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i-build i-nterior i-scape


Issue 4

Adjacent plots have become home to highly eco-efficient self-builds

August/September 14



How to get the most out of working with a professional garden designer


Making the most of

stunning surroundings EXPERT INSIGHTS:


Extending a modest bungalow into a breathtaking modern home





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Cover story: Within the rolling Welsh hills, surrounded by a picturesque Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty sits Stormy Castle. See page 20.


i-build i-nterior i-scape Editor:

Emily Smith Managing Director:

Sam Ball Publication Manager:

Steve Gull Studio Manager:

Chris Lilly Senior Editor:

Hannah Frackiewicz Artworker/Sub-editor:

David Perry Production:

Ben Bridgeman Accounts:

Simone Jones

Welcome to our August/September issue


ith eco-credentials more important than ever, sustainability is a word that continues to unite the industry through a shared passion for a more sustainable way of life. Further encouragement by the Government’s financial benefits – such as the Renewable Heat Incentive – coupled with product design innovations, has made ‘green’ living all the more popular. This issue’s Sustainable Living is the perfect example of the self-build community’s ability to bring people together and, in this case, create life-long friendships. In pursuance to find the perfect self-build plot, two couples – who had never met before their self-build journey – hired eco-aware architect Keith Renton to design their new homes on adjacent plots. Keith excelled at the challenge and has created modern buildings that utilise sustainable technologies and sit organically within their rural surroundings. Read more about these projects on page 28. If a sense of community is important to you, don’t miss the large-scale custombuild project announcements in this month’s Viewpoint. The term custom-build is synonymous with self-build but it tends to describe multi-plot sites being delivered to market with overarching planning permission in place. The Government has recently confirmed its support for custom-build by providing a new £150m investment fund for 10,000 serviced plots that are open to planning applications. The fund is intended to help address one of the challenges that custom-builders face, the availability of suitable land, by supplying finance to projects providing five or more serviced plots. Other issue highlights include expert advice and project inspiration to alleviate some of the pressures of home extensions and conversions. From a Manchester extension that has radically transformed a modest bungalow to breathtaking vision of modern living on page 42, to exclusive advice from oak frame specialist Aboreta in an Orangeries & Conservatories special. As always, we hope you’ve found this issue both inspirational and useful. For this resource on the move, you can download i-build’s dedicated app for specification and inspiration at your fingertips. Simply search ‘i-build’ in App Store or Google Play. Don’t forget, if you’d like to see your self-build project in an issue of i-build please contact me on the usual address and tell me all about it!

Emily Smith Editor @ibuildmagazine



Editor’s picks Pear Platt, Woodfalls Farm, Gravelly Way Laddingford, Kent, ME18 6DA T: 01622 873229 F: 01622 320020 Terms and Conditions:

Contributions are invited and when not accepted will be returned only if accompanied by a fully stamped and return addressed envelope. No responsibility will be taken for drawings, photographs or literary contributions during transmission or in the editors hands. In the absence of an agreement the copyright of all contributions, literary, photographics or artistic belongs to Mixed Media Information Ltd. The Publisher accepts no responsibility in respect of advertisements appearing in the magazine and the opinions expressed in editorial material or otherwise do not necessarily represent the view of the publisher. The Publisher does not accept any liability of any loss arising from the late appearance or non publication of any advertisement.

Refrigerators by Gorenje: See page 56

Landscaping by Travis Perkins: See page 62

Doors by JB Kind: See page 54



The latest innovative on-trend designs to complement any interior.

Will Tell 12 Time Each issue i-build follows Will Anderson on his


self-build journey as it unfolds.

i-build i-nterior i-scape

Desired Designs





Green Living




Contracts & Legalities


Rural Retreat


Sustainable Living


Orangeries & Conservatories



The right wall insulation can dramatically increase a home’s eco-credentials. Adrian Hateley from the NSBRC guides you through popular self-build options. Trade verification expert Checkatrade explains how to avoid falling victim to cowboy tradesmen. Stormy Castle is an example of environmentally sustainable homebuilding at its finest. The small village of Kirk Yetholm is home to two highly eco-efficient self-builds, both the sustainable vision of architect Keith Renton. If you are keen to update your home rather than move, a conservatory or orangery might be the answer. Travis Perkins keeps your garden up to date with the latest landscaping products.


40 Renewables Minimise your carbon footprint by utilising renewable biomass energy.

42 i-build Norway’s strong geometric architecture is the 36 28

52 58

inspiration behind a breathtaking extension in Manchester.

i-nterior If you are converting a basement it is essential to get the waterproofing right – Safeguard’s Michael Earle explains how.


i-build advises how to get the most out of working with a professional garden designer.

: crets e S e Trad t for our

ted ou Look rets’ - dot e. c e s s S i u ‘Trade ghout this sider n u thro are the i n be These s which ca ding t d insigh able to bu ! u r l inva lf-builde s se




ARY Your essential new reference for sustainable building product information 6

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Desired Designs

Statement walls Using wallpaper is the perfect opportunity to portray your personal style preferences. We love the Geometric Yellow Wallpaper by Digetex Home, which connects on-trend yellow and grey in an interesting tessellation. (0161 873 8891;

Personalised time Textured triangles Habitat’s hand-tufted patterned wool rug, Peto measures 170x240cm and features a geometric triangle design painted in a rainbow of sophisticated hues. The subtle mix of colours in the rug is great for coordinating a range of coloured sofas and living accessories. (0344 499 1111;

Ikea’s SMYCKE Wall Clock allows you to decide how you want your clock to look by combining the 28 pieces in your own personal way. This opportunity for fun creativity is only £15. (020 3645 0000;

The right angle Cut some stylish shapes with interior elements inspired by geometry.

Patterned accessories Decorate your tabletop with these geo-inspired earthenware coasters by Anthropologie. Each Adelaide coaster is approximately 10cm in diameter and priced at £6. (00800 0026 8476;

Bold fabrics For 2014, British brand Scion has pulled out all the stops, producing two very diverse, trend-inspired collections of printed fabrics, complemented by funky statement wallpapers and contemporary weaves. Puki is part of the Soul range – a versatile collection of fashionable, ultra-modern prints that pays homage to the glamorous graphic motifs and vibrant kaleidoscopic colours of the 1970s. (0845 123 6805;


Desired Designs


© Alan Williams

Take in the view Meloy Architects have used floor to ceiling bi-folding glazing across an entire wall to make the most of the impressive surrounding views. (Meloy Architects;

© Jim Stephenson

Greenhouse effect Glass boxes added to houses are often just that. However, this glazing solution by Emrys Architects completely organises and forms the spine of this Georgian cottage, interconnecting a series of outbuildings to create one unified building. (Emrys Architects;


Windows are an integral element to any home design that can drastically change its look and feel. Be inspired by these projects that are enhanced by unique glazing solutions.

Bringing the outdoors in Large panoramic windows and doors on multiple walls offer uninterrupted views of the surrounding landscape. (Reynaers at Home;


Radiant beams from above Use lightholes to shower lower levels with natural light from rooms above – perfect for basement conversions! (SCs Architects;

Reach for the sky

Get it Next Day! Glass ceilings not only provide shelter, but also create the sensation of being outdoors at the same time as protecting from the elements and allowing natural light to flood into a space. (Denizen Works;

Desired Designs

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Desired Designs

Compact design Don’t compromise on style because of a small space. There are plenty of basins designed specifically for limited spaces, like the All in One by Pure Bathroom Collection. The All in One includes sink, cabinet, toilet roll and brush holder in a neat slim design available in four colours. (0845 634 4321; www.

Quirky statement This basin in the shape of a bike is the perfect combination of traditional element with a modern twist, designed by the experts at Pashley Cycles and Arcade Bathrooms. This basin will bring both eye-catching quality and everyday functionality to a bathroom, turning even the most simple of spaces into the focal point of the house. (0333 011 3333;

Useful storage


inspiration i-build’s hand-picked selection of the best basin and sink units available for your bathroom design.

Fun feature Australian company Unique Sinks offers an alternative to standard white porcelain sinks. The colourful collection of basins is a refreshing alternative for the bathroom, if you're in search of an unusual statement piece. (0400 020 777;


Use the bathroom sink as a storage solution opportunity to hide all those lotions and potions that can cause chaotic clutter. The Mary Mei Teak Washstand with Washbasin by Tikamoon is a combination of smooth terrazzo washbasin and solid teak cabinet. Currently in the sale at £565, it’s perfect for small bathroom spaces. (020 7092 6689;

Traditional elegance For those in favour of a more glamorous unit, The Audrey by highend bathroom specialist Devon&Devon is a chic reinterpretation of classical influences. The surface and backsplash are in Belgium marble while the rectangular sink is in white porcelain with aluminium curved legs and a chrome finish. (0039 055 5001173;

Desired Designs



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Make your house a home with the authentic designs and welcoming comfort of Secura. Combining influences from natural textures like wood and stone through to contemporary modern living materials, the Secura collection brings together authentic and inspiring designs and the practicality and durability that only comes from luxury vinyl sheet flooring. Order your brochure now

+44 (0) 161 767 2551


Time Will Tell

The timber frame was carefully lowered by crane onto the small site

Moving on up Each issue i-build follows Will Anderson on his self-build journey. This month, the timber frame reaches for the sky.


