i-build February 2017

Page 1



20 +

February 17 Issue 31

Download the free app to your tablet or mobile. Search 'i-build'


fabulous finds to enhance wellbeing and comfort





to self-build success THE PERFECT REMODEL



Self-builder combines old and new to create smart home

Funky geometric prints and floral fabrics to get you inspired

The benefits and considerations when opting for rooflights



Delivering British architecture with German technology Hanse Haus is a premium German supplier of turnkey, pre-manufactured ultra-high efficiency homes. Founded as a carpentry business in 1929, it now erects some 400 timber frame homes annually Europewide and has been active in the UK since 2006. To talk to us about your individual requirements, contact us using the details below. Hanse Haus Email info@hanse-haus.co.uk Telephone 0800 302 9220 www.hanse-haus.co.uk


Editor in Chief:

Hannah Frackiewicz

hannah@mixedmediainfo.com Editorial Assistant:

Rebecca Kemp

rebecca@mixedmediainfo.com Print & Digital Advertising:

Sam Ball


Michael Abrahams


Rebecca Stratten


Hayley Perry

hayley@mixedmediainfo.com Studio Manager:

Chris Lilly

chris@mixedmediainfo.com Production:

Jack Witcomb


David Perry


Sofia Franchi

sofia@mixedmediainfo.com Accounts:

Simone Jones


Charlie Ivy

charlie@mixedmediainfo.com Managing Director:

Sam Ball


Pear Platt, Woodfalls Farm, Gravelly Way Laddingford, Kent, ME18 6DA T: 01622 873229 F: 01622 320020


Welcome Note


Welcome to the February issue of i-build At the design stage of your self-build, it’s easy to visualise how your home can work for you in the summer months – vast amounts of glazing to maximise the glorious sunlight, meanwhile immaculate garden landscaping and patios to enjoy al fresco dining and entertaining. However, are the choices you’re making suitable, or flexible, all year round? While glazing offers numerous benefits, in the winter you could be left feeling the chill and a little exposed. In this month’s issue, Richard Jones reveals how opting for automated blinds to dress his self-build’s glass screens provided the ideal solution. The family now benefit from an intimate setting, perfect for those cosy winter nights. Turn to page 18 to read more about this integrated solution and the wider renovation project. Elsewhere, Warmup explains how different flooring choices affect the heat-up time and heat output of underfloor heating. You can find out more on page 34. Also in this issue, Ridgeons Merchants discusses the rise in popularity and benefits of timber frame construction, The Listed Property Owners Club shares its guide to owning a listed property and Constable VAT Consultancy offers its advice on claiming back your VAT.

As always, our pages are bursting with the latest products, materials and tones currently on trend and designed to bring that extra bit of comfort and appeal to your interior scheme. This month, we’ve uncovered the Danish theme of ‘hygge’ – the term used to denote wellbeing. Here, we’ve put together everything you need for a calming and stress-free interior space. Elsewhere, we explore the use of shape in furnishings for the home. From wallpaper to rugs and bowls, you’ll find there’s always a way to incorporate a little geometric detail. I hope you enjoy this issue. Don’t forget, if you’re coming to the end of your self-build and would like us to feature your home as inspiration for other budding housebuilders, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Alternatively, if you’re about to embark on your self-build journey and would be keen for us to document your progress, do get in contact.

Editor in Chief hannah@mixedmediainfo.com




Download the i-build app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Search 'i-build'.

Editor’s picks Westbury Windows & Joinery celebrates 25th anniversary: See page 50, considerations when applying for planning permission: See page 53, the benefits of high-performance Magply boards: See page 54.

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.


Cover story: If you want a trouble-free route to creating your own bespoke home, follow these essential steps to success offered by BuildStore’s Rachel Pyne. See page 14.




Open Open Tuesday Tuesday to Sunday to Sunday 10:00-17:30 10:00-17:30 FREE entry! FREE entry!

The The

NSBRC NSBRC 2007 - 2017 2007 - 2017

Free Parking. Swindon M4 Junction 16 Free Parking. Swindon M4 Junction 16

ovation d & ren il u b lf of se tion renova uild & b lf e s of

The The National National Self Self Build Build & Renovation Centre & Renovation Centre The UK’s ONLY permanent The UK’s visitor ONLY centre permanent self build is self build visitor centre is the must-visit destination the must-visit destination for anyone creating their for anyone creating their own home. own home. MORE INFO & FREE TICKETS AT MORE INFO & FREE TICKETS AT

WWW.NSBRC.CO.UK WWW.NSBRC.CO.UK 0345 223 4455 0345 223 4455

Self build courses Self courses Overbuild 200 exhibitors Over 200 exhibitors Advice from experts Advice from experts Eco workshops Eco Self workshops build shows with free seminars Self build Venue hireshows with free seminars Venue hire The home of TheSelf home of Build Self Build Custom Custom Build & Renovation & Renovation

National Self Build & Renovation Centre National Self Build & Renovation Centre


i-build www.i-buildmagazine.com

February 2017








In this issue: Desired Designs


A look at the latest innovative products and styles for your new home.




Contracts & Legalities


BuildStore’s Rachel Pyne uncovers the five steps to self-build success. ON THE COVER

The Listed Property Owners’ Club shares its guide to owning a listed property.


Urban Retreat


Sustainable Living




Water Management


Richard Jones combined old vs new to create a smart home for his whole family to enjoy. Vic Kirwan and Teresa Green enlisted the help of Stommel Haus to achieve their Canadian log cabin-inspired home. ON THE COVER

Constable VAT Consultancy offers its advice on claiming back your VAT. Kensa demonstrates how open loop systems are being used to extract heat from water sources.


Floors, Walls & Ceilings

Warmup advises on the best flooring products to use with underfloor heating.


Kitchens, Bedrooms & Bathrooms


Timber Frame



Download the free app to your tablet or mobile. Search 'i-build'

20 +

February 17 Issue 31



fabulous finds to enhance wellbeing and comfort


Houzz reveals the current kitchen renovation trends taken from its latest research report.

Ridgeons Merchants discusses the rise in popularity and benefits of timber frame construction.


tto o self self-build build success THE PERFECT REMODEL








Product Guide


A round up of the benefits and considerations when incorporating skylights into your property. ON THE COVER

When it comes to styling your home, fabrics really enable you to experiment with colour and texture.


Self-builder combines old and new to create smart home


Funky geometric prints and floral fabrics to get you inspired


The benefits and considerations when opting for rooflights


Subscriptions: You can subscribe to receive i-build each month free of charge at i-buildmagazine.com/subscribe

Make the most of your garden with a high-quality patio. i-build explores the materials and styles on offer. i-build rounds up the latest innovative products in the marketplace, designed with your self-build in mind.


Desired Designs



3 4

5 6

Hygge your home Hygge is a word that’s currently on everyone’s lips. The increasingly recognisable word originates from Denmark and was originally a Norwegian term for ‘wellbeing’. Here, i-build advises on how to introduce this peaceful, calming sense of welfare into your self-build’s interior.


ygge, pronounced ‘hue-gue’, has no direct translation – it has been described as more of a ‘feeling’ that the Danes have adopted to contribute to their renowned persona of being lovers of calm and serenity. It is a Danish form of art that creates intimacy, inducing a feeling of contentment. A clutter-free home is a perfect place to start your hygge theme; a minimalistic interior with hidden storage will provide a stress-free environment for a home’s owners. Although minimalism is at the forefront of the hygge movement, personal trinkets and decorations such as family photos and softly glowing candles still play a prominent role. Texture and lighting set the scene for cosy nights in during the winter months to create a perfect, soothing atmosphere. While wood will bring a sense of warmth to an interior and transports an aspect of the outside world into an interior space.


7 8

1. Cocoon Aeris fireplace, £3000, Wharfside

2. Hugo copper and concrete table lamp, £69, Abode Living

3. Skandinavisk Hygge scented candle, £25, Printer + Tailor

4. Log basket blue-grey hemp, £49.95, Decorator’s Notebook


5. Copper Scandi standing photo frame, £14.95, Made With Love Personalised Boutique

6. Swedish wool blanket, £64, Eclect Design

7. Hassock round pink stool, £55, Jane Trozzo

8. Round branch vase, £150, Jane Trozzo

9. Blush textile wall hanging, £84, MiaFleur

10. Jumble multicolour photo frame, £135, PIB



1. Skir – C-print by Details by M., from £40.50

2. The Catch white hanging vase by Havsglas Sverige, £45

3. ULLA small hanging pot by Camilla Engdahl, £31.05

Desired Designs


4. Copper candle NR5 by Langöviken, £157.50



Nordic Design Collective Referred to as a ‘marketplace’, Nordic Design Collective was founded by Maria Richardson. The company works with carefully-selected designers and all products are created to a high standard. Hosting an abundance of upcoming, independent designers, Nordic Design Collective is a great place to shop for Nordic decorations and accessories to enhance to your hygge theme.

1. Aristode coffee table, £405, PIB 2. 100% teak Nederland occasional table,


£75, PIB

3. Normann Copenhagen Tablo small table, £174.90, Black By Design

4. 100% natural teak Runkö occasional table, £119, PIB

Coffee break The hygge scheme wouldn’t be complete without a coffee table that you and your guests can gather around for a hot drink and a natter. Whether small with just enough space for two or three cups or a large table for those get-togethers where tea cups may be replaced with wine glasses, there are an abundance of tables to choose from.





Desired Designs

Throw in some shapes The geometric trend is a great way to incorporate a touch of modernity into your self-build’s interior. 1

At one with nature

Mix it up Add colour and pattern to your self-build with The Baked Tile Company’s rhombusstyle floor tiles. A truly unique floorcovering, these 14 x 24cm geometric tiles can be mixed up by combining various colours and patterns from the same range.

The Caretti rug by Designers Guild features a geometric pattern lifting out of the evocative neutral linen tones. Hand-knotted with 100% bamboo silk, offering a soft sheen and neutral variation, Designers Guild’s Caretti rugs are perfect for those nature-inspired homes. (www.therugseller.co.uk)




Stay on-trend

Thick and comfortable

Combining this season’s trends of copper, metallic and geometric styling, Made With Love Designs’ copper geometric candle is a stunning piece that can provide an instant spring/summer update to a home, either as a dining table centrepiece or as part of a collection of decorative accessories on a side table.

Modern Rugs’ geometric rug is from its brand-new Designer Plantation range, which comprises a selection of unique and eye-catching rugs made to the highest standards. Hand-tufted with a 100% wool pile, this rug offers a thick, comfortable feel.

(www.madewithlove designs.co.uk)




Trendy trinkets

Drink up

Rigby & Mac’s striking geometric wire bowl is perfect for many functions; either as a bread bowl, fruit bowl or to display on its own. In an on-trend coppercoloured metal, this trendy wire bowl will look perfect either in the kitchen or on an office desk.

Natalia Willmott’s quirky and modern copper bottle holder will look great in any kitchen or sitting room. Housing up to six bottles with an antique copper look, this is a great addition to always have your favourite drink bottles nearby.







. Put your feet up

Desired Designs

Trendy terracotta Terracotta is a tone and material that is set to be ontrend for 2017. Mixing this earthy hue with neutrals will add rustic warmth to your self-build. 1


Comfort underfoot

For the birds

This Linear Glow terracotta rug by Calvin Klein is hand-loomed using a stunning blend of hand-dyed, 100% wool yarns. The heavyweight Linear collection features a subtle striated effect with intense hues that will look striking on any floor.

These beautiful, suspended birdhouses are inspired by natural forms of bird’s nests and are perfect for providing a safe environment and a home for nesting small birds. The hole is large enough to allow easy access for small birds, but small enough to keep out predators.





Warming ambience

Attention to detail

The Duo Clay table lamp adds a touch of warmth to any space, combining mouth-blown opal glass and the finest slip cast terracotta. Available in small and large sizes, the Duo Clay table lamps can be fixed in place or can sit freestanding on a side desk, kitchen worktop or office desk.

Mixing a striking silhouette with stylish piping and accent button detailing, MADE. COM’s Scott armchair’s detail is perfectly balanced. Made for lounging with a deep, sprung seat and feather-mix cushioning, the Scott armchair is available in a myriad of fabric choices.





