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


FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE Hints on how to incorporate accessibility into your self-build to ensure it's future-proof



Tartan accessories to inject some texture into your home’s interior




Tips to improve the lighting on your selfbuild exterior


With the colder weather approaching, here's everything you need to know about wood-burning stoves

DINING CHAIR DECISIONS A guide on how to pick the right dining room chairs for you


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Welcome to the October issue of i-build


Paige Smith

Rebecca Kemp Print & Digital Advertising:

Sam Ball

Grant Jeffs Print Design Manager:

Jack Witcomb Digital Design Manager:

David Perry Production Assistant:

Sofia Franchi Accounts:

Jackie Dearman Managing Director:

Sam Ball

Just like self-build homes come in various forms,

seeing the exterior plans for the first time and

so do the self-builders themselves. Since the

thinking the original design was ugly! Turn to

end of 2013, i-build has followed the journeys

page 17 to follow this headstrong self-builder’s

of multiple people brave enough to take on the

journey to creating a gorgeous family home,

ultimate DIY task – building their dream home

with even more stunning views.

from the ground up, and every one of them has had a slightly different self-build style. This month, Oakmasters discusses all the different routes you can take as a self-builder and helps you decide where you sit on the self-builder spectrum. Turn to page 14 to discover if you’re a hands-on self-builder, a self-builder who would benefit from employing a project manager, or somewhere in between. This issue’s self-builder, Alan Brown, is a selfproclaimed disaster when it comes to DIY, but that didn’t stop him being a hands-on selfbuilder during the creation of his dream home, Glasshouse, in Dalgety Bay, Fife, Scotland. Although he stayed away from the bricks and blocks aspect of the build, he did project manage the whole venture, from window placement to where every last plug socket went. Alan even redesigned his home after @ibuildmagazine

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



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

Elsewhere in this issue, Simon Tilbrook, Director at Fenwick & Tilbrook, gives his opinion on the best paints to use in a child’s room. Turn to page 40 to discover what you should look for when it comes to creating the perfect children’s space. Meanwhile, Unidrain discusses why drainage shouldn’t be an afterthought in your self-build. Turn to page 30 to uncover how stylish drains can be. 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 house-builders, then please do not 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’s picks

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.

Welcome Note


BLADE has been shortlisted for a LUX Award in the ‘Exterior Product Award’ category: See page 47 BLANCO has introduced a range of stylish stainless steel taps: See page 51 Bring a touch of class to your self-build with a DRU gas fire: See page 46


Cover story: Want to build a home that's future-proof? Read how making your self-build accessible now will help you in the future. See page 32.












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October 2018








In this issue: Desired Designs


Contracts & Legalities

14 17 24


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

This month, Philip Peters at Whiting & Partners explains ways to save on stamp duty land tax.


Impressive Innovation

After viewing over 50 potential properties to no avail, it took Alan and Lucy Brown stumbling across an overgrown patch of land to start their self-build journey.

Furniture & Home Accessories




TG Escapes discusses how to build a garden room from start to finish in an incredibly short timeframe.




Discover which form of self-building is right for you with Oakmasters.

Wharfside gives its advice on how to pair dining furniture pieces together to help you find your own style.




An in-depth discussion on the need to ensure unforeseen moisture trapped during the build phase of your project can be released from the building envelope to avoid structural damage over time.



When undertaking any new bathroom project, every detail is important, including the drainage you choose. Unidrain discusses how best to stop drains from being boring.



No matter if you are restricted by age, use a wheelchair or simply want to plan for the future, Hanse Haus uncovers the abundance of ways to make your self-build more accessible.

Heating & Ventilation


Chris Baines, Managing Director at Mendip Stoves, gives his tips and tricks on incorporating a wood-burning stove into your self-build.


Lighting & Electricals




A look at how to shine a spotlight on your selfbuild’s exterior. ON THE COVER



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

October 18 Issue 51



FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE Hints on how to incorporate accessibility into your self-build to ensure it's future-proof



Tartan accessories to inject some texture into your home’s interior




Tips to improve the lighting on your selfbuild exterior


With the colder weather approaching, here's everything you need to know about wood-burning stoves

DINING CHAIR DECISIONS A guide on how to pick the right dining room chairs for you


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

How to get the balance right between style and practicalities in a children’s room or nursery.




Product Guide


How much do you know about topiary? Adam Gregory, Founder of Earthscapes, gives you some insider knowledge. i-build rounds up the latest innovative products in the marketplace, designed with your self-build in mind.


Desired Designs





Image ©Arthouse


Mad about plaid Plaid is the perfect pattern to add a little warmth to your self-build interior. Depending on the style of the setting it is placed, plaid can be rustic or very styled and chic – it is entirely up to you.


hen you think of plaid it may conjure up images of red, green and navy tartan patterns which can seem overwhelming and a little festive, but plaid comes in so many variations you can add it to your self-build interior without feeling like you’re getting ready for Christmas all-year-round. It is possible to have too much of a good thing, so refrain from buying only tartan furniture and accessories. Instead try to strike a balance between solid colours on your walls and then add tartan prints through accessories, for example, a scattering of plaid cushion and throws in a living room can express the theme without it being overbearing. The colour plaid you choose can really affect the style of a room. A black and white plaid print will add a chic and modern texture to a space, great for a tasteful and refined living area. Adding a softer, more neutral tartan to a space can give is a fresh and inviting look, ideal for a child’s bedroom and a navy blue plaid is perfect for a more sophisticated space, like a home office.




1. Red tartan pheasant printed canvas with faux leather strap, ARTHOUSE, £9.99

2. Set of three rectangle tartan boxes, Ian Snow, £22.50

3. Arran Crimond Heather tartan

table lamp, Alexander & Pearl, £221

4. Arran Tomintoul check floor lamp, Alexander & Pearl, £335

5. Apsley floor lamp,, £228

6. Jean Christophe Bernard Acrila


Wild Tartan chair, The Longest Stay, £699

7. Tartan cushion, Bazaar Group, £14.99

8. Lois patterned chair, SCS, £POA

9. Presidente Bergère red, Oficina Inglesa, £POA

10. Grey tartan upholstered backless chaise, Melody Maison, £239.95



2. Set of three leather photo frames, £19.99 3. Geese embroidered cushion, £24.99 4. Set of three storage boxes, £35

Desired Designs

1. Fairburn red studded screen, £75


4 2 3

Arthouse Arthouse is one of the country’s leading suppliers of interior decor solutions, with collections centring around wallcoverings and home decorative products. The portfolio of brands that Arthouse boasts means that there will be an option to suit any budget, design or colour preference for any self-build.

i-build loves...


Chairs worth checking out Here's a few more checked chairs to choose from.

1. Dalby medium sofa, Darlings of Chelsea, £1754.35

2. Jeffrey grey check buttoned

dining chair, Alexander & Pearl, £327


3. Heathcliff accent chair, Bazaar Group, £219.99

4. Stefania dining chair, Oficina Inglesa, £POA

2 4


Desired Designs

Add a little romance

Paris is the city of love, so why not add an affectionate touch to your self-build interior with these pieces.

Image ŠMontgomeryFest



A Parisian pair

Pretty prints

This stunning set of two Parisian art prints showcases two iconic scenes of the French capital – ideal for adding a little interest to any wall in your self-build.

This beautiful set of three Paris prints will look perfect in any room. Adding this wall art will be a fun and simple way to elevate the decor in your self-build.





Striking ornament

Paris skyline

This striking French icon ornament will help conjure memories of this chic and stylish city whenever you lay eyes on it.

Enjoy iconic views of the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame or the Arc de Triomphe from the comfort of your home with this mural. This wall art is guaranteed to give a modern and colourful touch to the walls of your self-build.





Chic addition

A romantic glow

These three expressive typographic posters in black and white are perfect for decorating in a modern or classic self-build. They would look great in a home office.

Whether you're looking for a romantic glow, or simply to add character to your rooms, the Eiffel Tower floor lamp has got it all. Standing at 120cm tall, this stylish lamp is a polylux replica of the iconic tower and lights along the length of it with a gentle, warm glow.




Always in tune with your style a comprehensive range of rainwater systems to accommodate all types of buildings and budgets

Choose from modern, traditional and heritage rainwater systems, available in Aluminium, GRP, Copper, Zinc and Stainless Steel.

For more information please call 0113 279 5854 or email



Cast Iron

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

Desired Designs

London’s calling No matter where you live, here’s a selection of ways to add a little bit of London to your self-build. 1

Image ©Koko Kids


Iconic wallpaper

An urban touch

This amazing wallpaper features world-famous London buildings including St Paul’s, Big Ben, Tower Bridge and the Gherkin. London’s most iconic buildings have been hand-drawn and digitally collaged on a mottled marine background, designed to create an instantly recognisable and stunning landscape.