he construction of our timber frame began with an epic delivery: almost all the components of the building arrived neatly wrapped in gigantic plastic bags on the back of a big green lorry. They were slowly craned off and unpacked so, by the end of the day, the lorry was bare and our six metre wide plot site was piled high with engineered timbers. Every piece, from the longest sole plate to the shortest nogging, was marked up, labelled and cut to size. A modern timber frame is basically an immense three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle. We opted for timber frame principally for its environmental credentials, especially its energy performance. Our walls are constructed from 300mm engineered ‘I-beams’ which are very thin, and so cause minimal heat loss themselves, and create deep cavities that will be filled with Warmcell insulation. Crucially, these walls will also be exceptionally airtight. Most timber frame homes rely on a taped up interior membrane to achieve an airtight shell but our supplier, Touchwood Homes, has developed an alternative approach that has proved to be highly effective and is likely to be more robust in the long term. The airtight layer of The Orchard will be the


outer sheathing board of the frame, which is manufactured with tongue and groove edges that can be carefully fitted and glued together, creating a seal that should last as long as the house. If our sums are right, this airtight, superinsulated frame, will, with appropriate ventilation, provide a comfortable interior with an annual heat load of only 1500 kilowatt-hours, less than a tenth of the average. As we plan to live in the house for the rest of our lives, a bit of extra effort now is obviously worth it. Why pay for heating

when you can pretty much design it out? There was a bit of a pause before the frame started rising from the slab as great care was needed to ensure that it was sitting plumb and dry on its foundations. Every upright I-beam of the ground floor wall sits on top of a horizontal sole plate – a special insulated I-beam – that is fixed to the blockwork plinth with a plastic damp-proof membrane sandwiched between the two. The plinth was also a sandwich. Rather than using solid blockwork, which becomes a ‘cold bridge’ taking heat out of the building, we used two 100mm leaves of blocks with 100mm of Kingspan insulation in-between them. You have to pay attention to every detail if you want to build a seriously low energy house. Once the damp proof course and sole plates were in place, the fun could really begin. In the hot summer sunshine, the first walls went up in no time. There were four of us on site – two guys from Touchwood Homes plus me and my cousin, Tom, all beavering away under a high summer sun. Adam Wilkinson from Touchwood was in charge, an old hand at timber frame building and a cheerful director of operations. Touchwood is a family business and I was pleased that the Wilkinson family was happy for the Anderson family to fully participate in this, the most exciting part of the entire self-build. It’s a great moment in any self-build when the project moves from two to three dimensions and your gaze rises above the ground for the first time. The Orchard is not a big house but we designed the ground floor as a large open-plan space, looking out through wide windows into a garden. So it was great to stand in this space, properly defined for the first time, and get a feel for its proportions and possibilities. After years of designing and planning, the house has finally begun to move from dreams to concrete and timber reality. Will’s new home is finally starting to take shape

Green Living

Inno-Therm. This thermal and acoustic insulation reuses waste denim and cotton and is recyclable at the end of its useable life in a zero-waste process. First, recycled denim fabrics are processed to achieve a loose fibre of threads. Next, the material is treated for resistance to fire and has a Class A fire-resistance rating. It is also treated with a fungal inhibitor for additional protection against mold, mildew and pests before being blended with bonding fibers and heated. Finally, it is cut into batts and rolls. Any scraps from the manufacturing process can be shredded and returned to the raw material supply.

The future of home-building Trad

The end product has excellent performance in conditions of high humidity and behaves as a hydro regulator thanks to its ability to absorb and release water vapour. This type of recycling is just one example of strides being taken to make the building industry a low-carbon circular economy – where resources are kept in use for as long as possible, extracting the maximum value whilst in use, then regenerated after. Inno-Therm has become a recognised sustainable alternative to conventional insulation options within the industry. Since 2005 the product has been installed in a number of eco-projects, from schools to home recording studios and internal partition walls. It was installed as the acoustic application for the National Broadcasting Company’s venue at the 2012 London Olympics and then sent to Russia and reused for this year’s Winter Olympics. Earlier this year Kevin McCloud selected Recovery Insulation for an Eco-Innovation Green Hero award, pushing it to the forefront of the self-build community. In 2011 The Key Fund provided funding to establish Recovery Insulation as a social enterprise, meaning that donations are made from sales income to charity. The charity supported is the Schools and Homes Energy Education Project Ltd/Solar-Active, which conducts renewable energy and energy efficiency activites in educational establishments, youth groups and for the general public.

e Secr If gree et: n cred to you entials ma view o , take a 360 tter f º enviro each eleme nmen nt's t al imp from m act, anu to lon facturing gevity .

Dress your home

Wall insulation is an essential element of home-building that can dramatically aid a property’s long-term eco-credentials. But what about the environmental impact of how that product is produced? i-build takes a closer look at an innovative insulation that produces zero waste at the same time as recycling unwanted textiles.


co-conscious home-builders should consider the environmental impact of every material used in a project, from its manufacturing process to sustainable longevity. Recycled materials can be used throughout a build, in both obvious ways – such as upcycled furniture – as well as in lessobvious elements, such as flooring and plumbing. One company that is breaking new ground for recycling in the building trade is Recovery Insulation. The company develops and distributes an innovative eco insulation product made from recycled textiles called

Above: Inno-Therm is a highperformance wall insulation made from recycled textiles

Below: This kind of recycled insulation can be recycled again at the end of its usable life, building towards a lowcarbon circular economy

Recycled insulation has a number of sustainable advantages: • Contains no volatile organic compounds or formaldehyde • Does not cause allergic reactions • Uses 70% less energy in production • 100% recyclable at the end of the insulation’s usable life • Diverts waste destined for landfill




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Self-build choices unfolded! There are many facets to self-build, and following on from his Viewpoint on Project Management in the last issue, Adrian Hateley of the National Self Build & Renovation Centre explains some of the self-build options available today that you might not be aware of and how you have the choice to do as much or as little as you desire!


n my role here as technical advisor, I am very aware that there is still a belief with some people that self-build is going to be an intensive, complicated, error-prone and maybe even physically demanding process from project conception through to build completion; an aspiration for many but a possibility for only a limited few. The reality is that this couldn’t be further from the truth! Of course, you may wish to fully experience the whole hands-on self-build journey, which is certainly an option, but if you are concerned about project practicalities – managing, getting services to site, hiring architects or designers, organising contractors and tradespeople – or indeed are limited with time-constraints, resources or locality, a full or partial build packaged service could provide you with the ideal solution. Finding the right plot of land has often been a


bridge too far for many people, but now thanks to Government support and numerous initiatives, you now have more and more choice and opportunity to choose what, where and how you build! We are now seeing a number of multiplot sites being bought to market; where the roads, utilities and services have already been constructed, and planning permission is already in place for the site overall – allowing the selfbuilder to customise the design and specification of their new home within an overarching design code – often with close support from a design company and project manager.

Full or partial build? Over the past few years, I have seen a significant increase in the number of companies here at the Centre offering bespoke build packages for the self-builder. Of course, you still have the task of

sourcing your desired plot, obtaining planning permissions (although some companies offer this service as part of their design package too) and, if required, finance but from there you have the choice to do as much or as little as you want. Self-build can be daunting and challenging, especially if you are looking at achieving high standards of insulation and air tightness. But help is on hand from companies such as Potton, that not only offer ‘foundation to roof’ solutions which includes design and project management services, but its Kingspan TEK SIPs Building System ensure air leakage is minimised and the system is not compromised by repeating studwork. Unsurprisingly, due to their thermal performance properties, speed, quality, flexibility and ease of on-site erection, timber frame ‘kits’ are popular for those embarking on a self-build project. For example, having initially met with Fleming

Mr and Mrs Fairley’s timber frame home took two weeks to build

Homes here at their NSBRC offices, then sourced land, contracted groundworks, installed services and laid foundations, Mr and Mrs Fairley from West Wittering took delivery of their four-bedroom home which was erected on-site, windows sitefixed and made watertight by Fleming within two weeks ready for fixtures and fittings. Naturally timescales are all dependant on the design and complexity of the build, but it is possible to receive a watertight structure d& mbuil custo witter to within a week. # w o Foll uild on T ith the b Alternatively, companies such as #self p to date w nity! u mu p e Revolution Homes offer a complete ke g com uildin b turnkey solution using build materials of your choice and budget such as thin joint modern masonry blockwork through to the latest in ICF.

: ecret S e d Tra

and BuildStore to provide an initial 12 plots at Windmill Green, West Swindon and many others across the country, details of which can be found on At the time of writing, the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has also announced up to 120 serviced plots, to be made available early next year at Trumpet Junction, Basingstoke.


– and delivers a number of serviced plots for sale. There’s a lot of support from national and local government for this model of new housing deliver, and it’s seen as a way to deliver up to 50,000 new homes a year within five years, so expect to see a lot more sites springing up all over the country with the added support of local councils specifically making available land for custom build development. To help the custom-builder, many schemes will offer a menu of custom-build options, from providing a serviced building plot to a full or partial packaged build. There are a number of specialist custom-build developers active in the UK, ranging from large nationwide companies that are planning to help hundreds of people to get the custom-build homes they want every year, through to smaller local firms delivering just a handful of properties each year, and it’s a sector I would expect many more developers to become involved with. BuildStore, through its Custom Build Homes division has recently announced the French Fields Custom Build opportunity. Nestled in the Bold Forest Park greenbelt, the site comprises 18 individual building plots, with guide prices ranging between £135,000 and £150,000. As the lead developer for the project, Potton Homes will provide design, planning and structural packages to your individual specification. The expectation is that a typical four-bedroom house could be completed from just £285,000 in total – on the basis of £135,000 for the plot and £150,000 in construction costs. We’ve also seen the announcement of 1000+ self-build/custom-build plots at the UK’s first large scale project of its type at Graven Hill, Bicester; and also a joint partnership between Swindon Borough Council

Custom-build projects are becoming more popular

So, if you’re interested in the opportunity of undertaking a custom-build project, the first thing you should do is register your interest with the Custom Build Register Used by local authorities, councils, private landowners and developers across the UK to ascertain demand, you will be notified of opportunities as soon as they become available in your selected area. National Planning Policy now states that councils must measure the level of demand for selfbuild in the area and make a provision for it. You are also more likely to build the home of your dreams in an area of your choosing. Graven Hill will home more than 1000 plots for self/custom-builders

So what about custom-build? The term custom-build is synonymous with self-build but it tends to describe multi-plot sites being delivered to market with overarching planning permission in place; and with an ‘enabling developer’ who constructs the sites infrastructure – roads, gas, water, electricity, mains drainage, etc.


Contracts & Legalities

Arm against cowboy tradesmen A recent survey has revealed that unlucky Brits have squandered more than £185m at the hands of rogue traders in the past 12 months. Trade verification expert Checkatrade offers advice for spotting cowboy traders before its too late.


keen advocate of the fight against cowboy builders, surveyed its membership of vetted and continuously monitored tradespeople to gauge the extent of the problem – with shocking results. Homeowners nationwide have forked out £85m on labour to repair jobs botched by cowboy builders, with a whopping further £100m spent on replacing materials and fixtures in the last year alone. Four out of every five respondents said that in the last year they had been called out to rectify the work of a rogue trader, with more than 4% of those being employed to remedy at least 25 jobs. Nearly one third of members surveyed believe the rogue trader problem has worsened in the last 12 months. When asked what they perceived to be the root cause of this growth, almost 60% of respondents blamed consumers being tempted by cheap quotes in these austere times.