Circular centrepiece

Versatile vessels

The Faro rug features a rust-coloured circular design with a natural coloured border. Hand-braided in India with 100% jute – a natural fibre which is a stylish selection for an environmentally-friendly scheme – the Faro rug is perfect as a centrepiece addition.

IN-SPACES’ Element Vessels are handcrafted in the UK from terracotta, oak and cork. The unglazed outer surface offers an honest yet beautiful aesthetic whilst the dark, rich glaze of the interior of each vessel has been applied to hold liquids, and is therefore suitable for use as a vase, decanter or as a decorative item.




We have a style to match yours


Traditional and modern gutters, pipes and hoppers come in a comprehensive range of aesthetic styles, materials and colours to suit all buildings and budgets.

For more information please call 0113 279 5854 or email info@rainguard.co.uk


Cast Iron

Copper, Zinc & Stainless Steel

w w w. r a i n g u a r d . c o . u k

The National Self Build & Renovation Centre

here to offer you their support – so feel free to take advantage of their experience and advice.

Educate and inform

Over the last decade, the NSBRC has welcomed over 140,000 selfbuilders through its doors, from first-time builders to developers and home improvers

Your one-stopshop for selfbuild guidance

You will discover the latest products and innovations on display in the Trade Village, where there is a showcase of over 200 manufacturers, suppliers and specialist services. The NSBRC uses a unique barcode scanning system, making it easy for you to collect ideas and request information from its exhibitors. In 2017, NSBRC will produce its one millionth product request using this system. If you want to be more involved in your project, the NSBRC runs a range of popular self-build courses throughout the year – you can find out about these by calling the centre on 0345 223 4455. Did you know? Since 2014 the NSBRC has been run by ‘The Homebuilding Centre’ – an employee-owned business. This means the team are all employee-owners and truly passionate about offering you an irresistible experience. The aim is to inspire, educate and provide impartial advice. You will find plenty of information and advice at the NSBRC and, above all, a very warm welcome.


The National Self Build & Renovation Centre is the UK’s only permanent visitor centre for self and custom home-builders and renovators. A unique and inspiring resource, it is designed to provide you with the knowledge and support you need to make informed decisions during every step of your home-building project.


017 is a special year as it marks the NSBRC’s tenth anniversary, having first opened in January 2007. Over the last decade, it has welcomed over 140,000 self-builders through its doors, from first-time builders to developers and home improvers – supporting over 16,000 selfbuilders in 2016 alone. If you are embarking on a journey of designing and building your own bespoke home, you are not alone! Around 13,000 people will take on a self-build project this year, benefiting from a huge degree of choice;


from where the house is located, how it is constructed, the energy efficiency of the building fabric through to the level of finish you will enjoy once moved in. Please don’t feel nervous if you have never set foot on a building site! Indeed, the majority of NSBRC visitors are not in the building trade. The team at NSBRC will help you understand the various stages involved in a building project. You’ll find life-size exhibits in its Educational Zones that graphically demonstrate the many options available. The Helpdesk is staffed by NSBRC’s own experts,

You will discover the latest products and innovations on display in the Trade Village

Ecobuild is evolving with the industry, focusing on the issues that matter the most.

@ecobuild_now #ecobuild


Be the changemaker in your business. Put your brand in front of the UK’s most powerful audience of specifiers.

Call 020 7560 4469 or visit www.ecobuild.co.uk/exhibit

Strategic Partners:


value of similar houses in the area is. This will give you an idea of what your finished property will be worth, based on their knowledge of local ‘ceiling prices’. If you subtract the land cost from this sum, you’ll be left with the maximum amount you should spend on your new home. In general, the biggest individual cost will be attributed to the plot, which will account for 30-40% of your total outlay. A further 20% will be spent on materials, and around 25% of your budget will go towards labour. The rest of the figure will be dedicated to professional fees, insurance and utilities.

2) Create the perfect design

Your five steps to self-build success If you want a trouble-free route to creating your own bespoke home, follow these essential tips to ensure success, says BuildStore’s Rachel Pyne. 1) Keep on top of your budget As well as being cheaper than purchasing a new developer-built home, self-building makes good financial sense in terms of return on investment – if you are careful you could expect your new house to be worth 20% more than it costs to construct.

How much money you have to spend will have a bearing on your entire scheme; it will determine the scale and style of your new house as well as the quality of the finishes. Once you have found a plot you’d like to invest in, take your ideas to a local estate agent and check what the maximum

One of the reasons that so many people want to self-build is in order to create a home that suits their aesthetic tastes and lifestyle. In order to achieve this, you need to come up with a detailed design plan – but where should you start? Make a list of elements that you like, such as interior layouts, types of exterior finish, glazing configurations and overall style – are your tastes more contemporary or traditional? These ideas can be used to form part of your project brief, which is an essential for creating an overall design plan with your architect or home supplier. In addition to your likes and dislikes, this should include your requirements, such as number of bedrooms, preference for open-plan or cosy spaces and so on. To get the most from your project it is important that you employ someone who is professionally trained and qualified. Equally as crucial is finding someone that’s like-minded and understands what your tastes and desires are. Your chosen professional will be able to add creativity and flair to your plan and come up with a scheme that suits your dreams and budget.

3) Take planning seriously Before you start your construction, you need to have all the relevant planning permissions in place. If you don’t have consent prior to starting on site, you could face an array of legal charges – so this is something that you need to take very seriously. To prepare yourself, gather as much information as possible about local and Government policy and go to your council for some preliminary guidance before submitting a formal application. Lay out your ideas, take a site plan, have examples of materials to hand in order to share as much information as possible on your scheme, as well as details of how it will suit the setting. Having a discussion at this stage about what the planners do and don’t like will aid your formal application process.



4) Organise the works If you want to finish your project on time and on budget, your self-build has to be well-organised. You can be hands-on at every stage or employ professionals to deliver the scheme for you – choose whatever suits you, but be realistic about what you can and can’t achieve. Supervising your own build is a major commitment, which means it’s vital to understand exactly what’s involved. A good project manager (PM) will draw up a schedule of works and costings, contract trades, schedule orders, take delivery of materials, pay subcontractors, liaise with inspectors and ensure all aspects of the build run smoothly. A PM will coordinate what and who is on site, and when – which is key to a well-organised scheme. All trades must arrive when they are supposed to, in the correct order and have the right supplies to complete their particular task. Poor scheduling costs money: materials that arrive early can get damaged if left on site; late deliveries will leave workmen unable to progress – and you’ll have to foot the bill for any wasted time.

5) Protect your project Site insurance should be in place as soon as you purchase a plot; from the moment you own it, you become liable for any injuries on site, so by law you must have adequate protection. What’s more, if you are taking out a mortgage to fund your development, your lender will not release funds without proof of site insurance being in place. A favourite of many self-builders (thanks to how comprehensive it is) is BuildCare Site and Renovation Insurance, developed by BuildStore, which provides cover for all the

essential aspects of your site. This includes public and employer’s liability; building works and materials; plant tools and equipment; site huts and temporary buildings (including caravans); existing structure (on conversions, renovations and extensions); personal accident cover and legal expenses. You can choose from a 12, 18 or 24-month policy based on how long you think your project will take. In addition to site insurance, you need to protect your home against any structural defects by purchasing a structural warranty

that is accepted by mortgage providers, is comprehensive and is recognised by the Council of Mortgage Lenders – such as the BuildCare 10 Year Structural Warranty. Any significant structural defects that aren’t immediately apparent will usually appear in the first two years after moving in to your home. This type of warranty will give you peace of mind that your home is protected should the worst happen due to any structural defect.

www.buildstore.co.uk Top left: A structural warranty will give you peace of mind that your home is protected should the worst happen due to any structural defect Far left: Make a list of elements that you like, such as interior layouts, types of exterior finish, glazing configurations and overall style Above: Supervising your own build is a major commitment, which means it’s vital to understand exactly what’s involved Left: All trades must arrive when they are supposed to, in the correct order and have the right supplies to complete their particular task


Contracts & Legalities

Q: What if I want to extend or alter my listed building? A: If you are planning to extend or alter a listed building, it is vital that you involve your conservation officer at the earliest stage possible. If you are planning alterations to a listed property, be realistic as to what will be allowed.

Q: Is double glazing acceptable in a listed property? A: It is unusual to be able to introduce double glazing into the narrow glazing bars of period windows and for this reason double glazing is difficult. However, there would be no restriction on using secondary glazing and this is the method normally recommended. The use of very slim double glazing units set within the original glazing bars may be acceptable although some conservation officers reject them due to the unsightly reflection. Listed building consent will be required if, for example, the windows are to be replaced with a new style of window or you wish to repaint existing windows a different colour to the existing.

Contrary to popular belief, listing protects the complete building, both inside and out

A guide to owning a listed property If you are an owner of a listed property or are thinking of buying one, you might have a number of questions but are unsure who to ask or where to turn for advice. Here, The Listed Property Owners’ Club (LPOC) experts answer some of the most frequently asked questions from their members. Q: What is a conservation officer and are they important? A: Conservation officers are generally employees of the local council and their role is to ensure the character of the building remains intact. They will be one of your most important points of contact as the officer will grant – or deny – listed building consent. They may even dictate the materials and techniques that you should use to make these changes.


Contrary to popular belief, listing protects the complete building, both inside and out (not just the front), and may also include garden walls, courtyards and even statuary within the garden. Some buildings are also ‘curtilage listed’ meaning that if your property is situated within the curtilage of, or attached to, a listed building it may also be listed. Make sure you know what is protected under the listing within your home and any grounds.

Q: What is listed building consent? A: If you want to alter or extend a listed

Q: Who is responsible for unauthorised work? A: If a previous owner made alterations to

building in a way that affects its character or appearance as a building of special architectural or historic interest, or even demolish it, you must first apply for listed building consent from your local planning authority.

the building without listed building consent, the local planning authority may require you to reverse those alterations at your own cost. It doesn’t matter who carried out the work, or how long ago, it will become the new owner’s responsibility.

Q: How does my insurance differ from a non-listed property? A: The insurance of a listed building is very different to a modern building. Should disaster strike, the cost of repairing using traditional methods and materials will be greater than a ‘normal’ house and your conservation officer will seek to ensure you reinstate ‘like for like’. LPOC have worked with their insurance providers to create a series of policies, one of which includes cover to pay to rebuild your home exactly as it was before. If you are about to buy a listed building, they can provide protection against unauthorised work by the previous owner, provided that there is no previous knowledge of the work that took place, and offer further protection when builders and workmen are at your home. They can also advise on how you insure for the correct amount with a guaranteed rebuild value or provide a safety margin.

Q: Do I need to use specialist suppliers and traditional methods? A: LPOC members benefit from a suppliers directory of professionals, builders and tradesmen and is the first port of call for many listed building owners across the country. You can rest assured that suppliers from the directory have been used previously by LPOC members, on a house just like yours, and are specialists in their trade.


introducing the alternative event for the forward-thinkers in kitchen and bathroom design 7–9 March 2017 ExCeL, London Register now at www.kbdesignlondon.com using code KBD4

Organised by:

Supported by:

Co-located with:

Urban Sanctuary

Home improvement As the owner of home technology company, Clever Association, Richard Jones knows all too well the increasing trend towards ‘smart’ living. Therefore, when Richard was faced with the opportunity to renovate a tired Victorian property, he was able to realise its full potential.


aving spent so many years in a home that simply didn’t meet their needs and requirements, Richard and his wife, Anna, came to the conclusion that in order to find the perfect balance of old vs new, a radical refurbishment project was the only route to take. It was then that Richard discovered a Victorian semi-detached home, and immediately was inspired to completely transform it. He explains: “I put an offer in straight away. It was in the perfect location and untouched for 55 years. I could instantly visualise the fabulous old features with new, modern interiors. Having worked on many build projects in my line of work as a Technology Consultant, I had seen how rewarding it can be to take on a project. We had been in our previous house for 12 years, I was itching to do another project and add all the wonderful things I see and do in other people’s homes.”


