have been proactively resolved. I cannot recommend Lapwings highly enough, the quality of build, support, patience and humour are the ingredients important in achieving the outcome all who set out on a self-build project want – a home that truly is yours.”

Phil Youll - July 2017

“We had bought a plot in the North West Highlands with the idea of having our own house built. We went to the House Building Show in Glasgow where we were getting very confused whether to go for bricks and mortar or Timber Frame.

Then we saw a large shed built of SIPs panels (Structural Insulated Panels).

The more we talked to the manufacturer the more we were convinced.

John of Lapwings, was recommended to us, because he had already built a SIPs house in the area and John attended a further training course at the Manufacturers factory in Glasgow.

The Glasgow manufacturer did all the technical stuff of making the panels and we arranged delivery to site, by which time Craig & his team from MacLean Construction of Gairloch had completed the ground works, the slab & drainage, ready for the kit to be built.

All SIPs panels, including the SIPs Roof Panels, internal studwork & base flooring were completed in 20days, having had a spell of really good weather.

Blockwork, harling & all external works were then completed by Craig & his team.

The whole house was completed in 8 months in 2008.

We are very pleased with the house & its layout and are so grateful to the teams of builders we had working on site. The high insulation levels are helping enormously in keeping the heating bills low.

Regards, Phil.”

Skyfall Accommodation - Lochewe, Wester Ross. New build chalet/rental accommodation.

Service provided – New Build (Chalet) for Skyfall, Rental Accommodation. Lochewe, Wester Ross.

“We stipulated a high-quality property with an exceptional finish for our discerning clientele. Lapwings delivered this and more.”

Thanks Mhairi.

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