Above: Dishonest tradesmen can cost homeowners a small fortune in repairs

Below: Make sure you don't fall victim to a cowboy builder by researching your tradesmen thoroughly

Kevin Byrne, MD of is all too aware of how genuine cowboys can appear, and has a warning for homeowners searching for a trader: “If a tradesperson gives you a quote that seems too good to be true, it probably is. “When it comes to investing in your home, don’t fall for false economies, ensure that the job is done properly and to a high standard first time round. Tendering a trusted, professional tradesperson will give you peace of mind and a high quality finished job.” Worryingly, according to those traders surveyed the outlook isn’t too positive; almost two thirds of respondents expect the rogue trader problem to worsen in the coming months, citing damage caused by severe weather and lack of deterrent for cowboys as the most likely causes. Kevin continues: “The fact that tradespeople themselves are seeing more rogue traders in the market shows just how widespread the problem is. It really underlines the necessity of doing research to find a reliable tradesperson that you can trust. “Homeowners looking to employ a tradesperson these days need to be very savvy about who they are allowing into their home. At the very least, they should be sure to get several references from previous clients and a written quote from more than one trader. Welcoming a tradesperson into your home should be a pleasant experience, not a nightmare.”


in + ex Interior and exterior design inspiration

The comprehensive online specification portal for interior and exterior design professionals. Inex takes visitors on a virtual journey, inspiring the design community with the latest news, on-trend products and high-profile interviews.

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Controversial castle

Š Charles Hosea

Within the rolling Welsh hills, surrounded by a picturesque Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and near to the remains of a Celtic hill fort, sits Stormy Castle – a vision of environmentally sustainable homebuilding at its finest.


Rural Retreat


oyn & Co Architects were approached by a young family to build a lifelong home in a remote, protected location in Gower, Wales. The site lies in an exceedingly sensitive rural location on the North Gower coast, on the edge of Natural Trust Land in an elevated position. The stunning remote location is proven by its status as a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, where the plot was home to a locally-loved farmhouse that looked over the landscape. “We knew that this project could be controversial,” explains James Stroud, Project Designer at Loyn & Co. Architects. “Replacing a familiar farmhouse with

a contemporary dwelling on a highly visible site in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty could be met with opposition. We tackled this head on by engaging with the LPA from an early stage to gain their support in addition to presenting the scheme to the ‘Design Commission for Wales’ (DCfW) and the local Community Council.” Design proposals evolved following an extensive analysis of the site and budget, as well as presentations to the DCfW, Swansea Planning Authority and local Community Groups. In association with the Landscape Architects, Landscape Visual Impact Assessments were also undertaken.



© Charles Hosea

Rural Retreat James continues: “DCfW were highly supportive of our design approach and innovative proposal within a protected landscape. This meant we submitted the planning application with confidence, however, the proposal was a departure from Planning Policy and a difficult scheme to convey. In order to overcome this we produced a vast collection of drawings, models and documentation covering many aspects of the proposals to communicate the scheme”

Reflecting topography The plans were accepted and the project was able to get going in 2012, two years after its conception. The new home was conceived as three stepped ‘wings’ set into the landscape, following contours of the land, with much of the proposed dwelling cut and sunk into


Above: A combination of concrete, Corten and glass form Stormy Castle, providing a raw aesthetic that complements the local landscape

the sloping site to reduce massing, visibility and impact. This fragmented form evolved in response to the site topography, climatic considerations and orientation, combined with desired views, privacy, access and circulation. The extensive landscaping scheme provides manicured areas close to the house, including a sunken secret courtyard offering a protected suntrap, with the remainder of the landscape being turned to wild hillside, meadow or heathland. “The proposal was embedded into the hillside, using the natural topography of the site to create an earth shelter dwelling,” explains James. “In addition to the environmental and building performance benefits of this approach it also provided a site specific solution to the homeowners in terms of accommodation and the nature

Rural Retreat

and scale of the home they desired.” Principle materials selected for the project were in situ concrete, using ground-granulated blast-furnished slag – the only logical material for an earth shelter construction – with elements of Corten and glass. This combination gave the required low maintenance and longevity, whilst providing a raw, honest aesthetic appropriate for the site. Concrete is widely used in the local agricultural buildings, as is rusted metal, which also tones magnificently with the rich brown orange of the surrounding bracken and landscape. Despite the initial high Carbon input this requires, the building will recover this over its lifetime principally due to the durability of the material and its effect on the future energy input.

A natural fit “Our key challenge when ‘burying’ large areas of the house was to ensure it would be filled with volume and varying light throughout the day. Only in specific areas would you intentionally feel as though you were very embedded within the hillside to then be guided to another area of light and dramatic, ever-changing views,” continues James. Having considered the optimum way of building into the hillside, the form has been designed to respond to the fall of the land, and recognising that the new house should respect the beautiful landscape setting. Flat green-planted roofs, which along with improving the insulation, also

† †

Right: The old goat shed is connected to the new structure via a glass link

© Charles Hosea

© Charles Hosea

© Charles Hosea

Below: The old farmhouse has been replaced by this architectural masterpiece


Rural Retreat create usable terraces – another logical design decision. The building uses a combination of highly insulated fabric including green roofs and technical systems to achieve extremely high sustainability credentials. Systems such as Photovoltaic Solar Panels, Solar Thermal Panels, a ground source heat pump, rainwater harvesting, wood-burning stoves, MVHR and a low energy LED lighting scheme have all been installed. Every specified element of the project was carefully considered for its environmental credentials and for its suitability to the extreme weather experienced at the plot. In addition to the existing house, the site also

originally had two stone buildings, an old goat shed sat on the boundary of the site and a former school house at the entrance. Both were connected by a stone wall that formed a boundary to the site from the National Trust land. “Both buildings were of a local vernacular and we felt certainly worthy of retention,” says James. “The school house, where the farmhouse owners had once studied, now acts as a gatehouse and gym, whilst the goat shed is

Above: Extensive glazing makes full use of the stunning vista Top right: Concrete and Corten have been used throughout the interior and exterior Bottom right: Monochrome interiors establish the green landscape as central priority

The new building is less obtrusive than the original farmhouse


Rural Retreat © Charles Hosea

© Charles Hosea

© Charles Hosea

a cosy media room with arrow slit windows.” The stone buildings were carefully stripped back, sensitively repaired in places and internally lined and insulated. A glass link connects the media room to the house and frameless glass windows fill the existing openings. Both structures have a new Corten roof, also used elsewhere in the project, echoing the agricultural tones found within the surrounding landscape.

A home for life At the core of the homeowner’s brief was the requirement to create a lifetime family home in order to bring the site into fulltime use by the family. The new home greatly reduced the visual impact to the surrounding area in comparison to the original farmhouse, which could be seen from five miles away. Linked to the stunning aesthetics of the new building, substantial landscaping using indigenous species and turning vast areas of the site back to its indigenous terrain. The site also includes a new bat cave in

† 25

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Rural Retreat For timber frame architectural inspiration, check out our Desired Designs on page 8

Key contributors Architect: Loyn & Co. Architects Ltd. ( © Charles Hosea

Structural Engineer: Vale Consultancy ( Environmental Consultant: Gallese Design Ltd. ( Quantity Surveyor: RPA ( Landscape Architect: Camlins ( Above: Solid wood flooring provides a refreshing contrast to the concrete structure Below: Prior to the build, the architects created an extensive collection of drawings to gain planning permission

a secluded area as part of the mitigation proposals approved by the Welsh Assembly Government. The finished home is a testament to the strong relationship between homeowner, architect and contractor and is a remarkable achievement for replacement buildings and housing within a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and for architecture in Wales. Loyn & Co. Architects were recently awarded the Eisteddfod Gold Medal, presented at the Eisteddfod in Llanelli, for Stormy Castle.

Contractor: Dawnus Construction Ltd. ( Code Assessor: Merlin ( Building Control: Total Building Control (

Chris Loyn, Principal Architect at Loyn & Co, said: “I was thrilled to learn Stormy Castle had won this year’s Gold Medal for Architecture. While it had already been nominated for a number of industry awards and has won a RIBA regional award, this one was particularly special, as it shows we are achieving our aim of raising the quality of architecture in Wales, and flying the flag for Welsh architectural talent. While the beautiful Gower landscape was our biggest inspiration, it was also our biggest challenge, and our greatest concern throughout the design process was creating a home that would respect and work in harmony with its surroundings.” This is a home designed for transition: to reflect the family’s changing needs, to settle and mature within its landscape and to suggest a new approach to sustainable, site specific, passive design in housing.


Sustainable Living

Double take In separate quests in find the perfect plot, two couples – both first-time self-builders – became great friends, consequently hiring the same architect to design highly eco-efficient homes right next door to one another.


he small village of Kirk Yetholm sits just within the Scottish Border, boasting a picturesque rural landscape with plenteous rolling green vistas. Andrew and Elaine Torrance had long lived in the village, but Elaine’s worsening disabilities prompted the couple to look for a new home. Having lived with rheumatoid arthiritis for 33 years as well as a neurological problem, she has suffered multiple joint replacements from a


Sustainable Living Above: The adjacent selfbuilds were both designed by architect Keith Renton Top left: Lesley Blackthorn and Pete Snell's new home Left: Andrew and Elaine Torrance's self-build

young age. Although determined not to resort to a bungalow, her limitations made finding a suitable house within their beloved Kirk Yetholm near impossible. “We were reluctant self-builders,” explains Andrew. “It was a means to an end because we wanted to stay in our village. We started to look around for plots and put the feelers out amongst people we knew. A plot came up in a stunning setting and we bought it, funded by a mortgage – although complicated slightly by having to

wait two and a half years to sell our Victorian terrace as the market had just gone off a cliff! “When we started on the self-build journey we went to see a timber frame kit house which was built to look like a traditional 1800s Scottish cottage. We considered this and then realised, why should we build a new home with pre-ordained design that mimics a house that is 150 year old? This was to be a new, modern 21st century home and we wanted to embrace and celebrate that. It

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Sustainable Living was when we came back from seeing a kit house that we decided to get our own architect.” The couple approached architect Keith Renton who established his practice in 1992 and specialises in sustainable building. Andrew continues: “I felt I knew enough about building to know that I didn’t know enough about building! Hiring an architect was the best decision


Above: Lesley and Pete have created a beautiful garden that encourages local wildlife to thrive

we made, however the first design unnerved us – it was just so different from the home we had lived in for 16 years. We unpicked all the key features that Keith had put in, but actually ended up putting them back in bit by bit!”