The Battersea Power Station London cushion is a colourful, minimalist design that is sure to bring an urban touch to your living room. (




Funky but subtle

Quirky and functional

This set of four glass coasters decorated with a funky London icon set of graphics is the perfect way to add this trend in a subtle and stylish way. (

These quirky London Underground Tube station wall coat hooks will add a fun and functional focal point to your self-build hallway. You could even mix and match with your favourite Tube lines. (


A royal armchair This gorgeous armchair is covered in palace maps linen inspired by drawings archived at the Tower of London. The maps relate to the Tower of London, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and Hampton Court Palace and will make a great focal point in your self-build living room. (



Stylish and modern This beautiful set of two black and white London city prints would look perfect in any room. A chic and modern way to bring a little bit of the capital into your self-build. (

Eyebrow Sub-brow

Firing imaginations for over 37 years


| gas

M u lt i - F u e l

| electric


Contracts & Legalities

Building instead of buying – beating SDLT Those who buy below market value and improve properties to remortgage and recycle their cash are struggling to make the sums add up now that there’s a hefty 3% stamp duty land tax (SDLT) surcharge to pay. Have you considered the ways of saving on SDLT? Here, Philip Peters at Whiting & Partners explains more.


any investors are now beginning to question whether or not it is still possible to make money from investing in single let properties with the possibility of buying land and building a property instead. When purchasing an existing residential dwelling, you are liable for SDLT on the entire value of that property. HMRC regard this differently when considering vacant plots as these are liable for commercial rates of SDLT and, therefore, the 3% charge can be avoided. Another way to save on costs that many investors often consider is splitting properties into new plots – those with large gardens, for example. This avoids any land purchase costs entirely, although there are some other


considerations if this is your own residence in terms of income tax. However, if you buy a plot that is part of a garden of an existing house, you’re likely to have to pay SDLT at the residential rate. If you purchase a £400,000 property, you’ll now have to pay £22,000 in SDLT if it’s a second property. But if, instead, you buy a vacant plot of land that’s deemed as commercial and build a property to create something worth £400,000, you could possibly avoid SDLT altogether. If, for example, you buy an empty plot that costs £140,000 and SDLT is charged at commercial rates, as the purchase prices falls under the lowest threshold for non-residential properties of £150,000, you won’t have to pay any SDLT. If the build then costs £200,000 and the end product is worth the desired

£400,000, you’ll have created not only £60,000 in equity, but also saved £22,000 in SDLT compared with buying an existing property, so you’ll be £82,000 better off. Of course, you should consider that these options are very different in terms of building a home in the garden of a house and a new dwelling on a plot of land. You may be looking to sell or rent the property after and, therefore, this should be considered when deciding on the best route. You can see how much SDLT you will need to pay by speaking to your local accountant who can advise on what fees are relevant to you.

Contracts & Legalities

HAND CRAFTED BESPOKE SECONDARY GLAZING Love the look of the original windows in your property - but not the heat loss they cause? Our family company has been making and installing bespoke secondary glazing for listed, classic and historic properties for more than 15 years and we understand the needs of period property owners. Benefits include: A warmer home due to greatly increased thermal efficiency Virtually invisible, making it ideal for listed buildings Significant noise reduction Preserves the character of your home 13


Let us count the ways you can self-build Self-build homes come in all shapes and sizes – and self-build projects span everything from a simple porch extension to an entirely new house, meaning the self-build route itself takes many forms. Here, Oakmasters discusses which form of self-build is right for you.


t its most heroic, there’s the hands-on self-builder who is designing, sourcing, organising and laying every brick. Conversely, at its least involved, there’s the self-builder who has employed a project manager to oversee the site and the team that will construct the dream home. Of course, between these two extremes, there lies a spectrum of subtly-hued shades of self-build.

Which form of self-build is right for you?

The first decision you’ll need to take is exactly what self-build means for you: where will you place yourself on the self-build spectrum?


It’s a decision that will affect cost

A typical project manager (PM) will typically charge between 5 to 15% of the build costs. This is money that you could save – but it’s worthwhile considering that a good PM will also be able to save you around £15,000 through considered sourcing of labour and material. And the savings they make by lessening the assault on your time, nerves and stress levels are harder to quantify. Saving money is one thing, but you need to be sure that in doing so you are not overstretching your available time, skills, understanding and patience – the selfbuild process can be as relentless as it is rewarding.

You need to have better juggling skills than a circus performer and be as organised as the most scarily-efficient PA. Scheduling, materials, permissions, regulations, site safety, progression, quality control, workers, dispute resolution and finance are all your responsibility. You’ll need time to make daily site visits, you can expect frequent calls and meetings with service providers, site inspectors and subcontractors, and ultimately, any problems that arise are for you to resolve. Yet the satisfaction and sense of achievement you’ll get from managing your own build are a very real reward, as is the estimated 20% you can save on labour and materials.

The lighter end of the self-build spectrum

There are still significant savings – and a significant sense of achievement – available at the lighter end of the spectrum. Calling in a PM can take some of the strain off as well as adding an extra level of professional insight into your project. Another option is to employ a main contractor and allow them to sub-contract out other aspects of the build. And, then, there’s the custom-build route where a specialist developer works with you all the way to deliver your project.

Viewpoint The one thing that determines the success of all self-build projects

We love self-build projects. The passion and excitement that drives these projects makes them a sheer joy to work on – and we’ve worked on many, whether with savvy specialist developers, professional contractors, unflappable PMs or driven selfbuilders themselves. There’s one thing that we have found to help make the best projects run smoothly and efficiently, regardless of the self-build route being followed. And that is this: never play your cards close to your chest. Open full and frank conversations with suppliers and service providers as early as possible. Listen to their feedback and let it shape your plans as they develop. It’s never too soon to open the channels of communication and once opened, make sure the conversation and ideas are always flowing both ways. Whichever way you are planning to self-build, start your conversations early and keep having them until the project is complete.




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Impressive Innovation

A home with a view Alan Brown and his wife Lucy have always had a passion for the outdoors and wanted to experience it in their dream home by bringing natural daylight into their house. And that’s exactly what they’ve achieved at the aptly named Glasshouse – a home that took them 15 months to build – in Dalgety Bay, on the banks of the Firth of Forth in Fife. But it came at the end of a very long search.


lan and Lucy, who have twin daughters called Chloe and Amy, had looked at more than 50 properties in the area. Nothing had excited them until they were walking their dog one day and saw a for sale sign next to a patch of overgrown woodland that overlooked the Forth Bridges. Alan explains: “I was out walking one day and I saw a piece of land for up for sale. We

wanted to stay in Dalgety Bay because we love this place, so we’d viewed about 50 houses or so, but nothing was ever right – there was always something missing, there was always something wrong – the wrong facing back garden, it didn’t have the right spaces or it was the wrong price point. Then I saw this piece of land and I thought I’d ask about it. I phoned on the Monday and when they told me the price, I thought they were joking! I couldn’t believe it.

I had to put a bid in by the Wednesday so it was quite quick. I was the highest bidder.” Alan phoned a local estate agent who said it was going to a closing date in two days so the couple quickly put in an offer of just over £31,000, which was accepted. Alan said: “I’d done a bit of research from the Monday to the Wednesday. The plot had no planning permission so it was a bit of a gamble. Once the land was ours, we went down the route of trying to get planning permission. We talked to our architect who advised us to spend time with him designing our dream home before applying for full permission on an architect-designed property. I was told the best way to get the planner to take us seriously was to show them that we weren’t just asking for planning permission to add value to the land – you’re better off putting in a full proposal with plans for the house and giving the history of yourself, so that’s what we did. It worked as our local planning

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Impressive Innovation

Impressive Innovation

department accepted it straight away. We were lucky enough to get planning permission no problem whatsoever.” The house was built between December 2015 and January 2017 and is ‘upside down’. “The design of the house took a while to get right,” explains Alan. “It took us a while from buying the land, drawing up plans and building. We’d never done this before, so we left quite a lot up to the architect initially, but obviously we had our wish list. As we went through the process, we learnt more about it. When we saw the design of the external of the house – we designed it from the inside, out and loved the internal areas – we thought the outside was ugly! “We originally designed a two-and-ahalf-storey house – we’d got planning for that house – but only then, when we saw the pictures, we thought, we can’t build that, it’s ridiculous – it looks like a multi-storey car park! I went to the architect and said we don’t want that, it looks awful!”. It had already cost the couple a lot of money to go through the whole process and the value of the land had rocketed to seven times what had been paid once they had gained planning permission. “I started to think maybe I should just sell the land. We pondered on it and the architect said that he would slash the prices that we’d been charged to design the house and we then thought, let’s do it. This time, we knew the whole process, so we took control designing the external of the house and mucking around with the internal areas too, so we sat down with them and designed the house how we wanted it. We went from a two-and-a-half-storey house that was really ugly, to a what we believe is lovely.” There are four double bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms downstairs and an open-plan kitchen/dining/living area upstairs, taking full advantage of the incredible views over the Firth of Forth and Edinburgh, and to allow more privacy from passersby walking along the nearby Fife coastal path route. An abundance of natural daylight floods through the home from 11 VELUX roof windows and glazed exterior walls. A unique and stylish glass panel measuring 4m2 on the first floor allows light to stream into the hallway below with recessed LED lighting making it a striking feature after dark. Alan wanted to install a large number of VELUX roof windows to ensure high-quality living conditions, with lots of daylight and fresh air, for his family.

