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



marvellous marble accessories to give your home that ‘wow’ factor



It takes two

The perfect plot enables one self-builder to build his own home, and another for his parents next door




Welsh Oak Frame helps turn couple’s dreams into a reality

Turnkey wood frame construction provides perfect family home

The important fenestration decisions for your new property



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

Editor in Chief:

Hannah Frackiewicz Editorial Assistant:

Rebecca Kemp Print & Digital Advertising:

Sam Ball

Michael Abrahams

Rebecca Stratten

Hayley Perry Studio Manager:

Chris Lilly Production:

Jack Witcomb Artworker/Sub-editor:

David Perry Accounts:

Simone Jones Managing Director:

Sam Ball

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

Finding the right plot for your dream home is undoubtedly a lengthy process. For some it can take years to find that perfect plot in the perfect location. You might choose to go down the land avenue. While it may be tempting to purchase a cheap parcel of land, there may be a reason for its low cost. Always be sure that the plot you’re interested in has some sort of consent in place. If you’re unsure about the finer details, turn to page 14 where BuildStore’s Raymond Connor talks you through your search process. Alternatively, you may opt to go down the route of demolishing an existing property to make way for your own vision. For our selfbuilders featured in this month’s issue, the demolition of dated bungalows presented the ideal opportunity to redevelop. For the Hobbs family, a bungalow on the outskirts of their village had enough land to meet the needs of the whole family. A decade after moving into the bungalow, demolition took place and now a green oak framed home stands in its place. To find out more, turn to page 18. Similarly, Etienne Patterson and his wife Katie had always dreamt of building their own home, but

never envisaged building one for his parents too on the same plot! Knocking down a dated bungalow created ample space for the two homes side by side. Turn to page 24 to read more about this dynamic duo of self-builds.

Welcome Note


Welcome to the September issue of i-build Elsewhere in this issue, SpecifiedBy discusses the role of the project manager and reveals the questions you should ask yourself to determine if you’re the best person for the job. Meanwhile if you’re looking to make a statement entrance, consider these striking staircase options on page 48. I hope you enjoy this issue. Don’t forget, if you’re coming to the end of your self-build project and would like to offer your home as inspiration for other budding house-builders, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at the usual address. Alternatively, if you’re just beginning your self-build journey, and would be keen for us to document your progress, do get in contact.

Editor in Chief @ibuildmagazine



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

Editor’s picks Aluminium windows, doors and facades by Schueco UK: See page 62, Timber frames and more by Scotframe: See page 57, Washbasins by TOTO: See page 59.

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


Cover story: Although the Pattersons had always harboured the ambition to build their own house, the trigger for doing so was his parents’ future. See page 24.




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September 2016








In this issue: 14 16 18

Desired Designs

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



BuildStore’s Raymond Connor explains how to find the perfect plot for your self-build.

Contracts & Legalities



Should you take on the role of project manager? Darren Lester of SpecifiedBy discusses.

Rural Retreat


Black Millwork explains what self-builders need to know to make good specification choices that are future-proof.



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



marvellous marble accessories to give your home that ‘wow’ factor



Getting your heating and hot water system right could help you save a lot of money. Calor explains more.



Here, manufacturer of power tools, Makita offers its top tips when it comes to sourcing tools for your self-build.




Impressive Innovation ON THE COVER






Modern Methods of Construction ON THE COVER



Doors and windows from Eurocell deliver double performance in style for Hampshire self-build.

i-build explores the role of furniture and fittings in order to create an indoor/outdoor kitchen.

The Bennett family looked to WeberHaus’ turnkey wood frame house construction to make their dream home a reality.



It takes two

The perfect plot enables one self-builder to build his own home, and another for his parents next door


For the Hobbs family, a dated bungalow set in two acres presented the perfect self-build opportunity.

Doors & Windows

September 16 Issue 26


i-build explores the practical considerations for your staircase, such as placement, as well as aesthetics.




Welsh Oak Frame helps turn couple’s dreams into a reality

Turnkey wood frame construction provides perfect family home

The important fenestration decisions for your new property



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

If you’re incorporating bricks into your self-build, there are a host of different designs and finishes available on the market. i-build explores some options.

Make the most of your outdoor space by incorporating a stunning decking area. Here’s what to consider.


Desired Designs

1 2




Blooming marbellous


Add a touch of sophistication to your self-build with these marble and marble-effect pieces.


onsidered a luxury in countries all over the world, the use of marble dates back thousands of years. From the spotless white marble on the Taj Mahal, to the white marble-faced Marble Arch in London’s opulent Mayfair, marble has been employed in some of the world’s most iconic landmarks. And now, this soughtafter material is making its way into the homes of those in search of gracious interiors. Typically appreciated in bathroom and kitchen schemes, the marble theme has expanded into a variety of stylish home accessories, from prints and kitchenware to textiles and even functional furnishings such as clocks and lamps. The utilisation of this wholesome, and occasionally quirky, material will add a sense of purity to a room while injecting a trace of originality to a self-build scheme. Here, i-build has collated a selection of marble and marble-effect pieces for those self-builders in search of a more refined interior.


1. Este marble and brass table lamp, £150, Eclect Design




2. Marble shelf, £59, Idyll Home 3. Marble & copper bar tools set, £60, Oliver Bonas

4. Marble bulb table lamp, £112, MiaFleur

5. Ted Baker marble rug, £1094, Modern Rugs

6. Gold thread, white marble

serving board, £25, Eclect Design

7. Marble cheeseboard, $85, The Design Hunter

8. Marble and brass side table, £325, MiaFleur

9. Vontrueba marble cushion, £26, A Splash of Colour

10. Veneto marble effect tiles, £34.95, Walls and Floors


1 1. Luna lamp marble, £65

2. Round marble cheese board, £30

3. Oliver Bonas marble range,

Desired Designs


from £25

4. Round marble frame table, £210

4 3

Oliver Bonas One company that has progressed our love for marble is retail chain Oliver Bonas. With an eclectic range of products that range from womenswear, furniture and home accessories, to unusual gifts and jewellery, Oliver Bonas’ design team takes inspiration from influences of genres and eras gone by, which is evident in its home accessories’ marble collection. From lamps, to tables and kitchenware, quirky retail store Oliver Bonas’ marble collection features intricate yet unique designs that are perfect to complement the marble theme.


Tick tock Married with minimalism, these marble clocks are the perfect addition for those interiors with simplicity at the forefront of the concept. For those self-builders looking to add traits of the marble theme into their self-build’s interior, these clocks’ clean, yet decorative, faces are ideal for the less adventurous types.

1. Marble wall clock, $499, Granite Lane

2. Marble wall clock, £40, Laura Ashley

3. Wanduhr MARBLE DELIGHT Weiss, €49.95, Tapeten und Uhren

4. Menu Marble wall clock, £219, Black by Design





Desired Designs

Sweet dreams Take that well deserved rest after your selfbuild is complete and get a good night’s sleep with these luxurious beds. 1


Romantic and elegant

Declutter The Chelsea TV bed is a great way to declutter a bedroom space. Using a unique gas lift mechanism, your TV can be simply raised and lowered from the foot of this bed by pushing a metal handle, making it the perfect addition for those who like to relax whilst watching TV.

Sweetpea & Willow’s empirestyled bed is a classic piece. Its sweeping, sleigh headboard and delicate beading, along with beautifully-carved, feathery-leaved, decorated edges, make this piece a showstopper in the bedroom.






Sophisticated selections

Modern moments

Pure luxury

The Bella Walnut bed includes a tasteful square-paneled headboard, finished in faux white leather. The walnut veneer frame provides a striking contrast to the headboard on this ultramodern bed, while sprung slats provide maximum comfort and durability.

Combining the luxury of an upholstered bed with the elegance of a four-poster bed, the exquisite Florence Darkwood bed is the best of both worlds. The lavish tall, buttoned headboard comes together perfectly with the solid beechwood frame to create an elegant bed.




Red hot

The Anneka bed is perfect for those contemporary self-build bedroom schemes. This bed comes in a myriad of colour options suitable for almost every self-build bedroom scheme. The bed’s clean, crisp lines will breathe a breath of fresh air into any bedroom scheme.

For those looking to make a design statement in their selfbuild’s bedroom, the Scarlett bed will fit the bill. The frame on this bed sits close to the mattress, allowing you to maximise bedroom space. The beautiful upholstered, buttoned headboard adds a traditional element to the striking design and the bold colour brings a modern feel.




Desired Designs

Child’s play Creating your very own self-build is a dream come true. So, why not make your children's dreams come true too by creating their very own adventure-filled room? 1


Colour in

Off to bed

The Doodle duvet cover from ‘eatsleepdoodle’ enhances children's creativity in the bedroom. Doodling bedtime stories together, practising handwriting and drawing friendly monsters all creates memories, and because it all washes out, no child grows out of it.

This beautiful Fairy Crown bed canopy is perfect for a little one’s room or a bedroom makeover. It comes with a detachable crown, so the canopy can be washed, and is perfect for getting those troublesome bed-goers to sleep.





Secret hideout

Little mermaids

Give the children a break with a tipi hideout. This tipi from Out There Interiors features a sleeping bear print design and is produced from natural wood and canvas, making it an environmentally-friendly play item.

The Little Mermaid bed, designed by Circu, is a shell-shaped bed. The concept – that shells are meant to protect little pearls from mother nature – is reflected in this design. Produced from fibreglass, this piece is nacre painted and contains internal lighting.




Hear them roar

For the bookworms

The magnetic Dino wallpaper from Sian Zeng offers a magical trip to a far-off land, creating a backdrop for magical stories using an assortment of marvellous magnetic creatures. By interacting with the surface, children can create their own magical stories amongst the desert cactuses using an assortment of marvellous magnetic creatures and write-on speech bubbles.

This cheeky design from Imm Living takes its inspiration from the classic animal balloon art. This adorable home accessory blends form with functionality to create an eye-catching, quirky home accessory for your kids’ rooms, and also serves as a bookend.





Self-build Tips

Five tips for designing your own home

t self-builders entilation solutions

Author profile Oliver Grimshaw is the Head of UK Sales for premium German supplier of premanufactured, high-efficiency homes. Founded back in 1929, Hanse Haus now erects some 400 homes annually Europe-wide and has been active in the UK since 2006. With over 85 years’ experience in the construction industry and boasting more than 30,000 completed homes, the company is also a certified builder of the remarkable Passivhaus; a home that loses almost no heat through its walls, roof and windows, thanks to extremely high levels of thermal insulation.

What others want

in the future. Is it likely you’ll need space for children or grandchildren? Do you have elderly relatives that will need ease of access? Homes are long-term projects and future needs and circumstances should be kept front of mind.

Local planning authorities will have a big say in what you can and can’t do. They may dictate the siting and height of your self-build and, in many cases, the orientation and materials used. All of this will have a great impact on the finished product, so clearing your design with your planning authority quickly will save wasting time on designs that are unlikely to come to fruition. Your architect should know the route through this process. Your plot will also dictate your design. The neighbours will have their say, so trying to fit your design sympathetically into your local surroundings will stand you in good stead for approval. Also, if your plot is on a slope or a flood zone, you will need to adapt your overall design plans to accommodate these conditions. Building Regulations will also hold certain restrictions on your home, such as minimum door widths, or a step-free, disabled access.

What you need

Stay or go?

This is the tough part. Which of these ‘wants’ do you actually need? Be realistic about how many rooms you need, how they should be arranged and whether you should add or remove certain elements based on space and budget. In conventional homes, there is often a shortfall in storage, so ensure your designs have included enough storage. Appliances can take up considerable space, so be sure to factor them in. In the innumerable new homes I’ve been involved with, dedicating rooms for utility and plant systems (heating and ventilation kit) has always proved wise.

Are you planning to stay in your new self-build for the foreseeable future, or are you intending to build the property for an eventual resale? A house that has been overly tailored to ‘quirky’ tastes will have restricted market down the line and be unquestionably harder to sell. Therefore, if there’s even a slim chance that the house being designed won’t be the last, it makes sense to ensure it has appeal for the widest possible audience.