Below: Elaine and Andrew's new home boasts double-height glazing

A home for retirement Numerous elements prompted Lesley Blackthorn and Pete Snell to embark on their self-build: a new challenge to sustain their retirement, the desire for a low carbon home and a return to rural living. Lesley explains: “Information in the media about energy efficient building design and a visit to the Centre for Alternative Technology inspired us to build our own home. After reading a lot about green building techniques and passive house standards we were keen to build a sustainable home that would be a home for life.” With a clear vision of their perfect location and building, the couple decided to relocate from York to the Scottish borders, so subscribed to plot-finder websites, drew up a short list of a dozen plots and visited them all in a week. As chance would have it, the plot next to the Torrance’s met all their requirements, being a good size, within a lively village, a flat landscape with a south-facing aspect and planning permission already outlined. Andrew and Elaine had already started their project

Sustainable Living

to bring the build within budget. The reality is that we are both in our fifties and dragging a large mortgage with us into retirement simply wouldn’t work. The project ran to a detailed itemized schedule of works and if anything overrun on costs we meticulously compensated elsewhere.” The couple didn’t set out to build a passive house, they merely wanted an energy-efficient house that was cheap to run and maintain. “We were not aware of MVHR or other energy efficient features prior to employing our architect," continues Andrew. "However, we were easily convinced that high levels of insulation, triple glazing, no central heating and MVHR was the way forward, and for this we are eternally grateful. I would strongly recommend any self-builder to do the same – why wouldn’t you?!”

Surpassing expectations when the couple bought the second Kirk Yetholm plot, so the Torrance's were able to offer advice and support to their new neighbours. They were also able to recommend Keith, who loved the opportunity to build adjacent eco-homes. Lesley continues: “We understood from our research the importance of a good client/architect relationship and Keith was a perfect match as he shared our values and vision. We were clear about wanting natural, lowembodied-energy materials, but were prepared to compromise to remain within budget and achieve good energy performance. Keith was especially helpful in suggesting products and solutions that met our needs.”

Above: The interior of both properties make the most of natural sunlight Below: Interior beams reflect the exterior cladding Below left: Both self-builds benefit from solar panels

Alongside Keith’s guidance, the Torrance’s looked through magazines to get ideas and inspiration for material and product selection. “We simply knew what we liked when we saw it. Our new home was to have simple, clean lines, products that minimised ongoing maintenance and met our sacrosanct budget,” Andrew continues. Render and partial cladding alongside a slate roof soften what is a simple, modern-looking cube, which


Meticulous budgeting The main challenge for Andrew and Elaine was locating and connecting the services, an obstacle that pushed them £60,000 over budget. Andrew illustrates: “This was obviously bothersome, but we managed to find the savings. My main aim was to ensure that both our architect and builders knew we had

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Rural Retreat

Sustainable Living

has extensive glazing to the main elevation. The interior is open-plan and designed to benefit from maximum light and views. An internal double-height balcony adds light and interest, and a wood-burning stove is built into the staircase providing an interesting focal point to the living space. Despite the modest design, the home boasts many interesting angles and perspectives. Lesley and Pete, having originally envisaged a timeframe of three years, moved into their new home only seven months after the groundworks started! This was due to using a highly efficient structural insulated panel (SIPs) construction method. The finished home is a two-storey part rendered, part timber-clad building with a slate roof, a porch on one side and veranda to the front. Windows are triple-glazed, floor to ceiling at the front of the house, with minimal glazing at the rear north side.

Organic landscape The site was originally home to a large dairy facility which sat on the edge of the village conservation area. The new properties have incorporated this space into the residential part of the village and has become a natural transition zone from the village street to the surrounding countryside. Fields encircle both homes and the use

Above: Andrew and Elaine have not installed central heating as their wood-burning stove provides ample heat to keep the self-build warm in colder months Below: Lesley and Pete have included a similar wood-burning stove to the Torrances'

of natural materials help them blend into the stunning surroundings. The exterior of both homes have been transformed into a blissful Eden. Lesley and Pete have created their own orchard, vegetable garden and wildlife area. The couple have worked hard creating a garden by working with the existing landscape and using materials already there, for example, rocks unearthed during the build have been recycled to create the garden’s walls. “We have created a cottage garden with wildlife area and an orchard on the sloping bank, all bounded by native hedging and have seen a huge increase in the variety of wildlife since we moved here,” explains Lesley. “The local community is intrigued by the property and enthusiastic about our garden. There have been many comments about how pleasant it is to walk down the lane! The space has really exceeded our expectations and we are very happy here.” Andrew enthuses: “Our house is modern and unique and visitors from the village love the light and airy space – they can’t believe how warm it is, especially as we don’t have central heating! Agreeing what was for us a radical design involved a leap of faith and having been through the self-build process I’m now more aware of elements that could have gone wrong! But they didn’t and there would have been no point in employing an architect if we hadn’t taken the expert advice. Equally, all of the many decisions we had to make and that my wife and I argued, disagreed, agreed and compromised over have turned out really well. “We are not serial self-builders. This house is designed to meet our future needs and we decided before starting the build that this was a place to spend the rest of our days – and so we shall! My advice is to know your limitations. Get an architect and select them with care. Have them with you through the whole build and with luck, the rest will take care of itself!”


Exterior Upgrade

Homeowners focus on curb appeal of homes Before getting underway with a self-build or renovation project, one of the first hurdles to overcome is to sell your current home.


ith the property market starting to move again and average house prices increasing, IronmongeryDirect, one of the UK’s largest online and mail order suppliers of ironmongery products to the trade, has found that people looking to sell their properties are becoming increasingly focused on improving the curb appeal of their homes. According to Nationwide’s latest monthly house price index, based on mortgages approved by the society, annual house prices have risen by 8.8% and are at the highest level since May 2010. This has increased the average house price to just under £176,500. Government schemes such as Funding for Lending and Help to Buy have also encouraged first time buyers to return to the housing market, as well as other factors such as improved employment opportunities, low mortgage rates and a strengthening economy. As a result, homeowners looking to sell their properties are increasingly investing in the property’s exterior appearance in order to attract potential buyers. Whether it is dressing up the front door, giving gates a new leash of life or replacing old windows. Wayne Lysaght-Mason, Managing Director

Right: When selling, make sure your house looks great from all angles Above: Making the exterior of a home aesthetically pleasing is integral for attracting buyers


of IronmongeryDirect, says: “As the housing market begins to strengthen and property prices increase, it is a good time for those looking to sell. However with many people having the same idea, homeowners are realising that they need to improve the curb appeal of their homes in order to make their property stand out from the crowd and draw in potential buyers.”

Simple improvements “A lot of buyers can be put off quite quickly if the outside of the house looks tired, dated or unattractive. One easy aesthetic improvement could involve renovating the front door with new hardware or furniture, as it is often the focal point for the property,” says Wayne.

“Adding new house numbers, entry door locksets, mailboxes, or new lighting, for example, is an affordable way to add style and interest to the home’s exterior appearance. We’ve certainly witnessed an increase in sales of these types of products as more people recognise the benefits this investment can bring.” 0808 168 28 28

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Orangeries & Conservatories

Frame your existing home For those who choose to improve their existing home rather than move, a conservatory or orangery can provide the perfect space-enhancing solution. Carol Parry, Marketing Manager at oak frame specialist Aboreta, provides top tips for creating an addition to a home that will not only add value but stand the test of time.


ncreasing space within a home enables it to be used to its fullest potential, but the materials you choose can make all the difference. Oak frame building designs make a fantastic choice as they create visual appeal with the added benefit of a durable material. Green oak is incredibly strong and has become a popular choice due to its eco-friendly properties. This material has been built to last. It’s carbon neutral, sustainable and natural too, which means less energy is used in the manufacturing process. Check that the oak frame you choose comes from a sustainably managed forest that has a proven program of felling and replacement, and that the company you choose has been endorsed by a leading timber authority, such as TRADA. Take your budget, style and layout into consideration to make sure you choose an option that suits you and choose your design build team wisely. For an oak frame design which


is in-keeping with your existing building, look at teams who can demonstrate their architectural integrity with examples of their work. Ask to visit a home with a similar conservatory or orangery so you can speak to the homeowners on how the build progressed and visit the workshop to

see how your oak frame will be made. Work closely with your designer during the initial planning stages to explore the different building methods you can implement to ensure the process is kind to the environment. Consider the most energy efficient glazing and wall insulation available so this can be taken into account when designing the framework in the initial stages. You may want to consider investing in an orangery or conservatory that enables an appreciation of your gardening efforts. Opting for a sturdy structure such as oak framing will allow this space to feel like a permanent fixture and part of your home that can be used come rain or shine. It is important to consider how this space is going to be used. Careful planning at this stage will improve the layout and functionality of your property overall. Would the home benefit from a dedicated dining area or additional reception

Orangeries & Conservatories

Planning permission When you’re looking to extend your home, you may need to contend with the issue of planning permission, which can be a daunting prospect. The length of time you’ll be waiting will depend on how complex your application is and it can take from six to ten weeks, so make sure you factor this into the project timeframe. Once it has been agreed, you’ll need to submit more detailed plans to Building Regulations to be approved by your Building Control office, before you receive a completion certificate for you to get started. However, you might not even need to get planning permission if, for example, your conservatory or orangery is going to be shorter than the highest point on your roof – if less than half of the area of land around your original home is covered with additions or other buildings or your single-storey conservatory is less than four metres high. Double check with your local council and try to enlist the help of an expert team who can help you with your planning application.

