Image of a rendered detached timber frame kit home in Devon

Graham & Mo Setterfield

The Beauty of Compromise

A tricky site next to a listed property meant that Graham and Mo Setterfield had to review their plans, and they are very pleased that they did as they have created a home that adapts to their changing needs.

The Setterfields first saw the site, an old tennis court of a listed lodge, in 2010 and they knew it was a fabulous part of Braunton in Devon.

Originally wanting to go down the oak-frame route, Graham and Mo spent months discussing their design with an oak-frame specialist, eventually coming to the realisation that the build costs were higher than expected and not financially viable.

Land Cost:
Build Cost:
Completion Date:
December 2013
Floor Area:
2702 sq ft

Choosing a Different Route

The couple decided to sell their house to fund the project and rent locally.

After deciding to no longer go ahead with oak frame, Graham and Mo obtained a number of quotes from other firms for the home they wanted to create. However, nothing seemed right, so they decided to investigate companies who could take on a bespoke project.

While attending a self-build show, they got chatting with Potton.

“By then we realised the structure of the house was as important as the design. We liked the reassurance of the company’s building route where the frame is pre-engineered in a factory. We read some good reviews and decided they were a firm that had a decent reputation, and one we could trust,” says Graham.

They also liked the design flexibility so in August 2012 they started talking to their local Potton designer, Sean Adams.
We met with Sean and described the journey we’d been on to get to this point. He listened to our requirements and within days he’d given us a completely different design. And with just a few minor alterations, it was exactly what we wanted.
Using his experience, Sean liaised with the local authority on the couple's behalf as it was initially thought they would have to build single storey because of the precedent set by the lodge next door. However, it was agreed the house could be one and half storey, and consent was granted.

Future Proofing

Graham and Mo chose high levels of insulation and underfloor heating run by a gas boiler. along with a woodburner for added comfort, although the reality is that they rarely need to use it. The couple also incorporated a mechanical ventilation and heat recovery system to keep the house fresh.
We think that Sean did a great job creating something that worked for us and the planners. We look back at our original design and wonder how we came to it! But it was all part of the learning process, the house we have now is just perfect for us.
as featured in build it logo

As featured in

Graham and Mo's self build was featured in Build It magazine.

Read the feature here


White double gabled house with large windows

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