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Impressive Innovation Alan said: “The roof windows in the living room turned out exactly as we wanted and is my favourite part of the house. I had an early vision of us sitting on the couch in the living


room in front of the log fire looking up at the sky watching the stars or the snow falling on the windows during winter. It’s a view we’ll never get bored of.

“I didn’t do any hands-on building, I’m dreadful with anything DIY, but I did project manage the whole build. I was on site every day and we built every panel on site, so even

Impressive Innovation down to where the windows were, I would move them if I wasn’t happy or they didn’t sit right. The whole house is very personal to me, every socket location, every light switch,

everything – I had a say in and everyone knew if they made a decision when I wasn’t there, when I turned up, if I didn’t like it, it would be moved. I was almost OCD about the build, but

you only get one shot at building your dream house. It would be amazing to be able to do it again, but financially, I put everything into this and I’m never selling it,

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Impressive Innovation but it would have been brilliant to have been able to have sold this and made money on it and then gone on to do it again, but there’s no way I could sell this because it has been designed for our family and we’ll never get another site like this, with the views we have.” The home also has a purpose-built luxury garage split over two floors. The ground floor has room to park two cars and then opens up to a carpeted hallway with an en-suite shower room and a staircase leading to the first floor that opens up to an open-plan,


one-bedroom studio apartment that mimics the decor and feel of the main house. The garage was a last-minute addition after their plans changed from a three-storey house to a two, resulting in the ground floor of the original plans moving to the new garage. Although Alan has installed LED lighting round some of his windows and the staircase leading from the ground floor to the first, he can mostly do without artificial lighting – even on cloudy days.

Alan said: “So although it’s been a long journey, and at times stressful with the odd hiccup here and there, we’re absolutely thrilled with the end result and love the look and feel of our home. I don’t think we’ll ever get bored of looking out over the Firth of Forth to the iconic Forth Rail Bridge. I’d advise anyone who was planning to self-build to just enjoy it. I totally loved it. I didn’t want the build to end. It’s so worth it.”

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Furniture & Home Accessories

Matching dining chairs with tables needn’t be daunting We may have hundreds of channels on our televisions, but we still tend to fall back on our favourites albeit Netflix, the BBC, ITV or the Food Channel! We kid ourselves that we like choice, but often we prefer the comfort of returning to that which has been previously tried and tested. Where do you even begin when faced with the huge range of dining tables and chairs that are available today? Especially when you’re looking for something that extra-bit special.


ould it be that there’s a better way to choose our furniture? If you’re not going to rely on hiring an interior designer, you’re going to need to venture into the wonderful world of bespoke furniture. In the right showroom the range is huge. However, it’s always better to go with a plan, so here Wharsfside gives its advice on how to pair dining furniture pieces together. It’s all about your own style and requirements.

Woods and materials are important When an interior designer proposes a design to a client they create moodboards. These are boards with fabric swatches, magazine cutouts and colour schemes. The aim is to define what a client likes before jumping into the specifics of which dining table or chair they may


recommend. It’s the same with furniture – what woods and materials do your new furniture need to match? Simply identifying wood choices or that they must have a stainless steel leg is an excellent start. If you search for ‘dining chairs’, you’ll get 400 million results in Google, but it’s so much easier when you’re looking for ‘leather walnut cantilever chairs with steel legs’, which has a comparatively small half a million results. Consider how materials work together; you may prefer dark rather than light wood with those metal legs.

Can you go for a dash of colour? In better furniture showrooms, you will have a wider choice of options – leather and upholstery may come in many colours; even a gorgeous Corian dining table might be available in more choices than just white. These are the

kinds of details that bring a design together. Wood has colour too. It can range from very pale – almost white, through orange hues to deep, dark walnut. There can be so many choices to choose from when it comes to colour; you can keep your dining room neutral (making it inviting and warm, as well as easy to maintain), or let your wild side free with the colour choices on your dining room furniture.

Rounded corners versus sharp edges Once you have chosen your colour and material palette, the final choice is shape. Curves are a great way to evoke a retro, organic space, or you may prefer the modern outlook of angular, straight-edged furniture. For a truly grand approach, you’ll be looking for carver chairs – dining chairs with arms – either at the ends of the table or all around if you have space. No matter how you decide to choose your table and chairs, remember to make it an inviting space that showcases your love for your selfbuild, then you simply can’t go wrong – embrace your own styling and let yourself run wild!


How to build a garden room This month, TG Escapes discusses how to build a garden room from start to finish in just five days.

Day one – foundations go down The first step is to lay the foundations for your garden room. Dependent on the situation, either concrete or low-impact screw piles will be the ideal solution.

Day two – construction Once your modular components and materials arrive on site, construction can start. Begin with the timber frame and SIP panels.

Day three – the roof It’s time to add the roof onto your garden room. Choose a sedum roof for a natural look


that will help with water runoff. Sedum can reach a height of 2 to 5cm and forms a tightly knitted carpet on a green roof, it requires little maintenance. You can also incorporate sunpipes and solar heating or PV panels. It’s advised to add cedar cladding so your construction is well protected from the elements.

Day four – doors go in You can add bi-folding or sliding doors as well as standard opening options onto your garden room. It’s also best at this stage for any internal plastering to take place and now’s the time to have all your connections hooked up.

Day five – the finishing touches All you need to do now is add all of your personal touches to the inside of your garden room. Why not add a splash of colour by painting your walls. Your finished garden room can be a fully furnished, energy-efficient extension to your home with fantastic natural light and beautiful views. Perhaps best of all, if you decide to use your new room as an office, your commute to work can be less than a minute!

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i-build Michael Foerster

Niall Crosson

Avoiding the risk of humidity damage from moisture trapped during your build Previewing presentations from a forthcoming seminar series, Niall Crosson, Group Technical Manager at Ecological Building Systems, and Michael Foerster, Engineer Head of Applications Technology at pro clima, discuss the need to ensure unforeseen moisture trapped during the build phase can be released from the building envelope to avoid structural damage over time.


egardless of the size, style or specification of your project, there is one challenge that all self-builders have in common; the wet UK climate. Rain, atmospheric moisture and high humidity are inevitable during any construction project and this can often lead to moisture becoming trapped within the structure where, over time, it can cause issues with damp, mould and the formation of spores that will eventually lead to rot. For many self-build projects, where the pace of the build is much slower than commercially-


driven projects, delays in getting the structure watertight can exacerbate this problem. Moreover, while the UK’s wet climate is the main cause of moisture penetration to the structure during the build phase, it is not the only culprit. Moisture from plaster and screeds can also lead to high humidity on site, contributing to moisture-related structural damage and reduced service life of the property – unless specification of the building fabric and higher levels of quality control on site enable the gradual release of moisture to the outside.


Sometimes the best design is the least obvious one When considering a bathroom for a new build or a refurbishment, you must first take into account the lifestyles of those who will ultimately be using this space, including the ages and abilities of all the family members, along with the potential frequency of use. If it is the only bathing space for a family of four, with working parents and teenage children, speed and efficient bathing options are a must. Here, Unidrain discusses how best to stop drains from being boring.


large wetroom or wetroomstyle showering space is an ideal option. Walk-in showers are increasingly more popular, especially with the wide variety of shower surfaces that are available. Wetroom-style


showers are now much simpler to install than ever before and can also be used alongside underfloor heating. When undertaking any new bathroom project, every detail is important. However, usually the focus is on the furniture – the

bathtubs and washbasins, vanity units and showerhead and often drains are an afterthought, viewed as a boring necessity rather than an aspect of the overall design. A combination of technology and creative design is changing this, along with new

Trapped moisture issues In all construction projects, getting the building watertight is a high priority but, in the wet and windy climate typical of so much of the UK, moisture may have already penetrated structural elements such as timbers and insulation. Indeed, around 90% of building failures are due to issues caused by trapped moisture. Often the vapour control layer (VCL) is seen as the catch-all remedy for managing moisture issues within a property, but if moisture has penetrated the structure during the construction phase, this can actually trap the moisture within the wall or roof build-up. This is because all vapour check membranes may allow some moisture into the structure due to air leakage, during construction, with the combination of high humidity, drying screeds and plasters and cold temperatures creating moist conditions on site – especially if some or all of the build phase takes place over the winter months. If the vapour control membrane specified does not allow the moisture that has penetrated the structure during construction to ‘back dry’ to the interior when conditions allow during the warmer summer months, the moisture within the structure can become permanently trapped in the building envelope. While the vapour trapped may only represent relatively small amounts of moisture, its impact can be significant over a

longer period of time. For example, trapped moisture can lead to issues with damp insulation, affecting the building’s energy efficiency because the insulation does not perform to its designed capability. It could also lead to permanent mould and decay, resulting in reduced air quality within the finished home, creating a breeding ground for fungal or bacterial spores and potentially reducing the structure’s service life.