Above: French doors provide easy access to the garden in the summer and a log-burning stove keeps it warm in the winter Top right: The addition of French and folding doors provide easy access to the garden and bring a sense of the outside inside

room? The key is for this space to have a clear purpose so it will really add value and – if you decide to sell – potential buyers can see exactly how this part of the home can be enjoyed. It is also important to ensure this additional space is sympathetic to the original property both internally and externally – make sure it feels part of the home and not an add-on. This room will need to be fit for purpose to be used all year round, so an insulated roof with thermally efficient glazing is the perfect solution. If the height of first floor windows pose a problem to your oak frame extension, an orangery can be the perfect solution. Look at vaulted roof styles for a space, which will let the light flood in, and oak rafters to the underside of

the tiled roof for additional warmth and character. A conservatory will allow you to enjoy your garden regardless of weather conditions and there are a variety of internal features, which can enhance a bespoke, oak frame design. Consider how this space will be used – an entertaining area, a light-filled reading room or perhaps a quiet sanctuary with a garden view? Think about the various styles you can incorporate into your design which will create a distinctive finish, such as rafters, trusses or purlins and ridge sections. If you have a south facing garden, you will want to take full advantage of the natural daylight and this can be achieved by incorporating a roof light and French or bi-fold doors into the design as well as choosing full-height glazing.

Year round enjoyment During the planning process, ensure the design allows for year round living. This additional space should be used throughout the seasons, not just in the summer months. Prepare for the winter and think about incorporating underfloor heating and a wood-burning stove in the design so you can appreciate this additional space in the colder months. Invest in a sturdy structure and a highly insulated roof as opposed to an entirely glazed roof as this will avoid your garden room from becoming too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. Left: This round conservatory allows for a 360° view of the garden Far left: Front glass panels allow natural light to flood into this garden room



Sub-brow Landscaping

Natural stone Handmade paving products, especially Indian sandstone, are seeing a marked increase in demand as homeowners recognise that a slightly higher price equals greater return in terms of quality, resulting in a far superior finish which will last for years to come. Not only is stone a natural choice because it’s aesthetically pleasing but compared to inferior alternatives which are overly porous, they are less likely to go green or delaminate and split. There is also an environmental and ethical aspect to this product which is undoubtedly appealing to a segment of the market. Ethically sourced from India, the sandstone is extracted, split, finished, and packed by hand. This also ensures the stone quality, which comes from highly regulated factories, bespoke packaging, and secure modes of transport, all contribute to the most ethical, environmentally friendly and value adding landscape product. In addition, there are benefits to the landscaper or contractor. The improved product quality means the slabs are flatter and have a consistent thickness, making them much easier to install. This can reduce time on site and even recoup some of the cost of choosing a more expensive material.

Artificial grass Artificial grass is rapidly growing in popularity, possibly due to an increase in choice and improvements in the realistic nature of the product. No longer a specialist item, artificial lawns provide a stress-free option for grass

Breaking new ground Trends in landscaping products, which not only relate to changing preferences for different styles and materials but the creation of innovative solutions, is the basis of an exciting industry sector. Richard Oates, Landscaping Category Manager at Travis Perkins, discusses emerging trends and top innovations.

: ecret once S e d re Tra n, ns we

tio tio ive op er solu Rubb an expens pments lo as seen oduct deve d-friendly r il p h t c bu n this seen ing solutio e v a h p . a y c it s land in popular w o gr



ach year, suppliers of landscaping materials need to anticipate consumer demands and go to market with exciting new products. These innovations not only meet the demands of end-users who are once again looking to invest in their homes and are no longer afraid to spend a bit more to achieve better results, but contractors who want a simple installation and ultimately a satisfied customer.


that is green and lush 365 days a year. There are clear benefits which are obviously now driving demand. As a durable surface, the owner can expect it to remain unworn even in areas of heavy usage without ever getting muddy, making it incredibly child-friendly. Maintenance is minimal with no need to replace dead patches, or even to weed or mow the lawn. This can bring added benefits to those working with small spaces.


Above: Modern decking is available in plastic and wood composites, which require far less maintenance than traditional alternatives Left: Artificial lawns are highly durable and maintenance-free Opposite, main: Using natural stone has an appealing environmental and ethical quality

Solid timber decking with added grip has become a recognisable staple of most UK homes. However, it still faces a few issues such as requiring ongoing maintenance, being slippery when wet, and becoming unstable if installed incorrectly. Modern ranges are now available in plastic and wood composites, which mean they are maintenance-free, even without the need for initial staining. This can be ideal for homeowners who want to maintain a garden with as little effort as possible. Many of these products also offer aluminium rails to replace timber joists, which assist with maintaining a secure structure. By adding rubber pads, the system can also avoid issues associated with standing water, such as rotted joints. If the end-user still prefers the look of timber, there are now ranges in contemporary designs which feature a ‘brushwood finish’. This provides a smooth appearance, but incorporates a grain that prevents moss and mould growth to provide an anti-slip surface. The material also has an untreated look so can be stained any colour the homeowner wants, even a modern whitewash.

Child-friendly play surfaces Outdoor play solutions are now presenting some interesting solutions. The time and care taken to maintain a safe and hygienic play area at a constant depth can have serious implications for overall maintenance costs, especially when using the most common solution of wood chippings. This had led many contractors and landscapers to consider rubber alternatives. Traditionally, rubber solutions were seen as a more expensive choice, but we are now seeing a number of different options at various price ranges. The latest product development is rubber chippings. They are available in a range of bright colours, made from recycled materials, and have superior slip resistance and shock absorption, making the surface the ideal solution to help minimise injury. The landscaping market reacts to trends at a fast pace with the result being the continual launch of exciting products which meet consumer demand. Backed by the support of a merchant, contractors and landscapers can be confident of providing high-quality results not only through product innovation but through excellent availability at branch, and reliable delivery direct to site.


Heating & Renewables

The Duo stove by Green Square harnesses hydroair technology, warming the room as well as heating radiator water

A long-term investment

Minimise your carbon footprint We have used biomass energy for thousands of years, ever since people started burning wood to cook food or keep warm. Today, wood is still our largest biomass energy resource that provides carbon-neutral heating.


any sources of biomass can be used to heat a house, including plants, residues from agriculture or forestry, and the organic component of municipal and industrial wastes – even the fumes from landfills can be used as a biomass energy source – but wood-fuelled systems are still the most popular biomass method. These burn wood pellets, chips or logs to provide warmth

This selection of stoves from Solar & Renewable Installations demonstrates that you can find a stove to suit any size home


will keep costs down. Logs can be cheaper than pellets, but costs depend on the wood suppliers in your local area, as they cost a lot to transport. If you opt for a wood-burning stove, consider buying unseasoned logs and letting them season for a year to save money.

in a single room or to power central heating and hot water boilers. When a tree is burned it omits the same amount of carbon dioxide absorbed during its lifetime – the same amount as if allowed to rot naturally. As long as the wood used is sustainably sourced, this is a carbon-neutral process. A stove burns logs or pellets to heat a single room and may be fitted with a back boiler to provide water heating as well. A boiler burns logs, pellets or chips, and is connected to a central heating and hot water system and, according to the Energy Saving Trust, could save you up to £650 a year compared to electric heating. An individual pellet stove will cost around £4300 including installation. For boilers, an automatically fed pellet boiler for an average home costs between £14,000 and £19,000 including installation, flue and fuel store, and log boilers between £11,000 and £23,000. Pellet costs depend mainly on the size and method of delivery and buying a few bags at a time makes them expensive. Having a space to store several tonnes of pellets at a time

Savings in carbon dioxide emissions are very significant – up to 14.5 tonnes a year when a wood-fuelled boiler replaces a solid-fired system or electric storage heating. This technology is an eligible measure under the UK government’s Green Deal which is a financing mechanism that lets people pay for energyefficiency improvements through savings on their energy bills. Thanks to the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive, homeowners installing a biomass boiler could secure a tax-free payment of nearly £60,000 at a potential ROI of 64%. Natural Energy Company, Euroheat, has calculated that homeowners investing £35,000 in a domestic RHI biomass installation could see them potentially clock-up a return on investment of £57,645 over a seven year period plus an expected on-going reduction in fuel savings, and a boiler that will last two decades.

Stove or boiler? Boilers can be used in place of a standard gas or oil boiler to heat radiators for a whole house, and to heat the hot water. Stoves are used to heat a single room, usually in conjunction with other heating systems, but may also have a back boiler to provide hot water.

Chips, pellets or logs? Chips are not suitable for heating a single house, but can be used for a group of houses – perfect for a custombuild community. Because pellets can be set to automatically refill at regular intervals they are easy to use and more controllable than log-burning stoves, which need to be filled by hand.

Do you need planning permission? You may not need planning permission, but all new wood heating systems must comply with building regulations, so ensure your installer is a member of a competent person scheme.

r K ou O it O e is L it V W bs E e N W

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10/07/2014 14:20


i-build : Secretour e d a r y T g f nninn

pla wo When und the flo rget o r fo build a light, don't tion l a t a r e u g t e na er v id s n d o n as to c now a - both grows. it

Geometric T suntrap During a trip to Norway in 2012, James and Bryony Alder were inspired by the country’s strong geometric architecture. Two years later their home has undergone a drastic transformation from modest bungalow to breathtaking angular suntrap. 42

he Alders' Manchester bungalow had great potential for extension thanks to its surrounding land. Inspired by the sharp-angled timber-clad properties the family saw in Norway, thorough research determined that a budget of ÂŁ150,000 could turn their home into a voluminous vision of modern magnificence. The aim was to add an open-plan space that was architecturally stunning, whilst respecting the scale of the existing house and plot. The family worked with architects Blee Halligan to create a stunning house that is a hybrid of original features and modern aesthetics. The design dictated three interconnected, pitched volumes, facing three directions - east, west and

i-build Above: Each side of the angular extension makes the most natural sunlight Below: The bright, simplistic interior makes the open-plan space feel even more spacious

south, capturing sunlight at different times of the day, appropriate to function: the kitchen faces east for a lightbathed breakfast and the living room faces west to catch the last of the sunlight. They each pitch up to a large double-height window, capturing views of the garden and trees.

Artez was appointed post-planning as the design and build contractor for this innovative residential project. The company project managed everything and bridged the gap between the traditional building trade and the professional property services sector by offering full turnkey solutions and design consultancy advice. Given an eight month timeframe, the expected timings predicted by the family were made even more challenging by the fact that work was undertaken whilst they remained in residence at the property – along with the nominated client representative Maddie the cat!