Location, location, location The location was a key factor for Richard and his family. It was in an area they knew well, situated in a quiet region on the outskirts of the town centre of Wetherby. The property itself had plenty of grand Victorian character, as it hadn’t been subject to alterations by its previous owners. To help take on the design of the extension and remodel of the property, Richard called upon the expertise of Wildblood MacDonald Architects, which came up with the plans that included a highly contemporary glazed ground floor rear extension. The project team also included Stephen Neall Interior Designers and Jeremy Wood Kitchens. “Before finalising the plans, I had a very clear vision,” explains Richard. “I wanted to create a home with character, both sociable and fun – everything a home should be. I have a passion for lighting design, so it was a real indulgence to work on my very own home.”

Urban Sanctuary

Overcoming hurdles Thankfully, planning permission was accepted on the first attempt. The property is situated within a conservation area, so the project team were conscious this could have posed a problem. However, according to Richard, the most difficult aspect was being mindful of the protected beech trees in the rear garden. Richard explains further: “I think we always knew that we had to be sympathetic towards the trees, so we designed it knowing we couldn’t extend out too far. We actually employed an arboriculturist to write construction methods and satisfy any building constraints and conditions. Due to this, the project took a little longer than we hoped, as we had to go into so much detail.” With the project largely managed by Richard, the onus was on him to specify a lot of the materials that were to be used for the renovation. Before any work commenced, the family lived in the property for about 18 months, so this gave Richard plenty of time to research the market and find the most suitable products to complement the existing build and its surroundings. To help with the decision-making process, Richard also sought advice from the project architects.

Above left: The natural wood perfectly complements the heritage features of the existing property Far left: Richard opted for cedar cladding for the external facade of the extension Above: At night and in the winter, automated and fully integrated blinds close the space down for a more intimate atmosphere Left: A new single-storey extension creates a large, openplan family living and dining kitchen


Sub-browSanctuary Urban Eyebrow

In the end, Richard opted for cedar cladding for the external facade of the extension. The natural wood perfectly complements the heritage features of the existing property.

Improved feel and function The large principle rooms of the original house were retained at both ground and first floor level with the original features restored where possible. The old scullery kitchen to the rear of the property, however, was completely removed and a new single-storey extension was added, which created a large, open-plan family living and dining kitchen. Large, minimally-framed sliding glass screens allow this space to open directly to the newly-landscaped garden. The new contemporary space now forms the heart of the home and can be easily opened up to the partially-covered external terrace. At night and in the winter, automated and fully integrated blinds close the space down for a more intimate atmosphere. When asked if he would recommend any of the products used, Richard enthuses: “The Fineline sliding doors are just wonderful – 11m of glass with only three


Sub-browSanctuary Eyebrow Urban 20mm frame uprights. Also, I would say this, the Lutron lighting control and automated blinds and curtains just make the project.” In the renovated basement, a new cinema/ children’s playroom can be accessed via a staircase that descends directly from the kitchen, ensuring that children can play safely out of sight but not out of mind. Richard continues: “I always have thought modern combines well with Victorian. The extension was purposely modern so that it had a very different feel to the original part of the property. With the open-plan living area and basement cinema, it would always have felt very different to the more formal rooms in the house.” However, achieving this striking juxtaposition was not without its challenges. Richard explains: “Creating two en-suite bedrooms in the loft space was probably the most challenging. We had initial issues with the structural steelwork designs, then we had problems getting access to the loft to construct the rooms. Draining and excavating the Victorian water cellar to create a basement cinema room was also a challenge, but well worth it.”

Above left: Large, minimally-framed sliding glass screens allow this kitchen/ dining space to open directly to the newlylandscaped garden Left: To help with the remodel of the property, Richard called upon the expertise of Wildblood MacDonald Architects Top: The Fineline sliding doors feature 11m of glass with only three 20mm frame uprights Above: The property itself had plenty of grand Victorian character

In total, it took eight months to complete the main works, but the project is in fact still ongoing, as Richard explains: “In truth, we’re still working on some elements. Last summer was about the garden and drive and we’re now finalising the fitted furniture. I think everything takes longer than you expect.” Although Richard kept to his original budget for the project, the ongoing works has meant more expenditure. Richard continues: “As mentioned, the steelwork in the loft cost quite a bit more than anticipated. Latterly, the external landscaping costs were more than we envisaged.”


Urban Sanctuary Radical revamp The finished space is everything the family had hoped for and more. “The internal space is conducive to a fun, family home,” remarks Richard. “It is very spacious with lots of character, both new and old, and features a great entertaining space. Externally, we have a very useful garage and utility room. The garden has a great lawn for garden games and a terrace area and a sail to soak up the midday sun and then entertain in the evening.” The radical revamp has received a considerable amount of interest from neighbours and locals. “We’re often giving house tours and visitors are amazed at how the property looks. Having been ‘run-down’ for many years, the aesthetics have now been improved considerably,” explains Richard. “This is a great place to live and a ‘forever’ home now. If I had to choose my favourite aspect, I would have to say either the kitchen space or the basement cinema as it’s where we congregate as a family away from the world. If budget wasn’t an issue, I would have loved for a green roof on the extension, but I can always look into retrofitting one at a later date.”


Offering advice to self-builders about to embark on their own project, Richard says: “My advice to anyone looking to start their own project is: do your research beforehand, use professionals to do specific jobs and secure decent contractors before you start.”

www.wildblood-macdonald.com www.cleverass.com

Top: The extension is purposely modern so that it has a very different feel to the original part of the property Above: In the renovated basement, a new cinema/ children’s playroom can be accessed via a staircase that descends directly from the kitchen




i-build www.i-buildmagazine.com


swipe to see more!


i-build www.i-buildmagazine.com

The i-build app www.i-buildmagazine.com

for iPhone, iPad & Android Free download available now! PROJECTS | PRODUCTS | INSPIRATION | INFORMATION The smarter way to plan, design, and decorate self-build homes. With its easy-to-navigate format, users can benefit from a variety of useful tools, such as the magazine’s latest issue, digital archive, suppliers and newsbank. The App is also synced with SBP Library (sustainablebuildingproducts.com) providing an essential specification portal.

| Bespoke, reader-friendly features tailored to professionals on the move | | Timely industry news delivered at the touch of a button | | Manage print & digital subscriptions | Search ‘ibuildmagazine’

Sustainable Living

Home is where the heart is When in search of a comfortable, healthy, bespoke and energy-efficient home, Aberdeenshire couple Vic Kirwan and Teresa Green felt that a self-build was going to be the best way to achieve their criteria.


stay in a Canadian log home while on holiday in the Highlands near Beauly inspired us to create an eco, timber home,” explains Vic. “This satisfied our vision for the type of home we both wanted.” Subsequent research led Vic, a retired Broadcast Engineer, and Teresa, a Dental Receptionist, to premium manufacturer of off-site eco homes, Stommel Haus, which the couple felt offered a holistic approach to house-building, providing comfort and high levels of insulation. Having decided on a ‘type’ of house to build, selecting an appropriate location and plot was the next priority for Vic and Teresa. “Initially we looked far and wide, but we soon narrowed our search to the Deeside area of Aberdeenshire. We wanted access to local town amenities, a bus route and a serviced plot with countryside views. After a year of searching, we found an ideal plot in the village of Aboyne that satisfied our requirements,” enlightens Vic.


Design and planning Stommel Haus put Vic and Teresa in touch with its UK Agent, Barbara Fischer-Clark, and the couple were invited to visit the Stommel Haus factory and show house in Germany. “We worked with them on our design, going through many design iterations with Stommel Haus’ architect before reaching our final design,” explains Vic. “The planning application was obtained after three and a half months and the building warrant was obtained after a further three and a half months, inclusive of preparation. We had two main contractors and Stommel Haus provided a project manager to oversee the build and the majority of the interior construction, whilst I provided the local end project management.” Keeping it local, Vic and Teresa used another Aberdeenshire Builder, George MacDonald, for the foundations and groundwork.

Sustainable Living

BENEFITS OF HEATING WITH ICE TECHNOLOGY No fossil fuel consumption required – combined utilisation of ambient air, the sun and ground as a heat source No drilling – no environmental risk and no permits required Low operating costs thanks to the high COP (coefficient of performance) of the heat pumps, up to 5.0 (B0/W35) to EN 14511 Particularly high efficiency thanks to intelligent heat source management and heat pump with RCD (refrigerant cycle diagnostic) system with electronic expansion valve (EEV) Easy-to-use control unit integrated in the heat pump.

Energy efficiency

Above left: Vic and Teresa's new home nestles in perfectly with the surrounding woodland and neighbouring houses Above: Heartwood features three renewable energy features – thermal solar panels, PV solar panels and a heat pump using ground-breaking Solar Ice Tank technology Left: The house itself is literally produced from a renewable source; it has been constructed from the heartwood of the Arctic spruce from FSC-certified forests in Finland

The house itself is literally produced from a renewable source; it has been constructed from the heartwood of the Arctic spruce from FSC-certified forests in Finland, which explains Vic and Teresa’s choice in name for their new custom-built home – ‘Heartwood’. The stunning three-bedroom home is insulated using recycled newspaper and recycled glass whilst the interior features untreated wood, providing high levels of insulation and energy efficiency. Heartwood also incorporates three renewable energy features – thermal solar panels, PV solar panels and a heat pump using groundbreaking Solar Ice Tank technology by Viessmann. Viessmann’s Heating with Ice technology uses ambient heat and solar thermic energy. This heat pump technology recovers heat from renewable sources only, such as the sun, air and ground, to heat, cool and provide hot water for the building – a system that makes Vic and Teresa’s home the first of its kind in Scotland. While drawing energy from ice to heat or cool a house is a new concept, over the past four years, Stommel Haus has installed many such systems in its eco houses in Germany. The ice storage system, which consists of an underground water tank, in combination with solar air absorbers, supplies energy to the heat pump that in turn generates hot water for taps and baths as well underfloor heating on all floors of the house, and also cools the home in summer months.


Sustainable Living

Left: Vic and Teresa will now enjoy a warm house regardless of the weather and a comfortable ambient temperature with minimal running costs Right: The energy used to provide the heat slowly turns the water in the underground tank to ice Below right: Viessmann’s Heating with Ice technology uses ambient heat and solar thermic energy

The heat pump extracts energy from the water stored in the ice storage tank. The energy used to provide the heat slowly turns the water in the underground tank to ice. Freezing is an exothermic process so, as liquid water changes to solid ice, crystallisation energy, known as latent heat, is released. This latent heat is retained in the ice store system and releases additional usable heat – hence the term ‘ice store’. A heat source management system integrated in the heat pump draws energy from either the ice store or solar air absorbers on the roof. The ice store also draws energy from the surrounding ground to regenerate heat. In summer, Heartwood’s ice store can be used to provide natural cooling and at the end of the


heating season, the water in the store is turned to ice. The ambient summer heat around the store, the solar thermal energy and the heat that is drawn from the system via an extraction heat exchanger melt the ice in the ice store and cool the heating circuit of the house. Vic and Teresa will now enjoy a warm house regardless of the weather and a comfortable ambient temperature with minimal running costs. In addition to the heat pump function, utilising energy from the sun, ground and ice, photovoltaic panels on Heartwood’s southfacing roof will generate more electricity than required by the house.

Home sweet home With 216m² living space, Heartwood features a double-height dining room from which you can see the vaulted timber ceiling with views over the beautiful rolling hills of Deeside. “Our home has an open-plan living space, incorporating the kitchen – supplied and installed by a local company, Drumoak Kitchens – dining room and living room on the ground floor. This space is overlooked by a gallery on the first floor, which has a balcony looking out to the picturesque hills and River Dee,” explains Vic.

Sustainable Living

the house and a patio at the rear. Whilst the garden will feature a pond and fountain with meadow grass winding its way around the silver birch trees.” When asked if he would consider taking on a self-build project again, Vic commented: “Maybe in another 30 years we would consider another self-build project! My advice is ‘patience and persistence’ – it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. I would also highly recommend Stommel Haus, they will not disappoint and their UK agent will be with you all the way.”