Hydrosafe solutions To address the issues that can result from moisture penetration to the building structure during the build phase, the most effective specification methodology is to select a membrane that hinders the transfer of moisture into the building fabric during periods of high relative humidity, thereby limiting the root cause of the problems. It’s also essential that the chosen membrane enables back diffusion of any moisture that does enter the structure through unavoidable leakages, moist building materials and flank diffusion effects, enabling it to escape to the inside of the building following completion of the build phase, before it can cause structural damage or create the dank conditions that support spore growth. This is especially critical in scenarios where the construction has limited drying capacity to the exterior, such as where impervious layers like OSB or plywood are used on the outside face, for example.


At pro clima, we have created a term for this technology – ‘hydrosafe.’ Hydrosafe technology ensures that the building envelope is much more forgiving than specifications that include a standard vapour control layer or vapour barrier, because it provides humidity-variable moisture protection, in particular at the building phase where humidity levels within buildings will be at their highest due to poured screeds and plastering. During periods of high relative humidity in the winter, when it is wet and cold outside and warmer and drier inside, the hydrosafe vapour check also provides excellent protection against condensation. Then, during the warmer, summer months when the relative humidity is lower, hydrosafe technology provides enhanced back diffusion capacity, enabling any moisture in the structure to dry out to the interior rather than remaining trapped. The technology is based on tangible building physics data, which has been used to measure ‘hydrosafe values’; a calculation to assess the vapour resistance of a humidity-variable vapour check at an average humidity of 70%. For example, an average humidity of 70% will be present if there is a humidity of 90% inside the building and 50% humidity on the opposing side of the vapour check adjacent to the insulation between the rafters. The German building code standard (DIN 68800-2) requires that a humidity-variable membrane’s vapour resistance should be greater than 7.5MNs/g and less than 12.5MNs/g. This is the hydrosafe threshold and specifiers should ensure that humidityvariable vapour checks perform within this range to deliver effective protection from moisture retention in the structure and all the associated problems it can cause, especially at the building phase.

Specification support Ecological Building Systems and pro clima have teamed up with the BBA to host a series of CPD seminars to support self-builders, architects and construction professionals to design and specify projects for optimised energy efficiency, reduced risk of structural damage from trapped moisture and a healthier indoor environment. More information about these events can be found at the below website.


KBB simpler methods of installation. A slender drainage channel can now be placed against any shower wall, immediately decluttering the shower floor, creating an elegant, spacious surface. The drain itself can be colour-coordinated and narrow to the

point of near invisibility, or bold in its design, becoming a feature of the shower floor surface. Creating the bathroom of your dreams is simple, even if you have a particularly large or unusual sized bathroom as a wetroom can be any size or shape. With a wetroom, you are not

restricted to a standard size and, for the more unique bathroom, many companies offer a bespoke service. Your self-build bathroom drains really don’t need to be boring anymore.



Comfort through accessibility Nobody knows what the future holds. Sometimes, illnesses can make everyday life more difficult or ageing parents may need to be cared for. Whatever the situation, over time, your housing requirements can change.


ere, Hanse Haus discusses why it recommends that every new-build incorporates accessibility features from the start. Achieved through architectural design and modified furniture, accessibility means that your self-build can be used by people with disabilities without additional help. Accessibility gives individuals the opportunity to continue living normal lives. It ensures improved quality of life, and comfort in old age. For bungalows, clever floorplans can make it possible to efficiently realise a large amount of living space with only a modest floor area.


Where a two-storey house is most desirable, there are many options to create a barrier-free, accessible home. For example, partial areas can be designed in such a way that they will eventually enable barrier-free living. Bedrooms and bathrooms can be accommodated on the ground floor, making it accessible to those whose ability to walk is restricted. Bathrooms can be equipped with showers and toilets that are wheelchair-friendly. The shower, for example, can be at ground level with support brackets built-in. Another option is to integrate a lift into your self-build ensuring all floors remain accessible.

It is advisable to construct passages and doors at least 100cm in width. Designs can be modified so there are no steps in the entrance area and no threshold on exterior doors, which enables unobstructed access. Alternatively, a wheelchair ramp may be incorporated. Robust floorcoverings with a low rolling resistance such as laminate or tiles should also be a consideration when planning interior layouts. No matter if you are restricted by age, use a wheelchair or simply want to plan for the future, there are an abundance of ways to make your selfbuild more accessible.

Bricks & Blocks

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Heating & Ventilation

What you need to know about wood-burning stoves Chris Baines, Managing Director at Mendip Stoves, addresses your concerns surrounding particulate matter emissions from wood-burning stoves.


here has been a lot of talk in the media recently about emissions, either from diesel or wood-burning stoves, and also open fires. It is important to make the distinction between open fires, old wood-burning stoves and the new generation of wood-burners. The first comparison is between open fires and stoves in general. An open fire burns in a ratio of approximately 80:20. That is 80% of the heat lost up the chimney, with only 20% of the heat being retained into the room. That is a huge amount of wasted heat. But it is more than that, along with the heat going up the chimney, there are


high levels of emissions and particulates, and it is these which are concerning the Government, especially in high-density living areas; our towns and cities. And now there is a new generation of Ecodesign-ready stoves. Ecodesign is a new standard approved by European countries, including the UK, which is due to be implemented in 2022. However, many manufacturers have pre-empted this standard, and now manufacture Ecodesignready stoves.

Heating & Ventilation These stoves have all been tested by an independent test laboratory, and will emit approximately 80% fewer particles than a stove manufactured 20 years ago – and approximately 90% fewer than an open fire. That not only helps save the environment, but also helps your pocket! Once you have decided on the best ecofriendly stove, the next consideration is what wood to buy. The number one no-no is wet wood collected from your garden. The best wood to burn is kiln-dried wood. There is a standard – set by HETAS, called Woodsure – and this will certify

that the wood has a less than 20% moisture content. Some kiln driers use waste wood for the drying process, instead of oil, which further completes the carbon-neutral circle. And if you ensure that the wood is sourced in the UK, and dried here, it will help reduce transportation implications on the environment. The added advantage of using very low moisture content wood is that it burns much more efficiently so less wood will be used, which will actually have a positive effect on the cost of running the stove.

Tips and tricks It is really important to follow the instruction manual of a stove. For instance, if the stove is overloaded with logs, it will have a negative effect on the stove as it will not burn as efficiently or cleanly – it’s always best to reload little and often. One final tip – don’t take wood from a beach, it contains a lot of salt, which is extremely bad for your stove.


Lighting Home & Automation Electricals

Four ways to light your self-build’s facade How can light be applied to the facade of a house to create a certain mood, give it an identity or provide a focal point? It can be applied in a number of ways via different types of application methods and by using a variety of spot, linear or flood luminaires. Here, acdc light, shares its tips.

Surface-mounted A successful surface-mount application is often where the luminaires are integrated into the architecture; the detailing of the building allows the luminaire to be hidden, so by day the house can be appreciated without the visual intrusion of luminaires, but by night, the artificial lighting brings your self-build to life, illuminating, what may appear as, a dark and vacant space. Ledges, or architectural details, can create long dramatic shadows that may


have previously been unseen, these shadows can be reduced by using a lower output luminaire or by adding a lens that will soften the lit effect. If opting for a continuous linear graze up – or down – then careful consideration should be given to the specification of the linear luminaire to ensure there are no shadow gaps between one luminaire and the next when butted up to each other – this is critical to a achieve a continuous wash of light and give your new home that sought-after aesthetic.

Ground recessed

Like the other applications, a recessed luminaire can be in a linear, spot or flood format. To ensure the lit effect is focused upon the building and not the night sky, it is important that the luminaires are adjusted on site or supplied on a set tilt to ensure the desired lit effect. Recessed luminaires are often used as one of the ‘layers of light’ within a scheme, integrating the luminaire at ground level to help frame your building and combining this with surfacemount luminaires mounted at the next






architectural soffit to pick out and frame your house at a higher level – this can often be the case to avoid long dramatic shadows too. By incorporating layers of light, the character and identity of your self-build will be defined.

peripheral beam to graze other parts of your building. Surface ground-mount luminaires, if offset sufficiently from a building, allow you to catch and pick out the sloping angle of your roof.

Surface ground

Delineation can include points of light, lines of light or integrated light, where people see the lit appearance of the source rather than the projected light. Where this type of application is used it is often associated with a dynamic lit effect, of changing colour, of shimmering light – it is about bringing attention to your self-build.

For large-scale self-builds that stand against a dark night sky, they often only need a minimal amount of light to have maximum impact – an integrated approach is often preferred as lighting the facade from the ground or roof tops can mean a high quantity of very high powered luminaires that can result in light pollution and sky glow; an integrated solution can provide a more individual approach to the scheme. Applying the light this way can also mean easier maintenance in the long run.

Surface ground-mount luminaires, when offset, can help to provide either a uniform flood approach to your home or landscape; or with different optics and outputs, it’s possible to pick out specific details of the space, allowing the centre of the beam to provide a focus and the




Looking after your topiary all year round Here Adam Gregory, Founder of Earthscapes, discusses everything you need to know about topiary.


here are two main times that you can really shape any hedging that you may have in your garden. Clip at the end of May after any chance of frost has past and around now until the end of September. This gives the new cuts time to harden off before the first frosts come towards the end of October. You can trim any hedge into a shape – the more dense the foliage, the better, and if the hedge is an evergreen, then you can enjoy the fruits of your labour into the winter months when there may be little else to provide any structure in your garden.