Smooth sailing From the outset, the work was not without challenges. Working within an existing property framework was often tough and the site was limited to an adjacent narrow lane, meaning that deliveries had to be coordinated extremely carefully so not to cause disruption to neighbours or overpopulate the tight site. The complicated shape of the extension was a particular challenge and the construction details were unprecedented. Once these challenges were overcome, the team were able to develop a stunning contemporary home. The result is clear to see and what was once an

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Above: Low hanging lights break up the magnitude of the high ceilings Left: Light ricochets off the white painted timber boards

Right: Including statement colours creates key focal points


Impressive transformation Aside from cosmetic redesign, the majority of the front of the house remains the same. However, it is at the rear that the main construction has transformed the home. An additional 550ft2 of space was added here in the form of a timber frame with 5.5m internal intertwining volumes,

giving the impression and feeling of a much larger space. The ultimate extension had originally been envisaged by the client as a ‘glass box’ concept, but the team instead worked together to create a solid wall area, which frames views through floor-to-ceiling glazing. This also means that far higher levels of insulation were achieved. The large picture frame windows are double glazed and used thermally broken glazing channels. These rear up to the sky and capture solar gain in the winter as it filters through the deciduous trees.


unloved and cellular house has now been transformed into a family home that provides delight and spatial layout suitable for a modern family and relevant for contemporary living. Material specification required research into the composition of Scandinavian timber clad buildings to achieve the right visual impact. One of the results that came from this research was the inclusion of Thermowood as an enhancement to improve on typical detailing. Thermowood, similar to traditional brick, is baked and makes for a more durable construction material. The extension was built as a traditional timber frame and steel structure but with the black Thermowood external timber cladding. The new front door is insulated and replaces a single glazed door and fixed side lights. In addition, the external walls are insulated with XPS insulation and rendered, with the roof void having been highly insulated with mineral wool. A new, highly efficient, condensing boiler was installed. These upgrades have had a marked effect on energy usage.

Volume and vista Floors throughout the extension are heavy construction: a suspended beam and block floor and stone floor finish, thus acting as an efficient thermal store. In addition, an open wood fired fireplace provides heating for the main living areas. The new extension opens out onto a re-landscaped garden. During the summer months, the mature tree shades these large windows to provide natural solar shading and thus limits overheating of the new interior. Triptych, the finished home, is a contrast to the bungalow that it latches on to. The steep pitched roofs direct light into the extension, bouncing off the white painted timber boards to illuminate the open-plan space. Dark surfaces contrast the stark walls which are adorned with simplistic plant features, complementing the greenery seen through the double-height glazing.




Old and new are connected via a short, wooden staircase, which mirrors the chunky wood used as a porch shelter and bold front fence.

Adaptive architecture Artez goes above and beyond the roles of other contractors by helping them not just with bricks and mortar but using its team’s professional expertise to advise them through funding, planning, project management and of course, the construction and development processes. Essentially, its founder Mike Banton is pioneering a professional practice for a changing construction sector. Architect Blee Halligan is thrilled with the outcome: “We liked the idea that the extension would be recessive against the house and garden, which is a verdant green with mature trees and planting that accentuates its colour. The building does not fight with this garden setting. Like this extension, the most successful architecture of the future will be adaptive, flexible and resilient. It will mix fun and efficiency. It will be built to last.”

Left: Chunky wood is used against the original building to create a porch with integrated seating area Right: A small staircase links the old property with its extension

“We would always encourage self-builders to be bold, be creative and work with enthusiastic contractors who will never utter the words, ‘This can’t be done’.” 46

i-build Q&A with project contractor Artez Were there any unexpected costs? The Alders chose to spend additional money on developing the front of the bungalow which increased the budget at their request. Additional works not included in the original scheme included re-rendering, as well as a new porch, fence and gates. What does the local community think of the extension? One of the property’s most charming attributes is its secluded location with no overlooking neighbours. Visitors to the house are always taken with surprise upon arrival with its innovative and unusual design. Looking back, is there anything that you would have done differently? To provide an additional level of fire protection on the internal walls, we had to substitute traditional plaster for timber cladding. We felt that the fire paint was a little too thick, making application difficult and the overall finish less crisp than we had desired. What advice would you offer to anyone looking to create their own dream home? We would always encourage self-builders to be bold, be creative and work with enthusiastic contractors who will never utter the words, “This can’t be done”. A good contractor will always find a way.

Left: The new front door is insulated and replaces a single glazed door



Meeting the market’s needs


Lailey and Coates heat pumps have been developed by British engineers to meet the specific needs of the UK market. They have been optimised to give maximum efficiency in UK weather conditions and engineered to make them easier to install. The company's units have been styled to look attractive and blend naturally when installed in British homes and gardens. The company is a collaboration between Derek Coates – one of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs – and Simon Lailey, a heating engineer with a passion for heat pumps. Following over seven years of intensive product development by Simon and his team, Lailey and Coates offers a range of split system heat pumps to provide the best renewable heating solution possible for British Homes. 01753 537 830

Specflue launches eco-cookers to the UK market Specflue, a leading supplier of flue systems, woodburning stoves and renewable heat products, is launching a new range of pellet cookers to the domestic market this autumn.


Cutting the cost of heating bathrooms Designer space heating that consumes half the energy required to run conventional radiators is now available from a new UK company, Infrarad Ltd. The Designer glass panel towel-warmers are designed for wall-mounting in all bathrooms irrespective of the heating system. They boast built-in controls for independent function and are available with optional towel rails. Two models are available, rated at 500W and 700W, in either black or white glass. Made of silk screen toughened safety glass, the Designer panels are splash-resistant to IP24 and are fitted with thermal overheat and fuse over-current protection. They are also fitted with an LCD display and timer function. 01525 851122

Manufactured by J.Corradi through MCZ, the NEOS pellet cooker will be distributed solely by Specflue in the UK. This cooker is a smarter, more eco-friendly addition to the family of range cookers available at the moment. As well as being used for heating and cooking in the winter, when the pellet brazier is switched off in the summer, the integrated electric oven can be used, negating the need for an additional cooker in the kitchen. Competitively priced and energy efficient, it can also be set to turn on and off as required. Although not available to purchase until the end of 2014, customers can pre-order through Specflue. Initially, there will be two models available; the Neos 90P with a ventilated pellet oven only, and the Neos 155 PGE, a combined model with a pellet and electric oven and the option of gas, electric, ceramic or induction hob. There are also plans to introduce pellet cookers with integrated back boilers over the next 18 months. The appliances can be installed in new or existing homes, as long as there is the necessary space for the flue, which can either be fitted to the top or the back of the unit.

Glance offers a fascinating vision of firelight 0800 902 0220 01934 750500

Launched in Europe at February’s Verona exhibition, the Hergom Glance woodburner from Eurostove proved to be a head turner and show stopper in every sense. The innovative design introduces front and side ceramic glass vision panels with a modernistic ‘skyscraper’ style top and side surround bars. The front of the unit – which can be free standing or wall mounted – has a flush glass finish with a discreet stainless steel handle. Other features include a single lever primary air control, secondary combustion system, outside air inlet and top or rear flue exit. The Glance has a removable ash pan.

Lailey & Coates heat pumps engineered for british homes

Lailey & Coates are the 1st heat pumps to be developed specifically for British Homes. They have been engineered to produce optimum performance in British weather conditions. With COP’s of 4.5 - 4.8 they are amongst the most efficient units on the market. Our units have been styled to look as attractive as possible and blend naturally with the foliage in British Gardens.


i-nteriors Eyebrow Sub-brow

Deeper underground Whether building a new basement or upgrading an existing one, it’s crucial to get the waterproofing right. Michael Earle, Technical Director at Safeguard Europe, explains what systems are available and where they should be used.


s well as knowing a thing or two about railways and sewers, Victorian designers were pretty savvy about housing. They understood that by adding a basement or cellar to a property, they could make the most of the land they were building on. A century later, basements are enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Damp Victorian ones are being re-invented as bedrooms, playrooms and offices; new ones are being added to houses in high-value property areas such as Kensington and Chelsea; and some builders are even including them in new developments. However, basements are an area of risk for the builder, as figures released last year by NHBC demonstrate. Claims on basements built since 2005 have cost the industry £21m, with 66% of them being due to tanking defects. If a basement is to be a habitable room – a living room or bedroom – no water penetration is acceptable, according to the British Standard concerning waterproofing, protection of below ground structures against water from the ground. The British Standard defines three types of waterproofing system: Type A which provides a physical barrier to the water either internally or


externally; Type B which sees the waterproofing integral to the structure; and Type C, drained protection, which involves installing a membrane which channels water to a low point from which it is usually pumped out. Types A or C can be applied to refurbishment and extensions, with the choice depending on the fabric and condition of the building and the level of water present. All three types can potentially be used in new-build situations. As the British Standard points out, sometimes a combination of systems will be the best solution, either to provide redundancy, or – in the case of a renovation project – to maximise the space available.

When a barrier is best Perhaps the most familiar type of waterproofing system is Type A, barrier protection, which involves physically holding back the water pressure and possibly vapour too if the property is in an area where harmful gases such as radon or methane are present. There are many types including cementitious, bentonite, liquid-applied polymers, polymer sheet membranes and combinations of those. For a new build, site investigation can establish

Above: This basement is now an extra bedroom Below: A skylight has been installed to flood the basement conversion with natural light

i-nteriors the type of soil present and the ground drainage characteristics which can then inform the choice and extent of waterproofing. For an existing basement, this is not usually feasible, so the standard says that we must assume water will come to bear to the full height of the basement. For existing basements, internally applied barriers are the norm for obvious reasons. Whatever the tanking system, it is crucial that it can be applied to damp substrate, forming a strong bond, and it must be able to resist the water pressure. A typical Type A system for a refurbishment would see a render-backing coat applied first if the wall is uneven, followed by a tanking slurry. The junction between wall and floor is a potential weak spot and here it is important to include a waterproof fillet using a specialist mortar. Getting a Type A system application right requires attention to detail, including preparing the


Left: Cavity drainage membranes provide an alternative to conventional cementitious tanking systems, by allowing water to penetrate the structure in a controlled way



against harmful gases – an additional vapour barrier would be required. Again, joints are the potential weak spot, with the junction between wall and floor needing particular attention as well as movement and construction joints. Possible solutions include ‘active’ slurries which penetrate concrete to make it water-resistant; expanding internal waterstops which swell once the concrete has cured; fillet seals and repair mortars; and construction joint tapes. Construction joint tapes, such as those by Vandex, are best applied on the external wall of a basement. A design without a toe, extending the base slab beyond the wall externally, works best with this type of protection.