An award-winning design Heartwood has not only impressed Vic and Teresa through its energy efficiency and timber frame design, it has also been crowned as a winner by a campaign run by structural defects insurance specialist, CRL. CRL’s Venturous Builds campaign is an inspiring new web series that is showcasing Britain’s inspiring self-builders and their construction achievements.

“It has three bedrooms, one of which is a multipurpose room which doubles up as an office and small gym. There are also three bathrooms, one of which has a sauna and the other a wetroom, alongside a utility room and a larder.” Heartwood nestles in perfectly with the surrounding woodland and neighbouring houses. “Our new home is going to meet all of our hopes and expectations,” comments Vic. “We still have the groundworks to be completed and we have also planned for a sustainable lock-block drive, stone paving around


Sustainable Living

Commenting on Heartwood’s achievement, Vic said: “It was always our dream to build a timber home that was highly energy-efficient and we look forward to moving into our new home. Thank you to CRL for recognising how unique and energy-efficient Heartwood is.” Barbara Fischer-Clark, Vic and Teresa’s UK Agent for Stommel Haus, commented: “Heartwood is a fantastic bespoke home and we are delighted to be named as one of the Venturous Build winners. What sets this property apart is the owners’ eco-commitment. Vic and Teresa have used ground-breaking technology to ensure it achieves the highest in energy efficiency, while working with a German partner to deliver the home of their dreams.”

www.stommel-haus.co.uk www.viessmann.co.uk www.c-r-l.com


Top: Heartwood’s planning application was obtained after three and a half months and the building warrant was obtained after a further three and a half months, inclusive of preparation Above: Vic and Teresa's Heartwood home has been crowned as one of the winners of CRL's Venturous Builds campaign Left: The stunning threebedroom home is insulated using recycled newspaper and recycled glass whilst the interior features untreated wood, providing high levels of insulation and energy efficiency

FREEHOLD SERVICED PLOTS STARTING FROM £125,000. A small development of plots giving the opportunity to self-build your own home on the edge of the popular village of Langtree, North Devon. With planning permission for 4 bedroom detached houses with good size gardens. Contact Webbers today for more details on

01805 624334 or torrington@webbers.co.uk

Get in v

olved If yo produ u have a p : c ro i-buil t that you’d ject or a d, we li k e ’d love to see you! S in to im emily ply email hear from our e @mixe d or ad dmediainfo itor at du .c PR m s to your om ailing list.

Search ‘ibuildmagazine’

Subscribe free

to receive your invaluable self-build resource Featuring diverse and inspirational projects alongside the latest news, events and products, i-build is the comprehensive guide for planning, designing, building and decorating individual homes.


i-build www.i-buildmagazine.com

i-build i-nterior i-scape



How to claim your VAT refund A VAT refund scheme allows DIY house-builders and people converting non-residential buildings into dwellings to reclaim VAT incurred on construction or conversion costs. This scheme is only available when the building will be used for a nonbusiness purpose. Here, Constable VAT Consultancy offers its advice on claiming back your VAT.


lthough builders’ services in connection with the construction of a new dwelling are likely to be zero-rated, VAT will be incurred on any materials purchased directly by the owner. Where a non-residential building is converted into a dwelling, zero-rating is unlikely to be available and construction costs may carry VAT at 5%. Under the DIY scheme, HMRC must refund VAT chargeable on the supply, acquisition or importation of any building materials used in connection with qualifying construction or conversion work. It should be noted that where VAT is charged incorrectly, such as VAT charged at 20% on constructing a new dwelling, this will not be recoverable. The scheme can be used to reclaim VAT on eligible goods used to construct a new qualifying dwelling, communal residential building or charity building and eligible goods and services used to convert a non-residential building into a qualifying dwelling or communal residential building. The claim should be submitted to HMRC on the appropriate form, VAT431NB (for new-builds) and VAT431C (for conversions). The forms are available on HMRC’s website – www.gov.uk – and include useful guidance.


Above: A VAT refund scheme allows DIY house-builders and people converting non-residential buildings into dwellings to reclaim VAT incurred on construction or conversion costs Right: It is beneficial to seek professional assistance where there is doubt over the validity of all or part of the claim

Common obstacles to a claim are that the property in question does not meet the definition of a ‘new’ build (where any part of an existing building is being retained) or the property is not a ‘dwelling’ because a covenant or similar restriction exists in relation to its separate use or disposal or the work was not covered by the correct planning consent. Where the property is a conversion from a non-residential building, it must not have been used for non-residential purposes in the 10 years prior to the conversion. This is straightforward when a property has never been used for residential purposes, but if a property only qualifies as non-residential because it has not been used as a dwelling in the previous 10 years, this can be difficult to prove and it is important to begin gathering evidence at an early stage. Cases are regularly heard by the VAT Tribunal in respect of DIY claims and it is important to consider HMRC’s guidance carefully before making a claim. A claim can only be made for VAT on services relating to construction of the building or goods incorporated into the building. Common errors in claims include claiming VAT on: professional fees, hire of equipment, tools and cleaning materials, fitted furniture, such as wardrobes, and VAT charged incorrectly by contractors. Claims must be submitted within a strict time limit of three months from the date of completion of the build. Only a single claim can be made for each project. This deadline is difficult to meet when combined with the other challenges a self-build or conversion offers. HMRC can impose penalties where an invalid claim is submitted or items are claimed in error. It is beneficial to seek professional assistance where there is doubt over the validity of all or part of the claim.




The Stainless Steel Handrail Component System

We are CANAL Architectural www.canal.eu.com






Handrail & Flooring catalogue out now offering the largest range of handrail components in the UK

Request a copy today 01708 25 35 45




Follow ibuild on twitter & facebook • • • • •

receive live updates chat with the team comment on articles debate online get networking!


+44 (0) 115 986 6321 | canal@canalengineering.co.uk Staircases ~ Balustrades ~ Handrails Balconies ~ Canopies ~ Architectural Metalwork British engineered bespoke products for residential properties.


Installed in the UK & Abroad. Call us to discuss your lastest project and our staircase finance options



Water Management

Unravelling open loop water systems Water source heat pump systems are becoming increasingly popular, but one lesser-known water source application is open loop systems. Open loop collectors take the form of two separate straight pipe collectors. These designs abstract and filter the water through the heat pump. This water is then discharged either back to the water source or another discharge area.


ne self-builder, Mr Scott, was determined that his new detached three-bed timber frame home in St Austell, Cornwall, would utilise renewable technology to benefit from the reduced running costs and income available through the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). After researching ground source heat pumps, Mr Scott discovered Kensa Heat Pumps, which happened to be based just a few miles down the road from his project. Mr Scott was aware that ground source heat pumps can extract heat from water sources as well as the ground and, as he had a 3ft wide, 6in deep stream on his land, he approached Kensa to see if this could act as his free heat source. Mr Scott says: “As the homeowner, designer and project manager, I knew what I wanted to achieve. I researched on the internet and found the Kensa information very helpful, and we like to support local businesses whenever possible. “Heat pump systems can be a bit daunting at first, but I found an installer with the required experience and willing to work with me on the design to meet our needs, and Kensa helped by providing any information requested.” Mr Scott’s installer, Ecodragon South West, utilised Kensa’s MCS Umbrella service to deliver an RHI eligible scheme that makes use of the stream

water as the primary source of heat for his Kensa ground source heat pump. Using an open loop design, the stream is partially diverted into a well, where the liquid is then passed through a plate heat exchanger, which extracts the heat from the water and feeds this heat into the ground source heat pump, with the cold stream water then discharged back into the stream. Kensa’s Technical Sales Support and Commissioning Engineer, Darren Veal, provides specialist insight into the technical steps taken to use a slow flowing stream as a heat source for a Kensa heat pump: “A simple measurement of flow was taken from the stream which proved to be enough to deliver the required heat load of the proposed new-build property. “At 2ft away from the stream, a chamber was constructed from two concrete rings which were sunk to approximately 3ft below the stream water level. This created a well to which a flow of water from the stream could be diverted into. The well cover was at the elevated bank level making the chamber an overall depth of approximately 2m. “The flow from the stream was diverted into the well by creating a small concrete channel running at approximately 45º to the riverbank and facing upstream. At the stream end, fins were fitted to the opening to limit any debris entering

Above: With minimal space in the boiler room, the buffer tank was located on a unistrut frame above the heat pump Left: Kiln Cottage is Mr Scott’s new detached three-bed timber frame home in St Austell, Cornwall


the chamber of water. A return flow pipe was fitted to the well on the downstream side to allow the stream water to continue back into the stream and carry on its natural course.” Darren continues: “As the new-build was progressing, two 32mm flexible pipes were taken from the well into the existing garage, along with a small duct for a cable. Two more pipes and cable duct were then taken back in to the main house where the heat pump was to be located. “The house was eventually built, and the Kensa 6kW Single Compact ground source heat pump arrived on site. In the garage, a plate heat exchanger was fitted to the two pipes in from the well and the two back out to the heat pump. A small submersible pump was fitted in the well and located approximately 1ft from the bottom to make sure no sand or silt would be sucked into the heat exchanger. “The heat pump was fitted and the pipe work between the heat pump and plate heat exchanger was filled and tested with water and antifreeze. The heating system and hot water cylinder was installed and ready to go. “The unit was switched on and a call for heat was activated. The ground and submersible pumps came on together and the compressor followed. The system has been working successfully for a year now and the end user is extremely satisfied. Once every six months, the end user blocks the flow into the concrete channel, lifts the lid on the well and drops in a small submersible drainage pump capable of removing any silt that may have settled in the bottom of the well, this usually runs for 10 minutes, following which, the well can be inspected and cleaned if required. Also the plate heat exchanger can be reverse flushed with clean water by disconnecting the well pump and connecting a garden hose to a valve on the heat exchanger outlet.”


Glass Glass Glass Glass Glass Excellence Excellence Excellence Excellence Excellence

www.firmanglass.com www.firmanglass.com www.firmanglass.com www.firmanglass.com www.firmanglass.com www.firmanglass.com www.firmanglass.com www.firmanglass.com www.firmanglass.com

Shopspec_glazingexcellence_PRINT:Layout 1 Shopspec_glazingexcellence_PRINT:Layout 1



Page 1



Page 1

Established in 1975 Firman Glass is one of the Established 1975glass Firman Glassisisone one leading independent processors in the Established inin1975 Firman Glass ofofthe themanufacturing leading independent processors UK, toughened glass, laminated leading independent glass glass processors in the in the UK, manufacturing toughened glass, glass and specialist sealed UK, manufacturing glass, laminated Established in 1975toughened Firmanunits. Glass is one of the laminated glass and specialist sealed units. Established in 1975 Firman Glass is one of the glass and specialist sealed units. leading independent glass processors in the Based in Harold Wood Essex within 5 minutes leading independent glass processors in the UK, manufacturing toughened glass, laminated ofBased junction 28 of the M25Essex and half an 5hour from Based Harold Wood Essex within 5 minutes minutes ininHarold Wood within UK, manufacturing toughened glass, laminated glass and specialist sealed units. Central London we are ideally situated to of junction 28 of the M25 and half an hour of junction 28 of the M25 and half an hour from from glass and specialist sealed service our ever growing andunits. diverse Central London weare are ideally situated to service Central London we ideally situated to Based in Harold Wood Essex within 5customer minutes our ever growing and diverse customer base. base. Based inour Harold Wood Essex within minutes service ever growing and customer of junction 28 of the M25 and diverse half an5hour from of junction 28 of the M25 and half an hour base. Central London we are of ideally situated to from Manufacturing Manufacturingallallforms forms ofprocessed processed toughened Central London we are ideally situatedcustomer to service our ever diverse toughened with comprehensive stocks of Manufacturing allgrowing forms ofand processed glass, withglass, comprehensive stocks of clear float, service our ever growing and diverse customer base. mirrors, clear float,satin, low iron, satin, body tinted, toughened glass, with comprehensive stocks of low iron, body tinted, mirrors, laminated base. laminated glass, acoustic andmirrors, fire glass, acoustic laminated and fire rated glass. clear float, low all iron, satin, body tinted, Manufacturing forms oflaminated processed rated glass.glass, Manufacturing allacoustic forms oflaminated processedand laminated fire of toughened glass, with comprehensive stocks With some glass, of the with mostcomprehensive advanced capabilities in toughened stocks rated glass. mirrors, clear float, low iron, satin, body tinted, With some of the most capabilitieshigh inof place Firman Glass is advanced able to manufacture mirrors, clear float,glass, low iron,issatin, body tinted, laminated laminated and fire place Firman to manufacture highin With some ofGlass theacoustic most advanced capabilities quality products for allable markets sectors including laminated glass, acoustic laminated and fire rated glass. quality products for allleisure sectors including place Firman Glass ismarkets able and to manufacture high architectural, retail, domestic. rated glass. retail, leisure and domestic. architectural, quality products all markets sectors including With some of thefor most advanced capabilities in With some of the most advanced capabilities in architectural, domestic. high place Firman retail, Glass leisure is able and to manufacture place Firman Glass is able to manufacture high quality products for all markets sectors including Products quality products for all markets sectors including architectural, retail, leisure and domestic. •Products Toughened glass • Specialist insulating glass units architectural, domestic. •• Processing •• Anti–slip glass Toughened glass retail, leisure and Specialist insulating glass units

