Martin and Hayley Waker
A Growing Family...
• DEPARTMENT / POSITION: Operations Manager & Show Centre Co-ordinator
• YEARS WORKED AT POTTON: 32 & 3yrs
• AREA BUILT: Bedfordshire
• YEAR BUILT: 2012
When Martin Waker joined the self-build division of the Potton he was 18 years old and was involved right at the beginning of the company’s success, dealing with materials, schedules and labour he was also handling site enquiries and logistics from a number of construction site managers.
It was during that time he gained a mass of experience which set him in 2012 on the road to building his own home.
Married some years later to Hayley who also worked at Potton they had four children and had outgrown the house they were living in. With Martin’s experience and ability to design a home to suit their family needs and Hayley’s experience in her role as Show Centre Co-Ordinator they were both agreed self-build was the best route for them.
Being local they had plenty of contacts and were soon on the hunt for a plot, this quite quickly presented them with the opportunity to buy an infill plot on a small development about 3 miles from Potton’s head office, where Martin now headed up the technical department .This enabled him to work with the support of one of Potton’s approved planning specialists.
They were originally looking at a two and a half storey design from Potton’s portfolio, this gave them the basis to redesign something that would suit the family’s very own lifestyle, they introduced an open plan theme to the ground floor added a sunroom to the rear of the house and brought the design down to a one and a half storey building in order to suit the planning requirements.
By including attic designed roof trusses they were able to maximise on storage space and the introduction of open web joisting made the running of services much simpler.
Externally the emphasis was on low maintenance where pre-finished Hardiplank timber effect cladding was used along with uPVC windows, doors and fascias.
The couple effectively self-managed the whole process from start to finish; they liaised with suppliers and subcontractors, designed and chose the bathrooms and kitchen layouts and sourced paints, tiles and flooring.
One area they wanted to concentrate on were the eco products that would assist in achieving low running costs. With budget being a major consideration they decided to install Kingspan Thermomax solar panels from the very start.
Martin worked with nu-heat underfloor heating to design a system that could easily be converted at a later date from a gas boiler to an air source heat pump, and with his Dad to assist they installed the ground and first floor heating themselves “Dad was also site agent at many times meeting with subbies and taking in deliveries …a great asset!”
Having now moved into their new home the whole family are delighted with the additional space…And particularly love the idea that it is all new!
Martin 32 years on is now head of production at the Potton Factory says “I would definitely build again as there will come a time in the future when Hayley and I will want to downsize…Things I would do differently next time…. definitely employ someone else to decorate!"
Benefits of self-building….“Being able to influence the design of your own home, decide what goes into it and to then see your aspirations realised is hugely rewarding despite the blood, sweat and occasional tear!“
The self build journey..
MAIN REASON DECIDED TO BUILD YOUR OWN HOME?
Large family outgrowing the house we were living in. The ability to design our home to suit our family needs and the way we live together in it.
WHAT INPUT TO DESIGN, MATERIALS DID YOU HAVE?
Originally wanted the cost effective 2 ½ storey Ashwell design with an open plan theme to the kitchen, dining and additional sunroom living space - although design modified to 1 ½ storeys to suit planning restrictions. Inclusion of attic style roof trusses to maximise storage. Use of open web joisted floor for high performance and ease of service installation. Use of high performance argon filled DG units and front door. Use of low maintenance pre-finished exterior Hardiplank timber effect cladding and low maintenance uPVC windows fascias, barge boards and soffits. Kitchen & bathroom layouts and designs. Sourcing paints, sanitaryware, tiles & flooring.
WHO DEALT WITH PLANNING & B.REGS?
ROUTE TO BUILD…SELF MANAGED/ PROJECT MANAGED/BUILDER?
Self Managed - Close proximity to the site (3miles from previous home) allowed self-managed build to work!
HOW MUCH WORK DID YOU CARRY OUT?
Installation of under floor heating (GF & FF). Decoration and labouring. Father assisted with the above and was also site agent on many occasions meeting subbies and taking in deliveries!
WHERE DID YOU LIVE DURING THE BUILD?
HOW DID YOU FIND THE PLOT?
WHAT WOULD DO DIFFERENT NEXT TIME AND WOULD YOU DO IT AGAIN?
Get Decorators in! Would do it again as time will come to downsize no doubt.
ADVANTAGES OF WORKING AT POTTON?
Contacts, experience in the industry, knowledge of energy efficiency measures and regulations, process knowledge, access to experienced self-build design and construction professionals.
ECO PRODUCTS OR RENEWABLES INSTALLED & WHY?
Solar thermal panels (Kingspan Thermomax), heating system designed to allow for easy future conversion to Air Source Heat pump (ASHP) i.e. underfloor heating coils installed - currently run by Gas boiler - Heating system primary tails to outside wall and electrical supply installed ready for connection to an external ASHP.
IN PERCENTAGE TERMS HOW MUCH IS THE CURRENT VALUE MORE THAN THE FINAL BUILD COST
SINGLE QUOTE ON WHAT YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR NEW HOME?
“More space, new!”
ANY OTHER POINTS OF INTEREST?
To be able to influence the design of your home, decide what goes into it and then see your aspirations realised is hugely rewarding despite the blood, sweat & tears!