Be realistic about how many rooms you need, how they should be arranged and whether you should add or remove certain elements based on space and budget

Designing one’s own home presents the opportunity to create a living environment that mirrors your personality, habits and aspirations. Before you get there however, you’ll undoubtedly be presented with innumerable decisions. So, what are the key things to consider when designing your own home? Oliver Grimshaw explains.

Get help Whether you’re design orientated with a well-developed set of ideas, or a relative newbie to the thought process, engagement of an architect, or other design professional, is a must. A good designer will understand your goals and will share loads of ideas they have collected. Added to this is the ability of architects to visualise 3D spaces and knowledge of Planning Policy and Building Regulations; skills which are central to the execution of highquality architecture.

What you want Write down the key elements you want to include in your new home. Draw up a rough plan of how many bedrooms you’d like, their sizes and whether you’d like any specific design features. Also, make sure to consider any special requirements you are likely to have

12 0800 302 9220


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Sub-brow Viewpoint Eyebrow

Finding land for your self-build If you’re looking for a self-build opportunity, securing a plot will be top of your list, but where should you start your search? BuildStore’s Raymond Connor investigates.


ne of the most common problems for those wanting to build their own home is finding a suitable plot of land. Unlike the traditional housing market, where estate agents have hundreds of houses for sale in a variety of areas, individual building plots are not so obvious to find. However, with over 12,000 people successfully self-building in the UK every year, there is clearly land available if you know where to look.


Above: Your plot will be the biggest single purchase you make for your project Below: While it’s a good idea to hunt for land with flexibility in mind, a common mistake is searching over too wide an area

While it’s a good idea to hunt for land with flexibility in mind, a common mistake is searching over too wide an area. If you don’t focus your attention on a specific and manageable geographic location, you may find that the sheer scale of the task is overwhelming. Pick the general area you want to be in and focus all your attention on uncovering an opportunity in the vicinity.

Starting your search It’s a good idea to start your search on the internet – this is the best source of plots around. Your first port of call should be registering with PlotSearch (www., which holds the UK’s largest database of self-build, renovation and conversion opportunities. Not only will this give you an idea of the types of plots available in your area, it can also be used as an invaluable tool to assess average land costs. In addition to online activity, register your interest with local estate agents – while they may not regularly have plots of land on offer, they will know who to contact when something comes up. They can also direct you towards local land auctions, where plots suitable for single houses are regularly sold, be they infill sites, knock down and rebuild projects or brownfield land that’s ripe for regeneration. Keep an eye on your local authority’s website too, as this will publish a list of planning applications in the area. You may discover that applicants are seeking consent in order to sell the plot on rather than to develop themselves. Nothing ventured is nothing gained, so contact the applicants to enquire whether they are interested in selling. It’s also worth noting that from April this year, local authorities have a legal obligation to keep a register of individuals looking to self-build – this is part of the Self and Custom Housing Bill 2015. When reviewing


local plans, councils will now have to make provision for those interested in creating their own property and have to ensure there is adequate land provision for them. Custom Build Homes from BuildStore (www. provides the UK’s biggest and longest running record of demand for custom build. It works closely with councils throughout the UK to ensure that their obligations are being fulfilled, as well as alerting those who have registered towards new plot opportunities when they become available.

Elements to consider Your plot will be the biggest single purchase you make for your project. The general rule of thumb is that the final value a self-build can be split into three; one third on the plot, one on the construction costs and the final third is profit. However, you must bear in mind that in areas where land is at a premium, your plot may account for up to 50% of the overall end value. It’s human nature to have a preformed idea of what the perfect plot is – but you have to be realistic about what you can obtain within your budget. In reality, the ideal parcel of land will be hard – if not impossible – to find, and will come with a hefty price tag. So when searching for somewhere to build, the vast majority of people will need to make some sort of compromise, be it on size, location or the condition of the site. Keep an open mind when going on viewings. Some of the best opportunities are uncovered beneath a tangle of brambles, and you’d be surprised by the spaciousness of houses that can be created on the tightest of plots. In many cases, you can change what you don’t like about a plot with a creative house design, but if the compromise seems too big to bear, then move on to the next opportunity.

Above: You’d be surprised by the spaciousness of houses that can be created on the tightest of plots Below: Some of the best opportunities are uncovered beneath a tangle of brambles

OPP and DPP When looking through plot advertisements, you’ll discover that they are mostly available with one of two types of planning consent – outline planning permission (OPP) and detailed planning permission (DPP). In general terms, the former means that in development, consent has been granted in principle, while DPP means that specific plans have already been approved. Don’t dismiss a plot on the basis that the permitted design isn’t to your liking. Even with DPP in place, it’s possible to submit a revised design or even a completely new application for something totally different without revoking the existing consent. Remember that in the UK, land is notoriously expensive and the difference in cost between a plot with and without some sort of planning permission can be huge. However, don’t be tempted to make a purchase on something that doesn’t have some sort of approval in place. A cheap parcel of land will be low cost for a reason; don’t buy into the idea that ‘it’ll get permission one day’ as it’s an expensive, and potentially fruitless, risk to take. To start your search for the perfect plot, visit, to register your interest in custom build go to and for more information on self-build go to the BuildStore website.


Contracts & Legalities

other and managing them can be a tricky job. If you already have a full-time job, then this might be too much to take on – then again, it might be just the challenge you thrive on. Any self-build project will have a timescale involved and the quicker work needs to be done, the more you pay for it. If you push workmen to do things too quickly, then quality can suffer and rework may end up slowing things down anyway. Similarly, skimping on the money spent might seem a good idea, but will result in poor quality materials and low standards of work. It can even end up taking more time, as you might need to get someone in to deal with the problems that have occurred. Quality is intrinsically involved with both of these options.

Can you project manage your own self-build?

Above: Some selfbuilders may feel overwhelmed at the thought of project managing their own build Below: If you already have a full-time job, then managing all of the components may become tricky

Darren Lester, Founder of SpecifiedBy, the product specification search platform used by builders, contractors and architects, discusses the role of the project manager and questions who is best equipped to take on the job.


roject management is one of those jobs that can be a little hard to summarise. When it comes to a self-build project, many people take on the job themselves, but is this the best option or should you hire in a professional to take on the role?

Understanding the job To understand if self-managing the project is for you, it helps to understand what the role entails. Most people will say that the project is like a three-pointed triangle with the points being money, quality and time. All have effects on the

Who can project manage? So if you decide that balancing all these elements isn’t your forte, then who should you consider for the job? For starters, there are specialist project managers. These are people who do the job for a living and will charge around 10-15% of the cost of the project to manage it for you. They will offer guarantees about their work and can be a great solution if there are various companies or individuals involved in the job. The main contractor can often take on the role and, if you don’t have a project manager, kind of end up doing it by default! You should ensure that they are used to taking on this role and have experience of it before the project starts. Likewise, the architect or designer involved in the project may be able to take on the job, but check what they charge for this additional work.

The importance of communication The key to project management is communication with everyone involved. This will ensure things go smoothly and to plan or quickly find solutions if problems occur. The project manager (or yourself if you go DIY) should ensure that everyone is following the plans and be able to listen to those potential problems then help come up with solutions. Asking about progress, issues and other matters is another key part of the job. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of tradesmen, because a professional project manager would. You stand at the centre of things and need to ask questions, give out information and act as a go-between for everyone involved in the self-build to get a successful, on time and on budget outcome.


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Sub-brow RuralEyebrow Retreat

Country living When a 1970s bungalow with two acres of land came up for sale in the picturesque village of Pirbright, Surrey, Mike and Jenny Hobbs jumped at the chance of buying it.


The new green oak frame house sits on a plot of about two acres on the edge of the village


e were living 100 yards away and loved the area, but really wanted somewhere with more space and the potential to redevelop. The bungalow sat in about two acres of land so had plenty of potential space for a growing family. The plot was a good size, quiet with a rural outlook and it had outbuildings which meant Mike could work from home,” says Jenny. “The fact that we had lived in the village for a number of years, knew the area, had family and friends close by and had children at the local primary school, made the decision very easy.” There were several developers interested in the site, but eventually the couple were successful and moved in with their three children, Pippa, Oliver and Matthew. A decade later the bungalow was demolished and Jenny and Mike looked to Welsh Oak Frame to help them turn the home of their dreams into a reality. Mike explains: “We wanted the house to be light and airy with a large amount of open-plan living, linking the outside to the inside. We also wanted the house to have character and feel warm yet have a high degree of technology integrated, which swayed us towards the new build oak frame route. Having looked at a number of newly-built oak frame houses and barn conversions, we knew that this was going to be the way forward. This was cemented further when we met up with John Edmunds of Welsh Oak Frame at an exhibition.” Jenny adds: “The planning permission took several years of compromising with the local authority, but we had fantastic people on board who enabled us to achieve the design we wanted, even though we had to sacrifice a couple of outbuildings in the process.” Using a CAD software package, the couple explored many different designs based on houses they had seen whilst looking at options that would suit their lifestyle. Mike explains further: “The design was adjusted following advice from a local planning consultancy and discussions with Guildford Borough Council, which was then handed to John Edmunds of Welsh Oak Frame to create a final design that could be built using green oak. The final design was then submitted to GBC for approval.” For Mike and Jenny, building their own home was a new experience and proved to be a very steep learning curve, however with a great team on board any challenges were quickly resolved. Mike enthuses: “I had a very competent and good spirited right-hand man, which helped hugely. Although the frame was erected by Welsh Oak Frame, developing the build from the skeletal oak frame, especially around the dormers, did pose some serious head scratching. “The full-height atrium proved to be difficult to handle mainly due to its scale. But thankfully it all worked out in the end.” In terms of managing the project, the couple took on most of the responsibility, but trades were employed as and when they were needed. The project’s electrician had fortunately built his own home, so he was able to step in and help project manage whilst on site.

Rural Retreat

† 19

RuralEyebrow Retreat Sub-brow

Jenny and Mike looked to Welsh Oak Frame to help them turn the home of their dreams into a reality

Using a competent team of tradesmen meant Mike and Jenny could concentrate on the finer details such as selecting the materials for the build. Jenny explains: “We knew the types of finishes that we required, so it was a matter of sourcing the materials and products from magazines, friends and the web to ensure that we got what we wanted at the price we could afford.”

Renewable systems One of the conditions in the planning consent meant the couple had to use a certain amount of renewable systems. In Jenny and Mike’s case this extended to solar thermal panels, rainwater harvesting, a wood burning stove and a heat recovery ventilation system – however, implementing these systems was what pushed the build slightly over budget, as Mike explains: “We had

obtained a couple of quotes from builders to take on the complete build but we couldn’t afford them hence why we went down the ‘project manage’ route. We had a budget, but did exceed this by about 20%, although this was still considerably cheaper than employing builders. The unexpected costs really came about due to the green systems we incorporated into the build and not anticipating how much the whole process would cost.” Initially the build was given a timeframe of six months, but as the complexities of the build mounted the family soon realised that was going to be unfeasible. In the end, the property took a year to complete which was a more realistic timeframe for this type of build. The new green oak frame house sits on a plot of about two acres on the edge of the village. It is surrounded by landscaped gardens which has

Jenny and Mike wanted the house to have character and feel warm

a swimming pool, swimming pool shed (both of which already came with the bungalow), office, garden studio, chicken run and vegetable patch approached by a gravel drive over a small stream. To the rear of the office is a large area of hardstanding. Jenny is a garden designer by trade, so this aspect was relatively easy. She explains: “We have a pool on one side of the garden and a vegetable plot on the other. This formed the basis of the design, both of which are edged by hedges and borders. Both are connected by paths and patios which also link a work studio and herb garden. The house has been positioned in such a way that the central atrium looks directly at a mature oak tree located towards the end of the plot, which is adjoined by a small orchard. “The front driveway is gravel with a central grassed area in where a magnolia tree has been planted with borders to the front and side of the house. Privet hedging edges the driveway on one side, beyond is a sunken fernery adjoining a small stream that flows on the boundary edge. The garden also comprises a number of zones reflecting different schemes or designs, ranging from English borders to Mediterranean herbs, vegetables, orchard.” Jenny continues: “The design has been incorporated over a number of years prior to and after the new house was built, which means the gardens have an established feel to them.” Using Jenny’s gardening contacts, the hard landscaping was completed to allow the soft landscaping to be integrated over time. The house itself is approximately 310m2 and has a floor-to-ceiling first floor void with large windows set within oak beams that take in views over the garden. The house is open-plan,



Sub-brow RuralEyebrow Retreat Above: The Coach House encompasses future-proofing features ensuring it remains comfortable, efficient and economical Left: A mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) system was specified for the Coach House Above left: The Coach House is endlessly respectful of its surroundings Right: The sympathetic construction took the place of an old, inefficient and impractical building

Having looked at a number of newly-built oak frame houses and barn conversions, the couple knew that this was going to be the way forward


Rural Retreat

The landing has views over the garden from the atrium area

differently we would have tried other means of achieving the required energy-efficiency ratings as we feel the heat recovery system is overkill for what it cost. And if the banks were a little more flexible, we would of course do it all again.” Offering some words of advice following his own experience, Mike says: “Be prepared for the amount of questions and queries that are fired at you on a daily basis by all trades – it does get exhausting towards the end. Try to keep to budget, but at the same time don’t compromise on quality as you will suffer down the line. Don’t be afraid to ask for technical help; a lot of the trades know a huge amount more than you do as they have been doing this for a good deal longer.” Reflecting on their self-build journey, Mike concludes: “The sheer scale of the building process was quite daunting, but well worth the pain.”