•• CNC shaping •• Fire rated glass glass Processing Anti–slip ••Products Laminated glass • UV bonding CNC shaping • Fire rated glass Toughenedand glass Specialist insulating glass units ••Products laminated ••• FIRMALITE • Toughened Laminated glass UV bondingelectric switchable glass Processing glass • Heated Anti–slip glass •• constructions Toughened Specialist insulating glass unitsglass • glass Toughened and laminated • FIRMALITE electric switchable CNC shaping •• EVA and Vanceva coloured interlays •• Decorative Fire ratedglass glass Processing Anti–slip glass constructions • Heated glass Laminated glass coloured ••• Fabric andVanceva decorative interlays UV bonding CNC shaping Fire rated glass EVA and interlays ••• Sandblasting Decorative glass TM electric switchable glass Toughened and laminated ••• Saflex DG41 structural interlay • FIRMALITE Laminated glass UV bonding back painted glass • Colorfirm Fabric and decorative interlays • Sandblasting constructions • Heated glass Toughened laminated FIRMALITE electric switchable •• Saflex DG41and structural interlay Applications painted glass glass ColorfirmTM back • EVA and Vanceva coloured interlays •• Decorative constructions glass Heated glass ••Applications Structural glazing • Staircases • Decoration Fabric and decorative interlays coloured interlays • Sandblasting EVA and Vanceva Decorative glass •• Glass floors • Treads and stringers •• Wall cladding TM Structural Staircases Decoration Saflex DG41 structuralinterlays interlay Fabric andglazing decorative back painted glass •• Colorfirm Sandblasting • Partitions • Shower screens • Splashbacks Glass floors • Colorfirm Treads and • Wall cladding TM stringers • Saflex DG41 structural interlay back painted glass •Applications lights ••• Shelving •• Privacy • Roof Partitions Shower screens Splashbacks • Balustrades Structural glazing Staircases Decoration •Applications •• doors ••• Technical • Roof lights • Glass Shelving Privacy Support Glass floors • Acoustic Treads and stringers • Nationwide Wall cladding Structural glazing Staircases Decoration ••• Full height barriers • reduction • Coverage Balustrades • Glass doors • Technical Support Partitions Shower screens Splashbacks Glass floors • Treads and stringers • Wall cladding ••• Canopies • Fire rated Full height barriers • Acoustic reduction • Nationwide Coverage Roof lights Shelvingscreens • Privacy •• Partitions • Shower Splashbacks Canopies • Fire rated Further information is available from • Balustrades • Glass doors our sales and technical • Technical Support or visit www.firmanglass.com Roof lights Shelving Privacy offices Full heightinformation barriers Acoustic reduction • Nationwide Coverage •Further Balustrades • Glass doors Technical Support is available from our sales and technical Firman Glass,19 Bates Road, Harold Wood, Romford, Essex •RM3 OJHoffices or visit www.firmanglass.com Canopies Fire rated • Full height barriers • Acoustic reduction Nationwide Coverage Glass,19 Wood, Romford, Essex RM3 OJH Tel: 01708 374534Bates Fax:Road, 01708•Harold 340511 Email: sales@firmanglass.com •Firman Canopies Fire rated

Further information is available from our sales and technical offices or visit www.firmanglass.com Tel: 01708 374534 Fax: 340511 sales@firmanglass.com Further information is 01708 available fromEmail: our sales and technical offices or visit www.firmanglass.com Firman Glass,19 Bates Road, Harold Wood, Romford, Essex RM3 OJH Firman Glass,19 Bates Wood, Romford, Essex RM3 OJH Tel: 01708 374534 Fax:Road, 01708Harold 340511 Email: sales@firmanglass.com Tel: 01708 374534 Fax: 01708 340511 Email: sales@firmanglass.com

www.firmanglass.com www.firmanglass.com www.firmanglass.com www.firmanglass.com


Floors, Walls & Ceilings

Suitable flooring for underfloor heating This article guides you through the suitability of different floor materials whether it is wood, vinyl, tiles or carpet for underfloor heating and their impact on the heat-up time and heat output of the system.


commonly asked question is whether underfloor heating can be used only with a certain type of floor finish. Underfloor heating is suitable for almost every type of a floorcovering. The main difference with the different floor materials

is how well they transfer heat from the floor to the floor surface (thermal conductivity). Good thermal conductivity of a material means that it allows the underfloor heating system to heat up quicker, gives more heat output and is more cost-efficient to run. However, there are

efficient heating systems for use with almost any floor material. You just need to choose the right underfloor heating for the flooring of your dreams.

Wood flooring Wood flooring is suitable for use with the system, but as different types of wood have different thermal mass and conductivity, attention should be paid to the thickness and density of the material. The changing floor temperature can also affect some wood flooring so you should always check with the manufacturer about the suitability of underfloor heating with wood flooring. Engineered timber is considered the best wood flooring for use with underfloor heating as it does not change appearance when used with the system. As with carpet, laminate and vinyl, wood floor temperature must not exceed 27°C. This means that there is a certain maximum heat output that is possible to achieve with underfloor heating for wood floors.

Laminate Laminate is an increasingly popular solution for flooring, and many people find that laying it helps to keep the room looking fresh while also allowing for an easy-to-clean solution. Most laminates are great for underfloor heating, but just to make sure, it is always advisable to ask the retailer for advice. Laminate is subject to a 27°C maximum floor


Bottom left: Laminate is an increasingly popular solution for flooring Left: Wood floor temperature must not exceed 27°C

Floors, Walls & Ceilings

Opposite: The insulating element of carpet could prevent underfloor heating from transferring the heat efficiently to the floor surface

Below left: The best suited flooring materials you can use for underfloor heating are tile and stone

floor. The heat will build quickly and minimise heat loss. Some stone floors usually allow for 29°C of heat or more giving a high heat output of up to 200W/m². The thickness of the stone or tile is not recommended to be more than 20mm. This will allow for excellent heat conduction and retention.

Underfloor heating heat-up time

temperature and, as with carpet flooring, this means a certain maximum heat output which needs to be taken into account when choosing a system.

Carpet People still prefer carpet for a number of reasons. In the winter, it works as an insulator, and that could be a problem too when considering carpet for underfloor heating. The insulating element of carpet could prevent underfloor heating from transferring the heat efficiently to the floor surface, affecting the heat output of the system. Therefore, attention has to be paid to the overall tog rating of the flooring materials that should not exceed 2.5 tog. In other words, the total tog of the flooring coverings must not exceed this for the system to provide enough heat output. This includes any underlays and anything over the heater. Carpet is also subject to a top temperature restriction of 27°C. Moreover, it is advisable to compare the heat loss figure of a room to the maximum heat output before purchasing a system. The underfloor heating heat output must be higher than the heat loss in order for the system to provide enough heat.

Vinyl flooring Making a comeback in recent years, this material is well-suited for use with underfloor heating. Vinyl heats up and cools down quickly. However since vinyl is subject to a 27°C maximum floor temperature, this means that the heat output has a certain maximum although it also means that the system chosen with the vinyl flooring runs cost-efficiently.

Tile and stone The best suited flooring materials you can use for underfloor heating are tile and stone. These coverings are best at conducting heat and can therefore offer maximum value. Tile and stone are also great at retaining heat. To try this out, just walk across any stone floor that has had the sun on it. The resulting warmth is long-lasting. This, and a faster heat up time, is what makes tile and stone the best choices when considering underfloor heating. The high-quality heat output means that if you have a place that happens to be high in heat loss, like a conservatory, tile or stone would be the best options to lay as a

Your choice of flooring impacts the heat-up time depending on the material’s thermal properties. Materials with low thermal mass heat up quicker than materials with higher thermal mass. The heatup time and responsiveness of underfloor heating under any flooring material can be significantly improved by installing sufficient floor insulation, such as insulated underlay.

Underfloor heating heat output The heat output of underfloor heating must be higher than the heat loss figure of the room in order for the system to create enough heat. The maximum heat output of the system is directly linked to the floor temperature so your choice of flooring dictates the maximum floor temperature and the maximum heat output possible. In addition to the choice of flooring and the maximum floor temperature, air temperature also affects the heat output. As the comfort temperature is usually set at 21°C, and if the maximum floor temperature of your chosen floor finish does not provide enough heat output, you can change the flooring to a material that can be heated to a higher temperature, increasing the heat output. If you prefer not to change the flooring you have chosen, you may need to consider adding supplementary heating to get a heating system that provides enough heat.




Image © Chris Snook

Renovation habits for the home With the largest residential database in the world and a vibrant community empowered by technology, Houzz is leading the way as a platform for home renovation and design. Here, it reveals the findings from its latest renovation report.


rom decorating a small bedroom to building a custom home and everything in between, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. Houzz’s annual publication of its Houzz & Home 2016 report – the most comprehensive of its kind – provides key insight into residential renovation, building and decorating activity. The latest report covers a wide range of renovation projects undertaken in 2015, from interior renovations and extensions to home systems, exterior upgrades and outdoor projects. Data gathered includes historical and planned spends, professional involvement, motivations and challenges behind building, renovation and decorating projects.


Interestingly, the 2016 report found that millennial homeowners in the UK are very active home upgraders, with more than half of those on Houzz aged between 25-34 renovating their home in 2015 – a figure that falls in line with older homeowners (57% of millennials, 57% of those aged 35-54 and 57% of 55+). However, it is on the decorating front where millennial Houzzers are the most active, taking a lead over other generations. For those millennials who are improving and not moving, financial considerations are top of mind. 39% cite a better return on investment as the second top reason for renovating versus buying, followed by affordability (35%). More than anything, however, millennials want a personalised home that fits their vision for what a home should be (41%).

Overall, nearly two in five of renovating UK homeowners were improving instead of moving due to their desire to stay in their current home (38%). Almost one-third chose the renovation route in order to remain in their current neighbourhood (30%). Surprisingly, financial considerations trail somewhat behind the line of reasoning, with renovation seen as a return on investment by only 27% and the more affordable option by 29%. Widely considered the heart of the home, kitchen renovations were a high priority for UK homeowners on Houzz – 28% of Houzz users upgraded their kitchens in 2015. The most commonly cited reason for wanting a kitchen makeover was to update an outdated or undesirable design (44%). Wall colour or texture was the most popular feature to replace (80%), or improve, followed by worktops (79%). It was also clear that homeowners wish for their kitchens to be bigger, as 45% reported that they increased the size of their space. Clearly, size does matter for UK homeowners on Houzz.