In my opinion, the best hedging plants for topiary are the most commonly used ones. Buxus Sempervirens, more commonly known as box, is the most regularly used hedging for topiary and can be highly clipped into all manner of shapes. Timing when clipping box is very much of the essence and not just when in the year, but also when during the day. If you cut any plant in heat – particularly box – then the cut part of the plant is going to scorch and die. If it’s hot don’t start clipping until around six in the evening and give the plant a good soaking so it can cool before the sun rises again.

i-scape Yew or Taxus Bachata is also great for topiary and has been used to create amazing examples of the art for hundreds of years. Ligustrum Japonicum is another fantastic topiary plant. It can be used to great effect when Japanese cloud pruning. It takes a good shape and is fast-growing, so will normally need three or four trims in the season. There are some tried and tested rules when carrying out topiary tasks that can be used on all species. Before you go outside, look to your tools. Anything that you intend to use to cut and trim the plant needs to be sharp. Using blunt tools will prevent you shaping anything properly. Also, making ragged cuts can lead to introducing infections into the plant. Ahead of making your first cut, stand back and look at the plant, look at its form and what shape it might want to be made into and where to cut. Use trimming oil and sterilise your tools regularly. I use a can of WD40 to oil the cutting blades and mechanisms of the tool and some Jeyes fluid mixed into a spray bottle to sterilise the blade so you are not passing any infections around the plant. Take your time and do not take too much off too quickly. You can always take more off, but you can’t put more on!



Child’s play? Nurseries and children’s bedrooms can be subject to a lot of wear and tear so, while you’ll want a stunning room for them to enjoy, practicalities dictate you’ll also need it to stand up to daily use, sticky fingers and hours of play. When it comes to paint and creating the ideal children’s bedroom, what should you look for?


ere Simon Tilbrook, Director at Fenwick & Tilbrook Paint, discusses decorating nurseries and children’s rooms. Paint is normally oil- or water-based. Waterbased paints are typically more environmentallyand user-friendly with less odour, quicker drying times and the brushes can be cleaned with water. Oil-based paints provide tough, glossy finishes but have higher levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), longer drying times and the brushes need cleaning in turpentine or spirits.


Some recommendations suggest leaving at least eight weeks between painting and the new arrival sleeping in the room to allow for ventilation and for paint fumes to dissipate. By choosing a water-based paint, you can have the reassurance of painting the room in a colour which is very low in VOCs and is therefore almost completely odourless.

What finish? Walls and ceilings work extremely well in pure matt. These products have a 2% sheen which

provides a sumptuous flat finish that makes it ideal for bedrooms in all colours. When choosing a low-sheen finish, some ultramatt paints can seem dull so it’s important to go for a paint with high levels of chroma or colour intensity. This will really bring out the gorgeous range of tones you’ll see in different lights at different times of day and create a paint effect which ‘pops’. Interior eggshell is a tougher finish – it’s actually washable which is very handy with young children – but with a soft and delicate sheen. Using a paint such as interior eggshell will provide great coverage on wood and metal. The cot is often the focal point of a nursery, but all bedroom furniture can be painted to match in with your colour scheme too. This is perfect if you have a family piece or preloved item that you’d like to freshen up and use. Lower sheen levels of around 10% mean that, although it’s an eggshell, the paint is perfectly suited to walls as well. This is ideal for a super-coordinated look if you

i-nterior want to paint everything from your radiators to the ceiling, but also ensure a tough, washable surface that is up to the challenge of high traffic and hours of play. While some higher quality paints are self-priming, it is often advisable to also use a separate primer first. This is particularly worthwhile if you are painting over unpainted surfaces such as new plaster in the nursery which is quite porous and will soak up lots of paint. Primers can help to achieve greater coverage with the topcoat of paint, meaning you need to use less paint to achieve the perfect colour-rich result. Multi-surface primer can be applied to any surface prior to painting to ensure there is a good bond. This is especially applicable if the previous coating was an oil-based product. Oil and water don’t mix! Primers also help extend the longevity of your paintwork and a good primer will enable you to paint virtually anything – the possibilities become endless.

Pink or blue?

Quality matters

When it comes to colour, go for warm tones rather than opting for the stereotypical pink and blue. Choose colours such as yellows, which are relaxing and soothing – and some believe can help get children ready for sleep. More neutral tones are also likely to last longer as your child is less likely to quickly grow out of these shades rather than some of the brighter colours. Opting for neutral shades doesn’t mean the room has to be dull – there are so many gorgeous colours available from yellows and greys to greens and whites. Adding in splashes of colour with a feature wall painted in a complementary colour and funky prints, stickers or wall graphics (which are good for stimulating babies too) can also be a great addition. Soft furnishings and accessories are perfect for bringing in other colours. Don’t forget to invest in blackout blinds or curtains – these can all be matched to your paint colour to fit in with your theme.

With paint, you really do get what you pay for. Some paints contain more cheap fillers and are thinner so they will take more coats to cover and are likely to fade and mark more easily. A quality paint will always deliver a better finish. Opt for a paint which is thicker with high levels of chroma and opacity to ensure colours that are rich and intense. A good quality paint should be rich in pigment and, so, require fewer coats and provide better coverage. They are typically easier to apply too by brush, roller or spray. Choosing a superior paint will also help to maintain that freshly-painted, pristine appearance for longer and provide added durability so you can wipe surfaces clean – perfect for a child’s room. The great thing about choosing a quality paint is that it will last longer. But, in the event of a touch-up being required, a decent paint will blend in perfectly without any trouble – much better, faster and easier than having to redo an entire section of wall.


Product Guide

The Northern Homebuilding & Renovating Show returns

LowBoard provides ideal UFH solution

The Northern Homebuilding & Renovating Show is returning to Harrogate between 2nd and 4th November at the Harrogate Convention Centre to help the new arrivals and locals with their property ventures.

A complex and timeconstrained redevelopment contract in Central London is making extensive use of LowBoard22 underfloor heating panels.

To assist people with their renovation and self-build projects and to gain advice directly from property experts, a series of free masterclasses, seminars and face-to-face consultations with the country’s leading specialists are available at the show on a first-come, first-served booking basis.In addition, leading brands will all be under one roof at the three-day exhibition offering an essential one-stop event for individuals who are considering starting a project or have one underway. The show is tailored around useful resources needed for eco and heating systems; kitchens; bathrooms; doors, windows and flooring and much more.Standard tickets are £8 in advance or £12 on the door (children under 16 go free).

The work has seen an existing property demolished, being replaced by a five-storey structure with office accommodation at ground and first floor level while the upper storeys are being fitted out to create six dwellings. With storey height restricted by planning, the developer wanted to maximise the headroom within the high-spec apartments, while facilitating a rapid build programme which would also leave the interiors walls free of radiators. The layout features three two-bedroom flats on the second floor, with a further pair, plus a three-bedroom apartment on the floor above. The latter’s kitchen and living room area will be located on the very top floor of the building again using the LowBoard22 to deliver space heating. The LowBoard22 panels are a widely specified and very popular product within OMNIE’s UltraLow offering with an overall panel depth of 22mm, accommodating 12mm diameter pipe runs. This offers low water volume while the relatively small diameter pipe is also easy to push into the precisely routed board profiles. 01392 363605

THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE! Easy and quick to apply by 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

01293 594 010 42

Underfloor Heating & Flowing Screed On-time Right-first-time We specialise in a wide range of projects including: • Self Builds • New Builds • Renovation Projects

• Barn Conversions • Extensions • Basement Conversions

Visit: Email: Phone: 0114 231 5937

Concrete Concrete blocks blocks explained… Concrete blocks explained… explained… explained…

Concrete blocks are made using aa variety of Concrete blocks are made using of Concrete blocks are made using aa variety variety of Concrete blocks are made using variety of natural or man-made aggregates. Concrete blocks are made using a variety of natural or man-made aggregates. natural or man-made aggregates. natural or man-made aggregates. Concrete blocks are made using a variety of natural or man-made aggregates. There are are three three basic basic types: types: There There are basic types: natural or three man-made aggregates. There are three basic types: There are three basic types: •• ultra-lightweight • ultra-lightweight ultra-lightweight There are three basic types: •• ultra-lightweight lightweight ultra-lightweight • lightweight lightweight •• lightweight dense ultra-lightweight lightweight • dense dense •• dense lightweight Alldense types deliver deliver low low cost cost solutions solutions for for homes homes All types All types deliver low cost solutions for homes •and dense All types deliver low cost solutions for homes buildings. They also deliver: All types deliver low cost solutions for homes and buildings. They also deliver: and buildings. They also deliver: and buildings. They also deliver: All types deliver low cost solutions for homes and buildings. They also deliver: •• fire/flood resistance resistance •• fire/flood fire/flood resistance and buildings. They also deliver: resistance •• fire/flood good acoustic performance fire/flood resistance acoustic performance •• good good acoustic performance good acoustic performance durability fire/flood resistance good acoustic performance ••• durability durability •• durability thermal mass that that helps keep keep you you cool cool in in good acoustic performance durability thermal mass helps •• thermal mass that helps keep you cool in that helps keep you cool in summer mass and warm warm in winter. winter. durability • thermal thermal mass that helps keep you cool in summer and in summer and warm in winter. summer and warm in winter. • summer thermal mass that helps keep you cool in and warm in winter. summer and warm in winter. Website: Website: Website: Website: Website: Website: Website:

Concrete blocks are available Concrete blocks are Concrete blocks are available available in aa range of widths. Concrete blocks are available Concrete blocks are available in range of widths. Concrete blocks are in a range of widths.available in aa range of widths. in range of widths. in a rangeblocks of widths. Concrete are available in a range of widths.