The full-height atrium proved to be difficult to handle mainly due to its scale

light and airy comprising a kitchen/breakfast room, dining area in the void, lounge, snug/TV room, larder, WC, utility room and a plant room downstairs. Upstairs there are four bedrooms, three of which have en-suites, a family bathroom and a dressing room off the master bedroom. The landing has views over the garden from the atrium area. Jenny adds: “The house sits beautifully within its surrounding landscape – we developed it with the house in mind.” Internally, all of the oak beams are visible including the ceiling rafters giving the house a warm feeling – a feature that is especially admired by visitors and guests.

Making sacrifices In terms of the finished build, the couple are very happy, in spite of having to make some sacrifices. Mike explains: “We did have some planning restraints which, in our mind, did compromise the design a little and we would have liked more height so the bedrooms could be more airy, but we had to curtail this to fall within planning. Having said this, the house is really conducive to our way of living and just as we wanted.” He continues: “If we were to have done anything

22 In terms of the finished build, the couple are very happy, in spite of having to make some sacrifices

Each one of our customers is unique, which is why we listen to your ideas and consider your needs, to create a design in partnership with you that fulfils all desires. We manufacture each item to the highest quality, with numerous stages of inspection. All items are manufactured at our premises in London, Wembley.

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Sub-brow Impressive Innovation Eyebrow

My family next door Although Etienne Patterson and his wife Katie had always harboured the ambition to build their own house, the trigger for doing so was his parents’ future.



um and Dad wanted to downsize with more downstairs-focused living, but there wasn’t anything local enough for them to suit their needs,” says Etienne. The initial plan was to buy an existing house with sufficient grounds to build a house for the elder Pattersons, but then a dilapidated

1950s bungalow, set in a wildly overgrown acre of land, came up for sale just a mile and a half from where they lived in Woolton Hill, Hampshire. The site was ideal, with plenty of room for two homes, and an established site complete with trees and hedges. “I fell in love with it because I had a horror of just building a house in a field,” Etienne recalls.

Set against 12 other bidders, ranging from selfbuilders like themselves to property developers, the Pattersons won the sealed bid auction in 2012 and set about the planning process, which took around 24 months. The issue was not the building plans nor even the tree preservation orders, but Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. This states that when a development results

Impressive Innovation in a higher density of population, the developer must make a legal agreement to contribute to the local authority for the increased demands for services that will result. “I understand why it’s necessary for house-builders but for self-builders like us it is rather onerous,” comments Etienne. The Pattersons were well-armed with material for designing their dream homes, as Etienne and his wife had been to many exhibitions and collected clippings

Above: The results are a fourbedroom home for the Pattersons and a three-bedroom home for the Pattersons' parents Top right: The actual construction was carried out by a recommended local builder, Calco Above right: The Pattersons won the sealed bid auction in 2012

of the homes they admired. The results are two houses – a four-bedroom home for the Pattersons and their children and a three-bedroom home for the Pattersons' parents – that are a hybrid of two building methods, oak frame with timber frame encapsulation, with externally a combination of render, brick slips and weatherboarding. The impressive insulation overlaying a skeleton of oak offers a contemporary take on a traditional design.

† 25

Sub-brow Impressive Innovation Eyebrow The houses were designed by John Williams, who predominantly works with the oak frame manufacturer, Oakwrights. This was after the Pattersons had experimented with another off-the-shelf oak frame design company. “We realised that we wanted a more contemporary design with traditional carpentry methods, and John talked to us about what we hoped to achieve; including visiting our homes to see how we lived before he came back with the first drafts,” says Etienne, who then engaged Tim Potts at The Oak Frame Carpentry Company to build the frames. Potts impressed the Pattersons with his attention to detail and also his 3D design, as this meant the family could ‘virtually’ walk around the rooms before they were built and see how they would work in practice. “Tim was exceptionally knowledgeable and was able to add enhancement that we hadn’t even thought about, such as the sling braces in our vaulted hall,” says Etienne.


Sub-brow Eyebrow Impressive Innovation

The actual construction was carried out by a recommended local builder, Calco, with the Pattersons acting as what Etienne describes as ‘an active client’. With hindsight, though, he thinks that there may have been benefits employing a project manager, as this might have avoided some delays, introducing and coordinating the builders with the oak framers and designers earlier and keeping a tighter rein on the timeline. “Looking back to when we were researching which oak frame manufacturer to go with, we visited a lot of homes and it would have been helpful to have taken the builders along so they had more of an idea of what we were planning,” he says.

Cost-effective components Etienne adopted four criteria in choosing components and materials: everything had to be cost-effective to install, run and maintain, as well as complementing the pastoral setting. For instance, both two-storey homes are equipped with 49 triple glazed Eurocell Modus casement windows and nine French doors, residential doors and stable doors, all finished in agate grey externally and white wood grain internally. It was important to Etienne that every element looks as if it is timber but with the unrestricted sightlines of metal and the best-in-class technical performance of PVC-U. “Everything had to be cost-effective to run and maintain – I didn’t want to be climbing ladders to rub down or paint windows in 10 years’ time – and clearly energy costs have to be low,” Etienne says. He looked at many different door and window systems before selecting the Modus range, commenting: “This type of house is not intended to have PVC-U, but is meant to be fitted with external doors and windows made of more expensive materials, either all timber, composite or metal.” He added: “Given that we wanted to achieve efficiency both in energy and cost, Modus offered us both, particularly important was the fact Modus doesn’t have the clumsy welds that many PVC-U systems have and has the elegance and simplicity to fit in and enhance the design of the houses.”

Left: The triple glazed units installed by the Pattersons achieve a U-value as low as 0.7 Above: Energy efficiency was important for Etienne Below left: The insulation overlaying a skeleton of oak offers a contemporary take on a traditional design Below: The windows can be opened together to provide a massive escape route

Colour was another important consideration as Eurocell could supply all the doors and windows with an agate grey finish on the outside to complement the general ‘heritage’ look made fashionable by paint manufacturers such as Farrow & Ball – and back it with the company’s unique colour match guarantee – while the internal finish is white ash. Energy efficiency and keeping down the bills were also important, though Etienne decided against going for the whole Passivhaus specification. The Modus


Safety first The slim framed design of the Modus casement windows matched the overall aesthetic of the two houses and the opening windows are indistinguishable from the nonopening ones, so the appearance is uniform. “The casement design means the window can have a floating mullion, so the first floor windows work like a patio door, all four bedrooms have units in a line arranged so that the left-hand or right-hand pair can be opened together to provide a massive escape route.” For Etienne, an incident commander in the Fire and Rescue Service, this was an important point, he says: “It means the bedroom windows provide excellent means of escape, but they don’t look any different to the rest of the house.”


Impressive Innovation doors and windows are crucial, as the triple glazed units installed by the Pattersons achieve a U-value as low as 0.7. Although the house “smashed the air tests”, according to Etienne, it is kept ventilated with fresh air at the ambient temperature through a RegaVent MVHR (mechanical ventilation and heat recovery) unit. “I think every home should have one, we get fresh

Above: Potts impressed the Pattersons with his attention to detail and also his 3D design Below: Colour was an important consideration as Eurocell could supply all the doors and windows with an agate grey finish

air but no draughts, and they’re very efficient,” says Etienne, who also considered air source and ground source heat pumps to heat the home before opting for an oil-fired boiler from Grant. The heat pumps turned out to be impractical as the vegetation ruled out the ground source. Air source was “an upfront cost issue and uncertain future electricity cost”, compared with oil’s significantly lower initial outlay at around 25% of it. That said, the system is to accept air source, because the boiler is outside.

Home sweet home The project did over-run its budget, as these things always do, but not by much. The plastering, for instance, took longer than scheduled. Other elements, such as groundworks, were kept to the budget by advance planning. The foundations were designed by a consultant, ensuring that they were designed to the right depth in the right areas according to the soil, rather than dictated by a building control officer from the local council. The result is two homes designed especially for the people living in them and, after a year’s build, Etienne is adamant that this was the right course for him and for his family. “I would do it all again. People come and ask what we would change if we were doing it again from scratch and the answer is nothing: we’re really happy at how it turned out.”


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Left: Flooring should flow from the inside out, to make the room feel like it is part of the outside Below left: More neutral beiges, greys, creams and light greens work best to blend with the outside

Bring the outdoors into the kitchen About a quarter of all kitchens designed by ‘Kitchen Retailer of the Year’ Kitchens International now are large open-plan indoor/outdoor kitchens. The Great British Bake Off and numerous TV cooking programmes have not just inspired us to take up home cooking, but also to redesign our kitchens.


op of so many people’s wish lists are large, spacious kitchens that preferably open onto decking or a balcony or garden. Whether you have a large

space to play with or a tighter L-shaped area, an indoor/outdoor kitchen can be created with clever location of cabinetry, doors, windows, glass roofing and lighting.

As the British weather is so changeable, we use the shifting external light to act as mood lighting, creating different atmospheres and dynamics. This can create a more interesting space and depending on the aspect of the kitchen, internal lighting can complement the natural external light through the seasons. According to Paul O’Brien at Kitchens International, the kitchen designer will consider many elements when designing an ‘indoor/outdoor’ kitchen. “Most importantly is the location of the cabinetry and island or peninsula. It is key that the person cooking must have a good view, as well as those eating or socialising. We often recommend larger back units to hug the wall and provide storage, leaving the island for food prep and cooking as well as essential storage, then giving way to a zoned dining area and a lower sitting area so everyone can maximise the views.” Colour and flooring are important. Choice of cabinetry, wall and floor colouring must harmonise with the outdoors, so harsh, strong colours should be avoided and more neutral beiges, greys, creams and light greens work best to blend with the outside. Flooring should flow from the inside out, to make the room feel like it is part of the outside. If considering a new indoor/outdoor kitchen, Kitchens International has a few top tips: Planning – there are many planning considerations, such as how much glass you will be installing, the amount of space in the cooking zone and the noise and location of appliances. Check this all out with your designer first. Lighting – use external natural lighting where possible, complemented by zoned internal lighting. Doors – these are key in bringing the outdoors in, so consider what works best for your property. Avoid fussy or cluttered designs as these will detract from the natural beauty outside. Design the whole room so the eye is drawn to the outdoors especially if there is a good view, so nothing tall must obstruct this view. Avoid reflective materials as this will be too bright and shiny.