KBB Image © Amelia Hallsworth Photography

Undertaking a kitchen project is a real commitment, with the average kitchen being completed after 5.8 months. And budgets can be significant, too. When it came to major renovation on larger kitchens, where at least all the cabinets and appliances were replaced, UK homeowners spent an average of £16,880, and major renovation on smaller kitchens came in at £10,420. Overall, nearly one-third of renovating homeowners take on a renovation project without setting a budget (29%), and nearly the same share exceed their established budget (32%). Millennials were the group who most commonly overspent (37% vs. 33% for those aged 35-54 and 27% for those aged 55+). The top budget buster for all age categories was the decision to opt for more upscale products and materials (48%), ahead of the project being more complex than expected (38%). Products and services being more costly than anticipated (37%) were also a common culprit. UK homeowners on Houzz spent £42,700 on average on home improvements in 2015, with homeowners aged 55 and over spending significantly more on home renovations than millennial homeowners (£40,000 vs. £28,500, respectively). With such considerable budgets and scopes, it is little surprise that so many homeowners decide to enlist a professional for their projects, rather than going at it alone. In fact, more than nine in 10 homeowners renovate their homes with professional help (92%). The most popular trades are builders (31%), kitchen designers and fitters (24%) and architects (22%). The most soughtafter tradesmen are electricians (66%), plumbers (59%) and carpenters (45%). It seems that when homeowners are finally investing in a home improvement project, they want to get it right.


Image © Chris Snook

Above left: Kitchen renovations were a high priority for UK homeowners on Houzz Top: The most commonly cited reason for wanting a kitchen makeover was to update an outdated or undesirable design Above: Undertaking a kitchen project is a real commitment, with the average kitchen being completed after 5.8 months Right: Nearly one-third of renovating homeowners take on a renovation project without setting a budget

Image © Chris Snook


Show Preview

Ecobuild in preview Ecobuild returns in March with an overarching theme of regeneration, which will be brought to life through an immersive exhibition and conference programme that will redefine sustainability, identify future growth sectors and tackle the housing crisis.


he leading show for built environment professionals, Ecobuild 2017 will see ExCeL London transformed into a ‘city’ – complete with a main street, distinct destinations and special feature attractions. Central to the experience will be Regeneration Drive, a boulevard running through the centre of the exhibition floor, linking different aspects of the show and enabling visitors to experience the very best examples of innovation and creativity from across the built environment. The show’s sustainability hub, City Hall, will see sessions hosted by the UK-GBC and World Green Building Council. Architectural collective, Assemble, will present its Turner award-winning Granby Workshop project at the Campus, the show’s destination for innovative thinking and the latest technology, also home to the BRE Academy, for bite-sized CPD courses and learning. In response to the increased Government and industry focus on off-site construction, Ecobuild has partnered with Explore Offsite to bring a significant showcase of the exciting opportunities offered by off-site technology in the future of construction, with the industry’s leading suppliers and a series of daily masterclasses.


Another new partnership sees Ecobuild and UK District Energy Association creating a new and exciting area: the ukDEA District Energy Town Square, host to leading British suppliers and also international pavilions from Sweden and Denmark, two of the most mature district energy markets in the world. The ukDEA District Energy Town Square will be located adjacent to Ecobuild’s Performance Lab feature, with building performance and energy content produced in partnership with CIBSE. The Arena will be home to the Ecobuild Conference with headline guest speakers staging a programme of keynote speeches from industry thought-leaders and innovators across the three days. Day one of the conference will focus on futureproofing building and construction. Further key topics will include large-scale regeneration of council estates, building homes for social rent and ensuring the industry delivers sustainable homes people can afford. Professor Tim Broyd, President, Institute of Civil Engineers, will be joined by Adam Cooper of the National Infrastructure Commission and Professor Denise Bower, Executive Director at the Major Projects Association, to debate the UK’s infrastructure priorities.

Above: Ecobuild 2017 will see ExCeL London transformed into a ‘city’ – complete with a main street

The second day will see industry leaders debate solutions to the housing crisis, featuring a panel including Jules Pipe, Deputy Mayor, Planning Regeneration and Skills, Greater London Authority and other sector experts. Topics will range from improving energy efficiency in non-domestic buildings to meeting the new zero-carbon homes standard as part of the ‘Low Carbon London’ initiative. Amongst other topics, day three topics include the possible legislation binding developers in an agreement to consider the wellbeing of future generations when planning. Reiterating the importance of effective building operation, speakers will discuss managing down energy consumption and using BIM for facilities management. With such a wide variety of exhibitors and partners, this year’s show will provide the industry with the perfect platform to collaborate and address the key issues of sustainability and its role in shaping regeneration.


PlotSearch Zone: tips on searching for plots, access to PlotSearch, the UK’s premier live online database, plus a gallery of current available plots in the North West.

Show Preview

Left: The exhibition aims to provide a stress-free route to creating an individual home with the opportunity to meet self-build experts

Self Build Academy: attend free taster sessions from the Self Build Academy delivered by Potton – providing essential knowledge for all self-builders.

Tool Zone: fancy doing some of the work yourself? Identify the right tools for your project. Buy power and hand tools from major brands, see live demos and benefit from great show prices.

Final Fix Gallery: from kitchens and

Build It Live returns at EventCity, Manchester


Infinity Smart Homes Zone: immerse

Below are some of the inspiring exhibition features this year:

yourself in a fully working smart home environment. Visit this special automation lounge, run by Infinity, and experience an interactive smart home installation. See the benefits of an automated home – from zoned heating and lighting, automated shading, appliance control, access and security, plus home cinemas. Experts will be on hand to offer guidance in a special Smart Homes Advice Clinic.

The Naked House: see a section of a

3D Home Design Demos: visit the

new-build as it comes together after first fix – a fascinating insight into how things are installed, from ICF blockwork and underfloor heating to the roof trusses and floor joists.

Build It 3D Home Designer stand for a free, 20-minute demonstration of how to visualise your self-build project in 3D. Sessions run on the hour between 11am and 4pm each day.

Find a Builder: talk to the Federation of Master

To see the current list of exhibitors and to purchase two-for-one special tickets visit http://builditlive.co.uk/tibuild17.

Discover all you need to know about building your own dream home with a visit to Build It Live. his year, Build It Live will take place on 18 and 19th February at EventCity, Manchester. The exhibition aims to provide a stress-free route to creating an individual home with the opportunity to meet self-build experts who can provide invaluable advice and top tips for your project. At this year’s show, you can discover thousands of cutting-edge and traditional products and meet some of the UK’s most innovative suppliers. There are around 30 informative, free seminars and workshops developed to address specific problems and give practical advice for taking on a renovation or building project. Companies exhibiting at Build It Live North West include Potton, which offers stylish self-build homes, Oakwrights, with its bespoke oak-framed houses, and Northcot Brick, an award-winning master brickmaker. There are numerous quality windows and doors suppliers including award-winning Black Millwork. Plus visitors can find a multitude of other self-build products, including the latest heat recovery ventilation and central vacuum systems from Rega Ventilation and underfloor heating from Nu-Heat amongst others.

bathrooms to designer radiators and interiors, source some great finishing touches to your dream home in the Final Fix Gallery.

Builders, which can guide you through the process of finding the right builder for your project, and access its database of trusted builders in your area.


Self Builders’ Real Life Stories: gain inspiration and confidence from self-builders who have realised their self-build dreams. Hear their stories first-hand in the workshop theatre.

Eco-Friendly Building Techniques: hear how to build a sustainable home and gain one-to-one advice on a range of issues including renewable energy and environmentally-friendly building techniques. See live demos and learn new skills from the Centre for Alternative Technology.


Timber Frame

Left: With the current housing shortage in the UK, the speed of construction means that the Government has recognised timber frame as a viable solution to help it meet targets Below left: Many projects require certified timber panels, so it’s essential to check that the quality purchased matches the building material's specification outlined

The rise of timber frame construction Here Mark Dando, Specialist Rep for Timber and Timber Panel Products at Ridgeons Merchants, discusses the rise in popularity and benefits of timber frame construction.


here is no one system of construction that fits all projects as each is unique. However, we have definitely seen an increase in timber frame projects within the last 18 months for both stick-built homes and prefabricated frames. We are finding that more and more people are aware of the advantages that high-quality timber frame homes and commercial buildings can provide. Within recent years, it’s fair to say that there has been a positive shift in the perception of using timber frame, especially for housing projects. In the past, there seemed to be a view that timber frame homes were more difficult to insure. However, the Association of British

Insurers has publically stated that “companies generally draw no distinction between modern timber frame and brick and block construction”. Timber frame construction presents many benefits for both house-builders and homeowners. With the current housing shortage in the UK, the speed of construction means that the Government has recognised timber frame as a viable solution to help it meet targets set in relation to building new homes. On average, a traditional build could take up to a few months; comparable with a timber frame which could be finalised within four weeks. Unlike other construction methods, erecting a timber frame is not dependent on weather. This allows the

whole build process to be completed quicker and the introduction of other trades, such as electricians, to happen earlier. It also presents house-builders with the opportunity to increase turnover due to the faster build programme. As timber is a natural insulator, thermal efficiency is another key benefit of this construction method. The amount of heat loss as a result of air leaking out of the building envelope is significantly reduced. Therefore, homeowners can enjoy reduced energy bills, as less heat is required to heat the building. Timber is undoubtedly one of the most sustainable building materials. The process of producing timber is also energy-efficient, as the majority of energy used in the production comes from wood residues. The increase in popularity of timber being selected as the material of choice could be attributed to the superior acoustic performance it provides. With durability and flexible detailing, timber has strong properties to ensure building owners have more control over sound throughout the property. Sound can be easily absorbed through timber, which disrupts soundwave energy, and therefore limits extravagant echoing. This feature has certainly led to some high-profile specifications for public buildings in recent years. Many projects require certified timber panels, so it’s essential to check that the quality purchased matches the building material’s specification outlined. With many merchants offering an ever-increasing range of certified products, house-builders should be able to efficiently source the correct building materials. At Ridgeons, every branch has been awarded Chain of Custody certification; which enables us to offer fully certified FSC and PEFC products, including softwoods, hardwoods, sheet materials and engineered wood products. With benefits for both house-builders and homeowners, it is clear to see why there has been an increase in timber frame being selected as the construction method of choice. What will be interesting is to see if the aggressive predicted growth figures are achieved within the market over the next few years.



Outstanding as standard

The only timber window and door manufacturer in the UK to build products with 115mm deep frames and 68mm thick doors and sashes Truly traditional, moulded sashes, doors and glazing bars with heritage appearance

Designed for double, triple and acoustic glazing options in same profiles

Whole product U values as low as 1.0 W/m2K

Totally British-made and hand-finished Manufactured with responsibly sourced, engineered AccoyaÂŽ or Larch

Fully certified PAS24 tested and Part Q compliant 10 year guarantee

Extremely weather resistant with double welded continuous gaskets

westburyjoinery.com 01245 326510 Visit our showrooms in London and Essex 41


Light up the sky With an abundance of skylight options available on the market, it may be proving difficult for some self-builders to select the correct one for their self-build. Here Steve Bromberg, General Manager at Express Bi-Folding Doors, offers his advice on selecting skylights and what designs are available.


Roof lanterns

Lean-to roofing

Designed to completely transform a flat roof, roof lanterns are a great option to not only fill a room otherwise lacking in natural light, but also to increase its apparent size with its raised ceiling height. Options include pyramids, polygons, domes, gable/hip-ended, among others.

Glazing options aren’t just limited to flat roofs. If you’re wanting to incorporate glazing into a pitched roof, then lean-to roofing could be the best option. Combined with bi-folding or sliding doors or brick wall returns to match the rest of the property, a lean-to roof becomes more of a glass extension and is increasingly popular among self-builds.

Flat roof skylights

The benefits

Architecturally-led flat roof skylights are perfect for existing flat roofs where natural light might be lacking. The modern aesthetic ensures a minimalistic finish with elegant lines for a timeless look – with flush designs becoming popular.

In the last few years, homeowners have been knocking down interior walls to create open livingdining rooms, perfect for families. Glazing above this space adds a ‘wow factor’ and creates the illusion of even more space. This will make your self-build more valuable to potential future owners.

Roof lanterns and skylights are notoriously simpler to install than a fully glazed structure or extension, providing a more cost-efficient and time-saving option to brighten a room. Advances in glazing technology mean that nowadays skylights and roof lanterns need not pose a thermal concern – solar control glass ensures a room will remain thermally efficient in both summer and winter.