Block type Ultra-lightweight Ultra-lightweight Ultra-lightweight Ultra-lightweight Ultra-lightweight Ultra-lightweight Lightweight Lightweight Lightweight Ultra-lightweight Lightweight Lightweight Lightweight Dense Dense Dense Lightweight Dense Dense Dense

Typical Typical Typical density Typical Typical density Typical density 3* kg/m 3* density density kg/m density kg/m333 *** Typical kg/m3 * kg/m kg/m density 850 3 * 850 kg/m 850 850 850 850 1400 1400 1400 850 1400 1400 1400 1900+ 1900+ 1900+ 1400 1900+ 1900+ 1900+

Compressive Compressive Compressive strength Compressive Compressive strength Compressive strength 2 N/mm 2 strength strength N/mm strength N/mm222 Compressive N/mm N/mm N/mm2 strength 3.6 -- 7.3 7.32 3.6 N/mm 3.6 - 7.3 3.6 3.6 --- 7.3 7.3 3.6 7.3 3.6 - 22 3.6 22 3.6 --- 7.3 22 3.6 3.6 -- 22 22 3.6 3.6 - 22 7.3 -- 40 40 7.3 7.3 40 3.6 22 7.3 7.3 --- 40 40 7.3 40

Typical Typical Typical thermal Typical thermal Typical Typical thermal conductivity thermal thermal conductivity thermal conductivity Typical** W/mK conductivity conductivity W/mK conductivity W/mK *** thermal W/mK * W/mK W/mK conductivity 0.28 0.28 * 0.28 W/mK 0.28 0.28 0.28 0.60 0.60 0.60 0.28 0.60 0.60 0.60 1.33 1.33 1.33 0.60 1.33 1.33 1.33



7.3 - 40


Block type Block Block type type Block Block type type Block type

*Consult manufacturer for density and thermal conductivity values. *Consult manufacturer for density and thermal conductivity values. *Consult manufacturer for density and thermal conductivity values. **Consult manufacturer for density and thermal conductivity values. Consult manufacturer manufacturer for for density density and and thermal thermal conductivity conductivity values. values. *Consult *Consult manufacturer for density and thermal conductivity values.


Product Guide

A new range of premium underfloor heating components from MYSON FLOORTEC MYSON FLOORTEC has introduced two new premium components to complement its underfloor heating solutions. As one of Europe’s leading names in heating technology, MYSON FLOORTEC is at the forefront of the underfloor heating revolution and, with vast experience, has developed the all-new Premium Manifold and Pump Pack.


he two new components are specifically designed to work in tandem to ensure the user gets the most out of their underfloor heating system. The new and improved Premium Manifold comes complete with all fittings. It is both neat and compact, incorporating a number of new features and benefits. These include easy-touse flow meters, locking identification tags, fitted automatic air vent, pressure gauge and is complete with bend formers. The all-new Premium Pump Pack perfectly complements MYSON’s new Premium


Manifold to control the underfloor heating system, allowing it to work at lower flow temperatures. The Premium Pump Pack has all the advantages of its predecessors, with the benefit that it comes fully assembled, designed to give you everything you need in one pack. The all-new Premium Pump Pack comes fitted with a circulating pump for highefficiency, a thermostatic mixing valve complete with a sensing probe, an integral non-return valve as well as a flow regulating valve which aids the balancing of larger systems.

Both components are available to buy separately and come with a two-year manufacturer’s guarantee. Together, these new components are the perfect addition to the already popular MYSON FLOORTEC range. For more information, please visit the below website, alternatively, visit the Myson UK YouTube channel to view a selection of product videos relating to the new Premium Manifold and Pump Pack. 0845 402 3434

Product Guide

Hörmann hosts its first Partner Day for the NSBRC On 2nd July, Hörmann hosted the National Self Build and Renovation Centre’s (NSBRC) Partner Day. Designed to bring together industry leaders to discuss the workings of the centre, the Partner Day at Hörmann was the first time the NSBRC chose to hold the event regionally. Following a guided tour of Hörmann’s warehouse facilities, as well as a series of presentations from both the leading door manufacturer and representatives from the NSBRC, the decision to host the Partner Day was well received by all, as Marketing Manager at Hörmann, David O’Mara, confirms: “The NSBRC Partner Day was a really enjoyable event that gave people the chance to share ideas about the centre, get to know the different exhibitors and network with other industry experts. As the NSBRC plays a major

part in generating sales leads for us, we were delighted when they asked us if we would host the event. The overall feedback was very positive with attendees commenting on how beneficial the day was. Not only does it provide us with great exposure, but it’s brilliant to be able to speak about how important the centre is, and work to improve the experience of those visiting it.” Harvey Fremlin, Managing Director of the NSBRC, said: “As one of our biggest exhibitors, we were really pleased when Hörmann agreed

to hold our Partner Day at their UK head office in Leicestershire. The event was a big success, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at Hörmann for not only hosting the event this year, but for helping make it so interesting and insightful. We hope to continue our long-standing partnership with Hörmann for many years to come.” 01530 513000

Innovation inspired by nature CORE Design Co is a subsidiary of CORE Landscape Products. It designs, manufactures and supplies high-quality, innovative metal products for interior and exterior applications. Focusing on the design-led development of practical and ornamental landscaping products that are built to last and designed to require minimal maintenance. Formed using the latest CNC laser cutting, punching and folding technology, CORE Design Co produces decorative screens, light towers and firepits of the highest quality with totally unique patterns.

or Cor-Ten weathering steel. Complete with a 10W IP67 RGB LED floodlight – fully dimmable with radio frequency remote control – supplied prefitted with a UK threepin plug.

Garden screens

Secure ground fixing

Manufactured from 1.6mm powder-coated galvanised steel or Cor-Ten weathering steel, CORE Design Co modular screens are guaranteed to withstand the test of time and the harsh UK climate.

The base for the LED light towers easily bolts to the ground using the expansion fixings supplied. The main body of the light tower simply slips over the base unit and secures using the countersunk fixings and pre-threaded holes in the base unit. This makes the LED light tower a perfect choice for outdoor areas where safety is always paramount.

Light towers The freestanding light towers are designed to complement the company’s screens using the same designs and colours – perfect for domestic and commercial applications. LED light towers are made from 1.6mm galvanised steel with a polyester powder-coated finish 0800 118 2278


Product Guide

Prepare for the joy of winter with a new DRU designer gas fire As this year’s glorious summer fades from our memories, our thoughts turn to autumn and winter and how to introduce stylish design as well as warmth and comfort to our homes.


ew fireplace design and technology means that gas fires are no longer simply functional heating appliances, but bring a touch of class to any home, with their innovative designs and beautiful flame pictures. Whether or not your home has a chimney, you can still enjoy a modern, efficient gas fire, which can be installed in your home in less than one day and bring years of enjoyment and energy saving. DRU Fires is a company that has been in business since 1754. Now, in the 21st century, it produces some of Europe’s finest gas and wood fires and stoves, together with some interesting new renewable energy appliances.

Built-in contemporary gas fires Top of the range are the DRU Maestro and Metro series of built-in contemporary gas fires. They come in a variety of sizes, capacities and styles, including front view, two-sided, threesided and even see-through tunnel fires. Because they are balanced flue fires, they can be installed without a conventional chimney, creating much greater flexibility of design.


They can be used to create striking architectural features in the home, such as room dividing walls and pillars, enabling their authentic flame pictures to be viewed from all angles and transforming the living space in the process. They are manufactured using some technically advanced materials, such as Clear View glass for a perfect view of the flames and mirrored Ceraglass interiors, which produce a stunning infinity flame effect.

Freestanding designer gas stoves DRU also produces some attractive and versatile freestanding gas stoves, such as the Passo. This sleek, cylindrical stove with its curved glass window features a gorgeous log fire bed, just like a real wood stove but without the need to constantly store and replace the firewood. All high-end DRU gas fires are operated using the exclusive DRU Eco Wave app for tablets and smartphones. This allows you to adjust the flame pattern and gas consumption using a simple graphic display. A further option is the DRU PowerVent extended, fan-assisted flue system. This enables

gas fires to be installed in previously inaccessible locations such as high-rise apartments, loft conversions, basements, hotel lobbies, restaurants and much more. The only limit is your imagination.