Drained and dry Drained protection, Type C in the British Standard, is a popular solution for refurbishment projects. It is a good option if the substrate is weak or contaminated, it can cope better with ground movement and there are versions available which can also protect against radon and methane. Water is directed down the walls into a channel running around the perimeter of the room, using a profiled cavity drain membrane. Detailing should be such that water cannot migrate from the cavity across the slab. A sump and pump at the low point of the

Left: A basement conversion is a useful addition to any house Below: This diagram demonstrates the layers needed to protect a room from the damp ground

wall meticulously, making sure the system is compatible with the substrate and following the manufacturer’s instructions on curing. If anything goes wrong, a barrier system can be difficult and expensive to fix.

Barrier for protection In new applications, the structure of the basement can be designed to be waterproof, a Type B system. In practice this means reinforced concrete. Another standard, BS EN 1992, sets out how the concrete structure should be designed. It is worth noting that the additional steel reinforcement required by the standard can make this a prohibitively expensive solution. And it cannot protect



This system probably isn’t a good option if complicated geometries are involved. And it doesn’t work if the soffit of the basement is flat. Here a combination system could be used, for example, a tanking slurry on the ceiling lapping onto a cavity drain membrane on the walls.

Specialists must specify

room discharges the water. These types of system do require regular maintenance of both the pumps and the drainage channels, so access must be built in. It may be worth considering a pump with a battery back-up or dual pumps, depending on the pumping capacity required and the potential impact of a mains failure or pump failure.

Above: It might be necessary to install a membrane to channel water to be pumped out

Below: A basement room is a great way of increasing living space

Though an understanding of the types of waterproofing systems and their potential applications will help at the early stages of a project, it is important that specialist advice be brought in to help finalise the waterproofing design. NHBC’s research into the claims made due to basement failures shows that problems are usually due to detailing at joints and around service penetrations. It is worth taking the time up front to choose the right system, get the detailing right and making sure that the manufacturer’s instructions are followed to the letter. This is always time well spent if it avoids costly remedial work. Contact specialist companies such as Safeguard to discuss the most appropriate solution for the particular basement waterproofing project in hand.


i-nteriors Doors & Windows

Stand out with Mistral New for 2014 and exclusive to JB Kind Doors, the eye catching Mistral door design has been developed with the self-builder in mind. Without compromising on quality, JB Kind has sourced a new construction technique that gives the Oak Mistral an incredible price advantage. Based on the fashion for flush groove designs, the Mistral’s distinctive pattern gives a three-panelled effect. Available in Walnut, Oak and White primed, these exceptional doors represent incredible quality and value. FD30 fire doors, glazed designs, metric sizes and bespoke options are all available. Request or download a copy of JB Kind’s current Door Collection brochure online.

01283 554197

Conservation at rural newbuild retreat High performance timber windows and doors by specialist manufacturer Mumford & Wood have been specified by O B Architecture, Winchester, Hampshire, for a beautiful rural country retreat close to lively Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire. Georgian-style sash windows from Mumford & Wood’s Conservation range were specified for this elegant property including an unusual three-pane top sliding sash over six-pane bottom sliding sash configuration. These double glazed windows have modern pre-tensioned spring balances in place of traditional weights and pulleys. Coordinating Conservation casements and fully glazed French doorsets have also been integrated into this 21st century design. 01621 818155

VBH adds Glazpart Link-Vent to range


Manual version of successful panoramic sliding door system Aluminium systems specialist, Schueco UK Ltd, is further augmenting its range of glazed, panoramic sliding doors with the introduction of a manual version of its successful Schueco ASS 77 PD.HI system. With ultra-slim sightlines and a perimeter frame that is entirely concealed within the wall, the new door provides maximum transparency and virtually uninterrupted external views. A pronounced ‘wow’ factor and an ability to span very wide openings make it ideal for use in high-end buildings. Panels can be up to 3.2m wide and 3m high with a maximum panel weight of 300kg, yet thanks to an advanced ergonomic handle, the door remains easy to open and close. 01908 282111

Brio Single Run offers top performance Brio – a leading architectural sliding and folding door hardware manufacturer – has developed a wide range of fixings for both exterior and interior sliding doors in its Single Run portfolio. Brio’s Single Run system is a precisely engineered, quality top hung system capable of bearing a large number of weight capacities. The range includes hardware for inside and outside applications in domestic and commercial applications. Single Run can cope with top hung sliding doors from lightweight 60kg interior doors to 350kg leaves suitable for rugged agricultural applications. All Brio Single Run Architectural Systems offer quiet finger-tip control through the combination of track profile, precision bearings and nylon tyred wheels. 0191 2291 224

JELD-WEN launches new joinery catalogue

VBH has added the Glazpart Link-Vent to its selection of ventilators. Available in two sizes, 2500EQA and 5000EQA, the vent meets the requirements of Building Regulations Approved Document F1, and delivers similar performance to that of much larger vents, meaning more air throughput per mm. The design of LinkVent’s internal opening flap allows the flap to be positioned to reduce draughts by directing air away from the occupants without reducing the air flow. Link-Vent is available in Screw fix or Clip fix variants. Screw fix can be used on PVCu, aluminium and timber windows, with the rounded ends allowing it to be rebated into timber frames if required.

JELD-WEN – one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of timber windows, doors and stairs – has launched a comprehensive new catalogue that combines all of its doors, windows and stairs into one publication. The new catalogue houses the entire range of products including an exciting new range of doors, room dividers, windows and stairs. The catalogue is a one-stop shop of joinery solutions, containing detailed imagery and specification details to include timber types, weather performance, finishing options, U-values, security and hardware options and building regulation advice. The launch of JELD-WEN’s catalogue underpins the manufacturer’s commitment to providing the industry with the tools they need. 01634 263300 01344 350 270

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i-nteriors Kitchens, Bedrooms & Bathrooms

Luxury meets innovation Crosswater continues to benchmark innovation and bathroom design with the new beautifully rounded and elegantly illuminated Dynamo shower head, depicting the ultimate in luxurious showering. Extraordinarily, Dynamo’s LED lighting function is powered by the water that flows through it and therefore does not consume any electricity as there’s no need for it to be connected to the mains. Bringing senses to life, the ambient light rays beam from the oversized lustrous dome to create a peaceful environment to revitalise and rejuvenate in for the entire duration of the shower. 0845 873 8840

Tap into style Sink and tap specialist, Caple’s new Enka tap will make a stylish statement in the wet zone with a polished chrome finish and modern styling. This single lever tap joins more than 50 taps in Caple’s current portfolio. Caple’s Product Manager Luke Shipway says: “Our new Enka tap provides our customers with even more flexibility in terms of the Caple tap they choose for their kitchen. This design is sleek and stylish, making it the perfect choice for a modern wet zone.” The new Enka tap measures 267mm by 216mm and costs from around £120 including VAT. 0117 938 1900

Luxuy yet affordable kitchens


Retro styling meets modern technology The stunning Retro fridges from Gorenje offer retro styling with all the benefits of modern technology. With all models boasting A++ energy ratings, SuperCool functions and MultiFlow accelerated air circulating, the Retro is the perfect marriage of nostalgic styling and modern cooling innovation. Created to be a playful and colourful addition to any home, the Funky Retro fridge is available in eight colours: cream, black, white, burgundy, fire red, lime green, juicy orange and raspberry pink. 020 8247 3980

Saniflo launches the Sanishower Flat The experts at Saniflo have made it easier than ever to have a shower in the most awkward of spaces, such as a basement. The new Sanishower Flat is a pumping solution for low-level shower trays of 80mm and over, which is capable of pumping a standard electric or gravity mixer shower and the two inlets mean a washbasin can be added too. The Sanishower Flat allows you to install a shower anywhere a water supply can reach, even when there is no gravity drainage available. The Sanishower Flat pumps waste water up to 3m vertically and 20m horizontally. 020 8842 0033

Hansgrohe expands its Select range

Bespoke furniture manufacturer, Stoneham Kitchens is launching two brand new ranges, Fahrenheit and Fahrenheit Pro. The new kitchens add a highly affordable option to Stoneham’s Avant Garde collection and are available from local Stoneham appointed retailers from September. Driven by increased demand for more geometrically shaped, streamlined kitchen designs, Farenheit and Farenheit Pro – the handle-less version of the range – offer the same high technical specification and quality for which Stoneham is renowned. The new ranges debuted at Grand Designs Live 2014, where Fahrenheit, showcased in Lava Walnut, formed the sleek centre island with the new ultra-thin, ultra-durable Dekton work surface.

Hansgrohe introduces new additions to its Select range including the ShowerSelect thermostat with integrated shower support; ShowerSelect S concealed thermostats in a new round design, perfect for combining with round hand and overhead showers; and new ShowerSelect manual mixers to complement the existing thermostatic options and meet the widest range of installation needs. The innovative Select collection from Hansgrohe includes Raindance Select hand showers, overhead showers and showerpipes with ShowerSelect and ShowerTablet thermostatic bath/shower controls all with a simple push button ‘select’ operation. 020 8300 8181 01372 465655


One of the UK's leading shower tray manufacturers, MX Group has launched its latest shower tray range into the marketplace. The ‘Expressions’ range has been designed to provide the maximum showering area, incorporating a discreet, hidden waste system, yet the trays drain via a standard shower waste. The level waste design incorporates a standard waste outlet and allows easy access to clean, maintain and service without the need for an expensive gully waste system. The new range features an acrylic ABS finish, and weighs in at 40% lighter than a high wall stone resin shower tray.

Kitchens, Bedrooms & Bathrooms

New Expressions shower tray range launched by MX 01684 293311

Petrified wood basins

Come into the digital age As technology advances, the traditional layout and functionality of the home has started to evolve and advance. It’s slowly integrating into every part of daily life – even in your bathroom.