Blinded by the light Once you have selected which skylight suits your self-build project, you may wish to consider blinds to accompany your design. Here Kirsty Martin, a spokesperson for Web-Blinds, comments on the fitting of skylight blinds. Despite what many may think, measuring and fitting your own skylight blind is surprisingly simple and straightforward. In fact, you probably won’t even need to measure anything at all! On most skylights, you’ll find a reference number, which you match to numerous blind companies’ numbers, such as the ones in our dropdown menus on our website, once you’ve chosen your desired fabric. When completing your order, the window type is the first three letters (e.g. GGL, GHL or GPL). The window size is the following figures (e.g. SO6, 606 or 4). Before installing your blind, ensure you have the essentials: your blind cassette, your two side channels and a minimum of four wood screws, all of which come with your blind. You’ll also need a screwdriver and a drill. Fitting is easy and full instructions can be found on our website.




HEALTHIER HOMES 84 million Europeans live in homes that are too damp, causing respiratory illnesses such as asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) according to new research from the German institute, Fraunhofer IBP.


n light of the findings, the VELUX Group is calling for healthier homes to be a central consideration for the new European framework for national building legislations, which will affect UK house-builders once implemented. The study reveals that close to 84 million Europeans live in damp or mouldy dwellings, which increases their risk of having respiratory diseases and life-long allergies by 40%. This proves the number of people living in unhealthy buildings remains an issue, despite recent awareness of the correlation between indoor environments and human health. According to Fraunhofer, dampness is one of the main defects in buildings across Europe, primarily caused by inadequate building structures and homeowners’ lack of attention to ventilate sufficiently. As a consequence, mould is likely to grow, however the risk of this can be reduced significantly by choosing the right building fabrics during renovations. Last April, the VELUX Group completed the RenovActive project in Belgium, a home renovation based on Active House principles focusing on the building’s architectural quality, human health, comfort and wellbeing, energy efficiency and environmental benefits. A key element in the modernisation is the prevention of indoor dampness and mould, which is ensured by a natural and continuous airflow in the house.



Glass & Stainless Limited offer a range of architectural glazing solutions to enhance the aesthetics of any building. Our systems include:

G-GLAS BESPOKE GLASS Available in a variety of different thicknesses and finishes from screen printed to curved.

G-CUVA CANOPY SYSTEMS & POINT FIXINGS High quality 316 grade components are used in either connecting rod or universal wall mounted system.

G-LINE SLIDING GLASS DOOR & PARTITIONING SYSTEMS To suit a wide range of applications from fixed and non-fixed panels and have the ability to mount to a wall, ceiling or glass.

G-RAIL ALUMINIUM AND STAINLESS STEEL RAILING SYSTEMS Premium quality modular balustrade systems designed to offer flexible solutions to everyday challenges.

G-CUBE GLASS SHOWER CUBICLE SYSTEMS Hinges, handles, knobs, channels and clamps.

G-FLOR BESPOKE GLASS FLOORS Made to measure bespoke glass floor individually tailored to suit your home, manufactured on a either a supply and install or supply only basis.

Request a copy of our 2017 brochure at glassandstainless.com

Get in touch:

0843 504 4545



Glass & Stainless Limited | Martins Court | West Street | Congleton | Cheshire | CW12 1LB


Ikon Collection

Playing with pattern Glasgow-based Natasha Marshall is a leading Textile Designer. Her design studio is best known for its contemporary graphic designs for fabrics and wallpapers, showcasing the best of British design and manufacturing. Here, she gives her top tips on selecting the right fabrics for your home. Q: Where should homeowners start when it comes to selecting fabrics? A: Create a mood board on Pinterest, make a mood-board or scrapbook of what styles, patterns and colours you like. Buy interior magazines to get inspiration. Look at interiors you think will suit your house, find out where these fabrics come from as a starting point. I feel that the interiors of the best homes are a combination of items which have been collected over the years with some new and contemporary pieces.

Q: How can homeowners narrow down their choice from the hundreds of options? A: Most fabric and wallpaper brands or interior shops have a style or what we call their handwriting. Once you have decided the style you like, this helps narrow down your choices.


Another great way to start is by colour or a piece of fabric or a painting you love and build your interior around this. This is the same when choosing an interior designer or architect. I would always say choose a designer who’s style you love.

Q: Which fabrics work best for curtains? A: I love natural fabrics with a mix of cotton and linen. You want to have a beautiful quality and drape for a curtain fabric. I think curtains and blinds should enhance a room and not take over so the space is timeless and can accommodate all your existing and new items as they are added. People are always amazed by how soft our geometric patterns look in their homes. The simple patterns work so well with their surrounding paintings and furniture so they really finish a room.

Alegre Collection

Q: Is it alright to mix patterns? A: I love mixing patterns together to create a beautiful, calm and peaceful environment you love living and entertaining in. When designing our collections, we always think how the patterns can be mixed in the interior through colour links, scale of patterns and shape. For instance, I also love the mix of patterned wallpaper with paintings still on the wall. Interiors are about the mix of old and new with layers of colour, pattern and textures for me.

Q: In your opinion, which combination of shades/prints work best together? A: I love a neutral palette of lots of whites and greys with pops of colour. I find this style of interior timeless and very restful to live in as well as still looking striking for entertaining in. You want an interior to look amazing by day and night. Our Flip design is a great example of this mix of colours.

Q: Where is it important not to make compromises? A: For curtains to look their best, I think they need to be


Look Book: Floral Fabrics If you’re choosing to have a fairly neutral scheme adorning your walls, why not inject a splash of colour with these luxurious floral fabrics. From dainty prints to bold designs, there’s a wealth of products on the market to suit everyone’s tastes and budget.

well-made and fitted onto a wave track. This will result in what I believe to be an elegant and timeless interior. I would not compromise on the fabric and would always select a beautiful printed natural linen and cotton mixed fabric. One of my favourite curtain fabrics is our Drift Sand which we originally launched in 1998 and it is still very much in demand today.

Q: Are there any colours or prints to avoid when furnishing small rooms? A: For me I would always keep a small room light and bright with simple geometric prints. I personally think our Plectrum, Zip, Drift and Link designs are the best for small rooms in the feather grey, angora and sand colours so they blend with the painted wall colour. Our one-colour prints are so soft in a room but still bring in individuality and interest to an interior.




Q: What are the most durable fabrics for households with pets or small children? A: I would only worry about the fabrics on the soft furnishings – I would use good quality textured wools. Bute fabrics, Tiree wool is my favourite and hides everything thrown at it if cleaned off quickly. Because it is woven with a boucle yarn, it is very textured so doesn't show up marks or pull in the same way a flat fabric does.


Q: When designing your house with your architect, what would be the key point you would say is important not to be missed? A: For me, at the design stage of your home you should be discussing the interior window treatments for each room with the architect so there can be allowances made. It amazes me how many people come to us with difficult shaped and sized windows in bedrooms that they have no way of covering with curtains or blinds. A bedroom has to have blackout so you get the best possible night’s sleep. You also need to be careful to consider how the windows open and any obstructions that could stop you being able to add blinds or curtains to your interior.

5 1. Dancing Tulips Green roman blinds, Blinds2go, www.blinds-2go.co.uk

2. Hermione Cushion, IN-SPACES, www.in-spaces.com

3. Saintmartha Berry Fabric, Boeme Design, www.boeme.co.uk

4. Vallila Tulppaani Curtain, Vallila, www.vallila.co.uk

5. Valmu Blue Green Fabric, Vallila, www.vallila.co.uk


6. Leaf Press in Indigo, Art of The Loom, www.artoftheloom.co.uk




Crafting your dream garden Malcolm Gough, Group Sales and Marketing Director at Natural Paving Products (UK), explains how to make the most of your outdoor space.


ard landscaping remains a popular aspirational development for many homeowners and the good news is that there’s a vast range of products with differing textures, colours and finishes available. This handy guide will explore how to get the choice right outdoors and how different materials form different aesthetics. Here at Natural Paving Products, we have natural stone options to suit any project. Whether it’s creating a modern look with our Premiastone collection, adding a touch of heritage with our Cragstone range or sticking to the timeless with our Classicstone selection. Across these three paving collections alone are 33 different flagstones, giving builders and self-builders alike endless possibilities in crafting their dream garden.

If you’re looking to bring an indoor look outside, porcelain is a fantastic choice. Always choose a flagstone that is 100% porcelain, like Natural Paving Product’s Vitripiazza range. Some suppliers offer ceramic flagstones with a porcelain top layer, which adversely affects performance and should be avoided. If a more traditionally-styled environment is preferred, opting for clay is always a smart choice. Our Baksteen Clay Pavers are an extremely versatile option, which can complement any project, from peaceful pathways to vibrant gardens. What’s more, self-builders can use different sets of Baksteen Clay Pavers to design unique patterns and create some very personalised spaces.


RAISING THE BAR Toby Stuart-Jervis, Commercial Director for Bradstone, reveals its Next Generation Concrete for garden patios. The continued interest in high-end, contemporary design outdoors means the bar is constantly being raised on what is expected from paving products. These days, whatever look can be achieved indoors, homeowners are looking for externally too. With the cost of paving itself relatively low, in comparison to the overall cost of a garden landscaping job, more and more consumers are investing in premium paving that will continue to look good and stand the test of time. This means qualities like colour longevity, stain resistance and finish are becoming increasingly important for the homeowner. Bradstone’s new ‘Next Generation Concrete’ range allows beautiful, unique designs to translate to paving that are simply


not possible to achieve with other materials. This means you can have a stunning weathered marble effect, for example, or an ultracontemporary metallic effect that are each extremely resistant to stains, fading and algae.

A pre-applied coating means it is effortless to keep clean and you don’t have to worry about sealing it yourself.



Look Book: Patio Furniture & Accessories Make the most of your new garden patio with these luxury furniture items and accessories. Here, i-build rounds up some of its favourites…







FAIL TO PLAN, PLAN TO FAIL A new patio is a fantastic addition to any home, providing an eye-catching focal point to a garden, as well as creating additional usable space. Any patio project will only be successful if the sub base has been prepared correctly, therefore getting the foundations right is vital. Online tools such as Marshalls’ Paving Planner can be a great help to any project by allowing the user to create plans, experiment with different laying patterns and quantify the amount of products needed.


1. Potting shelf table, PIB, www.pib-home.co.uk

2. Paddo garden parasol, Go Modern Furniture, www.gomodern.co.uk

3. Gothic garden lantern, MiaFleur, www.miafleur.com

4. Traverse table, Indian Ocean, www.indian-ocean.co.uk

5. Grey bistro set, MiaFleur, www.miafleur.com

6. Hanging nest chair, Garden Trading, www.gardentrading.co.uk


7. Outdoor ‘Grow’ lamp, Nedgis, www.nedgis.com


Product Guide

February marks 25th anniversary of Westbury Windows & Joinery The company, established by Jonathan Hey following the success of Westbury Garden Rooms, has seen steady growth over the last two decades and the appointment of window industry guru John Mumford as Co-director in 2012 has resulted in further success.


aving launched an outstanding new range of products in 2015, and opened a new showroom in London’s famous Lambeth Walk in 2016, the company has continued to go from strength to strength,” explains Jonathan Hey, Managing Director of Westbury Windows & Joinery and Westbury Garden Rooms. He continues: “But, success does not come without its challenges – things have changed dramatically in the timber windows industry since Westbury Windows & Joinery’s conception back in 1992. “Around the time that Westbury Windows & Joinery was founded, timber windows had a particularly bad reputation. Many that had been installed in the post-war era were rotten by the 1980s, mainly due to the fact that when timber stocks sourced from Canada had diminished, cheaper, more readily available woods had been used instead, and unfortunately manufactured with poor profile designs and treatment processes. This led to the common misconception that timber windows were high-maintenance and poor performing. Consequently uPVC windows, which were on the rise at this time, soon became the


material of choice for the average homeowner. It was a tough time to be a wood windows manufacturer, but we knew we had a superior product and we were poised ready for timber windows to become desirable once more. “John Mumford, previously CEO of a window manufacturer, was instrumental in building timber’s repute back up again. His technical expertise meant that he was able to design and build timber products with proven performance and longevity – and other joinery companies soon followed suit. But that too came with its challenges: as wooden windows became