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Left: A generous roof terrace surrounds half the house and also extends into the space outside where there is a large garden, a solar-heated pool and outdoor shower Below: A 30m2 kitchen has been designed to accommodate the Bennetts’ lifestyle and allow guests to be entertained informally

of which is Dean and Wilma’s domain, comprising the master bedroom, two dressing rooms and a large en-suite bathroom. The rest of the upper floor and its spectacular gallery includes bedrooms and en-suites. A generous roof terrace surrounds half the house and also extends into the space outside where there is a large garden, a solar-heated pool and outdoor shower.

Technological living

The perfect family home The Bennetts from London had selected Cambridgeshire as the location for their dream home and acquired the perfect plot of land on which to build. Their search for new-home inspiration led them to WeberHaus and its turnkey wood frame house construction.


hen the time came for Dean and Wilma Bennett to consider their new home, they decided to build something perfectly suited to their needs. Their existing home was a classic, British stone-built house, but the couple found it too drafty. The Bennetts attended a number of construction shows to gather details on different options and were introduced to WeberHaus. This revealed the idea of building a turnkey house in wood frame construction and their research began in earnest, as they began to contact existing WeberHaus customers to fact-find and ensure that this was the right solution for them. Dean commented: “We loved our location, the view, the peace and quiet and the easy access to town, so we wanted to get our new home exactly right. Speaking to WeberHaus customers persuaded us that the accuracy, contractual protection and efficiency they had experienced would make our process as well.” The couple flew to Germany to visit the factory


and show homes at WeberHaus HQ, as well as visiting three houses on the Isle of Man, to gain inspiration for their own plans. In particular, the characteristic WeberHaus features of high ceilings, sliding doors and window proportions appealed to the couple. This, in addition to reputed German thoroughness and quality workmanship, confirmed WeberHaus as the supplier of choice.

The house The completed house comprises around 420m² in total. The 40m² hall provides a stunning entrance with its feature staircase, custom-made by WeberHaus in Germany and incorporating LED underlighting. The living and dining areas measure 67m², with a 30m² kitchen separating the two, designed to accommodate the Bennetts’ lifestyle and allow guests to be entertained informally. Additional home comforts built to suit the family’s needs include a soundproof games room, large library and en-suite bathrooms for every bedroom on both floors. The upper floor offers 166m², one whole wing

In the Bennetts’ house everything is connected and the numerous consoles, computers, monitors and lamps are all linked to the mains electricity. More than three kilometres of cable runs through the walls, far more than in standard homes. Dean commented: “The WeberHaus team has done an immaculate job using special category seven cable.” He continued: “The whole construction process is far more pleasant than with conventional housebuilding. No cement mixers, no piles of building materials, no weeks of annoying construction dirt. Everything was installed immediately, just in time.” The property is heated by a pump powered by the adjacent river. “Having the pump in continuously flowing water has crucial advantages in the event of frost,” Wilma explained.

Happily ever after The Bennetts’ completed WeberHaus home perfectly suits their lifestyle. Wilma and Dean concluded: “Our house was designed with us in mind, mixing large, family spaces so that we can be together playing or watching television, with individual areas that provide personal space. We love our warm and comfortable new family home.”

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Doors & Windows

Windows that work Choosing the right fenestration for your property is an important, long-term decision and there is a lot to consider. Here Gary Hutton, General Manager at Black Millwork, explains what self-builders need to know to make good specification choices that are truly future proof.


odern house-building has become increasingly complex with homes being tasked to achieve more and more, whether that be energy efficiency performance, adaptable living spaces or aesthetics. These considerations are even more important to the self-builder as the project becomes personal and often represents a ‘forever home’ situation. In these instances, fenestration choice is crucial as not only will it have a huge impact on the external appearance of the property, it will also affect the building’s performance and comfort. The first and most basic consideration is style and this will largely be dictated by the material choice. Timber is often preferred for traditional and country-style properties and is seen as an aspirational choice because of its classic visual appeal and warm texture. It has great durability and is very versatile. Timber also offers exceptional performance.


Above: This £1.25m property, inspired by the New England style, includes a number of large feature windows with quarter and half circle finishes, as well as a bespoke front door to match Left: Black Millwork’s range offers both contemporary and traditional styles, suitable for sleek, modern developments and classic renovations alike Above right: An impressive self-build property with a unique American style has used highly efficient Andersen windows supplied by Black Millwork Right: Andersen windows and doors from Black Millwork have been used in the refurbishment of a multimillion pound private home in Suffolk

High specification For completely contemporary properties, aluminium products are a great fit, but it’s worth highlighting that high specification options are always best to guarantee the longevity of the units. Aluminium, as well as timber, is a very sustainable choice and can be easily recycled. What’s more, aluminium windows and doors are easily manufactured into huge bespoke shapes and sizes, whilst retaining their strength, making them a versatile option. The other key consideration when choosing fenestration is thermal efficiency. With some figures estimating that as much as 25% of a home’s heat loss is through its windows and doors, choosing efficient units is essential to the longterm performance of a home. Put simply, two options then present themselves to self-builders: either keep the number of windows and doors to a minimum, or use highly thermal efficient units.

Doors & Windows

A little known fact about timber is that it is widely recognised as one of the most efficient natural insulators available and when this is combined with modern glazing technology, timber windows and doors can perform even better than they look. The Andersen ‘A’ Series double glazed casement window, for example, delivers impressive energy efficiency ratings, with a U-value of just 1.4 W/m2K and this drops to a staggering 0.93 W/m2K in the triple glazed units. Timber fenestration can also lend itself to modern refurbishments of period buildings with the option of dual finish products – that is, a unit with a different interior style to that of the exterior. This way, the fenestration can blend into local architecture on the outside, but provide an individual style on the interior.

Whilst restricting the quantity of fenestration may seem like a money saving idea, it is worth bearing in mind that a good portion of the money saved on heating will go into additional artificial lighting instead. Reducing the amount of natural daylight entering a property can have other negative impacts too, as exposure to natural daylight can actually improve health, mood and social interactions making for a much more enjoyable environment – it can even kill bacteria in buildings helping them stay clean. The good news is that highly thermal efficient units are readily available and because of advances in modern fenestration technology large expanses of glazing can be easily integrated into super-efficient home designs with no risk to performance integrity. What’s more, modern windows and doors are now capable of being used architecturally as well as functionally because of their strength, opening up new and exciting design possibilities. For selfbuilders, a wall of glass needn’t be a pipe dream

anymore, as it is now both structurally and thermally viable. However this is dependent on the U-value achieved by the unit in question. A U-value is a measure of heat loss and it’s what the fenestration industry uses to grade the thermal efficiency of different units. It is quoted in W/m2K, which shows the amount of heat lost in watts (W) per square metre of material when the temperature (K) outside is at least one degree lower than inside. It may sound complicated but in simple terms, the lower the value the better as this means it will lose less heat. As a benchmark, a good U-value to look out for would be no higher than 1.5 W/m2K for high-quality double glazed units, or below 1.0 W/m2K with triple glazed units. In particular relation to the comfort of a home, glazing choices become even more important. If fenestration units with high U-values are installed in a property, then cold zones will form in areas around the windows and doors causing draughts. This can become particularly uncomfortable in the winter months. If you were to take a house, for example, that is being heated to maintain an internal temperature of 21°C, when the outside temperature dropped below zero you could expect surface temperatures on various types of glazing as follows: 1°C on single glazed windows, 16°C on modern double glazed windows and 18°C on triple glazed windows. The difference is clear to see and shows how significant convection draughts will form if poor quality units and glazing is used. Choosing the right windows and doors is crucial not just to the aesthetics, but to the longterm performance and liveability of a home, and thanks to modern technology, fenestration no longer needs to be the thermal weak point. At Black Millwork we provide high-quality products and have years of experience in helping selfbuilders achieve the results they want.


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Stoves for every home


Fuelling the off-grid dream With so many beautiful fixtures and fittings to choose from, deciding how to heat your home isn’t the most exciting part of a self-build project! But getting the heating and hot water system right could help you save a lot of money – especially if you’re building off the mains gas grid. Gregor Dalgleish from Calor discusses some of the main areas to consider including fuel options, installation costs and boiler types.


ne of the first things you’ll need to know is which fuel options are available for your off-grid plot and which best fits your lifestyle. You might be fortunate enough to have a mains gas supply close by and the National Grid may be able to connect your home. However, the costs can run to hundreds or even thousands of pounds and the installation can often be quite time consuming and disruptive, so you might need to consider alternatives.

Above: With an LPG heating system you can have all the conveniences of mains gas, offgrid – and it’s affordable, secure and reliable too Below: The Nest Learning Thermostat, available from Calor, is designed to adapt your home’s temperature to your behaviour

Some of your neighbours’ homes may be fuelled by oil, but you might prefer not to have a bulky tank in the garden and would perhaps like to find a fuel that’s better for the environment too. Renewable energy is an option, but you may feel slightly wary about planning your home’s heating system solely around a technology that is dependent on the weather.

Getting connected With an LPG (liquid petroleum gas) heating system you can have all the conveniences of mains gas, off-grid – and it’s affordable, secure and reliable too. It can also be a great partner fuel for renewable energy, working with hybrid heat pump systems to provide a back-up fuel supply during the colder, winter months. From central heating to hot water, gas fires to cooking, LPG is really versatile. It can even fuel a tumble dryer, so you’ve got far more choices when it comes to planning your new kitchen – and you don’t have to think about using other fuels, such as electric, to cook with.

Considering costs Once you’ve chosen your fuel type, you will need to think carefully about the efficiency of your heating system, especially when it comes to the SAP (Standard Assessment Procedure) rating of your home.

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Homebuild & Renovating Show quater page.pdf 1 12/08/2016 16:12:03


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Left: By monitoring your habits, Nest is able to create a personalised heating schedule

option. Or, if you would like a smaller supply just for cooking, or have limited outside space, a four-pack cylinder installation provides a compact alternative.

Smart controls

Typically, the more efficient you can make your property, the easier it is to have the build signed off – and this is where LPG can help. It has a better SAP rating than oil or electricity so you may not need to install additional renewable technologies to help improve the rating. You will also need to consider all of the ‘lifetime ownership’ costs involved – the cost of the equipment, the installation, and the ongoing maintenance. It is recommended that boilers should be replaced every 10 to 15 years and with LPG boilers costing on average £900 less to buy than an oil model, they can help you save on your fixtures and fittings’ costs. What’s more, oil boilers tend to have more soot build-up than LPG boilers, so may need more maintenance and servicing over time to keep them running efficiently. A new oil tank could cost up to £2000 to buy, plus installation costs, and you will also need adequate insurance in place should your tank leak and cause any environmental damage. With LPG, the cost of boiler and tank installation and maintenance may be significantly less. For example, with Calor, when switching from any fuel type, an above ground gas tank is installed free of charge, including delivery and connection of the pipework to your home.

For a small monthly payment, most LPG suppliers retain ownership of the tank too, which means they will insure it and take care of any repairs or maintenance. If you would prefer to have the tank hidden from view, an underground tank is a great

Finally, don’t forget to think about your heating controls to make sure you’re running your new home as efficiently as possible. Many of the latest smart heating controls are compatible with LPG boilers – take for example the Nest Learning Thermostat, available from Calor, which is designed to adapt your home’s temperature to your behaviour. By monitoring your habits – such as what time you leave the house on weekdays – Nest is able to create a personalised heating schedule tailored to you. The aim is for the device to know so much about your habits that you’ll never have to change the temperature by hand – it even allows you to control your heating remotely from your mobile phone! So, it’s clear to see that with an LPG system you get all the versatility and reliability of mains gas and value for money when it comes to ‘lifetime ownership’ costs.