Ingenious new cavity wall gas fire If your preference is for a more traditional fireplace, but your home has no chimney, why not investigate the new DRU Global cavity wall gas fire? This ingenious model fits neatly into your brick wall cavity with a discreet terminal on the outside wall. A matching slimline fire surround and hearth completes the classic fireplace look. It takes up very little floor space in the room and provides a beautiful focal point for the whole family to admire. All DRU designer gas fires are Ecodesign-ready with ‘A’ energy ratings, making them suitable for new-build as well as general domestic use. DRU gas fires are available from approved fireplace retailers throughout the UK. 0161 793 8700

Product Guide

acdc defies convention with BLADE acdc is renowned for doing things a little differently and its external linear luminaire, BLADE, is no exception. Inspiration for this product comes from the natural graze of the sun and its transition from day to night. acdc’s mission is to amaze and, with BLADE, its aim is to change and transform the nocturnal view of buildings and structures.


hese new innovations have been recently recognised, and BLADE has been shortlisted for a LUX Award in the ‘Exterior Product Award’ category.

We are family BLADE comes as a family with three variants. An internal and external driver option, with an integral fitting with its IK09 rating, walkover 1 tonne and drive over 6 tonnes completes this family of innovative linear luminaire. The family feel to the range means that they can be precisely matched to the most specific project requirements and maintain design continuity.

Defy convention acdc defies convention with new design innovations. Here’s why; instead of using the traditional individual LEDs and optics methodology, BLADE uses a single LED optic consistently running the full length of the product, thus eliminating any scalloping effect. Used in conjunction with their new colour mixing chamber within the luminaire, means the purity of light is immediate on whatever surface is being lit, producing a pure graze of light.

No glare here Beautiful lighting needs to be comfortable, so acdc has gone one step further and the glare control on BLADE is completely different to the way anyone else is doing it. The light source is recessed into the body to provide a primary level of glare control. In addition, the new micro louvre and diffusing film means acdc is leading the way in glare control, giving a further level of protection making it incredibly comfortable to view in any environment.

Size matters acdc has designed BLADE to be the slimmest architectural linear available. For the first time, architects and lighting designers can achieve the lit effect they want. BLADE brings buildings to life with its four single-colour temperatures and RGBW which allow designers to ‘paint with light’ creating subtle schemes or dynamic change of colour and with a two-step MacAdam ellipse, you are guaranteed lighting continuity and consistency across each and every project.

This tough cookie is IP67-rated to withstand all kinds of environments with a long lifetime in excess of 50,000 hours at ta 50˚C, thanks to innovative design, engineering and thermal management (and, of course, efficient LEDs [>90 Lm/W]). BLADE is fast becoming a favourite with global lighting designers, contractors and brands, recently specified on a number of prestigious and historical sites in the Nis Serbia, giving the buildings a new lease of life with classic warm colour temperatures. Designers have been creative in the Netherlands where BLADE can also been seen in full colour at Stadkamer – a social hub providing education, development and language for local residents creating a striking, even illumination across the building’s facade. And most recently on Thorpe Business Park in Leeds, UK, where BLADE brings a new dimension to the main building. 0845 862 6400


Product Guide

Breathe easily with heat pumps Air pollution in the form of particulates, nitrogen oxides and sulphur oxides, is becoming a major health concern. Combustion heating systems like gas, oil, LPG and biomass contribute to this. Air pollution contributes to around 40,000 premature deaths, over six million sick days and a social cost of over £20bn per year. Alarmingly, scientists have also evidenced particles of air pollution travel through pregnant women’s lungs and settle in their placentas. One of the UK’s leading suppliers of ground source heat pumps, Kensa Heat Pumps, says: “Addressing our approach to heating and cooling buildings is vital to deliver the air pollution and carbon reductions needed to improve the health and wellbeing of us all, and our planet. “And if that wasn’t enough of an incentive, via the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), the Government pays self-builders to take action to reduce their carbon emissions by installing renewable heating technology.”

Kensa advises that in addition to receiving the highest RHI tariff for heating systems, ground source heat pumps (GSHPs) are a cleaner and safer option with regards to combustion and air quality. GSHPs extract heat from the ground (or water) and use it for space heating and hot water. The heat pump is electrically driven with no combustion. There are, therefore, no point-of-use emissions of any pollution or CO2. GSHPs also combat issues of overheating and provide free passive cooling. Kensa adds: “It’s also worth remembering the efficiency of GSHPs is high – with the heat pumps producing three to four units of heat for each unit of electricity they consume.” 0845 680 4328

Garador offers full range of door sizes There are lots of reasons why people today are requiring larger garages. Vehicles can be bigger and garages are often used to keep fitness equipment or for general storage. Larger garages can be built without problem thanks to the range of extra-wide garage doors available from Garador. One of the leading British garage door manufacturers, Garador, offers a selection of its popular up and over garage doors in especially large sizes all the way up to 5000mm wide and sectional garage doors up to 5500mm wide. “Larger garages are becoming especially popular in new-builds and conversions,” said Neil Discombe, Managing Director of Garador. “We offer a range of door sizes, with both sectional and up and over garage doors in sizes over 10ft wide, all produced within our own manufacturing group to maintain product quality.”


Garador’s expertly engineered double up and over doors are the best garage doors available on the market today. These doors are quick and easy to install – the strong box section chassis assisting a perfect fit and longterm stability. They come in a wide range of materials including steel, timber and GRP, offering a great choice of styles, finishes and colour to suit both traditional and modern homes. Garador’s larger up and over doors, including double doors which are over 10ft wide, can also easily be fitted with a GaraMatic electric door operator for a quiet, smooth

and fast automatic opening. These operators comply with the latest European standards (BS 13241) including automatic reversal and builtin force limitation for safety. 01935 443700

Fenwick & Tilbrook Paint manufactures one of the best quality paints for use throughout the home, inside and out. Using only the best ingredients, the colours are rich in pigment giving them an extraordinary depth of colour. Coverage is exceptional with these technically advanced paints which are highly durable, water-based and low in VOCs. With an existing range of 120 colours, available in pure matte, interior and exterior eggshell, masonry and claypaint finishes, the company can also make virtually any colour. Fenwick & Tilbrook manufactures the paint freshly to order and delivers on a next day basis. Every tin is opened and hand-checked.

s tt y ll ee s y with cast iron with cast iron performance performance

Product Guide

The paint and colour expert 01362 684125

Thinking about starting your own business or just taken the big leap? Starting up a business can often be a step into the unknown. There are many aspects to consider when looking to make your mark in the business world with a focus on business planning skills, market research and knowledge of legislation relating to your industry. It’s no wonder business owners often find they get bogged down before they even start. Whiting & Partners can help! Our business start-up events are designed to help you grow into a thriving business. Visit Whiting & Partners’ website for more information and to book your free place.

01284 752313

Reframe your bathroom experience Reframe your bathroom experience with unique design and clever details like never before with the Reframe Collection by Unidrain. An exclusive series of bathroom accessories grounded in Scandinavian design and quality. The slim, rectangular design harmonises with the original Unidrain design. Available in five different colour options, it is possible to match all metal details in the bathroom, conveying a subtle feeling of luxury. Unidrain will exhibit the Reframe collection at Sleep + Eat 2018 – stand G105 – alongside its award-winning product portfolio of floor drains encompassing linear and space-saving corner drains such as HighLine Colour Series, HighLine Custom and Unidrain Bespoke – a made-tomeasure, flexible solution for any size bathroom.

Dovre has over 60 years’ experience in manufacturing cast iron Dovre multi-fuel, has over 60 years’ in manufacturing wood, gas and experience electric stoves and fireplacescast thatiron are wood, multi-fuel,the gasharshest and electric stoves and winters, fireplaces that are built to withstand of Scandinavian to view the built to withstandfull therange harshest Scandinavian winters, to view the full range visit

01332 840820


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Product Guide 50

The NestorMartin THS 15 gas stove

Inconspicuous draught stripping for steel doors

The Nestor-Martin THS 15 gas stove from Eurostove offers users a unique view of the flickering flames within from either side of the stove. A fantastic room divider and centrepiece of any scheme, this double-sided rotating gas stove offers something truly unique. Slim and elegant, it’s the ultimate addition to a contemporary open-plan living space. With a heat output of 2 to 5kW, it comes with a high-quality gas burner with top or rear flue and a handy remote control for convenience and comfort in one.

Designed to provide a neat way of draught-proofing internal steel doors, the W20 profile end cap is now available from Steel Window Association members and can be factory-fitted into the bottom of internal pivot or sliding doors of any size. The end cap offers an inconspicuous alternative to the brass draught strips that have traditionally been surfacemounted along the bottom edge of doors. The new, specially moulded profile is made of rolled aluminium and installed to close off the W20 end section during the fabrication of the door; it is finished to match the door’s colour. The draught stripping then slides into the aluminium section with the option of either a rubber strip or a wool pile brush strip, which can be of varying sizes depending on the width of the gap under the door. 01934 750500 0208 543 2841

Give your garden the edge on sustainability

Instant success for Designer Contracts’ new ranges

Become is taking the sustainability message to the great outdoors by launching a garden edging that is made from 100% recycled household plastic. Eco Edge is the latest addition to meet soaring demand for all things sustainable from consumers, businesses and public sector organisations. Eco Edge is on-trend, lending itself to promotional messages that will strike an immediate chord with ever-more ecoaware customers. Eco Edge is stylish, strong and as easy to work with as wood, making it an ideal edging for virtually all types of gardens. Unlike wood, however, it is rot-proof and environmentally-friendly, making it supremely cost-effective, flexible and long-lasting.

