Case Study of the Month - February
A dream from 1998
“We chose Potton based on the style of houses they offered, the quality of the finished product and the support package that went with it. We were able to determine this based on the brochures and countless visits to their permanent show homes built at St Neots, Cambridgeshire”
The dream started back in 1998 when Andrew worked on a construction project that had an input from Potton. After a visit to the Potton factory, Andrew arrived home, clutching self-build brochures and the self-build dream began.
"By the time we decided to go ahead, we had already made some of the important decisions. We knew where we wanted to live and that it was about a change in lifestyle as well as building our own house."
When visiting family in the North of England, the couple regularly pass through Northamptonshire, which made their decision as to where they wanted to build.
"We chose Northamptonshire which is a very pretty county and signed up to Plot Search but in the end, we found the land through Right Move. Very quickly, we found the perfect plot, with Outline Planning comprising a third of an acre just outside the village of Chelveston in East Northamptonshire. We completed the purchase and began to think about the design of the house we wanted to build."
It was now time to start the design process of their new home."We spent a lot of time meticulously discussing a design with the architect and Potton in preparation for the planning submission. We were able to modify the ‘brochure’ design to suit our own requirements and in the end settled for a modified Caxton J from Potton’s Heritage range."
A few months later, Jane and Andrew were granted planning permission for a four-bedroom house and double garage. "For us, planning was a very smooth process although we had been told the local council could be very awkward."
The couples existing house in Hertfordshire sold very quickly, so storage of possessions was arranged and a static caravan was purchased so they could live on-site during the build process. "We were able to purchase this on a buy-back basis, which helped to substantially reduce our build costs. Difficulties with utilities connections meant we lived in our motorhome for two months. This was a challenging and muddy time! Living on site during the build was a very positive experience and we would recommend it as it meant we were always there to answer questions and make our own decisions."
"We used a mixture of people in the construction of the house and garage. Some were from the Potton recommended list of traders others were local, but all turned out to be professional and good to have on site which is important if you are living next to your self-build."
"One of our key drivers in doing a self-build was to create a home that was economical to run and highly insulated. We looked at all the options available to us and eventually decided to utilise rainwater harvesting and air source heating systems along with 90mm insulation in the walls to achieve this. We now enjoy lower energy costs than our previous house which was half the size."
The build begins..
"Arriving home from work on the first day we could not believe how exciting we found a few holes in the ground. Within two weeks the ground works were finished and after five weeks the frame and then within seven weeks we had a roof and a virtually dry building. Although we did come to a complete standstill for six weeks due to the coldest winter for some time, this prevented us from progressing with brickwork, render and glazing. At the first opportunity after the weather improved we started on the inside of the house with a multitude of decisions required on kitchen design, sanitary fittings and floor finishes."
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Get in touch
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