The self-builder’s tool kit A self-build project will be the biggest challenge you undertake, so it’s worth adding some hard core machinery and budgeting accordingly. Here, manufacturer of power tools, Makita, offers its top tips when it comes to sourcing tools for your self-build.


emember, a DIY quality drill, for instance, is fine for those maintenance jobs around the house. But will that DIY drill work a full shift six or seven days a week? Reliability and rugged performance are the bywords for professional tools. A combi drill has got to be the starting point of any tool list. Let’s also go for a cordless philosophy. Today’s lithium-ion battery technology is first class and now the brushless motors give greater run-time, longer battery and tool life and the highest power output. Also, the manoeuvrability of cordless means no wires, transformers and safety risks to worry about. A sound specification for your combi would drive a maximum of 16mm into masonry and up to 76mm into timber. A dedicated impact driver would be especially valuable if you are using a substantial timber frame construction method. A typically useful impact driver generates a mighty 175Nm of torque and will easily drive those big, M8 timber screws home and even an M14 high tensile bolt.


If you are likely to need the capacity to break into existing brickwork, or find you have to cut into concrete for fixings, then a rotary hammer drill is essential. A 3.5kg cordless rotary hammer drill will generate a massive two joules of energy, enough to power a 20mm drill bit into concrete. These will certainly be SDS Plus machines which have a chuck that takes a different type of industrial drill bit fitting. This gives stronger interface between the drill action and the bit and doesn’t rely on the grip factor of the normal three-jaw twist to tighten chuck. Most notably is dust and the reduction of its spread by the use of dust extraction vacuum equipment. Technically, if you are working with brick, masonry, gypsum, tile, wood, plastic, and anything containing silica sand, you should be using an M class extractor, which will remove 99.9% of the harmful elements. Other machines, or L class vacs, don’t meet the M class safety criteria. Sanding either timber or plaster materials prior to finishing really warrants you adding a sander to your shopping list. Whilst a cordless orbital sander with three speeds will run up to 22,000 strokes per minute and carry the hook and loop velcro-type fitting of abrasive material, the long run times may steer you towards a corded sander and probably a half sheet finishing sander, giving the greatest capacity as you prepare surfaces for decoration. A cordless jigsaw is invaluable and a circular saw with a 165mm diameter blade will be all you need. The jigsaw, with a maximum cut of 135mm in timber, will be used to install sinks and boxing around waste pipes, whilst the circular saw, with a 57mm maximum cut, will size panels and structural timber easily. For first and second fix work, a slide compound mitre saw will be useful. To get architraves to fit neatly, a mitre angle range between 45° to 57° is handy and if you need to cut material on an angle, the bevel range should be 45° to 50°. At 90°, this saw will cut 300mm wide stock up to two inches deep. Fixing plaster board, especially overhead, is made easier with an auto-feed screwdriver, which will carry a tape of drywall screws up to 75mm in length and drive home the screw at up to 4000rpm. Above: Reliability and rugged performance are the bywords for professional tools Right: A dedicated impact driver would be especially valuable if you are using a substantial timber frame construction method

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Grand Designs Live Preview

Left: Once again, Kevin McCloud, design guru and Presenter, will be hosting the five-day run of the famous home show Below: Based on the popularity of previous years, the show has been extended to five days and with 500 exhibitors making their way to the NEC, there is something for everyone across the six different sections of the show

Grand Designs Live returns to Birmingham for its 11th year Grand Designs Live is set to return to Birmingham from 19th to 23rd October. The event promises to break down conventional limitations to homebuilding and offers visitors a chance to view the latest trends and unseen products.


ased on the popularity of previous years, the show has been extended to five days and with 500 exhibitors making their way to the NEC, there is something for everyone across the six different sections of the show covering build, kitchens, bathrooms, technology, gardens and interiors. Once again, Kevin McCloud, design guru and Presenter, will be hosting the five-day run of the famous home show. Bringing his renowned expertise and distinctive style and approach to the event, October’s Grand Designs Live is set to be one of the most exciting, engaging and informative exhibitions to date. Alongside these amazing features, the show offers an array of other great attractions, including: Ask an Expert, sponsored by Express BiFolding Doors – If visitors are in the planning stages of home development, they can bring their plans along and book in a for a free 30-minute session with a myriad of experts who specialise in areas such as architecture, project management, interior design, finance and more.


Grand Theatre, sponsored by Airflow – This is the place to come for those looking for lively debates, interesting talks and hands on demonstrations. These interactive, live sessions will be held throughout the five-day show with a host of experts sharing their wisdom with home design enthusiasts. Live Kitchen Experience, sponsored by Miele – For cooking buffs, the Live Kitchen Experience is a must-see feature, with top chefs hard at work showing audiences how to prepare delicious meals and take advantage of kitchen appliances in live demos. Kitchen Advice Centre, sponsored by Miele – On the back of its successful debut in 2015, the Kitchen Advice Centre is back in 2016 and visitors can book free 30-minute consultations looking at all aspects of kitchen planning and development. Kevin’s Green Heroes – Each year Kevin showcases the most innovative and useful ecofriendly gadgets and products on the market. His hand-picked selection reveals the latest trends in green technology and shines a light on new directions in product design.

Self-Build on a Shoestring, in association with NaCSBA (National Custom and Self-Build Association) – This competition, open to all, sets the challenge to design a stylish 65m2 starter home that can be built for £50,000 – ideally less. Selected entries are displayed at Grand Designs Live and the winners are awarded a share of a £5000 prize fund. Grand Room Sets –The theme ‘famous places that never existed’ are brought to life by top designers in this inspirational interiors installation. The Light Lab – A first for this year’s show, The Light Lab showcases what has become a major trend in recent years; the smart bulb. Visitors are invited to come along and see for themselves how much the humble light bulb can now do, by using an iPad to control music, colours and CCTV – all coming from the bulb itself. Bird Box Lounge, sponsored by the Pension Insurance Corporation – Another new addition for this year’s Birmingham show, the Bird Box Lounge will share tips and tricks on how to encourage wildlife into the garden. The lounge will also provide a tranquil spot for visitors to have a cup of tea or a bite to eat.

Below: The event will cater for professionals across the full spectrum of the sector

Innovation in building technology The UK’s only dedicated event to integrated building technology, Smart Buildings 2016, is back for another year and is set to be bigger and more forward-thinking than ever. Taking place on 18 to 20th October at the Birmingham NEC, the show will once again form part of the unique and all-encompassing line up at the award-winning UK Construction Week.


upported by the industry’s leading bodies, including KNX Association, The Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT), the Electrical Contractors' Association (ECA) and the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) to name but a few, Smart Buildings 2016 will be a hive of world-leading content, CPD sessions and cutting-edge industry brands. Showcasing the latest innovations in smart building technology, the event will cater for professionals across the full spectrum of the sector from home automation to climate control, lighting, access and security, workplace technology, entertainment systems and the Internet of Things. Representing a more connected future, Smart Buildings 2016 offers the unique benefit to both exhibitors and visitors of networking with professionals from across the entire construction industry – being co-located alongside eight other shows as part of UK Construction Week. Day one of the Smart Buildings Hub will kick off by looking at the integral role facilities managers should play in building design. Mike Packham,

Owner of Bernard Williams Associates and member of BIFM’s Operational Readiness Group, will outline the difference involving a facilities manager makes to a buildings’ performance. Also on the first day there will be a seminar that looks at how data within the universe of technology can be protected from potential attacks by tools and safeguards. This is followed by an exploration of The “LIFI” Revolution.

The second day begins with a panel discussion about ‘The Connected Home and Workspace’ and promises to get to the heart of what this really means and how we achieve it. Speakers include: Iain R Gordon, President and Managing Director of KNX UK, Muir Baxter, International Account Manager – Major Projects at MDU & Hospitality, GIRA and Simon Buddle, Education Director for CEDIA. Other topics on the agenda for day two include ‘Getting the Most out of Your Smart Buildings’ by Dr Martin Ganley – Director of Smart Homes and Buildings at the BRE – and what the future of lighting has in store in the coming years. The final day will be forecasting trends of ‘The IOT Revolution’. It is expected that by 2020, 64 billion devices will be connected to the IOT, with 5.5 million devices connecting every day in 2016. This seminar will discuss the forecasts for the IOT and the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. Also on the final day, Jeremy Towler, Senior Manager of Energy & Smart Technologies at the Building Services Research and Information Association (BSRIA), will be discussing ‘Closing in on the Retrofit Challenge’. With 80% of all the UK’s buildings that will exist in 2050 already built, how can they be upgraded to become ‘smart’? Registering to attend Smart Buildings 2016 is quick, easy and free and can be completed by visiting What’s more, by completing the form, trade visitors can access all nine shows taking place at UK Construction Week.

Smart Buildings 2016 Preview

Left: Smart Buildings 2016 will be a hive of world-leading content, CPD sessions and cutting-edge industry brands


Homebuilding & Renovating Show Preview

Left: Over three days, you’ll be able to talk to architects, designers, legal experts, craftspeople and self-build specialists Below left: Bring your plans and questions along and get tailored solutions in a 15-minute free one-to-one session at the Advice Centre

freshest, most inspiring ideas and more than 350 exhibitors ready to guide you through the latest products and innovations.

750+ free one-to-one advice sessions

Meet the experts. See the products. Bring your plans to life. The London Homebuilding & Renovating Show, proudly sponsored by Anglian Home Improvements, returns to ExCeL, London, from 23rd to 25th September 2016.


as your goal this year to finally do that extension? Are you halfway through updating your interiors? Maybe you’ve been dreaming of building a secure, sustainable house from scratch? A visit to the Homebuilding & Renovating Show at ExCeL this September will give you practical

help to turn your plans into reality. Over three days, you’ll be able to talk to architects, designers, legal experts, craftspeople and self-build specialists – not to mention suppliers of everything from flooring and roof tiles, to interior paint and storage solutions. The Homebuilding & Renovating Show has the

Bring your plans and questions along and get tailored solutions in a 15 minute free one-to-one session at the Advice Centre. Meet self-build and renovation experts such as Charlie Luxton from More 4’s ‘Building the Dream’ and Julia Kendell who is best known for her interior design expertise in ‘DIY SOS’, as well as architects, planners and builders.

350+ key suppliers Whatever the product, there’s nothing quite like seeing it in real life. Only then can you get a feel for the quality and picture it in your home. The Homebuilding & Renovating Show brings together thousands of the freshest ideas from suppliers based across the country, all in one space.

35+ educational masterclasses Smart, secure, sustainable – whatever you want your project to be, masterclasses can help. They’re short sessions jam-packed with detailed advice on specific talking points, all from the brightest minds in the world of homebuilding and renovations.

16+ in-depth daily seminars Join the Homebuilding & Renovating Show in its two theatres for bite-sized sessions that give practical answers to common questions. The Self-Build Theatre plays host to specialist talks on every aspect of self-builds. While in the Home Improvement Theatre, leading designers, architects and planners will be covering topics ranging from interior renovations to building extensions. Each seminar is 30 minutes long and all are designed to leave you full of ideas. As a friend of the show, i-build has 500 pairs of tickets to give away. To claim your two free tickets and save £36*, visit *Saving based on two standard door price tickets. Offer expires when all 500 pairs of tickets have been redeemed, or 3pm 22nd September 2016, whichever is soonest. Children 16 and under go free.


Below: Exhibitors in Kitchens & Bathrooms include ceramics manufacturer Porcelanosa, bathroom fittings specialist CEADESIGN and bathroom design companies antoniolupi and Kaldewei

100% Design Preview

Left: Reflecting 100% Design’s focus on quality and inspiration, this year’s theme is ‘Experience’

21-24 September 2016 OLYMPIA London

100% Design returns to Olympia, London 100% Design, the UK’s largest design trade show, is returning to Olympia, London, from 21st to 24th September. The show forms the commercial heart of London Design Festival, presenting leading national and international exhibitors with ideas, products and innovations for the domestic, workplace and built environments, alongside a special focus on emerging brands.


eflecting 100% Design’s focus on quality and inspiration, this year’s theme is ‘Experience’, which will be explored across the show through specially-commissioned installations, immersive experiences and sensory experiments. Talks with 100% Design will be curated by the Design Museum as part of its ‘on loan’ campaign, with activity out and about in Kensington until the museum opens on 24th November 2016. Focusing on quality and depth, the talks present thought leaders in the industry, deliver agenda-setting keynotes alongside panel discussions exploring trends in contemporary practice, as well as the future of design. The programme will be presented in a specially-commissioned auditorium, designed by Miska Miller-Lovegrove. A separate talks programme focusing on professional development will be presented in the Forum. New for 2016, a cinema area will showcase products, designers and studios and will provide reflective, intellectual engagement with current and historical design agendas. Making its debut at London Design Festival 2016 is LuxuryMade, a new show dedicated to contemporary decorative interiors.