Made from fossilised trees, millions of years old, Lapicida’s petrified wood basins are one-off works of art. Fascinating, rare and wholly individual, each basin is hand carved from a section through a fossil tree trunk, following the contours of the tree and incorporating all of its natural detail, from the bark to the rings. A moment in earth’s history, perfectly preserved in stone. Designed to sit on vanity tops, Lapicida’s petrified wood basins come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Lapicida offers an extensive collection of luxury stone for walls and floors together with freestanding decorative objects and a matchless range of bespoke services.

Mira Showers’ range of digital showers introduces smart technology into your home whilst combining flexibility, precision and style. The stylish range of digital showers from Mira include wireless shower controllers allowing you to select the desired temperature and flow settings without needing to set foot in the shower. With a ‘warm up’ function, you can programme your shower to reach the desired flow and temperature. It then pauses, ready to be reactivated as you step into your perfect shower. All the products in the collection come with the innovative Mira 360 showerhead which features Flipstream Technology – a unique flipping mechanism that allows you to alternate between the four different spray patterns for the best possible experience – as well as a stylish look for any modern bathroom. For those looking to save water and money on their energy bills, all the showers come with an eco-mode to ensure that water flow is moderated. As an added benefit, the range features a digital clock display so that you can keep track of how long you’re spending in the shower and an eye on your water usage, as well as ensuring you’re never late for work again. The whole digital range is available with the dual option, with all coming with a 250mm chrome deluge and additional Mira 360 showerhead. 020 3012 1000 enquiries 0844 571 5000 0845 257 6951

New On The Level website goes live On The Level, British wet room designer and manufacturer, goes live with a new look website that reflects its expansion plans for the future. Managing Director and founder, Phil Clark, comments: “The growth of the business is beyond our expectations and OTL continues to go from strength to strength. Launching a new web site confirms the company’s confidence in the future.” Specification, partnering, project management, expertise and just good old fashioned customer service are the cornerstones of a company which is now synonymous with a “right first time approach” to wet room solutions. The new website is easy to navigate and is packed with information.


Eyebrow i-scape Sub-brow

How to work with a professional garden designer The self-build journey can be long and tiresome, but the last hurdle is an entirely new project in its own right – the garden.


1 Choose the designer that's right for you A good relationship with your garden designer will lead to a happy and productive experience for both parties. Ask prospective designers as many questions as possible, look at their website or portfolio, ask for references or ask if you can visit their previous projects, then choose a designer you feel comfortable with and one you feel best understands your requirements.

Eyebrow i-scape Sub-brow


hen the build is completed even the most energetic self-builder can be left exhausted and in need of bit of help to add those last aesthetics that make a house a home. After months – maybe even years – of planning, you wish to step inside your new paradise and look out onto a polished garden that reflects your self-build’s hard work. Many self-builders decide to work alongside an experienced garden designer to advise on cost, contractors, elements and layout. If the thought of picking the right shrubbery and complementary water feature makes your head spin, the following checklist offers advice on how to get the most out of working with an expert. Other than having sound horticultural knowledge and an understanding of ecology and conservation issues, these designers have the visual and spatial skills and creative intelligence to transform and unify a site from the smallest courtyard to a substantial landscape.

2 Be clear about your needs Good communication is essential, both for the initial exchange of ideas and throughout the building process and will ensure the final result is the one you had hoped for. A good garden designer should have the visual and spatial skills to effectively interpret your requirements, but you need to have spent some time thinking about your brief and be prepared to convey your needs as fully as you can. Think about how and when you want to use the garden and which plants, materials and colours you like and dislike. If you have visited gardens or parks you particularly liked, try to articulate what it was about them you liked. Use pictures from books or magazines, or images from websites to help you. As you look at the prospective designer’s website/portfolio,

Above: An urban project needn’t be without a stunning garden like this vision of contemporary excellence by John Wyer Opposite page: This contemporary design by Andrew Wilson and Gavin McWilliam creates a statement with sculptural seating Below: This design by Thomas Hoblyn demonstrates that the right plant combinations make all the difference


† 59

i-scape Eyebrow Sub-brow

Above: SIP panels have created a highly insulated space Below: All materials had to be carefully transported across the beach to the plot

highlight any elements from their previous projects that appeal to you.

3 Be honest about your budget A designer will produce tailor-made designs to match the budget you specify, so be clear about what you can afford. If you under-estimate you could restrict the initial creative concept, if you over-estimate you could be disappointed if the design has to be scaled down or re-worked in line with your budget. Charges and payment schedules vary from designer to designer, so make sure you fully understand the cost implications involved, what you are getting for your money and when you will be invoiced. A good designer should provide a written estimate of the total costs and explain what the project and payment stages are. Be prepared to be asked for a percentage of the payment before the design is completed.

4 Be realistic about timings You should allow about six months from appointing your chosen designer to completion of your garden. However this can vary enormously and could take longer, depending on the size or your garden, the scale of the project, availability of contractors and


any specialist or unpredictable elements such as weather conditions. Don’t be surprised if the designer you want has a waiting list and isn’t able to start straight away. You might also need to wait for the best landscape contractor to be available.

Above: Amanda Patton uses colourful plants to break up greenery Below: This outstanding design by John Wyer won the SGD International Award

Eyebrow i-scape

5 Trust your designer


The best relationships are built on trust. If you’ve chosen the right designer, be confident about your decision and let your designer do what they do best. You are paying for their skills, knowledge and experience, so try to be open to ideas and suggestions and not be too controlling. While a good brief is essential, you’ll get a more successful garden if you’re prepared to be flexible and not dictate every aspect of the design.

6 Be prepared for potential disruption Building a new garden can be as disruptive as fitting a new kitchen or bathroom, particularly if materials have to be bought through the house or you are undertaking a major landscaping project.

7 Discuss any issues as quickly as possible If you are unhappy with an element of the design or build of the garden, it is important to communicate it as quickly as possible to the designer or the landscaper. This could potentially save you time and additional costs and ensure the project is as successful and as painless as possible.

8 Finding your garden designer The Society of Garden Designers website is an excellent place to find a fully qualified and experienced garden designer. The website allows you to search and find designers that work in your local area. The website only lists garden designers that have passed the strict SGD accreditation and appraisal process and have been in business for at least three years. For more ideas for your garden – See page 38.

t: e d a Tr .sgd.o en

ww ard Visit w ciety of G e - to o t i S s - the ners' web lified Desig a fully qua er in find n design garde ur area. yo

Above: Andrew Wenham works with a difficult landscape to create a stunning garden Left: Tom Hoblyn creates a garden that complements its property


i-nteriors Doors, Windows Drainage & Conservatories & Landscaping

Travis Perkins launches new inspirational brochure Leading builders merchant Travis Perkins has launched a new Inspirational Gardens and Driveways brochure with new products, photography and advice to inspire homeowners making landscaping plans. Backed by Travis Perkins’ heritage of providing heavyside and timber products, the new brochure has been designed to communicate the expertise and products which can be found at the customer’s local branch. The brochure also includes a range of new products such as ethically-sourced handmade natural sand stone, rubber surfacing solutions, decking and artificial lawns. A range of these products will also feature in the latest issue of Trade Offers which is available from any Travis Perkins branch.

Natural Paving Products has helped multi-award winning garden designer, John Cavill, 15 year-old Harry Ward and Dean Brown of Decol Construction win a silver guilt medal at this year’s BBC Gardeners’ World Live event. Built on a slope, with one end sunk into the ground to a depth of half a metre, the aptly named Down the Garden wowed the judges with its creativity. As a mixture of both designers’ styles, Harry’s modern taste and John’s signature cottage look, the garden used Natural Paving Products’ Burnt Magenta sandstone flagstones from its Premiastone range and Graphite Vande Moortel Clay Pavers, creating multiple interlinking paths through all of its different areas. 01604 748836 0845 072 1150

Maintenance-free decking looks like real wood Reliaboard is the latest composite decking to be launched in the TimberTech range by Greensquares. With an authentic wood grain look, Reliaboard carries all the special advantages of TimberTech composite decking but at a budget conscious price level. As a composite material, Reliaboard is a blend of wood and polymer meaning that it won’t split, crack, warp or fade. It is also algae and slip resistant and it comes with a 25-year residential warranty and a 10-year commercial warranty. Reliaboard composite decking is available with grooved edges designed for special hidden fasteners or with ungrooved edges for fixing with colour matched deck screws. 029 2037 1584

Attractive aluminium rainwater goods fit the bill


Natural Paving Products’ sponsored garden wins BBC award

Bond It launches new garden product catalogue Bond It, one of the UK’s leading independent manufacturers of sealants, adhesives, fillers and other building chemicals, has launched a brand new product catalogue dedicated to its large and continually expanded garden product range. The new catalogue features no less than 40 different products across 28 pages and covers everything from landscaping membranes and roofing compounds to pothole repairers and anti-climb paint. Bond It hopes the new catalogue will not only raise awareness of the impressive breadth of its garden product portfolio but also help to simplify the buying process for customers by having all of its relevant products in one focused publication. 01422 315300

Brett expertise play a key role on challenging site

Quality, function and appearance were major factors when choosing rainwater goods to renovate Wayout Lodge, a listed property which has undergone a major transformation by owner and interior designer James Gostelow. Existing plastic drainpipes were replaced with Rainguard XL Aluminium pipes and gutters. “In my eyes aluminium guttering was the most cost effective way of achieving a solid material and a great look,” said James. “I wanted a design to fit in with the era of the lodge and give that dramatic effect. The Yeoman Rainguard Victoria GRP Hopper was able to fit the bill exactly.”

The experience of Brett Landscaping and Building Products in permeable pavements has played a vital role in ensuring the viability of a high density housing project on a site with difficult drainage and ground conditions. Brett Landscaping worked closely with the main contractor Cocksedge Building Contractors and groundwork contractor Bowie Construction to enable the laying of Brett Omega Flow permeable block paving, after the implementation of an ingenious engineering strategy at the site. At the same time, Brett supplied two variants of its Omega Flow permeable block paving – 80mm Autumn Gold for the access road and 60mm Burnt Oak for the driveways. 0113 201 7116 0845 608 0570

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