Designer Contracts’ latest Elegance and Indulgence ranges incorporate up-to-theminute colours, textures and patterns to reflect the growing demand for interior design-led fabrics within the home. Elegance features a choice of well-priced fabrics in a variety of popular muted shades such as duck egg, sage and mauve, with patterns including floral ‘Geo Viola’ and ‘Ripple Grape’. Indulgence has been introduced with the most discerning house buyer in mind and includes a well-appointed selection of soft heather colours, including modern ‘Saffron Heather’ and ‘Tetris Lilac’. The collection also has a choice of charcoals and naturals as well as a fun selection of children’s prints, ideal for bedrooms and playrooms. 0333 202 6800 01246 854577

BLANCO introduces superstylish stainless steel taps

VELUX offers more rewards to customers this autumn

BLANCO has introduced a range of brushed stainless steel taps designed for today’s busy home. The AMBIS, CANDOR and LANORA-S have been designed to complement any design scheme. The AMBIS is an elegant, angular tap with a spout which can be swivelled by 360°. Equally practical is the towering curved spout of the CANDOR tap and the high-arched L-shape spout of the LANORA-S which makes them perfect for filling and washing larger saucepans or vases. The CANDOR tap features a concealed pull-out spray whilst the LANORA-S has a retractable hose from mid-way down the tap’s neck.

VELUX is offering customers across the UK and Ireland more rewards this autumn. The promotion will reward installers, builders and homeowners who choose VELUX whitepainted roof windows during September and October. VELUX white-painted roof windows are the right choice for both lofts and extensions. The rewards of £30 in the UK are redeemable at a range of retailers and restaurants including M&S, Argos, Thomas Cook, Curry’s PC World and Tesco. In Ireland, retailers include Dunnes, Argos, Tesco and Milanos. To receive rewards from VELUX, upload your proof of purchase at If based in Ireland, upload your proof of purchase at

01923 635200

01592 778225

Product Guide

The The The Norwegian Norwegian Norwegian Experience... Experience... Experience...

P C Henderson launches 80 Soft Close system Sliding and folding door manufacturer, P C Henderson, is pleased to launch a new Rustic 80 Soft Close system to further enhance the sophistication of its popular-selling Rustic 80 barn door hardware. The Rustic Soft Close is a high-quality accessory which catches the door in its final moments of travel (80mm) and gently pulls the door into its final position, preventing slamming and adding to the overall longevity of the core product. The product has been expertly designed so that it can be installed quickly and easily onto new or existing applications. Unlike other similar systems, there is no requirement for the track to be removed in order to install the soft close; the mechanism simply slides over the top of the track fittings with no special tooling necessary. Sitting snug behind the track, the product can barely be seen – providing an extremely discreet finish. Tested to 100,000 cycles – which is the equivalent of opening and closing the door five times over the course of 55 years – the system is extremely durable and follows the P C Henderson ethos of withstanding the test of time. The competitively priced system can be used to create a soft-open, softclose or both soft-close and -open when purchasing two kits. Due to its traditional look, Rustic 80 is ideal for barn conversions, period properties or simply for a unique feature in the home. Suitable for internal doors weighing up 80kg, the system is available in 2 and 3m track lengths and in a matte black or stainless steel finish. 0191 377 7345

For over 30 years Nordpeis’ woodburning stoves and fires have For over 30 years Nordpeis’ woodburning stoves and fires have For over 30 years Nordpeis’ woodburning stoves and fires have incorporated our Norwegian design and technical expertise to incorporated our Norwegian design and technical expertise to incorporated our Norwegian and technical expertise to ensure guaranteed warmth in design one of Europe’s coldest climates. ensure guaranteed warmth in one of Europe’s coldest climates. ensure guaranteed warmth in one of Europe’s coldest climates.

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Product Guide

Flat glass rooflights are an ideal way to enhance your extension Extensions are an excellent opportunity to improve your living space and add value to your property. When it comes to planning and designing your extension with your architect, you will no doubt carefully consider the desired natural light,

ventilation and thermal efficiency for this new living space, all while doing everything you can to make it look as good as possible.

Crown takes clean to the extreme Crown Trade has extended its popular Clean Extreme range to create an arsenal of some of the most scrubabble and stain-resistant paint solutions on the market to help win the fight against stains, dirt, mould and bacteria. The water-based range offers three quick-drying and low-odour solutions to creating clean and hygienic surfaces and features Clean Extreme Stain Resistant Scrubbable Matt, Clean Extreme


Mould Inhibiting Scrubbable Matt and Clean Extreme Anti-Bacterial Scrubbable Matt. For projects when surfaces need to be clean with a bit of sheen, the full Clean Extreme range is also

Why would you settle for traditional windows then, when a flat glass rooflight can offer you up to three times more daylight? Aside from the benefit of additional daylight, flat glass rooflights can also help you to regulate the temperature of your extension. Hinged flat glass rooflights will provide you with natural ventilation as and when you want it, ensuring that you do not get too hot and stuffy in the summer. Modern glass rooflights are often now just as thermally-efficient as traditional brickwork and roof structures, with solar control glass options available to help you to keep your extension at just the right temperature throughout the year. Flat glass rooflights don’t necessarily have to be square or rectangular. Every extension is unique, so if your rooflight needs to be circular or even triangular, then this is something that a leading rooflight manufacturer would be able to accommodate for you. The most popular sizes of flat glass rooflights are available to buy online, but if these stock options don’t fit the bespoke needs of your extension, then please call to discuss your project further. 01480 474797

available in a high-performance, stain-resistant, durable and washable Acrylic Eggshell finish. Ideally suited to high traffic areas such as hallways and corridors, Crown Trade’s Clean Extreme Stain Resistant Scrubbable Matt has an impressive durability level of 10,000 scrubs and has been specifically developed to retain its flat matte appearance and ‘just-painted’ appeal even after rigorous cleaning. For areas prone to condensation such as kitchens and bathrooms as well as void properties, Crown Trade’s Clean Extreme Mould Inhibiting Scrubbable Matt can offer long-lasting protection from unsightly and unhygienic mould. For surfaces that need to be hygienically clean, such as healthcare facilities, food preparation areas or children’s play rooms, Crown Trade’s Clean Extreme Anti-Bacterial Scrubbable Matt provides a high-quality anti-bacterial finish. What’s more, the full Clean Extreme range is available in hundreds of tinted colours to help create stylish and attractive decor schemes that are both colourful and clean. 0330 024 0297


Porcelain paver system and coordinating internal tiling Surface 360, formally The Deck Tile Co, has 150+ colours and finishes in their Levato Mono 20mm porcelain paving tile ranges. Plus create a seamless visual transition between internal and external spaces with coordinating interior 10mm porcelain tiling.

For both residential & commercial use. Ideal for balconies, roof terraces, garden decking and piazzas. Various sized 20mm thick porcelain tiles. An eternal zero maintenance product offering massive over-life savings.


Timber, stone & cementitious effects. ‘Floating floor’ – installation over single ply membranes. Height adjustable/slope correcting support system: 9mm - 550mm. Lightweight – 45kgs per m2.

Highly abrasion and stain resistant. Highly slip resistant: R11 A,B&C. High load bearing. Impact resistant. Completely non porous. Frost proof.

Product Guide

Welcome to the ‘dream team’ Latexplan NA Mapei has introduced Latexplan NA, a two-part, fast-setting, smoothing and levelling compound, to the ever-popular ‘dream team’ range of levelling compounds.


atexplan NA is a two-part, fastsetting, moisture-tolerant, cementbased levelling compound, suitable for levelling differences in thickness between 3 to 10mm in one application on new and existing substrates. A single unit (20kg bag and 4.4-litre bottle) will cover approximately 5m² when installed at a thickness of 3mm. The versatility of Latexplan NA means it can be applied over numerous substrates, including over most existing adhesive residues including


bitumen, is suitable for use onto plywood substrates and Mapeproof ESM and Mapeproof One Coat surface DPMs usually without priming. Once applied, Latexplan NA can receive light foot traffic after approximately 60 minutes and is ready to receive floorcoverings after four hours, depending on the ambient temperature. Latexplan NA can also be used in conjunction with underfloor heating and can be applied below surface-applied damp-proof membranes when pre-smoothing of uneven surfaces is required.

Latexplan NA joins Latexplan Trade and Latexplan Trade Fast in the ultimate ‘dream team’ of levelling compounds, offering complete peace of mind for your flooring project in residential installations. For more information on Mapei’s Latexplan ‘dream team’ of levelling compounds, visit the website. 0121 508 6970

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i-build October 2018  

In this issue Hanse Haus discusses how to incorporate accessibility into your self-build to ensure it's future-proof. Elsewhere in the issue...

i-build October 2018  

In this issue Hanse Haus discusses how to incorporate accessibility into your self-build to ensure it's future-proof. Elsewhere in the issue...