Interiors Interiors presents leading international brands exhibiting everything from furniture and lighting, to fabrics and accessories. New exhibitors for 2016 include German furniture specialist Axel Veit, which is presenting for the first time in the UK, veteran glass-maker B&S Glass Industries and lighting and furniture studio Industville. Other exhibitors include eccentric British Designer Mineheart, and lighting companies Designheure, Original BTC and Dowsing and Reynolds. A new showcase within Interiors, Design London will take centre stage at the show, next to the central bar. Consisting of a carefully edited group of less than 15 brands, Design London will spotlight the very best in design manufacturing, with each company chosen to complement one another and as contributors to London’s reputation as design capital of the world.

Workplace 100% Design’s Workplace section is the only one of its kind in the UK. Reflecting the growing appreciation for workplace design worldwide, the section presents the ways in which the world’s most

innovative companies are using design thinking to improve the experience and productivity of the workplace. New exhibitors for 2016 include commercial furniture brand Arper, which will host the 100% Design Digital Hub, and workplace acoustics expert Texaa. Other exhibitors in Workplace include Johanson, MARK Product, Nowy Styl Group, TopBrewer by Scanomat, Sagal Group, Futura Leathers and Framery.

Kitchens & Bathrooms This section brings together high-end manufacturers and exhibitors responding to the demand from the hospitality and interior design trade, demonstrating quality innovation across components, materials, equipment and effective use of space. Exhibitors in Kitchens & Bathrooms include ceramics manufacturer Porcelanosa, bathroom fittings specialist CEADESIGN, bathroom design companies antoniolupi and Kaldewei, natural stone expert Antonio Luigi & C. and boat outfitter Timage. Natural stone supplier Marmi Strada joins the show for the first time, while Armac Martin will premiere its 2017 collection of high-end brass cabinet fittings.

Emerging Brands Emerging Brands is 100% Design’s dedicated platform committed to uncovering the best and freshest ideas from tomorrow’s new talent. Hedesign will celebrate one year in business at the show, introducing its lamp and coat rack collections to the UK market for the first time, while for rug and pillow designer RedNoir, 100% Design will be its European launch.



Compact, stylish wood burning stoves – UK’s most popular range A wood burning stove is both a fashionable interior feature and an efficient heat source, and for anyone looking to invest in a premium yet affordable stove, Contura’s 500 series is ideally placed to meet these requirements.


using timeless Scandinavian design with traditional wood burning, the Contura 500 series consists of models 510, 520, 556, 586, 590 and 596, with stoves available in a variety of colours and finishes, including soapstone, black, grey or white steel and traditional cast iron. Choosing a Contura 500 stove will make any room stylish and homely, and will echo the relaxed and unfussy aesthetics typical of Swedish interiors. With clean lines, a sleek glass door and integrated handles, the Contura 500 can be used to create a stylish focal point with a room. Thanks to a flat back panel, the stove sits well along walls or in corners and can also be installed into awkwardly-shaped rooms. A wood burning stove offers an alternative heating solution to a traditional fireplace or central heating, which in turn helps to cut energy bill costs. All Contura stoves offer outstanding performance, maximum efficiency, practicality and ease of use. With


Above: With 80% heating efficiency, compared to only 20% of traditional fireplaces, and thanks to a 5kW heat output, the compact 500 series can heat a room of up to 120m2 with ease Right: The Contura 500 series consists of models 510, 520, 556, 586, 590 and 596, with stoves available in a variety of colours and finishes, including soapstone, black, grey or white steel and traditional cast iron

80% heating efficiency, compared to only 20% of traditional fireplaces, and thanks to a 5kW heat output, the compact 500 series can heat a room of up to 120m2 with ease. Further benefits include powerful convection and clean burning systems, ensuring less wood is used, whilst maintaining a high heat output to sufficiently warm even a large, open space. Contura’s UK Country Manager, Phil Wood, says: “The Contura 500 series is our most popular range in the UK and the design has been recently modified to include a number of new features, including a full glass door and stay-cool handle. “Thanks to the wide variety of colours and finishes available, along with add-on features, such as a heat tank, fan, hot plate, log box door and floor protector, the 500 range is extremely user-friendly and can be easily adapted to suit any individual customer’s heating needs.” All Contura 500 stoves are DEFRA Clean Air Act exempt and can be used in Smoke Control Areas. 01302 788518

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Create your stairway to heaven Your staircase can be a statement feature of your home, so it’s worth taking time over the design and materials to ensure that it makes the desired impact. Often the first thing that visitors see on arrival, it’s important that your staircase fits the look and feel of your home, be it contemporary or traditional.


f space permits, straight staircases are a popular choice, often with built-in storage underneath to help tackle the challenge that faces many new build properties. Transparent glass panels, rather than wooden spindles, are an increasingly frequent choice, as they help to create the illusion of space and avoid sectioning off a room. When it comes to enhancing space, any variation of a folded plate staircase is ideal, and it adds a striking and contemporary look. WeberHaus is seeing an increased demand for new materials, such as high pressure laminate and angular steel handrails, to be incorporated into staircases. Regardless of trends, certain styles never date and if you prefer a classical design then a curved appearance in a quarter or half circle can

add a dramatic touch to your home. This can be executed with traditional wooden spindles and a rounded handrail or, to add a hint of modernity, a glass banister provides a sleek finish. When it comes to choosing shades, it’s imporant to consider the rest of your home and how your staircase will complement it. For example, if opting for wooden floors then bear in mind your preferred finish, so that you can match, or deliberately contrast, with your staircase. Using a stain or oil will allow the grain of the wood to remain clearly visible for a more natural, rustic finish. If you prefer a cleaner look then go for varnish, which works better in dark or white tones. WeberHaus offers 11 different stains in a single range.

Impact on arrival Steve Bray, Senior Creative Advisor at EeStairs UK, advises on the placement of a staircase for an enhanced experience when entering your home. A bespoke feature staircase will enhance a space and create a sense of occasion. To maximise the impact of a feature staircase, seek to place the staircase where it will deliver impact on arrival into the home. It's also very effective when a beautiful staircase is visible through a large feature window.

Common placements that EeStairs has witnessed for staircases

Making a staircase a focal point

The best placement for helical staircases

Make the staircase a central element within the layout of your self-build, with a focus on visual prominence and intersection with the key walkways that are central to the home. Carefully conceived staircase geometry and specification are also key to the staircase, delivering maximum added value.


Feature staircases will typically be installed in an entrance space adjacent to the main entrance; prominent, eye-catching and drawing users to the upper levels.

Helical staircases will typically require a larger space when compared to straight alternatives. Staircase geometry, proportion, specification, Building Regulations and installation methodology will all influence the perfect placement.

1m2 space-saving staircases The 1m2 by EeStairs® is perfect for limited space situations where a conventional spiral staircase cannot be accommodated due to space restrictions and fits on one square meter. The 1m2 is a stylish and interesting alternative to a loft ladder, or alternating tread staircases, with the added benefit of a generous carriageway and comfortable descent whilst facing forwards.


Step by step From tread, balustrade and handrail styles, stair contractor Bisca offers its top tips on must-have styles for your self-build’s staircase design to create an exceptional statement.

Tread design styles
 The choice of open or closed treads comes down to personal preference. Open rise staircases are rather more contemporary in style than closed rise stairs. If you need more light in your hallway, then open rise treads will make the most of available light from above and adjacent windows. Materials to consider for treads are timber, glass, steel, leather-clad, bronze, marble, stone or even Corian. Balustrade styles
 The elegant look of handcrafted, forged uprights never goes out of fashion. Balustrades using forged uprights can range from ornate to simple in design, rustic to contemporary in look and feel, and you can choose from steel, bronze or brass and a huge variety of finishes. Glass balustrades give a contemporary

look, but watch out for clips and clamps holding panels in place; with good design they are simply unnecessary and ruin the overall look. Handrail styles 
 Classic, hand-carved and polished timber handrails are hard to beat. Go for a continuous run along the top of the balustrade and around any landing galleries for the best look and feel. Angular joints and imposing newel posts visually and physically break the flow of a handrail and thus detract from the balustrade. Steel handrails, once popular, have seriously fallen out of favour in the last two or three years, but are making a bit of a comeback. Choose a leather-clad handrail for the ultimate luxury.



Handmade or machine made? For centuries, clay bricks have been an integral part of the English architectural landscape and they continue to be the single most popular way of constructing a house. Graham Irving, Managing Director of Bovingdon Bricks, explains more.


roadly speaking, there are two main types of facing bricks (bricks for the facade of a building) to choose from: handmade or machine made which, depending on the density of the clay, are manufactured using hard or ‘soft mud’ processes. Handmade bricks are often the preferred choice of self-builders because of the sheer ‘wow factor’ they bring to a property. Individually made, with no two bricks exactly the same, they are the most expensive to produce, but their mellow variable tones, rough textures and their uneven creases and ‘smiles’ give them immense character.


Volume produced machine made or wirecut bricks use more cost-effective, modern automated processes and so are cheaper to buy. However, they tend to be more regular and uniform in appearance with a sharp-edged, smoother-faced finish. Although they may be tumbled, artificially stained or weathered to create a distressed or reclaimed look, they fail to recreate the idiosyncratic charm of a genuine hand-thrown brick. Stock bricks, which are made using a ‘soft mud’ process, tend to be more expensive than wirecut bricks, but they have an attractive mellow finish and can sometimes be irregular in shape.

Other types of bricks include common bricks, which are not generally used as facing bricks, being more suitable for garden walls and outbuildings and engineering bricks, which, being highly durable and moisture resistant, are generally used for below groundwork and damp-proof courses. When choosing your type of brick, the quality, appearance and relative costs need to be carefully considered. Handmade bricks may be up to approximately £200 per 1000 more expensive than machine made bricks, so for a house costing £400,000 to build, 20,000 bricks may cost an additional £4000. However, at the end of the day, this equates to only 1% of the property’s overall value, whereas the bricks amount to 95% of its entire appearance.


Building with brick The trend for exposed brick has blossomed in recent years, and has been especially prevalent in interior design to create a rustic feel to a property. However, an exposed wall can be harder to preserve than its plastercovered counterparts. As an authority on brick, the Brick Development Association gives its top tips on how to minimise brick damage in this type of construction. Location, location, location One noteworthy piece of advice for architects is to bear in mind the location of your project within the UK, and which exposure zone it falls into. For example, much of the west of the UK, including Cornwall and Devon, the west coast of Scotland and Wales, the Shetland Islands and the Isle of Man, fall into the ‘Very Severe’ zone, where 100 litres/m2 of wind-driven rain occurs per rain-spell.

Coping method

NEW BRICKS ON THE BLOCK Wienerberger offers a wide range of reclaimed style bricks and the introduction of the Olde Wells Rustica further enhances the collection. Reclaimed style bricks are a safer, modern alternative to genuine reclaimed bricks. A special ‘tumbling’ process is used to recreate the aged, weathered appearance of old bricks. But as they are produced to the European Standard EN771-1, they come with a great deal of certainty and performance guarantees such as frost resistance.

Brick advice can vary depending on the type of wall in question, and its level of exposure. In all cases, F2, S2 (frost resistant, low soluble salts) brick should be specified. If a simple freestanding wall is being built, the BDA would suggest that a saddleback coping is used to protect the durability of the wall underneath. This does not have to be made from brick, and can be sourced from a stone or concrete manufacturer and used with their guidance. Alternatively, creasing tiles and a double bullnose can form a coping to protect the bricks from being saturated by rainwater. There should be an overhang of at least 40mm on each

side. The passage of rainwater must also be halted by damp-proof material, such as a flexible, damp-proof membrane.