Above: Westbury Windows & Joinery has seen steady growth over the last two decades Right: Having launched an outstanding new range of products in 2015, and opened a new showroom in London’s famous Lambeth Walk in 2016, the company has continued to go from strength to strength

a more sought-after product, the industry became fiercely competitive. “When John Mumford joined Westbury Windows & Joinery a few years ago, we gave some serious thought to what we wanted to offer our customers. We could see that the architectural details – flush joints, sharp edges and traditional mouldings – of beautiful windows were being jettisoned by many of our competitors as they strived to save money on manufacturing, or began having their products manufactured abroad. “We didn’t want to compromise our products, technically or aesthetically, so we decided that our aim was to manufacture the highest quality product, with the best technical and energysaving features of proven continental design, but with a traditional British heritage appearance. We are particularly proud that our products are designed and built in our workshop in Essex and hand-finished by our skilled craftsman. Additionally, we’re an environmentally conscious company so building sustainable, eco-friendly products was an added objective. “We spent two years researching the latest in manufacturing technologies and sustainable materials before designing our latest range, which we believe is the best available today. By using engineered timber in combination with the revolutionary Accoya, we feel we’ve struck gold with our product quality in terms of its outstanding stability, durability and longevity. “We find that many of our customers are the discerning type; either architects or developers looking to build a property to a certain standard, or self-builders for whom the longterm quality, detail and sustainability of their ‘forever home’ really matters. “To still be going strong after 25 years and producing market-leading products is hugely rewarding and certainly something to celebrate!”

www.westburyjoinery.com info@westburyjoinery.com 01245 326510

Product Guide

42 Paints, Coatings & Sealants . View our publication online at www.McDermottPublishing.com . April 2016 .

Waterproofing simplified with Remmers’ Multi-Tight 2K Multi-Tight 2K is a new, flexible, mineral-based waterproofing product which has all the performance properties of older technology polymer-modified thick bitumen emulsions, whilst being ‘bitumen-free’.


sing unique rubber granulate filler technology, Multi-Tight 2K has a It is very quick and easy to apply by trowel or Waterproofing your building has crack-bridging capacity which is five spray application, has fantastic levels of adhesion now been truly simplified by Multi-Tight 2K. times more effective than standard to most substrates including old bitumen and dries For further information on Remmers' Multiflexible, mineral-based waterproofing systems. very quickly in less than 18 hours. Tight 2K, please visit the company’s website. The versatility of the product allows it to be Multi-Tight 2K is UV stable but can also be www.remmers.co.uk used to waterproof below ground externally and over-coated with Remmers' Concrete Acrylic in sales@remmers.co.uk internally offering excellent resistance to ground or any colour, allowing clients to aesthetically blend 01293 594037 water pressure as well as frost and salts. in areas of waterproofing on building facades. www.mclink.co.uk/960-100 www.mclink.co.uk/960-103 www.mclink.co.uk/960-102 www.mclink.co.uk/960-101 ENQUIRY-Card 100

ENQUIRY-Card 101

ENQUIRY-Card 102

ENQUIRY-Card 103

THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE! • Easy & quick to apply apply trowel or spray • Extremely fast drying time • Universal use: internal or external and new & old buildings • Unbeatable flexibility • Excellent crack-bridging capability >2mm • Strong resistance to hydrostatic pressure • Highly adhesive to most common building substrates • Overcoat in just over 4 hours • UV-resistant • Can be over-coated with Remmers coatings • Extreme resistance to frost and salts • Solvent & bitumen free-low odour

www.remmers.co.uk 01293 594 010 www.mclink.co.uk/960-504. ENQUIRY-Card 504




Page 8

i-scape www.firmanglass.com www.firmanglass.com www.firmanglass.com www.firmanglass.com

Essex Life page ad_PRINT:Layout 1

Structural Glazing Specialists Structural Glazing Specialists

To find out more visit www.firmanglass.com Firman Glass,19 Bates Road, Harold Wood, Romford, Essex RM3 OJH To find out374534 more visit Tel: 01708 Fax:www.firmanglass.com 01708 340511 Email: sales@firmanglass.com Firman Glass,19 Bates Road, Harold Wood, Romford, Essex RM3 OJH In association with Tel: 01708 374534 Fax: 01708 340511 Email: sales@firmanglass.com In association with

www.firmanglass.com www.firmanglass.com

Before submitting a formal application, it’s well worth testing the water with a ‘pre-application’. This allows you to gain the planner’s opinion outside of the application process. Government guidance actually promotes ‘pre-app’ meetings. There’s a section within the planning application asking if you have sought prior advice from the council. Although it’s not compulsory, some planning departments are less helpful to those who haven’t sought it. The amount of information you’re required to submit and the cost and length of time it takes to receive a reply are individual to the council, but most local authorities will aim to reply within approximately 20 working days. There is a charge for this service – details of which can usually be found on the council’s website.

Five important things to consider when applying for planning permission Matt Slader, Hanse Haus’ South West Sales Agent, looks into important considerations when applying for planning permission.


ompleting a planning application for a self-build can feel like taking a trip into the vast unknown and is often approached with a certain degree of trepidation. It’s no surprise as few are likely to have experienced the process before, dealt with the council’s planning officials and had to interpret the subtleties that can help win approval for a project – or not. Of course, there’s a certain amount of preparation that can help you test the waters and increase the chances of a successful application. Here are five things to consider:

Do your research How will your plot sit within the local plan? Is it in a greenbelt or conservation area? Understanding where your plot sits within the local plan is essential; it will have a significant effect on how your application is viewed by the planners. Most planners have an interactive map on their website and national guidance is available from sources such as the National Planning Policy Framework. The Planning Portal is a fantastic all-round resource for those looking for further information and documentation on Building Regulations, building control and the planning process.

Product Guide

Get ahead

Engage with the natives As part of the planning process, your application will go before the town or parish council. A notice will be displayed at the site and it is likely to be advertised in the local press. Make a point of going to the town or parish meeting when your application is being discussed. You can answer any questions and, in my experience, people find it more difficult to object when they see the person they’re up against.

Be friendly

Understand exemptions

Planning departments are often cloaked in mystery. There’s the common misconception that they run as a secret society, and it’s the ‘who you know’ that can swing your application between being approved or not. Applications are all individually judged against the officer’s interpretation of local and national policies – not just on opinion or, worse still, whim. There’s no need to sweet talk and hug the next planner you meet on the street, but empathy and politeness can certainly go a long way.

Most self-builders know that they are exempt from The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), but this exemption is not automatic – it must be applied for and confirmed by the council prior to commencement, or you could be faced with a substantial bill. It is also worth discussing whether other charges apply, such as Section 106 Agreements and Unilateral Undertakings, with your planning officer.

www.hanse-haus.co.uk info@hanse-haus.co.uk 0800 302 9220

Above: There’s a certain amount of preparation that can help you test the waters and increase the chances of a successful application Right: Applications are all individually judged against the officer’s interpretation of local and national policies – not just on opinion or, worse still, whim


Product Guide

Magply is the safe option for Oakworth Homes’ customers A timber frame manufacturer, serving both the self-build and wider development sectors, includes Magply boards within its standard details and brochures to ensure its customers can be offered fail-safe fire resistance wherever the circumstances demand it. Oakworth’s range includes the choice between conventional OSB3 or Magply fire check boards for the outer sheathing to Varytherm timber frame elements. The design team accordingly recommend the use of Magply whenever the site survey and pre-contract assessment identifies specific risks to adjacent properties in the event of a fire during the construction stage. The Magply boards also offer resistance to racking loads, both as part of the completed structure and during the installation process.

www.magply.co.uk 01621 776252 sales@magply.co.uk

Property refurbished using Trueline bespoke aluminium pressings The project was to expansively extend and refurbish an existing property in Hurst Green, Brightlingsea. The scheme was challenging and Specialised Fixings called on the expertise of ARP to offer its skills and experience to overcome any design constraints whilst meeting both the design brief and the client expectations.


he brief was to provide a clean, low-maintenance material that could be used for the soffits, fascia, copings and cappings, that would also match the window and door finishes, but also afford protection against the unforgiving coastal corrosion. As a standard service offering, ARP provides samples of materials and coatings, which the client approved prior to ordering. Trueline is a bespoke range of pressed aluminium products which ARP manufactures to size and are ideal for fascias, soffits, copings, cappings and the bespoke onepart roof canopies for the bay windows on this project. All were specified to the exact dimensions of the building using ARP’s inhouse CAD Team to provide finished drawings for the client to approve prior to going into production. Once the drawings had been approved, the order was processed and the products formed to the drawing specifications, then coated in a marine grade polyester powder coated finish, which was colour matched to the finished windows and doors. The Colonnade Hopper and Rainwater Pipe was also coated in the same marine grade polyester powder coated finish. Trueline aluminium bespoke products are an ideal solution for all types of refurbishment like this, due to the formability of the material, its long lifespan and non-corrosive properties.

www.arp-ltd.com 0116 298 3666 sales@arp-ltd.com


Vintage-look new-build gets the Residence 9 treatment from DWL DWL has done it all – made and installed doors, windows and conservatories for everything from the edgiest of new-builds to the most traditional historic properties. But what if you want something different? Then DWL can help – as recently demonstrated on a highly traditional new-build project in Bearsted, Kent. Employed to source and install high-spec windows that matched its client’s vision, DWL opted for the Residence 9 window. Designed around the stringent Article 4 guidelines that govern which products can be installed in conservation areas, Residence 9 is a uPVC window system built to the exact dimensions of a 19th century timber sash window, delivering stunningly symmetrical vintage elegance, alongside 21st century performance.

www.dwlwindows.co.uk 01795 418538 info@dwlwindows.co.uk

Evolutionary new heat pump for 2017 Thanks to an evolutionary new heat pump launched this January, self-builders and renovators are now able to enjoy the benefits of ground source heat pumps with added 15% efficiency improvements, which translates to quicker payback through the Renewable Heat Incentive and even lower bills. The brand-new ERP A++-rated ‘Evo’ series launched by Kensa Heat Pumps delivers heating and hot water efficiencies of SCOPs to 4.2 at 35°C along with significantly reduced noise outputs. The brain of the new Evo is an intuitive touchscreen control panel unique to the Kensa series, which enables quicker setup and status readings, and can pre-empt potential irregularities to ultimately reduce down-time and enable proactive diagnostics.

www.kensaheatpumps.com 0845 680 4328 enquiries@kensaheatpumps.com

LEVATO MONO porcelain paver system The Levato Mono porcelain paver system is the pinnacle of external raised flooring technology; enabling the specification of lightweight, slip resistant and attractive raised flooring solutions, combining incredible technical properties with uncompromising aesthetics; making them the ideal choice for commercial and domestic use alike.

20mm porcelain pavers 40x80 45x90 60x60 75x75 30x120 40x120 60x120 ‘Floating floor’ – installation over single ply membranes Eternal product - zero maintenance required – offering massive over-life savings

Highly abrasion and stain resistant Highly slip resistant ; R11 and achieved up to +65 wet in the BS pendulum test Lightweight – 45kgs per m2 High load bearing and impact resistance Timber & stone effects; 40+ finishes available

www.thedecktileco.co.uk t: 0845 2700 696

e: info@thedecktileco.co.uk

Completely non porous Ideal for balconies, roof terraces and piazzas, for both commercial and residential use Fire & frost proof Height-adjustable supports from 9mm up to 550mm

www.firmanglass.com www.firmanglass.com www.firmanglass.com www.firmanglass.com

Structural Specialists Structural Glazing Glazing Specialists

To find out more visit www.firmanglass.com Firman Glass,19 Bates Road, Harold Wood, Romford, Essex RM3 OJH To 01708 find out more visit Tel: 374534 Fax: www.firmanglass.com 01708 340511 Email: sales@firmanglass.com

Firman Glass,19 Bates Road, Harold Wood, Romford, Essex RM3 OJH In association with Tel: 01708 374534 Fax: 01708 340511 Email: sales@firmanglass.com In association with