Mortar The mortar content is as important as the bricks it surrounds. For mortar application, a bucket handle mortar joint is preferred, as once mortar deteriorates it will compromise the rest of the brickwork. Weatherstruck joint profiles are also feasible, but recessed joints are not recommended in any application where the brick is exposed. When detailing severely exposed brickwork, mortar strength of M12, M6 or M4 should be used. If there is a risk of salt spray, sulphate-resisting cement should be used for extra protection. If the cement is mixed on-site, extra care should be taken to make precise measurements, as incorrect batching can ruin brickwork. Brick walls are attractive and durable when designed correctly and built with appropriate materials in a technicallycompetent way.



All hands on deck Whether you have a large country garden, small town garden or compact terrace, you'll want to make the most of your outdoor space this summer. So with that in mind, the design experts at Richard Burbidge have come up with a few handy design hints to help you transform your space into a practical and stylish spot for entertaining, dining, or simply relaxing. Before you start to build your dream decking area, there are a few things to bear in mind.

1. Location, location, location Before designing your decking you should consider where the sun will be at different times of the day. Also, will your new deck be protected from prevailing winds, by fences, walls or buildings? Finally, will the decking interfere with any household services; in particular will it affect access to drains or vents? If so, access to these may need to be built in to the design.

2. Size matters As with any home extension, you should try to make the improvements look as though they were part of the original house. Therefore, size should be taken into consideration when

Do you need planning permission? According to Gripsure, a specialist supplier of non-slip decking, planning permission is required if:
 The deck has a height of more than 30cm from the ground. It is positioned within 20 metres of the nearest highway. The decking and other possible extensions (conservatories/sheds) occupy more than 50% of the garden area.


designing your decking. A small deck on a large house may look like an obvious addition, rather than an organic part of the house. Similarly, oversized decking on smaller houses or in compact outdoor spaces can look equally out of place. Richard Burbidge offers a wide range of decking balustrades in a variety of styles and finishes, as it’s also important to choose the right balustrade to make sure they are in keeping with the overall look and feel of your garden.

3. On the slopes

4. Online planning

One of the best ways to make the most out of a garden with a slope, especially one that slopes away from the house, is to fit multi-level decking and outdoor balustrades. Not only can this add interest to the garden design and break up larger areas, it also makes uneven or sloping gardens more useable and safer.

To make decking design easy, Richard Burbidge offers an innovative online planning tool called DECKPLANNER. The free service allows you to plan your dream decking and balustrade system in just a few simple steps.


Look Book: Accessories To complement your newly-decked garden, why not adorn your decking area with these cool and contemporary accessories? 1




CARING FOR YOUR DECKING A well thought out deck can transform an outdoor space. Wood decks are pleasant underfoot, make a safe play surface for children and are wonderful spaces for just kicking back and enjoying the great outdoors, says Nick Taylor of Silva Timber: “Decks should be kept free of organic debris and cleaned as required. Environmentallyfriendly deck cleaning agents are available and these can be diluted according to the level of cleaning required. Simply apply the diluted liquid to the deck surface, leave for a few minutes then wash off with a hose or pressure washer. Once the deck has been cleaned, all that is required is to apply a single top-up coat of finish – no sanding or stripping is required. “Decks typically need maintenance every two to four years. Maintenance is necessary when the surface shows signs of fading or erosion. Cleaning and refinishing a deck on a regular basis will ensure long-lasting colour retention, dimensional stability and effective water repellence.”


1. Elevated halo 36" fire table, Solus Decor,

2. URBANARA outdoor living

accessories, URBANARA,

3. Vertical garden planter, Heimatwerke,

4. Fluted zinc planters,

Grace & Glory,


5. SkyLine Design Nicosia

cantilever parasol, Lagoon,

6. Deck chair in red or navy stripe, Dobbies,



PRODUCT IN FOCUS EnviroBuild, the green building supplies manufacturer, has launched DURATRAC, a wood-polymer composite (WPC) decking board that is recycled, sustainably sourced and over three times more durable than timber. The DURATRAC product is made of 60% recycled wood and 40% recycled high density polyethylene (HDPE), environmentally gentle bonding agent, additives and tint. The decking is nonslip, non-splinter and has a lifespan of 30 years, without the need for maintenance or treatment. Traditional wooden decking, by comparison, lasts around 10 years and needs treating every 12 months. DURATRAC is suitable for use in both domestic and commercial gardens, roof terraces,


balconies and outdoor spaces. DURATRAC is available in two ranges and 10 different colours. ‘Pioneer’ in oak, rosewood, walnut, granite, stone and white ash; and ‘Frontier’ in slate, iroko, teak and marble. It can be laid in with a smooth or ridged finish. The decking substructure uses recycled plastic joists which are manufactured in the UK from plastic sourced in Great Britain.

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One out of every 10 (10%) of ‘home improvers’ is embarking on a project to create or improve space that they can spend more time together in as a family

Homeowners embark on renovation spree

Architectural Designer and Television Presenter Charlie Luxton has given the campaign his backing by sharing his own bright ideas and extension tips online at www.velux. Charlie Luxton said: “More and more UK homeowners are choosing to make home improvements instead of moving to bigger and better spaces. This desire to extend and renovate rather than buy and sell is influenced by many factors such as cost and increased ability to personalise existing living space. “It’s never too late to add daylight to a single-storey extension, no matter what stage the project is at. When planning a new extension, it’s important to consider the impact of your plans on daylight in the home. Adding roof windows to your extension allows you to bring in daylight from above, ensuring that both your existing home and your extension stay light and bright.” To coincide with the extensions campaign, VELUX is launching a competition for home improvers with the chance for eight regional winners to win VELUX roof windows and £1000 of John Lewis vouchers. For ways to bring more daylight into your home and to see the difference daylight makes using the VELUX 360° Extension Experience, visit, and watch here at: watch?v=DBCT02Wr1Cs. 01592 778225

VELUX has launched a campaign to help homeowners bring extra daylight in to their extensions.


early half (47%) of the UK’s homeowners taking part in a survey by leading window manufacturer VELUX are planning to carry out home improvements over the next six months. For the majority of home improvers (59%), the main reason for renovating is to either update their interior decor or modernise their homes. However, one out of every 10 (10%) of ‘home improvers’ is embarking on a project to create or improve space that they can spend more time together in as a family. For this particular group of ‘family time’ seekers, they are willing to spend big to make their dream a reality, with a planned average spend of £15,589. This is more than double the planned average spend of £6444 for all home improvers.


The home improvement survey supports the launch of a new campaign from VELUX to inspire and support homeowners with practical tips, advice and tools, to help them plan for and create their dream single-storey extension with VELUX roof windows.

Other key survey findings include: Almost three quarters (72%) of home improvers are planning to begin their work over the next three months (July, August and September). Almost half (47%) of home improvers are planning work on their kitchen, with slightly less (42%) planning work on their living space. Three in 10 home improvers in London (30%) are planning either an extension or conservatory.

The home improvement survey supports the launch of a new campaign from VELUX to inspire and support homeowners

Scotframe – leading the way in self-build Scotframe provides its self-build customers with a unique one-stop-shop service, not only for coordinating the manufacture and delivery of the timber frame structure, but also the supply of windows, external doors, insulation, plasterboard, stairs, internal doorsets, architrave, skirtings and finishings, and a whole lot more – the complete package.


cotframe’s new Rural Homes collection features 22 house types, from bungalows to grand five-bedroom homes, all of which have been meticulously designed to nestle into countryside sites in a harmonious and unobtrusive fashion. The collection will reduce energy use by introducing five-star standards of thermal performance and energy efficiency levels. Make sure you talk to Scotframe about Val-U-Therm, the company’s unique family of advanced, closed panel, factory insulated, high thermal performance wall, roof and floor systems. Val-U-Therm provides a winning solution along with extremely low U-values and exceptional airtightness, making it ideally suited to all forms of self-build projects. The thermal efficiency of timber frame is legendary, and Val-U-Therm ensures properties are very comfortable and require a lot less energy to heat. Scotframe has manufacturing and customer service facilities based at Inverurie in Aberdeenshire and Cumbernauld near Glasgow, which enables the company to supply to customers right across the UK. Scotframe also has regional sales offices and product display facilities in Dundee and Inverness and regional sales agents in West Sussex and Paignton. 01467 624440

J & S House of Design’s client had a typical galley kitchen; wall-hung cabinets, a gardenfacing sink and a door to the garden, with little room and limited storage. The garage backed onto the kitchen, so some space was sacrificed as a utility room, and an island replaced the full-height wall to the dining room. J & S House of Design added a bi-fold door across the kitchen wall to let in as much natural light as possible, connecting to the garden.This worked perfectly with beautiful symmetry with the new bi-fold door added.The new kitchen is flooded with natural light, with a new utility room and plenty of work surface space.

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Turning a galley kitchen into an open, entertaining space 01865 596768

Small bathrooms with big impacts Many people think that a small bathroom can’t accommodate a bathtub and a shower. However, clever planning with flexible models can make dreams come true. Kaldewei’s Meisterstück Centro Duo bathtub maximises space with a single rounded corner at either the right or the left for a variety of installation options. Shower enthusiasts want maximum space for their favourite indulgence. Floor-level enamelled shower surfaces such as the Kaldewei Conoflat are the way to go. The ultra-flat Conoflat visually opens up the interior. The Cono double washbasin offers plenty of space for two and completes an interior that exudes contemporary elegance and seamless aesthetics. 01480 498053

Revive wooden furniture with Osmo Wood has long been a popular material for furniture. However, every day wear-and-tear can take its toll on wood. One of the most effective methods of restoring wooden furniture is simply reviving the surface. Many furniture finishes are designed to be thick to prevent any impermeable damage from penetrating the wood. An abrasion technique will allow you to ‘wear’ away the damage, revealing the undamaged, original wood. Osmo UK products are made from sustainable, environmentally-friendly materials that will help restore any wooden furniture. Its range includes: Osmo’s Liquid Wax Cleaner, Osmo Wood Filler, Osmo Polyx-Oil, Osmo Polyx-Oil Raw, Wood Wax Finish and Wood Protector. 01296 481220


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American White Oak, in three different finishes, was chosen for the property in a mixture of single, double and sliding doors. The basement doors leading into a lounge/bar area, cinema room and gym were in Graefe’s Pembroke design, which features a recessed central panel and raised beading, painted in grey with the beautiful woodgrain visible through the paint. Bedroom doors were also in Graefe’s Pembroke design. Crown cut veneer was book matched with recessed panels and styles and rails to put a modern twist on a traditional panelled door. The doors were whitewashed to a luxurious finish, which was mirrored throughout the entire top floor. Various connecting doors, including those for the bathroom and laundry room were flush, painted in either white or grey. The doors were the finishing touch to the lavish modern build. Julian concluded: “We were very happy with the finish, the overall quality was very good. I would recommend Graefe as a company and will use their products again on further projects.” 01844 219609

Graefe bespoke doors complete prestigious property Located in the London Borough of Hillingdon, the prestigious Northwood was voted one of the top 20 wealthiest suburbs in the UK by The Daily Telegraph. Backing onto Northwood Golf Course, Kings Oak House is immaculately finished, boasting seven bedrooms, eight reception rooms and a gym, sauna and cinema room. Graefe bespoke internal doors were chosen throughout the property, adding to the elegance and grandeur.


andpicked by the client, Graefe’s various veneer species, and finishes, reflected the style of each room within Kings Oak House. Julian Smith, of Kingshall Estates, managed the project. Julian chose Graefe for the project because “they looked like they could achieve the design and finish we were after that fit within our budgets”. Producing premium real wood veneer products since 1837, Graefe’s skilled craftsmanship, and use of the highest quality raw materials, has earned itself a reputation for unrivalled quality.


Above: Various connecting doors, including those for the bathroom and laundry room were flush, painted in either white or grey Right: American White Oak, in three different finishes, was chosen for the property in a mixture of single, double and sliding doors

The Japanese have always considered the bathroom to be a place for physical and spiritual wellbeing.TOTO develops washbasins based on traditional Japanese bathing culture.The company focuses on achieving the ideal balance between comfort, relaxation, hygiene, ecology and appealing design in its products – which work as perfectly in luxury, family and guest bathrooms as they do in busy public washrooms.TOTO offers a wide variety of different washbasins to meet the needs of all types of bathrooms and sanitary areas – including space-saving, especially comfortable and primarily longlasting solutions. 0207 831 7544

H+H can help to build your lifetime home H+H, the largest UK manufacturer of aircrete blocks, has launched a new website dedicated to the self-build sector. The Lifetime House website gives heaps of information about building a home using traditional masonry construction, discussing the performance characteristics of aircrete and explaining its role in building a modern, efficient and flexible home that will last for lifetimes. The site includes some inspirational case studies, showing completed self-build projects and explaining why the homeowners made their design choices. This site is an easy-to-use introduction to aircrete, a lightweight, thermally-efficient masonry material combining the performance and durability of masonry with the speed and convenience of a modern building material. 01732 880111

Mendip’s award-winning Woodland stove

Green Oak, Douglas fir, Larch, Glulam ...feature trusses in a wide range of styles & sizes

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Japaneseinspired washbasins

Standard truss designs help optimise your budget Bespoke trusses & frames for your unique designs Structural & Aesthetic enhancements for your project

...Quality Craftsmanship What type of truss do you want today? Traditional, Modern, Vaulted Ceilings? Send us your drawings for a free estimate

TradTruss, Benfield ATT Group, Castle Way, Caldicot NP26 5PR 01291 437 050 Interior and exterior design inspiration

The comprehensive online specification portal for interior and exterior design professionals. in+ex inspires the design community with the latest news, on-trend products and high-profile interviews.

The new Woodland stove from Mendip Stoves is an awardwinning design, voted ‘Best Stove Under 5kW’ at June’s Hearth & Home Show in Harrogate. It won top marks for the high quality of its design, in particular the large viewing window, which, for a stove with a low output of 4.5kW, is rather unusual. It was also praised for having 100mm to combustibles on both sides and the rear of the stove, a feature of most Mendip stoves which enables them to be placed closer to combustible walls at the rear, a great feature for modern timber frame building construction methods. 01934 750500

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Searching for ‘can do’ firms A name that seems to crop up when looking for capable off-site manufacturers is Benfield ATT. Founded in 1995 to manufacture Swedish-style timber frame houses for ScandiaHus, the firm had grown well, so when it faced an adverse exchange rate against the krone, it was only logical to transfer the technology and fabrication to the UK.


he houses were not cheap, but the performance standards of the Scandinavian technology employed in its design made its sustainable, low energy, airtight characteristics very popular. Thus, the little company that was formed to replicate this was, arguably, one of the very first to promote these benefits throughout the UK. It has to be remembered that it is only since that time that even the UK Building Regulations caught on to the improvements needed. While these have been progressively upgraded, they remain woefully behind the northern European standards that the firm offered at that time. Although the gap has narrowed, it still maintains a lead, having become increasingly focused on delivering lowenergy buildings since the recession. Initially known as Abbac-Hus, the firm soon changed its name to Advanced Timber Technologies (ATT). Additionally, it began to offer Canadian-style platform frame homes, competing with UK firms to supplement and grow business from its base of replacing imported homes. This also meant offering 38 x 89 stud panels, rather than the 140 stud Scandinavian convention, which are also its mainstay today. At that time, UK Building Regulations enabled the company


Above: Snohetta isolated cabin, Norway, Bjellandsbu Akrafjorden Below: Curved clinics on single row of pile foundations

to build four and more storey blocks of flats with such frames. In 2000, a unique demonstration building – Timber Frame 2000 (TF2000) – became one of the most significant research projects undertaken. This collaborative project involved the construction of a six-storey, timber frame building to show the commercial and technical benefits of using timber for medium-rise buildings in the UK. Its success encouraged adoption of timber frame. Today, solid and composite timber buildings of 11 storeys have been built with 30 and more on international drawing boards. In 2002, ATT was acquired by a firm owned by leading Environmentalist, Professor Dr. Michael Benfield, changing its name to Benfield ATT. As he explains: “Applying Marshall McLuhan’s famous phrase, ‘the medium is the message’, it is absolutely clear that timber buildings have symbiotic relationships with nature. What better way then to promote the need for environmental sustainability than designing, making and building timber buildings.” To support this belief, the firm was first in the sector to gain ISO quality, TRADA ‘Q Mark’ and FSC Chain of Custody certifications, bolstering this with HRH Prince Charles’ sponsored Business in the Community ‘Big Tick’ awards for three years in a row. Professor Dr. Michael Benfield, states:“The things other people shy away from are exactly what we like to get to exercise our skills, experience and capabilities. While we’re very happy to prefabricate and build ‘standard’ houses, if it’s ‘different’, it ‘gets our juices going’.” This ethos of doing different things, often differently, has spurred the firm’s development of traditional carpentry, modifying this to produce standardised feature roof trusses, ‘systemised’ post and beam structures, and the use of hybrid glulam ‘cross laminated’ timber for solid timber walls, floors and roofs of ‘interesting’ carbon neutral structures. 01291 437050

A breath of fresh air Self-builders are being encouraged to make homes as airtight as possible to maximise energy efficiency and reduce their property’s carbon footprint. Here, Robert Dennis, Product Marketing Executive at Airflow Developments, looks at some innovative ventilation solutions that reduce moisture and excess heat in the home whilst maintaining a healthy internal environment.


n airtight property is an efficient property; it retains warm (and cooled) air more effectively, reducing energy bills and minimising its dayto-day impact on the environment. However, a sealed building can be more susceptible to damp, mould and condensation, especially in areas such as kitchens and bathrooms where we generate high levels of heat and moisture. Without effective ventilation, this can leave unsightly, unpleasant marks on ceilings and walls.

Above: A sealed building can be more susceptible to damp, mould and condensation, especially in areas such as kitchens and bathrooms where we generate high levels of heat and moisture Below: Some ventilation systems have an in-built filtration system to clean the internal environment of odours and airborne allergens

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Even more worrying is the negative effect poor indoor air quality can have on health. It’s a perturbing statistic that over 15.3 million homes in the UK are at risk of toxic home syndrome. This is when a person’s health deteriorates as a result of poor air quality in the home caused by pollutants. As such, when considering ventilation solutions, it is important to select not only high-performance products, but also the most appropriate system for your requirements and specific areas in the home. Approved Document F of the Building Regulations sets out guidelines on the recommended volume of air extraction for common ‘wet’ rooms that typically drive ventilation requirements, namely: Toilets: 6 l/sec (22m3/hr) Bathroom/shower rooms: 15 l/sec (54m3/hr) Kitchens adjacent to hob: 30 l/sec (108m3/hr) Kitchens without a cooker hood: 60 l/sec (216m3/hr) Utility rooms: 30 l/sec (108m3/hr) A decentralised mechanical extract ventilation (dMEV) system can be a useful addition in highly insulated properties as it provides a quiet and unobtrusive ventilation option. For example, Airflow’s iCONstant unit incorporates an electronic flow sensor, which ensures that optimum performance is maintained and that user-adjustable air flow rates remain constant. Extremely economical to operate, the annual running costs of the system when used on its lowest speed are as little as over £1 per year. In addition, the iCONstant features an intelligent control unit that minimises the length of the boost speed, ensuring that running costs for the fan are kept to a minimum. Intermittent extractor fans are the most widely used ventilation option in bathrooms, kitchens or in rooms without a window. They can be turned on manually or automatically via humidity and motion sensors, as and when required. For kitchen areas there is also Airflow’s QuietAir QT150. Quiet Mark approved, the unit is a highly energyefficient axial fan with a long-life ball-bearing motor that provides 40,000 hours of operation. It is fitted with a room refresh interval timer that enables automatic extraction at preset times, and also benefits from an extremely low noise level (35dB(A)) for a fan of this performance. Effective ventilation is integral to maintaining a healthy home. As well as protecting the external fabric of the building by minimising damp and condensation, some systems have an in-built filtration system to clean the internal environment of odours and airborne allergens, including dust, pollen and mould spores that can exacerbate hayfever and asthma. 01494 560800


Product Guide

Left: For homeowners looking to enjoy views with minimal visual interference from mullions, a sliding door such as Schueco’s ASS 70.HI door system may well be the best option Below left: Designed especially for the residential market, the Contemporary Living collection is an example of the quality engineering for which Schueco is renowned

Look for quality when choosing residential systems However crowded the marketplace real quality will always stand out according to Schueco UK, which has increased the range of its Contemporary Living collection of aluminium windows, doors and facades.


esigned especially for the residential market, these products are examples of the quality engineering for which Schueco is renowned. Quality is particularly important with residential products such as sliding doors where inferior systems rapidly display their weaknesses. Fortunately, this is not a likely scenario with any Schueco door since the system will have been fully tested and the fabricator fully trained. This applies to both sliding doors and to the entrance doors which also feature heavily in the Contemporary Living collection. Specifying Schueco therefore means peace of mind for both the end user and the architect or home-improvement specialist. As it happens, the collection’s range of

maintenance-free, double glazed sliding doors is comprehensive enough to provide a cost-effective solution for almost any specification. As well as straightforward sliding ‘patio’ doors, the choice includes folding/sliding doors, folding/tilting doors, lift-and-slide doors and panoramic doors. For homeowners looking to enjoy views with minimal visual interference from mullions, a sliding door such as Schueco’s ASS 70.HI door system may well be the best option. Available in single, double or triple track configurations, these 70mm deep doors look superb and glide effortlessly on stainless steel tracks. The lift-slide action is facilitated by stylish ergonomic handles. Alternatively, a key feature of Schueco’s panoramic range is the minimal profile face

widths of the central meeting stiles (30mm) and the fact that the outer frame is completely concealed in the building structure on all four sides. This not only makes the doors appear supremely elegant, but also maximises the area of clear glass, thus allowing the maximum amount of light transparency. Able to accommodate very wide openings with two, three or four leaves each up to 3.2m wide and 3.5m high, these premium doors are ideal for high-end residential homes. The windows in the Contemporary Living collection are equally stylish and deliver impressive U-values. The many types available include inward and outward-opening, side-hung, top-hung, tiltturn and fixed light. All open and close smoothly and have tight, draught-proof weather seals. Other products in the range include stylish facades that are perfectly suited for more major projects and for home extensions. Designed with minimal sightlines for maximum transparency, a Schueco facade is an elegantly engineered feature whose thermal performance can even reach Passive House standards if required. Similarly, the conservatories in the collection are so well insulated that they can be used not just as a sunny place in which to have breakfast or lunch in summer, but as a permanent extra space for entertaining or relaxing all year round. As such, they are an investment that can add real resale value to any home. 01908 282111


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

20mm porcelain pavers 40x80 45x90 60x60 75x75 30x120 40x120 60x120 ‘Floating floor’ – installation over single ply membranes Eternal product - zero maintenance required – offering massive over-life savings Highly abrasion and stain resistant Highly slip resistant ; R11 and achieved up to +65 wet in the BS pendulum test Lightweight – 45kgs per m2

High load bearing and impact resistance Timber & stone effects; 40+ finishes available Ideal for balconies, roof terraces and piazzas, for both commercial and residential use Completely non porous Fire & frost proof Height-adjustable supports from 9mm up to 550mm t: 0845 2700 696


The real beauty is what you don’t see The quality of a Schueco glazed system isn’t just on the surface. German engineering means sliding doors with concealed frames and narrow central joins. Windows have slender profiles. Façades offer ultraslim mullions and transoms. Entrance doors deliver unbeatable security. Yet all come with insulation that can be up to Passive House levels. If you’re looking for a system that is clearly better, there’s only one name on the frame.

i-build September 2016  

This month, Welsh Oak Frame helps turn a couple's dreams into a reality, SpecifiedBy discusses the role of the project manager and Makita of...

i-build September 2016  

This month, Welsh Oak Frame helps turn a couple's dreams into a reality, SpecifiedBy discusses the role of the project manager and Makita of...